Salesforce Takes the Pulse on the Future of Retail; Finds Connected Shopping Experience Driving the Industry

Salesforce has come out with its third edition of the Connected Shopping Experience to describe how retail industry is faring in the modern context of delivering connected shopping experiences to consumers – across physical stores and online.

Navigating the modern retail and e-commerce ecosystem is turning trickier day by day. Modern shoppers are getting smarter and faster with their purchasing decisions. Every purchasing interaction, whether it’s with their favorite brands or with the ones they are recently made aware of, plays out through consumer’s digital lens. Shoppers are definitely getting savvy with online purchasing, but that doesn’t mean that they are ignoring brick-and-mortar stores altogether.

Physical stores continue to retain their unique place in the entire digital shopping journeys for every consumer. In an era where shoppers are more likely to practice ‘showrooming’ instead of buying from physical stores, retail brands have new challenges to deal with. And the good news is – most retailers are dealing with these challenges very well, largely because of the retail tech and Omnichannel Commerce Cloud platforms they use to deliver connected Shopping Experiences.

Here are a few unique things Salesforce survey found out about how consumers react to the connected shopping experiences.

Shopping at the Edge

Brands are merchandising their Omnichannel inventory with ruthless targeting and retargeting strategies. Customers are more likely to find brands and products on more than one location.

But how is that happening? How are brands able to find and meet with their potential customers?

Salesforce Connected Experience report explains in depth.

Salesforce Takes the Pulse on the Future of Retail

With new concepts in Commerce affixed to the changing paradigm in consumer behavior, retailers are shedding their historical practices. Agility, intelligence, and personalized content have taken the front-seat in delivering connected shopping experiences. In the pursuit to drive more online shopping footfall, brands are leveraging ‘headless CMS‘ and Commerce Cloud to understand the best channels, time, and ways to reach every customer.

37% have attended a unique in-store experience

Salesforce defined the three things that drive ‘Shopping at Edge’ concept, quoting brands such as Perry Elise, Adidas, PUMA, Sephora, Dr.Martens and MAC in their proof of concept. These are:

  • Agility
  • Openness
  • Intelligence

Brands with Loyalty Programs

Salesforce highlights that shoppers are more likely to value retail brands for their differentiated products and experiences. And, it adds to why eight out of ten consumers would opt for such brands that also offer loyalty and reward programs. Gen Z and Millennials are more likely to choose brands online that offer the option of customization with a limited-edition stock.

In a report by Accenture, millennial customers would vouch for brands that treat them right with contextual shopping experience. The survey found out that more than 95 percent of Millennials either want their brands to interact with them actively and receive coupons sent via email or mailed to their homes currently.

Shoppers are also picking gaming consoles as a means to make meaningful purchases. 1 in 4 millennials and Gen Z buyer is shopping or is interested in shopping through gaming consoles. Two-thirds of the buyers use mobile site to purchase.


Conversational AI, Voice Commerce, and Voice Assistants – these are different names attributed to the same technology. Retail brands are leveraging Voice with an unprecedented scale of success. Digital purchases via voice platforms such as Amazon Echo (Alexa) and Google Siri are growing. Salesforce finds that voice, together with social media, account for 9% of the total purchases made through new, emerging platforms.

Salesforce Trailhead constantly works on Alexa and AWS projects. Salesforce Commerce Cloud customers can expect more innovations in the retail tech space with the projects getting a nod for commercial applications in the coming weeks.

Supporting the growth rate in Voice Commerce, the Consumer Intelligence Research Partners reported that over 10 million Amazon customers in the US have an Amazon Echo device. With Amazon constantly adding new features and voice technology to its AI platform, we can expect Retail Tech industry growing their customer acquisition numbers in 2020.

Hybrid Retail: That’s the Future?

Customers really care about the quality and price of their purchases. While digital economy allows both brands and customers to interact across multiple online channels, visiting a retail store still makes sense to shoppers. Salesforce Commerce report identifies three “hubs” of physical-digital retail presence. These are:

  • Discovery Hub
  • Engagement Hub
  • Fulfillment Hub

Retailers that can read the message Salesforce Connected Shopping index has for them, would understand the future of retail lies with “Hybrid” existence. It’s all about delivering best of both worlds to customers.

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