Salesforce to Launch Consumer Goods Cloud as Market Demand Heats Up

The platform, expected to release on Oct. 15, will be available for sale through partners.

Kelly Teal, Contributing Editor

September 30, 2019

4 Min Read
Consumer goods cloud

Consumer goods makers, like other vertical players, continue to turn to the cloud to help them remain relevant in a hotly competitive world. In fact, research firm MarketsandMarkets projects the cloud IT service management market, which includes consumer goods, will grow from $4.4 billion this year to $10.4 billion by 2024.

This activity spells opportunity for the indirect channel, and Salesforce is among the latest to dive into the fray. On Oct. 15, the software maker will launch its Consumer Goods Cloud platform, which will be available for sale through partners.

Salesforce is pitching Consumer Goods Cloud as a tool account managers will use to take advantage of the latest technologies, including artificial intelligence, blockchain and the internet of things, to transform their businesses. Consumer goods suppliers with retail presence face increasing competition from digital-first rivals that have figured out how to bypass the middleman altogether and sell directly to buyers through the internet.


Salesforce’s John Strain

“Retail execution remains one of the most important pieces of a consumer goods brand’s strategy, but so much opportunity is wasted if the field rep doesn’t have the data and technology needed to make smart decisions,” John Strain, general manager and senior vice president, Retail and Consumer Goods at Salesforce, said in a statement.

Knowing that, Salesforce created Consumer Goods Cloud, part of the Customer 360 Platform, to help field reps, in particular, understand sales targets, orders, promotions and more in one interface.


Salesforce’s Jujhar Singh

“Now field reps can ensure that shelves are always in stock, pricing and promotions are aligned to expectations while spending less time on operational activities and more time building relationships and driving sales with retail channel partners,” Jujhar Singh, executive vice president and general manager of Salesforce Industries, wrote in a blog.

This, in turn, will benefit the consumer, Singh added. Ostensibly, then, consumer goods makers and their retail clients stand to gain repeat customers, build brand recognition and compete with greater agility.

Pam Brown, chief commercial officer for Promotion Optimization Institute, a best practices coalition, agreed.


Promotion Optimization Institute’s Pam Brown

“Execution is everything,” Brown said in a prepared statement. “Teams spend substantial time planning promotions with retailers, but many are not executed as planned. The 2019 POI State of the Industry Survey notes only 29% of survey respondents agree that they have the tools they need to make appropriate decisions, and only 38% of respondents state that they are satisfied with the ability to execute at store level.”

The Salesforce Consumer Goods Cloud addresses those problems, Brown noted, and Salesforce said it will facilitate all this by:

  • Improving visit planning: Field reps will have a list of prioritized and assigned store visits for the day with required and suggested activities; in-app map functionality will manage routing. In addition, reps can identify which products are selling well.

  • Optimizing visit execution: Once at the store, reps may view customizable templates based on store or segment types. This ensures that specific store needs are met, from inventory and planogram checks to return order processing and surveys, all from a…

mobile device, Salesforce said.

  • Harnessing AI to make the most of compliance and product placements: Einstein Vision for Consumer Goods Cloud recognizes images and detects objects, which will make inventory, planogram and merchandising compliance checks easier. This means field reps will spend less time auditing and more time with customers, Salesforce said. For example, a rep can take a picture of a shelf and immediately determine whether it is set up correctly without having to do manual counts and data entry.

  • Capturing orders and data: Mobile order capturing capabilities will let a rep collect data such as product, quantity and pricing.

For now, Salesforce has named Accenture and PwC as key pilot partners for Consumer Goods Cloud. Accenture has been serving as a pilot partner, while PwC has been acting as a design and pilot partner.

Other Salesforce partners will be able to sell and deploy Consumer Goods Cloud as well.  Ledgeview Partners, a Wisconsin-based business and technology consultancy with Salesforce Silver Consulting credentials, said it is “excited over the possibility of using this product with our consumer goods customers.”

Salesforce also is releasing new products for the manufacturing and financial services industries, but partners will not be able to sell them. They will, however, be able to implement them, a Salesforce spokesman told Channel Futures.

Salesforce will host channel enablement webinars, provide FAQ guides and support a Partner Community Chatter page for Consumer Goods Cloud.

About the Author(s)

Kelly Teal

Contributing Editor, Channel Futures

Kelly Teal has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist, editor and analyst, with longtime expertise in the indirect channel. She worked on the Channel Partners magazine staff for 11 years. Kelly now is principal of Kreativ Energy LLC.

Free Newsletters for the Channel
Register for Your Free Newsletter Now

You May Also Like