Last week, Salesforce announced a strategic partnership with Walmart. And it’s a MASSIVE pivot for the AppExchange.
Is this is a template for future growth or the end of innovation there as we know it?
Walmart is trying to take a page out of the Amazon playbook by selling their internal technology to other retailers in order to create a new revenue stream. Amazon made this move when they packaged up internal technology infrastructure and sold it to the open market as Amazon Web Services.
It worked out pretty well - AWS will generated $100B in 2023.
What are the internal tools Walmart has developed and plans to sell through the Salesforce AppExchange?
So, existing Salesforce customers will be able to bolt these services on to their Order Management System within Commerce Cloud, by purchasing through the AppExchange. Why is this any different than the add-ons you can already get on the AppExchange?
Because everything Salesforce currently sells through the AppExchange exists to enhance the functionality of THEIR platform. This is fundamentally a NON Salesforce add-on. It happens to benefit companies that are using Salesforce but it does nothing to enhance the core Salesforce product experience. It’s a slightly confusing move.
It makes perfect sense why Walmart is interested in this partnership, gaining access to a massive customer base to sell these offerings. But...
This potentially opens the door for Salesforce to offer a much broader array of services through the AppExchange, transforming it into a true marketplace rather than a B2B App Store selling widgets.
Keep in mind that Salesforce counts 80% of the Fortune 500 as customers. That’s a portfolio of relationships with enormous purchasing power.
Is this partnership simply Salesforce evolving into an affiliate marketer, taking a kickback for business they bring to Walmart?
Or is this a glimpse at the future of how Salesforce continues building a connected ecosystem beyond just products and into services and physical experiences?