With the exponential growth of B2B Commerce, acquiring skills in this area is a great opportunity for personal development for anyone working with Salesforce. Let’s explore the essential responsibilities of a B2B Commerce Cloud administrator, one of the three main roles in managing a B2B Commerce solution.
As a Salesforce B2B Commerce Admin, understanding your role and its responsibilities is critical to your performance, as well as having an understanding of the steps you need to take to set up and manage a successful Commerce solution.
Salesforce B2B Commerce Cloud Roles
There are three main roles when we’re talking about managing a B2B Commerce solution: the administrator, the merchandiser, and the developer.
As a B2B Commerce administrator, you might be the system administrator for the org too. Depending on the maturity and complexity of the solution, acting as the B2B Commerce admin can be a full-time job.
Mainly, the admin works in Setup, managing permission sets and security settings, and the Commerce app, to ensure the storefronts are functioning according to the business requirements. There is also the task of managing settings for Digital Experience sites, as well as simple Experience Builder fixes and updates. You might be asked to create custom reports and dashboards, or validate that the correct integrations are connected to each store.
More on the 10 most common responsibilities for the B2B Commerce admin later in this article.
The business role in B2B Commerce is commonly referred to as a merchandiser. This is the person who manages access for the customers, ensures custom pricing is defined and applied correctly for each store, as well as managing the catalogue of products – including promotions.
This position can be part of the marketing team as it covers 3 of the 4 Ps of Marketing: product, pricing, and promotion.
B2B Commerce Developers are working on configuring integrations – payment, taxes, inventory, checkouts, as well as managing the checkout flow and subflows. In addition, they might be asked to create a custom template for the store, to ensure all custom requirements are met.
While each of these roles is important for the successful implementation, administration and management of a B2B Commerce solution, here are the top 10 responsibilities you might have as a B2B Commerce administrator…
1. Prepare the Salesforce Org for Commerce
First things first, before you can create a storefront to sell your products to B2B customers, you need to prepare the org. This includes enabling Digital Experiences first and then Commerce.
Unless Digital Experiences is active, you won’t be able to find the feature settings for Commerce.
The Digital Experiences app (previously Salesforce CMS) is now available in the AppLauncher. (Hint: make sure all the correct profiles have access to it and its tabs!)
You will use it for managing content available for the storefront and its products. Remember to change the tab settings for Digital Experiences Home, CMS Channels, CMS Workspaces, and All Sites to default “On”.
Activating Commerce is now easy – just set the toggle to “On” and then click “Save”.
Once you complete these two tasks, the Commerce app and standard commerce objects will become available to you.
Now that we have the foundation, you need to ensure the correct permission sets are available in the org. Check to validate if the Buyer, Buyer Manager, Commerce Admin, and Merchandiser are now available in the org.
Last, but not least, you need to update the sharing settings (Org-Wide Defaults) for a couple of objects. Change the External Access Setting to Public Read Only for the following objects:
- Order Delivery Method: This ensures your buyers can see and select between the different shipping options you provide.
- Electronic Media Group: This represents the images and files associated with your products and categories.
2. Configure Your Custom Domain for Digital Experiences
Let’s face it, the Salesforce DXP domains are not great for Marketing and SEO purposes. In addition, you are required to use a custom domain for your stores – unless your store is in a Developer org or created with an Aura template.
If you’ve configured DNS settings for a domain name before, this task will cause you no trouble. Alternatively, just follow the instructions provided here and it will take you a couple of minutes.
3. Update Record Page Layouts
This will be the easiest part for you as an experienced Salesforce Admin. Now that Commerce is active in the org, evaluate which users need to have additional details visible on the Account record pages.
You will include the Buyer Information section – the one that is populated once you enable the Account as buyer – as well as related lists for Commerce objects like Carts, Orders, Community Members, and External Managed Accounts.
Don’t forget to check the product record page and include fields like Product SKU, Product Class, as well as related lists like Categories and Commerce Entitlement Policies. This will ensure the most valuable information is exposed on these two objects.
4. Create a Store
Of course, you need to be able to create a store in the org. The developers will be responsible for providing you with a custom template to use, or to tell you which of the default ones they want installed.
Creating a store can be done very quickly, taking around five minutes, including the time for the system to generate it. From the Commerce app, navigate to “Stores” and click “Create a Store” in the action bar. Follow the guided Setup and you’ll have your brand new empty store in no time.
Note: There is an option to create a store on an existing Experience Cloud site – this will reuse the site’s template, pages, and components then add on top of it the new Commerce pages and components.
5. Create a CMS Workspace for the Store
Whenever a new store is created, you need to create a CMS Workspace for it and assign access. First, you need to identify if you need a Standard or Enhanced CMS Workspace.
This depends entirely on the site configuration – if the store uses the enhanced Lightning Web Runtime theme, you need to use the enhanced configuration.
Navigate to the “Digital Experiences” app from the app launcher and on the Digital Experiences Home find the “All CMS Workspaces” section. Click the “Add Workspace” button to initiate the flow. Define the name, description, and type of the workspace, then select the users who will have access and on the next step define their role. Finally, select the default and additional languages to complete the Setup.
6. Store Administration
As the B2B Commerce admin, you will have specific administrative tasks for the stores in your Salesforce org – this all happens through the Commerce app.
