NetSuite Inc., the industry’s leading vendor of cloud-based business management software suites, announced NetSuite “Commerce as a Service” (CaaS), enabling businesses to manage their interactions with other businesses and directly with consumers via a cloud platform that delivers the customer experience, via any current or future device, directly on the core NetSuite cloud ERP/CRMbusiness management application. At the heart of the CaaS initiative is NetSuite SuiteCommerce, a new commerce-aware platform that provides a central system to manage all transactions and associated customer interactions with consumers and other businesses regardless of touchpoint (website, smart phone, social media site, in-store, etc.).
“Over the past decade, NetSuite has transformed how our customers operate their businesses internally. Over the next decade, NetSuite will transform how businesses operate with other businesses and with their customers through NetSuite Commerce as a Service. Our new NetSuite SuiteCommerce offering is at the heart of this transformation,” said Zach Nelson, CEO of NetSuite. “By transforming the NetSuite business application into a commerce-aware platform, we enable our customers to extend the richest set of cloud operational capabilities available anywhere directly to their customers, regardless of the device those customers are using – be it a smart phone, a tablet, a personal computer, a point-of-sale system, or touchpoints not yet developed.”
At the turn of the century, driven by widespread adoption of the Internet by businesses and consumers, commerce evolved from a process that was conducted on the phone or in a retail setting to the ability to sell online via websites. This drove the introduction of stand-alone “eCommerce” applications designed to support the emerging requirement to sell online.
Consumers quickly adopted eCommerce for its global accessibility, 24×7 availability and diversity of products. Because the industry evolved rapidly and companies were typically running their back end operations on legacy systems such as Microsoft Dynamics Great Plains, Sage or SAP systems locked behind firewalls with no Web capabilities, companies were forced to implement disconnected solutions for selling online, resulting in fragmented customer information built with a distribution channel focus — one set of applications dedicated to retail channel, a separate set of applications for eCommerce channels, and yet another for telesales operations. Increasingly, companies recognize that implementations of first-generation eCommerce systems such as Demandware , and Magento have resulted in frustrated customers and ever-increasing integration costs as eCommerce becomes a core business competence.
In addition, the proliferation of new end-user preferred “touchpoints” such as smart phones and social media has increased customers’ expectations of a tailored, individualized experience. Consumers assume businesses have full visibility to their transactions across touchpoints and will use that knowledge to provide an optimized experience. Likewise, businesses expect their suppliers to have insight into their business relationships, and assume that they will deliver a B2B experience as compelling as a B2C website. Finally, physical products increasingly include commerce-embedded capabilities, which enable machine-to-machine (M2M) commerce without the involvement of humans, based upon defined business rules for predictable needs. Enterprises of all sizes have been challenged to respond to this avalanche of requirements because of the speed of change and the daunting burden of integrating inter-related systems to efficiently transact business across these various interaction points.
Rather than take the bolt-on approach of first generation eCommerce systems that attempted to cobble together multiple systems to address emerging customers and business requirements, NetSuite SuiteCommerce enables companies to manage their interaction with customers regardless of channel directly from the most widely used cloud-native business management system. By doing so, NetSuite’s integrated ERP/CRM system is transformed into a commerce engine that is exposed to customers in a device-independent way — supporting traditional browser-based commerce as well as any emerging touchpoint such as smart phones, tablets and POS systems. Because of both the presentation layer and business logic flexibility, the architecture supports any business model, be it B2C, B2B, M2M, or any combination thereof.
“Every company wants to deliver the commerce experience that Apple delivers to customers – an experience that recognizes the customer regardless of channel or device, and efficiently delivers goods and services in world-class fashion, projecting a powerful brand message. NetSuite SuiteCommerce is architected to enable companies of all sizes to deliver this type of rich, touchpoint-agnostic experience to their customers,” added Zach Nelson, CEO of NetSuite. “The secret sauce behind the Apple and NetSuite approach is an integrated back-end system that combines core business processing capabilities with rich customer profiles, to deliver the brand promise of a personalized experience, anytime from anywhere.”
NetSuite SuiteCommerce is the result of several years of development. SuiteCommerce exposes native NetSuite commerce capabilities — including merchandising, pricing, promotions, payment processing, support management, and customer management — as services that can be leveraged by any presentation layer, while providing an integrated back-end business management system.
The NetSuite SuiteCommerce platform includes several new important technologies:
- SuiteCommerce Experience – The SuiteCommerce Experience is the page serving and development framework that enables companies to deliver rich user experiences, regardless of touchpoint. The SuiteCommerce Experience is so flexible that it enables designers to create any type of customer experience – from page layout to interaction design. Leading eCommerce design agencies including Fluid, Sweden Interactive, Live Area Labs and Pod1, among others, joined as initial customer experience partners supporting the SuiteCommerce Platform. In addition to supporting any experience design, SuiteCommerce Experience is extremely scalable and high performance. Whereas the industry standard is sub 2-second page load time, SuiteCommerce Experience offers sub-second page times by avoiding the redundant rendering and downloading associated with traditional presentation frameworks.
- SuiteCommerce Services –The SuiteCommerce Platform includes a new group of services called SuiteCommerce Services that expose NetSuite’s back-end commerce functionality and data as services to the SuiteCommerce Experience and any other commerce front-end application. These services, combined with associated SuiteCloud development tools, enable customers to develop new business logic and leverage that business logic across multiple touchpoints. For example, promotions can be implemented once and enabled across online, telephone and in-store transactions to augment the core transactional capabilities, and customize the system to their exact requirements. Leading B2C and B2B commerce providers such as Square, Stripe, SPS Commerce and Retail Anywhere have announced new product offerings to support omni-channel commerce on top of the SuiteCommerce Services platform.
- NetSuite Commerce Platform –The NetSuite Commerce Platform provides the core native business processing capabilities to run modern commerce operations. Including order management, inventory management and payment processing with personalized promotions, merchandising, account management and support management technologies, NetSuite SuiteCommerce delivers the industry’s most robust cloud-based commerce management technologies.
The power of providing an integrated experience and cross-channel business logic with SuiteCommerce is apparent in an infinite number of modern use cases:
- Retail: When customers appear in a retail setting, not only will they be recognized, but store clerks will also be able to see on their point-of-sale system what is in their eCommerce shopping cart or wish list as they serve them.
- Multi-Channel Business Logic: Since SuiteCommerce offers a single back-end system for processing orders, managing inventory and generating offers, a business rule such as a maximum number of purchases on a sale item, can be implemented once and enforced across the website, in-store and via telesales.
- Rich Customer Profile driving promotions: SuiteCommerce provides a single system for customer history, product/item details, and promotions management. For example, a promotion could be created in seconds targeting customers who have purchased more than $1,000 across any channel and offer a limited time 30 percent off promotion on any item with a gross margin greater than 50 percent.
There are two versions of NetSuite SuiteCommerce, one designed to meet the needs of small and mid-sized enterprises and one designed for large and very large enterprises.
NetSuite SuiteCommerce Mid-market is available immediately and includes the core functionality of SuiteCommerce Services, as well as access to a number of add-on modules including product feeds, ratings and reviews, and loyalty programs. It is designed to support companies with smaller order volumes and product catalogs.
NetSuite SuiteCommerce Enterprise includes the entire SuiteCommerce offering (SuiteCommerce Experience and SuiteCommerce Services Platform). It provides support for enterprise scale order volumes and product/item catalogs.