Salesforce injects AI into Commerce Cloud Einstein
Salesforce has enhanced its Commerce Cloud Einstein platform with new capabilities allowing retailers to support personalized, AI-powered experiences for shoppers that span web, mobile, social, in-store and more, the company announced at its Xchange e-commerce event in Las Vegas this week.
The new features include Order Management, Predictive Sort, Mobile Site Reference Architecture blueprints and Google Android Pay integration. The new Order Management capability, now available, uses intelligent algorithms to help retailers connect customer demand with inventory supply in the most cost-effective way possible, regardless of where the customer or inventory is located, the company said.
The Commerce Cloud Einstein Predictive Sort feature, which is expected to be generally available in July, uses machine learning to personalize the order in which products appear in search and category pages on ecommerce sites. Using order history and web behavior, a predictive model is created for each individual shopper. The Mobile Site Reference Architecture and Android Pay integration are both scheduled for August availability.
Salesforce's Commerce Cloud and Einstein artificial intelligence solution already have been widely adopted, and the company recently has been making an effort to improve its Einstein AI, most notably through a partnership with IBM Watson. This announcement essentially is part of Salesforce's ongoing effort to make the Einstein-enabled Commerce Cloud more of a full-feature unified commerce platform.
The vendor said as much itself in quoting a very particular National Retail Federation finding in its press release: 86% of retailers plan to implement a unified commerce platform over the next 10 years to more effectively sell to connected consumers, according to the NRF. Salesforce has seen enough of the writing on wall that it knows what direction its platform needs to move in.
The Einstein AI has already been supporting functions in Commerce Cloud such as product recommendations, but the new features increase Einstein's involvement. Predictive Sort employs its predictive model to keep customers engaged and keep the shopping process moving by showing the most relevant products first in search results. Most importantly, Salesforce claims retailers and brand can quickly implement this feature without new code or special help.
The Mobile Site Reference Architecture could be a major attraction for retailers and brands that haven't optimized their web sites yet in responses to all of the mobile traffic they are seeing come through. It could also be helpful for those that have revamped their sites too often trying to appeal to mobile users without quite getting it right. It's basically a mobile website blueprint that incorporates many of the best practices in mobile site design, merchandising and technical architecture, allowing sellers to create better mobile shopping experiences.
The Android Pay Integration is also key to the above-mentioned goal of creating a unified commerce platform, which of course needs to include support for secure mobile payments. We have to wonder if Salesforce may integrate with some of the other major mobile payments platforms in the near future. The company is progressing with Commerce Cloud, but there's likely more to come.