Salesforce to Launch Consumer Goods Cloud as Market Demand Heats Up
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.
“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.
“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.
“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…