Rob Garf, Salesforce vice president for industry strategy and insights, kicked off the “Be the Brand Your Customers Love" keynote at Dreamforce 2018 by reminding attendees that they are in the middle of the fourth industrial revolution. “Everything and everyone is connected," he said, describing how chatbots, augmented and virtual reality, predictive intelligence and voice shopping are leading to a “retail renaissance."
Part of what's driving this revolution, Garf said, is that shoppers are insisting on relationships over transactions but aren't happy with most of their experiences. Consumers say that their shopping experience is disconnected, retailers don’t truly know them and they want new products every month.
One obstacle, he continued, is that retailers aren't adequately using data yet. Their systems are deeply rooted in products rather than the experiences customers are demanding. To address this, he said, marketing leaders are relying on three strategies:
- Integration: seamless engagement across connected systems through a unified shopper profile.
- Intelligence: real-time orchestration of the experience and associate empowerment to deliver the “next best" action.
- Innovation: creative collaborations and agile experimentation with new models.
Be everywhere for your shoppers, every time.
—Maria Humphrey, senior director for retail industry solutions,Salesforce
According to Maria Humphrey, Salesforce senior director for retail industry solutions, a retailer's goal is to “be everywhere for your shoppers, every time," she said. This approach has the potential to transform B2B experiences just as much as B2C ones.
As an example, Humphrey described how a resort shop manager could order products to sell in her shop on a site that looks and acts just like a top consumer shopping site, but also be presented with B2B-oriented features like customized clothing with the resort's logo. Similarly, someone planning an event at the resort could order items to sell the attendees, a B2B2C transaction.