The admin is responsible for ensuring the main configurations are correct and the store is ready to be activated with all elements up and running. This includes updating the search index, merchandising details, and checking to validate that the correct integrations are connected.
Each store has its own administration menu – also known as “tiles”. This is where you’ll do your magic.
When you first create a store, Salesforce generates some basic records to ensure you can be up and running in no time. This includes a “Store Catalog”, a “Buyer Group”, and a “Price Book”. You can easily identify what needs to be completed next by looking at the right side of the screen. This step-by-step guidance is very useful when setting up your store. The buttons work like shortcuts – allowing you to change the defaults in less than a minute.
Always check the activation checklist available – this is my favorite tool for quality assurance. It’s a comprehensive list with direct links to the elements that are relevant and need to be reviewed.
From the store tab in the section “Manage Your Store”, find “Administration”. This menu is where you configure the B2B specific elements of your store. Unlike changes to Commerce settings made via Setup, this administration is custom and separate for each storefront, so changes in one store are not transferred to all others in the org.
You can see at a glance the status of the store, and underneath you’ll find every configuration that you’re responsible for.
General settings and buyer access are some sections that you might visit often, but make sure you are familiar and comfortable with everything else.
Pay special attention to the “Guest Browsing” settings under “Buyer Access” – if you allow for guest browsing, there are additional considerations to keep in mind. One of them is that all fields on the product record must be visible to the guests, otherwise the search index will not be able to be generated and will affect the whole store.
Building and updating the search index is critical with Commerce. Under the “Search” tile you will find additional settings for “Searchable Fields”, “Result Filters”, and “Sort Rules”, as well as the related “Result Display” settings.
With the Spring ‘23 release, you can now run a partial reindex – a highly anticipated addition.
Knowing when to run a search index and what type, is important for the B2B Commerce admin. A full reindex takes a lot of time in a store with multiple products:
- Partial reindex: If you add a couple of new products, some images, and extra entitlements, you can safely go for the partial reindex and have the changes live in no time.
- Full reindex: If you made changes to more than 2000 products or the catalog structure, go for a full reindex.
Remember to check the limits for indexing – you can run a reindex up to 60 times per hour, combined for all the storefronts in the Salesforce org.
With Commerce Cloud and Experience Cloud working together to create, design, and deliver your storefront to your customers, it’s expected that you know which settings are managed through the Experience Workspace.
Here you need to be very clear on the difference between a site and a storefront. A Digital Experience Site can host multiple storefronts – settings managed through the Experience Workspace are valid for all storefronts on the site.
The Experience Builder is where you go to update user interface elements, add a new page, and change the navigation menu or the user menu.
In addition, you have the Dashboards Workspace for your store, where you can customize reports and dashboards that provide information for the merchandisers.
The Administration Workspace is where your focus would be – this is where you control login and registration pages, email settings, member access based on profiles or permission sets, and more.
7. Commerce Reports
The Commerce app comes with 3 specific reports that you can use for your team’s needs. You need to install them first, by navigating to “Commerce Setup” in the Commerce app. Install one or all 3 reports – they will be automatically available under “Reports” for everyone to see and use.
You can customize them per store to only include relevant dashboards – the possibilities are (almost) endless.
8. Upload Products
Importing data into Salesforce is a standard admin task. When it comes to Commerce data, you can use the templates available to use via the Product Workspace. Usually the template will be populated by the merchandising team and provided to you.
Another great way to import product data into your store is using dataloader.io. One of the best features of this tool is that you can link price books and price book entries without an ID. This is handy when you want to move a catalog from one org to another and don’t want to edit the document. Give it a try – there is a free trial available, if you’re not already using this MuleSoft tool.
9. Product Configuration
Usually the merchandiser will be responsible for managing products and their details. However, there are more advanced settings that will require your support. Let’s talk about the two types of product attributes:
- Custom Product Attributes: Any product attributes that need to be available on the product detail page should be created as a field on the product object page. These can be used for filters in the search results and categories. You can create them as one of the following data types – checklist, picklist, or a multi-select picklist.
- Variation Product Attributes and Attribute Sets: To create a variation product in B2B Commerce, you need to have an attribute set combination already defined in the Commerce app. The attribute set is a combination of different product attributes. The attributes are created on the product attributes object as picklist fields.
Custom Product Attributes define a specific quality to a product, such as gluten free, fair trade, blue, stainless steel, etc.
Variation Attribute sets are used for the creation of variation products, where a product has multiple versions and each variation has different SKU and price.
There are a lot of moving parts when managing a B2B Commerce solution. You need to set clear expectations with the team of developers, system admins, B2B admin and merchandiser.
Set an initial meeting to discuss the solution and identify who would be responsible for different parts of the system. It might be that the merchandiser wants to have the freedom to update the storefront through Experience Builder, or expects you to do so. Make a list of responsibilities and talk about the processes that will facilitate the daily work.
In conclusion, the role of a B2B Commerce Cloud administrator is essential for the success of a B2B Commerce solution. This post has highlighted the top 10 responsibilities of a B2B Commerce admin, including managing tasks in Setup, via the Commerce app, and managing the Experience site.
By focusing on these responsibilities, administrators can ensure that their Commerce solution is set up correctly, and all necessary permissions and settings are in place. As B2B Commerce continues to grow, acquiring skills in this area is critical for anyone working with Salesforce. With this knowledge, administrators can help their organizations succeed in the ever-changing world of B2B Commerce.