According to Mary Meeker’s widely read, annual Internet Trends report, cloud technology is reaching new heights and creating new opportunities, “paving the way for innovation across the infrastructure landscape.” This is certainly the case in the retail sector, as evidenced in the latest Internet Retailer Top 500 list, which showed a 17% year-over-year increase in the number of North American retailers using Salesforce Commerce Cloud.

According to our analysis, even among the largest retailers, the IR Top 100, Commerce Cloud has the highest growth rate of any individual vendor, at 10%. By comparison, legacy vendors have seen either marginal growth or declines for their on-premise platforms.

The trend toward cloud, of course, is not a new phenomenon. Since 2014, Commerce Cloud’s customer count in the Top 500 has increased at an average annual rate of 25%, the biggest growth of any commerce technology provider. In today’s fiercely competitive environment, retailers are recognizing the value of partnering with a strong cloud technology vendor. Why? The complexity in infrastructure maintenance, difficulty keeping pace with consumer demand, and cost to ensure scalability are simply too great. That’s why homegrown implementations are also on a decline, dropping by 8% this year.

 

Commerce Cloud has grown to have the second highest market share within the IR Top 500 and the highest among cloud only vendors. Why are so many global brands opting for cloud?

Commerce Cloud customers tell us it’s the inherent flexibility of cloud that empowers them to act fast, implement new features and capabilities, expand to new markets, launch new brands and more.

Newell Brands, a $13.2 billion (2016 sales) company, is a prime example. The company, #48 on the IR Top 500, told us at XChange Las Vegas that its homegrown ecommerce system was limiting its ability to satisfy customers’ demands. After replatforming on Commerce Cloud, it was able to “ramp up new sites in minimal time” adding that, “whenever there’s a demand [for a new capability] we’re able to get that up to speed for consumers whenever we need to.”

Watch the short video below to hear Newell talk about its journey with Salesforce Commerce Cloud.

And Commerce Cloud customers are also benefiting from embedding artificial intelligence into the fabric of their commerce operations to personalize the experience. In fact, there are more than 500 sites using Salesforce Einstein Product Recommendations to do just that. Black Diamond saw a 9.6% increase in conversion and a 15.5% increase in revenue per visitor after implementing AI-based Product Recommendations.

Commerce Cloud was one of the few vendors to gain share in both the IR Top 500 and IR Top 1000 tiers, demonstrating that many small and mid-sized retailers are leveraging the scalability of the platform to advance their growth initiatives.

It’s abundantly clear that enterprise cloud solutions are transforming retail, empowering brands to do more, faster, than they ever thought possible. When it named Commerce Cloud a Leader in its Forrester Wave for B2C Commerce Suites earlier this year, Forrester noted that, “Legacy commerce technology is becoming outdated and less effective, so the features that dictate which providers will lead the pack are improved capabilities to speed up time-to-market (TTM) and support analytics, experience management, and omni-channel.”

In its evaluation of Commerce Cloud, Forrester said that, “Salesforce Commerce Cloud continues to be a strong option for retailers looking for an established, highly-scalable SaaS solution with market-leading personalization and promotions commerce capabilities. Salesforce also shows compelling over-the-horizon potential in the realm of AI and data-driven decision-making with its Salesforce Einstein capabilities.”

That is precisely why more retailers and brands are making the strategic decision to drive their business with Salesforce Commerce Cloud.