Salesforce forges ahead with controversial NFT Cloud pilot

Salesforce integrates with TikTok and adds marketing and e-commerce features to its platform, including NFT Clouds, which sparked controversy earlier this year.

Salesforce NFT Cloud will be a no-code platform that allows users to mint, manage and sell NFTs, said Adam Caplan, senior vice president of emerging technology at Salesforce. NFT Clouds are currently in a closed pilot phase, with Salesforce scheduled to be available in October.

NFTs are controversial for numerous reasons, including security concerns, the unregulated nature of NFTs as financial assets, and the damage they cause to the environment when associated with the Ethereum blockchain, said John Hughes. , NFT technology consultant and CEO of NearMintNFT, a developing marketplace for comic book artists to sell original digital artwork.

These three concerns were raised in a protest letter signed by 400 Salesforce employees last February, when Salesforce first made its plans for the NFT Cloud public, Reuters reported. Salesforce did not provide any comment to SearchCustomerExperience about its employees’ concerns.

Salesforce NFT Clouds will only support transactions on low-power blockchains, such as proof-of-stake; they will not support proof-of-work blockchains, which consume more power, the company said. This is in keeping with Salesforce’s longstanding claims to support sustainability. Although company spokespeople did not mention which blockchains will be supported when the closed pilot ends, they also said that Salesforce has no intention of creating its own blockchain.

NFTs carry risks and rewards

Salesforce employees’ fuss over NFTs is a microcosm of what can happen to any company that dabbles in NFTs, Hughes said. Salesforce users who end up using NFT Cloud should be prepared to respond to negative accusations associated with NFTs. They will inevitably come.

I’ve heard them all [pero] if you have legitimate responses to calm fears, people respond,” Hughes said. “Every artist I’ve approached has told me the same thing: ‘Oh, this stuff is a scam, and it’s bad for the environment.'”

Once a company demonstrates that it is an ethical NFT broker with safety and sustainability in mind — and makes it a team effort with marketing staff — success with an NFT program is possible, he said. Hughes. The blockchain platforms Salesforce chooses to integrate with the NFT Cloud will be critical in convincing skeptical users, he added. The Solana blockchain, for example, uses as much energy as two Google searches to mint an NFT.

To use NFTs most effectively, Hughes said, Salesforce users should think of NFTs less as collectibles or art assets, and more as the next generation of loyalty programs for their best customers. Built on the blockchain and backed by smart contracts, NFTs can be modified on the fly to change conditions – and unlock physical and digital rewards – as customers become more engaged with a company. Some apparel companies, such as Gap and PacSun, have found success marketing with NFTs that link digital items to real-world clothing.

Companies and individuals who sell NFTs as assets, such as artists, can also use smart contracts to control resale terms, including the original creator’s share of future resales, a common arrangement for ownership of NFTs.

NFTs will produce more and better-quality data for marketers than apps, sites and loyalty cards, Hughes predicted. In addition, they offer companies a ramp into the digital worlds in which consumers – especially younger audiences – spend more and more time. NFTs become possessions in the digital world.

“This is real. It seems crazy that people want to buy digital art that lives on their phone,” Hughes said. “Anyone under the age of 30 lives on your device.”

Commerce Cloud Updates

News about Salesforce’s upcoming NFT Cloud came along with other marketing and e-commerce features under Salesforce Connections, a user conference geared toward Salesforce admins and others who manage Salesforce cloud apps on their computers. Business. Salesforce refer to them collectively as “Trailblazers.”

In a pilot test beginning this month and scheduled to launch in September, Commerce Cloud users will be able to sell on TikTok by activating the site as their own sales channel within Commerce Cloud’s social media channels; Salesforce plans to add it to the console along with other social media apps like Snapchat and Instagram. Users will be able to automate catalog product feeds in the TikTok app, as well as measure ad performance and target audiences for ad retargeting with TikTok Pixel.

“We are making it easy for marketers to engage with channels across all social channels like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat [y crear] relevant offers to your customers through automated feeds and curation,” said Scot Gillespie, executive vice president and general manager of Salesforce Commerce Cloud. “Payments, speed and flexibility remain critical for our customers.”

Salesforce has also launched Commerce for Customer Service, a set of features that gives agents a customer’s order history across all channels and enables returns, exchanges, promotions, or fulfillment from the agent console. It is now available. Commerce Marketplace, which allows Salesforce users to create their own marketplaces to sell their own items alongside those of other companies, will launch in September.