How to Learn Salesforce Commerce Cloud

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Salesforce Commerce Cloud is a cloud-based commerce platform that supports online retailers in marketing, merchandising, shopping experience, fulfillment, customer service, and more.

In its broadest terms, Commerce Cloud can be split into two categories: B2C Commerce and B2B Commerce. These are built on completely different tech stacks to support different use cases and shoppers’ needs.

Let’s take a look at the differences in more detail: 

  • B2C Commerce: Focused on “Business to Consumer”, a separate technology stack and has gone through multiple architecture iterations including SiteGenesis, the Storefront Reference Architecture (SFRA), Headless Commerce, and progressive web app development (PWA). 
  • B2B Commerce: Focused on “Business to Business”, this is native to the Salesforce platform (follows the core multi-tenant architecture of the Salesforce platform).

It’s no surprise that B2B and B2C Commerce require – to an extent – different skills to work effectively. I’ve been working with both sides of Commerce Cloud for some time, and have come across plenty of questions, including: 

  • How do I learn how to use Salesforce Commerce Cloud? 
  • Is the former CloudCraze product the same as Commerce Cloud? 
  • What about the Demandware platform? 
  • What’s the difference between B2C Commerce and B2B Commerce? 
  • Is Commerce Cloud B2C, B2B, or both? 

We have addressed some of these questions already, but let’s now focus on understanding Commerce Cloud key concepts, certifications, and the training available for each.

Why Learn Commerce Cloud? 

Before we get started, keep in mind that Commerce Cloud is one of the most difficult Salesforce products to learn, and for good reason!

Based on my Commerce Cloud experience, I wanted to emphasize how I landed in this world, and why it could be a good choice for you, too. 

  1. eCommerce is a fascinating domain: From personal experience, building an eCommerce website that can scale to support millions of orders and users is a game changer – for both shopping habits and the organization. It’s no surprise that some of the biggest and most successful tech companies are either eCommerce giants (like Amazon) or have an eCommerce portal for their services (Apple, Google, and several other tech giants).
  2. Salesforce Commerce Cloud skills are in huge demand: I expect that demand will continue to soar for the next few years. For every 100 Salesforce Developers, you’ll find ten or so B2B Commerce Developers, and probably only 2-3 B2C Commerce Developers. And if you’re a Salesforce Commerce Cloud Architect, well, that’s one of the most sought after and well-paid roles in the Salesforce ecosystem!
  3. It’s a natural next step: If you come from an eCommerce background like me (I worked with Magento a few years’ back), it’s a natural next step to learn Commerce Cloud and make the most of this amazing opportunity in the Salesforce ecosystem. 

Salesforce Commerce Cloud: Skills Required

B2C Commerce Cloud is a separate technology stack from the Salesforce platform (non-native) that uses JavaScript and web technologies (which have gone through multiple architecture iterations). To become skilled on this platform, you’ll need experience with web technologies, i.e. HTML, JavaScript, CSS (and relevant frameworks). Front-end developers and full stack developers are ideal candidates. 

B2B Commerce Cloud is native to the Salesforce platform, leveraging the Lightning Experience (UI) and following Salesforce’s multi-tenant architecture. The skills required include Lightning Web Components (LWC) and Apex. Salesforce Developers make ideal candidates here. 

Salesforce Commerce Cloud Resources

With different histories and technology stacks, B2B and B2C resources are found in different locations. 

Salesforce has put together a Commerce Cloud Developer Center, which features really good tutorials on both B2C Commerce and B2B Commerce. 

Detailed B2C Commerce documentation (from the Demandware era) is also available on the Salesforce Commerce Cloud Infocenter, with B2B Commerce on Lightning Experience documentation available here: Salesforce Developer portal.

How Do You Get a Commerce Cloud Sandbox?

A sandbox environment (also referred to as a staging environment with other technologies) enables you to test new configuration, code, and automation outside your production (live) instance – it’s like a replica of your production instance with some or all of your metadata and data (depending on your sandbox type).

READ MORE: What Is a Salesforce Sandbox?
  • B2C Commerce: The process is complex because sandboxes are not publicly available. There are a couple of ways to get one. First, if you work for a B2C Commerce partner company, you get access to ODS (On Demand Sandboxes), so you can ‘spin up’ as needed. Second, if you register for a Trailhead Academy course (covered later in this guide), you’ll get a sandbox for a period of three weeks to practice the assignments. 
  • B2B Commerce: The process is simpler, as B2B Commerce is on Salesforce Lightning. If you spin up a new developer org, Commerce is included by default. You just need to follow these steps to enable it – as good as getting your free Salesforce Developer sandbox for life!

Salesforce Commerce Cloud Training

Trailhead

There are (free) modules on Trailhead for specific topics, such as Becoming a B2C Commerce Technical Architect and B2C Commerce SDK, as well as several others. 

If you’re looking for a deeper understanding of Commerce Cloud, you should consider taking a course. 

Trailhead Academy

Trailhead Academy offers expert-led, paid-for courses. For Commerce Cloud, the academy currently offers the following: 

While these courses come at a cost, I highly recommend them, as they are taught by Salesforce certified instructors who are experts in these areas. Personally, I’ve taught these courses in the past as a Salesforce Certified Instructor, so I can vouch for them in terms of time and money well spent.

(My) Commerce Cloud Course

You may also consider taking my course “Demystifying Salesforce eCommerce” which provides a detailed walkthrough of B2C Commerce and a high-level overview of B2B Commerce.

Salesforce Commerce Cloud Certifications

B2C Commerce Certifications

  • B2C Commerce Developer
    • Modules: B2C Commerce Setup (11%), Work with a B2C Site (12%), Data Management Using Business Manager Usage (24%), and Application Development (53%). 
  • B2C Commerce Architect
    • Modules: Design/Discovery (29%), Build (19%), Monitoring/Troubleshooting (14%), Integrations and Customizations (22%), and Launch (16%). 

Register for these certifications via the Webassessor platform (similar to other Salesforce certifications). 

B2B Commerce Certifications

Two B2B Commerce accreditations have been introduced for the B2B Commerce on Lightning product and these are available via the Partner Learning Camp – you must be a registered Salesforce partner to access these accreditations.

Please note, B2B Commerce originally had accreditations for the Visualforce product, but these have now been retired

Getting Started 

Hopefully, this article has provided useful context (and incentive) for learning Salesforce Commerce Cloud, especially in terms of B2C and B2B. 

We’ve taken a look at the skills required to navigate the platform, as well as the best training resources available. It’s also well worth considering certifications to help further develop your Commerce Cloud skill set. 

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