Salesforce has this week announced the launch of B2B Commerce a solution aimed specifically at B2B shoppers. Commerce Cloud, a platform which powers over 2,500 e-commerce stores worldwide, originally only served B2C e-commerce companies. B2B Commerce was developed from Salesforce’s acquisition of CloudCraze in April of this year. The new platform offers increased sophistication in the customer data available to B2B e-commerce retailers, as well as direct access to data from business buyers’ portals for easy account and order management. This move is yet another sign of the e-commerce platform competition heating up, following Adobe’s acquisition of Magento (which has a sophisticated B2B e-commerce platform) last month.
In SaaS news, Pipedrive, a CRM and sales platform, has just raised $50M in a series C round of funding co-led by Insight Venture Partners and Bessemer Venture Partners. The Estonian startup is one of several making its bid to compete with dominant sales software giants Microsoft and Salesforce in the $40 billion CRM market (as estimated by Gartner), and is currently valued at over $300 million.
Elsewhere in the retail world, Microsoft has begun developing cashierless, automated store technology in a bid to compete with Amazon Go, according to a Reuters report. In what would likely be similar to Amazon’s model, Microsoft is reportedly developing its own systems for tracking what shoppers place in their carts and automatically charging shoppers’ credit cards for the purchase. Microsoft currently ranks number 2, behind Amazon, in selling cloud services critical to running e-commerce sites, and has enjoyed significant success with retail partnerships in the past.
In digital advertising news, Facebook has announced a new feature allowing users to offer feedback for e-commerce stores on the social network. While the reviews are not intended at this stage to be made public, Facebook will track stores that receive high levels of negative reviews and subsequently reduce the amount of ad space available to them. While negatively-reviewed stores will have a chance to improve products and services through Facebook provided guides and resources, those which are found to be continuously selling low quality products may ultimately be removed from the platform.
New in SaaS business listings this week we have a $479K B2B social media marketing automation business, with a secure foothold with four years of operational history in a growing niche, strong revenue growth reaching an 87% CAGR for the 2014 to (e)2018 period, growing customer base with c.550 paying users, and a lean cost structure allowing for strong net margins of c.85% over the last year.
New in display advertising listings this week we have a $62K religious community and forum business, with earnings diversified across two established sites with over a decade of operational history each, continuously strong traffic with c.2.2 million sessions in the past 12 months, a combined ranking for over 30,000 keywords, and minimal owner involvement. If you are interested in either of these businesses, please follow the links to request a prospectus.
In events news, the FE team had a great time attending StartupGrind in London this week. Founder Thomas Smale is at SaaStr Europa in Paris where FE is hosting a client dinner tonight at 8:30pm. Click here to RSVP. Next week, the FE team is heading to New York where we will be sponsoring SaaStock New York held on June 20. If you will be in the area, respond to this email to get a free pass (hurry — we only have 20 passes to give away)!
Continue reading below for more on Salesforce B2B Commerce platform, Microsoft’s cashierless technology and Facebook’s new review process.
- Secure foothold with four years of operational history in a growing niche
- Wide market acceptance and proven results driving continued revenue growth at a 87% CAGR for the period 2014 to (e)2018
- Growing customer base with c.550 paying users
- Lean and simple cost structure allowing for strong net margins of c.85% over LTM
Yearly net profit: $140,000
Asking price: $479,000
- Earnings diversified across two established sites, each boasting over a decade of operational history
- Continuously strong traffic with c.2.2 million sessions in the past 12 months alone
- A combined ranking for over 30,000 keywords
- Minimal owner involvement
Yearly net profit: $16,500
Asking price: $62,000
In The News…
Salesforce Launches B2B Commerce Solution
Salesforce has announced this week the launch of B2B Commerce as part of a Commerce Cloud solution for B2B e-commerce customers.
Commerce Cloud, Salesforce’s until now B2C-only e-commerce solution has expanded functionality to its B2B customers. Commerce Cloud was just recently named a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce, and powers over 2,500 consumer e-commerce sites the world over. Following the acquisition of CloudCraze in April of this year, Commerce Cloud has added a B2B commerce solution “designed specifically for businesses eager to provide exceptional e-commerce experiences for their business customers.” The aim of the offering is to accommodate the complex needs of B2B e-commerce shoppers, who often make larger purchases, purchase wholesale items, place an order of merchandise to stock multiple stores for an entire season, or purchase replacement parts for certain machines, as a few examples. The software is built natively on the Salesforce CRM platform allowing customers, distributors, and buyers to combine commerce and CRM data to fully understand the customers’ accounts. Data that will be manageable through the portal is set to include orders, carts, cases, and opportunities both for individual customers and as a view of the entire client base.
Salesforce is aiming to make it easier for business buyers to continue operations by integrating B2B-specific functionality as the industry shifts more towards digital commerce.
Microsoft Developing Checkout-free Store Technology
Reuters reported this week that Microsoft is developing its own cashier-less shopping technology.
The software would track the items that shoppers add to their carts and charge them that way, similar to the technology used in Amazon Go stores. Microsoft had been in talks with Walmart regarding potential collaboration around this technology, though it is not clear whether the talks amounted to any real movement. Amazon Go stores currently track shoppers’ items through cameras and sensors to identify what has been removed from shelves, and when customers have everything they need, they walk out of the store and Amazon bills their credit card. Microsoft appears to be developing the technology in order to help other retailers keep up with Amazon Go, rather than necessarily developing their own store. It is not yet confirmed when, or fully if, Microsoft will bring the technology to market, but Amazon’s competitors will likely begin entering in the hopes of capturing market share.
Microsoft’s retail partnerships have proven a successful source of profit in the past. The company declined to comment on this most recent speculation.
Facebook to Ban Sellers of Low Quality Products
Facebook has announced that it will no longer show low quality companies in users’ newsfeeds.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday that Facebook will allow users to select a new feature in which they can provide feedback on shopping that stems from Facebook ads. If a given business gets enough negative feedback, Facebook will decrease the number of ads available to the company, and if the negative pattern continues to a notable extent, the business risks being kicked off the site entirely. Some stores advertising on Facebook had reportedly been selling substandard quality of goods to users, charging higher prices than on Alibaba. Facebook has reported that it will notify companies which have received a high volume of negative feedback, and offers tips for businesses that have seen negative ratings, and is reportedly working to ban companies to be known “active scammers.” Sarah Epps, a product marketing director at Facebook stated, “There are some companies that are just bad actors, and we have no tolerance for that. As soon as we can detect those companies, we enforce against them, but for companies that do want to improve, we want to give them that opportunity.”
There will be the opportunity for companies’ feedback to improve before disciplinary action is taken.
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