Salesforce's agreement to acquire CloudCraze sets the stage for the CRM leader to become a powerhouse in e-commerce by adding a vital business-to-business component to the emerging Commerce Cloud.
The e-commerce vendor, founded in 2009, served as an early example of the success ISVs could find developing on Salesforce platforms and selling into that ecosystem. CloudCraze's solution, built on the Salesforce1 mobile platform, won notable customers such as Coca-Cola, Land O' Lakes, Cummins and Ecolab.
The platform enables those companies to deploy B2B or B2C storefronts that share data and processes with their CRM systems. It offers a configurable user interface, merchandising, pricing, promotion, and catalog content management functionality, and integration to shipping, inventory and tax solutions.
Those attributes will now be used to bulk up Commerce Cloud, a Salesforce product stemming from the 2016 acquisition of Demandware.
In an interview with CRN USA soon after Salesforce purchased Demandware, CloudCraze's CEO, Chris Dalton, said he welcomed the introduction of that technology into the Salesforce portfolio because it would create more of an emphasis on commerce throughout the ecosystem.
With more customers exploring Salesforce as a commerce option, Dalton predicted, "Demandware will benefit, CloudCraze will benefit."
Dalton said he didn't expect the new Commerce Cloud to compete in the B2B market his company carved out for Salesforce. Customers understood the nuanced differences between consumer and business solutions.
"It would be more logical to integrate CloudCraze than to transform Demandware into a B2B solution," Dalton said back in 2016.
The acquisition is the latest move in Salesforce's drive to conquer new markets since it first achieved leadership in the CRM market years ago.
Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff first set his sights on digital marketing with the acquisitions of Buddy Media, Pardot, and ExactTarget, and their integration into Marketing Cloud.
After that came the Demandware deal to thrust the cloud computing giant into e-commerce.