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02/02/2022

Salesforce moves toward marketplace solution with acquisition

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Salesforce is acquiring Atonit

Salesforce is purchasing a Brazilian e-commerce technology company in an effort to increase its online marketplace management functionality.

The enterprise CRM platform provider has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Atonit. Built on the Salesforce platform, Atonit offers a marketplace management solution designed to enable brands to build and scale an online marketplace and provide infrastructure (such as reviews, payments, or messaging) to facilitate a transaction.

Leveraging Atonit functionality, Salesforce seeks to offer a marketplace solution built on the Salesforce platform, connected natively to Salesforce Commerce Cloud and other clouds.

In an exclusive commentary for Chain Store Age, Lidiane Jones, executive VP & GM digital experiences at Salesforce, explained some of the specific capabilities the Salesforce platform will gain from this acquisition.

“Commerce marketplace capabilities are imperative for customers across every industry looking to connect vendors with their shoppers and buyers, and to deliver consistent shopping experiences that drive customer satisfaction and loyalty,” said Jones. “After acquiring Atonit, Salesforce customers will be empowered to grow revenue by garnering commissions and membership subscription revenue from vendors, growing shopping cart sizes, and expanding into new product categories with ease.”

Once Salesforce is able to fully offer a commerce marketplace, retailers using the platform will have the opportunity to increase cart sizes, earn commissions, and receive membership subscription revenue from vendors. Salesforce users will also be able to expand into categories quickly, with no inventory required.

In a recent commentary on shifting trends in U.S. holiday sales, Caila Schwartz, senior manager, consumer strategy & insights, Salesforce, described the evolving digital model to which retailers must adapt.

“Digital has redefined how consumers shop in both the physical and online worlds,” Schwartz said. “They aren’t confined by the boundaries of Cyber Week and they’re deciding when and how they browse and buy. Peak season is beginning earlier and lasting longer than ever. And while online growth will continue to normalize from the massive peaks of 2020 and early 2021, brands and retailers need to be ready to meet their shoppers whenever and wherever. They need to embrace a new retail model – one where the physical and digital realities coexist, stores never close, and shoppers are always on the hunt for the next big thing.

“It has been our mission to create a marketplace management solution that is both easy to start and ready to scale, which is why we originally chose to build this solution on the Salesforce platform,” Atonit said in a corporate blog post. “Salesforce has been a company that has inspired us for many years, so it is particularly exciting for us to be the first company headquartered in Brazil to be acquired by Salesforce.

The acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter of Salesforce’s fiscal year 2023 (ending April 30, 2022), subject to customary closing conditions. After the acquisition closes, the companies intend to share more information about the product roadmap and what the deal means for Atonit and Salesforce.