You Need Digital Experiences Fast: Here’s How to Find the Right Path for Your Industry

The complete guide to engaging your customers with best-in-class digital experiences

Time to read: 5 minutes

There’s no such thing as “digital-optional” anymore. Consumers and business buyers alike are now digital-first. Consider that before the COVID-19 pandemic, customers did not think twice about heading into a grocery store. Now, the convenience of online grocery shopping is hard to pass up. And business banking, once completed with a handshake as the ink dried on a form at a local branch, is now done online.

These are not unique cases. Customers expect to discover, engage, and transact with businesses in every industry entirely online — from retail to automotive to insurance. And businesses are accelerating the shift to digital-first relationships and experiences to keep up — even those previously reluctant to make the leap.

  • Consumers now spend 54% more time on digital channels than in stores and other physical locations.
  • 56% of organizations expect the majority of their revenue to come from digital channels within three years.
  • Digital purchases surged 200% between March 2019 and March 2020.

Source: “State of Commerce,” Salesforce, January 2021.

But consider this: Digitizing the customer relationship has its own set of requirements that must be addressed out of the gate. In an age when agility and speed to market are more critical than ever, digital teams don’t have the luxury of time to get stuck building and customizing for these industry requirements.

That’s why Salesforce launched Digital 360 for Industries with industry-specific apps, portals, toolkits, and guides to help businesses go digital faster. It represents Salesforce’s suite of connected products – including Marketing Cloud, Commerce Cloud, and Experience Cloud – to remove the pain points of industry complexity and customization so businesses can create digital experiences fast.

Let’s explore how Digital 360 for Industries works and how it can help you serve today’s digital-first customers faster than ever before.

Go live (practically) overnight with industry apps.

To set your foundation, Digital 360 empowers businesses with apps, templates, and connectors for key industry use cases. It is prebuilt with data, integrations, and processes that remove industry complexities so teams can launch faster and respond at the speed of their customers.

Each industry app is built on top of Salesforce Industries customer relationship management (CRM) platform. This creates a single source of truth for data to give teams the real-time insights they need to innovate quickly and personalize the digital experience.

For example, a financial services company can use the Insurance Policyholder template to help customers shop online for policies and put customers on a personalized insurance journey from quote to claim. Customers access a policyholder portal to quickly and easily add quotes to their cart, view ratings and pricing, purchase policies online, go through the underwriting process, and receive their contracts.

That same financial services company can also use the Insurance Agent Portal Template to get a comprehensive view of policies, claims, life events, business milestones, and other important moments that help them better understand and address client needs. Agents can use built-in features from Experience Cloud and knowledge management to share articles with other agents and insurance carriers to best assist customers. This is how Mascoma Bank was able to launch a small business loan portal for personal paycheck protection quickly, while complying with FINRA and integrating into the SBA’s loan processing system.

Or, consider the use case for nonprofit organizations. A digital-first experience requires donors to easily log in, view their giving history, update their contact information, and securely make donations. They can also share impact reports with other donors to better understand where gifts are being allocated. Most important, this foundation helps organizations stay on top of change and innovate quickly with new experiences to meet new donor needs.

The Salesforce platform made it easy to track a lot of metrics around utilization and user interaction, with built-in visualization tools like heat maps to identify potential roadblocks and solutions. We wanted to make sure we were building an infrastructure that we could evolve very rapidly, to constantly evaluate and improve the system, almost in real time.”

Jarrod Bell

Embed commerce into digital experiences with developer toolkits.

Digital 360 for Industries Developer Toolkits empower developers to implement digital experiences faster with unique features and functions for their industry. These toolkits come complete with the tools, code, app samples, and product documentation developers need to create industry-specific, direct-to-consumer (D2C) storefronts and embed commerce into their experience faster. Developers in any industry – from manufacturing and automotive to communications and media to healthcare and life sciences – can easily access the toolkits from the Commerce Cloud Developer Center.

For example, grocers can use new grocery apps to build a digital store with pricing and promotions, omni-channel inventory, click-and-collect, and pick-and-pack functionality for store associates. For New Zealand’s Foodstuffs, this meant a fast response to online demand at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic while managing tens of thousands of SKUs and pick-and-pack processes.

With changing consumer trends and business models as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Foodstuffs North Island, New Zealand’s biggest grocery distributor, was able to use digital channels to extend wholesale relationships. We were able to launch a new consumer storefront in only a few weeks, pivoting fast with Salesforce tools for grocery and digital experience.”

Simon Kennedy
Chief Digital Officer

Get industry-specific best practices and learning paths.

Looking for development best practices for your industry? Customer 360 Guides – powered by Trailhead, Salesforce’s online learning platform – deliver industry-specific architectures, blueprints, customer stories, and tips on how to build the best and most complete digital experiences with in-depth, industry-specific guides for retail, discrete manufacturing, and retail banking.

For example, retailers can use the Customer 360 Guide for Retail to learn how to unite marketing, commerce, and service capabilities and deliver more connected experiences that build customer loyalty. This includes custom learning paths, product demos, and real-world examples from Trailblazers like e.l.f. Beauty.

With the guidance of blueprints, roadmaps, prebuilt architectures and success stories from Trailblazers, e.l.f. was able to put their customers at the center of their commerce to create personalized beauty profiles for every customer.”

Ekta Chopra
Chief Digital Officer
e.l.f Beauty
Each guide helps teams map their goals with data-driven advertising, digital service, and store experiences; create customer-centric journeys; engage shoppers everywhere; and fast-track implementations with Salesforce solutions.

Go digital fast in your industry.

Whether you’re just getting started or deep into your digital maturity, Digital 360 for Industries offers a variety of options to support your journey – from vision to value, self-serve learning to best-in-class digital partners.

Ready to get started? Visit the Digital 360 product page to kick your digital journey into high gear.


Go digital fast with Digital 360 for Industries

See how to:
  • Build experiences quickly on an integrated platform with prebuilt apps
  • Get Trailblazer stories of digital success
  • Find partners to extend, guide, and support your digital experiences


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