How does Salesforce Page Designer Work with a CMS?


Knud Kegel

Salesforce recently released its new Page Designer tool to address a longstanding need for a basic, visual editor- and page-builder app to complement its Commerce Cloud solution. It’s designed to be an easy-to-use, casual editing tool that empowers business teams. And it supports the creation of content elements and pages with branding in a fast and visual way, much like a simple web content management system (CMS).

A lot of people have been asking us what we think of Page Designer and how we believe it fits into our overall vision of brand orchestration integrated with Commerce Cloud and Customer Cloud CRM.

The answer is simple: We think it's great. The point of this post is to explain why.

Page Designer meets a range of critical usability and efficiency requirements for marketers and merchandisers. It helps customers get their Salesforce Web stores up and running quickly.

What is Page Designer?

Page Designer was announces last year at Salesforce Dreamforce. And last month it had its official debut (although still in beta for now). The company describes it as a:

    B2C Commerce beta feature that allows merchants to easily create engaging storefront pages using a visual editor in Business Manager.

Salesforce Docs

Page Designer lets business users select from a series of pre-defined page layout templates. Each page can have one or more configurable content regions. Once you've selected a basic website layout, it's easy to add reusable functional components from a library. Frontend developers can pre-build a variety of components – including sliding banners, product teasers, or 360º product spinners – and define styling and design with custom CSS and Javascript. The business user simply chooses the components they need, places them in the appropriate region of the template, and populates them with relevant content, which can be accessed via a simple Media Picker window.

Once the page has been assembled, it can be previewed for desktop or mobile websites, then scheduled for publication. It’s also possible to assign rules to pages or components so they're only shown to certain pre-defined customer segments.

General availability of Page Designer is scheduled for mid-August 2019.

Page Designer is the Secret Ingredient for a Seamless CMS Connection

So why do we like Page Designer so much? Doesn’t its functionality overlap with a CMS?

No. In fact, we believe Page Designer paves the way for an even tighter and more seamless integration between Salesforce Commerce Cloud and enterprise-level CMS and Digital Experience platforms (DXP) – such as CoreMedia Content Cloud.

The reason is that DXPs on one hand and Page Designer on the other were designed to solve separate but complementary challenges.

Page Designer is a simple point-and-click, visual layout builder for designing and updating a Salesforce Web store. It's a gift to marketers and merchandisers who need to quickly design and update new content pages on their store. It saves time and effort and frees them from reliance on outside agencies and developers: no more copying-and-pasting HTML, Javascript, or CSS into clunky online forms. Business users can easily modify the header, main content, and footer on any page. Nice!

It also makes it easier for them to use advanced experience orchestration and composition tools, allowing the creation of custom, dynamic commerce-driven experiences across multiple channels and devices. By linking Page Designer to an advanced CMS like CoreMedia Content Cloud, brand managers and omnichannel marketers can create dynamic, personalized experiences that blend content and commerce elements from multiple sources – such as a Web store, a third-party CRM, or other systems. And they can publish them instantly to multiple online channels.

Page Designer’s open architecture, APIs, and ease-of-use allow for an even tighter integration between our two platforms and provides an ideal launching pad for more complex content management use cases and brand management scenarios.

We believe that a successful Commerce Cloud customer can and should use both of these tools to manage and personalize their online presence.

How to Use Page Designer and its CMS Connector

So, Page Designer is the perfect tool to get your Web Store up and running quickly and painlessly.

Its simple visual interface and drag-and-drop editing capabilities make it ideal for both casual users and more advanced online editors.

But its true power emerges when it's integrated with an enterprise CMS or DXP.

Marketers, merchandisers, and other business users can easily augment their online stores with content elements, media assets, micro experiences, blog posts, and personalized experiences that are stored in their content management repository. This helps to ensure company-wide brand consistency.

All they need to do is select the pre-configured external CMS widget and place it in any region on the page. Then it's easy to link this widget to a re-usable, omnichannel content item previously created using the more sophisticated editorial tools in the third-party CMS.

Salesforce Page Designer Screenshot

Salesforce Page Designer Screenshot

This content item can be previewed instantly as part of the Web store. When a visitor comes to the page, the dynamically imported content element is instantly loaded and displayed seamlessly alongside the native Commerce Cloud content. And it can even be personalized.


Taking the Next Step

In summary, CoreMedia believes Page Designer is a great tool for designing and launching your Web store, but the real benefit comes as easy integration tool into your CMS and DXP. This gives you the power of an enterprise-wide omnichannel implementation.

When combined with CoreMedia’s incremental approach you can quickly augment an existing online store immediately. Yet it provides a simple migration path to more complex brand orchestration use cases and customized workflows. Imagine true headless delivery, new in-store experiences, or even iconic online flagships stores that seamlessly blend brand experiences and transactional capabilities across any touchpoint.

By the way, not only is CoreMedia a certified Salesforce partner but the CoreMedia Content Cloud Marketing Connector is now available via the Salesforce AppExchange Portal. Check it out!

And if you're heading to Salesforce Connections be sure to come see our VP Solution Architects Bob Balfe and and the rest of our team for a live demo and some free consulting on how CoreMedia Content Cloud can help you achieve your goals. We hope to see you. We're also hosting an evening reception together with our partner Astound.

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Your audiences want a seamless experience, no matter what's happening behind the scenes. When your experience is different or difficult, it’s important to start with the basics, such as cultivating a holistic approach to online digital experiences. Realign your teams, platforms, processes, goals, and metrics around a comprehensive view of the online experience. Focus on the end-to-end customer journey cutting across channels, desktop and mobile.

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Stage 3: Instant: Global expansion

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