Salesforce brings the Buy button to online B2B forums
Salesforce.com Inc. is out to connect online social business communities to e-commerce.
“Our goal is to make it easier for our customers to grow their businesses,” says Nasi Jazayeri, executive vice president of Salesforce.com’s Community Cloud software.
Community Cloud software, which integrates with Salesforce’s customer relationship management system, enables client companies to deploy online social forums where their customers can interact with one another as well as with a company’s employees and trading partners to share information on customer orders and products, solve problems and suggest improvements. Now Salesforce is adding the ability to insert Buy buttons into Community Cloud forums, letting customers click to purchase a client company’s featured products.
Salesforce says the new Buy button feature is intended to bring to Community Cloud software the same type of online buying experience now offered through such social networks as Facebook and Pinterest. “Now any company can deliver the same click-to-buy experience as popular consumer services and grow their businesses with social commerce,” Jazayeri says.
In addition, e-commerce technology providers CloudCraze, Bigcommerce and Demandware are planning to integrate software from Salesforce into their e-commerce technology platforms by early next year; that will enable clients of these software vendors that also deploy Community Cloud forums to deploy the Buy buttons into their forums without software programming, Salesforce says.
Andrew Witherspoon, executive vice president of Cloud Craze, says demand from his company’s B2B clients has the potential to be very high. “The Buy button is a new way for B2B customers to collaborate with a company thought leader on a purchase suggestion and then consume it with a single click,” he says.
Avid Technology, a CloudCraze client that sells video and audio production technology, has already added a “Buy” button to its Community Cloud forum, which it calls Artist Community, that allows media organizations and music producers to buy audio or video products as well as share content.
The cost of deploying the Buy button technology is included in the price of deploying Community Cloud software, which starts at $500 per month for forums designed for a company’s employees and customers, and $700 per month when forums also include access by a company’s trading partners, including distributors and resellers.