Small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) often lack the knowhow in implementing sophisticated e-commerce systems that allow them to sell directly to consumers and businesses.
EDL, a US consulting firm based in Deerfield, Illinois, has developed CloudCraze, a cloud-based e-commerce application that promises to make it easier for companies to build an online store with minimal fuss on the Salesforce.com platform.
Part of the motivation for developing CloudCraze stemmed from the company’s experience in implementing B2B e-commerce systems based on Sterling Commerce’s supply chain software. The process, EDL executives say, was often expensive and time consuming, especially with integrating internal IT systems with e-commerce websites.
So in 2007, when Salesforce.com introduced its Force.com application platform for building and hosting cloud-based applications that take advantage of customer and sales data on Salesforce.com’s CRM and salesforce automation software, EDL jumped on the opportunity.
With CloudCraze, EDL Consulting claims, businesses that may not be able to afford million-dollar e-commerce systems can implement one in less than 10 weeks. “We allow companies to move faster and adapt their go-to-market strategy in an agile fashion.”
And because CloudCraze uses the same data that resides in Salesforce.com’s applications, companies can avoid data integration bugbears that plague the development of many traditional e-commerce applications.
With CloudCraze, a company can easily retrieve product and customer information from its inventory and CRM data on Salesforce.com to power its e-commerce shopfront, complete with integration with payment gateways and billing vendors.
At the backend, sales and product managers can not only track how well their products are selling on the e-commerce website, they can also view sales prospects based on browsing behaviour and quotation requests of customers.
With the recent announcement of Salesforce’s Social Marketing Cloud, companies can also take advantage of cross-selling and up-selling capabilities based on a customer’s activities on online social networks through CloudCraze.
At a starting price of US$5,000 per month, CloudCraze is an attractive option for companies looking at jumping onto the e-commerce bandwagon. The basic package includes Salesforce and CloudCraze licenses with 5,000 transactions, excluding customisation costs.
According to IDC, the global e-commerce market that spans both B2B and B2C transactions, will be worth US$16 trillion in 2013.