Salesforce Shares Perspectives on Omnichannel Strategy, Digital Commerce and Leadership


The Philippine Retailers Association recently held its 4th annual Retail Executive Circle on October 27, 2021. Organized in partnership with Salesforce, this year’s exclusive and by-invite only virtual event was attended by top retail leaders and senior executives in the country.

Themed “Unlocking the full potential in your future of e-commerce business”, the event sought to address the shifts in consumer and business buyer engagement as well as expectations, and how digital commerce has changed the role of sales. There was a lively discussion around how to generate a single source of truth that enables personalization at scale and weaves loyalty throughout the customer experience.

The event was hosted by Raphael Layosa, Founder & CEO of Retailgate Technologies, Inc. and Chief Technology Officer of United Neon Media Group and Rosemarie Ong, President of PRA and Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Wilcon Depot welcomed the guests. They were joined by global thought leader Eron Sunando, Vice President – Commerce Cloud, Go to Market and Transformation of Salesforce, and guest panelist Deanna Rubiano, Chief Marketing Officer of Third Pillar Business Application Inc.

During the session, Sunando shared three (3) key tips to developing a successful marketing strategy in order to target the new wave of ecommerce shoppers.

  1. The Line Fades Between Physical and Digital Commerce

He said, “We are in the age of hyper-personalization and the content we are distributing across channels should be consistent”. He emphasized that last year, online is the lifeline for businesses. “If they (retailers) don’t have a strong strategy to engage their customers to purchase products and services online, the company will face an overall marketing challenge.”

“e-Commerce is really about omnichannel. It’s all about engaging your customer and prospect in the channel you want. They can start online and finish offline. They can start online and finish in the store. It really doesn’t matter and it’s time for retailers to stop treating e-Commerce as one channel,” said Sunando. “Retail shoppers are definitely embracing more creative and innovative digital experiences through live video, online selling and virtual demo rooms. These tools will help retail brands go to market faster and more effectively.”

  1. Direct-to-Consumer Initiatives Take Off

According to Salesforce’s latest State of Commerce Report [hyperlink to] , marketing leaders agree that COVID-19 is driving Digital Commerce. Sunando reveals that online grocery shopping is one of the fastest growing verticals in Q1 and Q3. “Customers will continue to buy essentials online. We saw a massive amount of increase in online grocery shopping. We think that this trend is here to stay and direct-to-consumer initiatives will become a priority for brands across diverse industries.”

  1. Shopping at the Edge Accelerates

Sunando then touched on the most exciting part, which is shopping at the edge. “One of the biggest bright spots to come out of this pandemic is that it has allowed more people to embrace and pursue creativity and innovation. ”

During the panel discussion, guest panelist Rubiano elaborated on the topic of experimentation, one of the best practices to engage with the right customers and target shoppers. “There are many consumers who are actually very vocal and they love to give feedback. We’re seeing a lot of retail brands who are owning and managing their own chat groups on social media to build their brand ambassadors and fans. These advocates are more likely to recommend these brands to their friends and community.

On the other hand, customer behaviours and expectations continue to evolve rapidly. Trends are no longer determined by a single industry or brand because of multiple consumer touchpoints and experiences. On the competition side, Sunando shared that it is starting to come from multiple fronts in a non-traditional sense. “It’s easy to disrupt right now.”

To conclude, Sunando and Rubiano shared some advice with C-level retail executives. Sunando said “You have to start listening actively to consumers, and be in the know on trends that are happening right now.” Rubiano agreed, “It’s our job now as business leaders to really focus on customers’ needs, and build around their expectations. That’s how we will gain a competitive edge.”

The 4th annual Retail Executive Circle Virtual Edition, the Philippines’ premier community for top retail executives and leaders, was made possible by our Content Partner and Host Sponsor Salesforce and our Program Partner Retailgate Technologies, Inc.

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