The Ecommerce Edge: The Benefits of a Seamless Business Management Software Suite

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1 The Ecommerce Edge: The Benefits of a Seamless Business Management Software Suite Overcoming the Barriers of Stand-alone Ecommerce Applications R0510 The Ecommerce Edge: The Benefits of a Seamless Business Management Software Suite 1

2 Introduction Ecommerce is an ever-increasing source of revenue growth for companies that sell online to both other businesses (B2B) and to consumers (B2C). Total online sales in the U.S. alone are expected to hit $173 billion in 2010 and grow to $249 billion by , according to a recent Forrester Research Report. Accordingly, 51% of total U.S. retail sales will be influenced by (researched) or made online by Industry trends indicate that more and more companies are leveraging the Internet to accelerate their pace of business. Are your ecommerce operations properly positioned to fully capture online growth opportunities? As market demands become increasingly complex, many of today s growing ecommerce and multi-channel companies are re-examining their operating models and their supporting business processes. They re looking for the competitive edge that that will enable them to minimize the complexity of their organization so they focus on maximizing these opportunities, driving better customer experiences and increasing business velocity. Growing companies whose sole channel is over the Internet as well as retailers, manufacturers, and wholesale distributors adding ecommerce to their existing sales channels are all likely to be saddled with a hodge-podge of software products to run their overall business. Typically, these multiple applications used for webstore creation, order management, accounting and shipping don t talk well to each other. Worse yet, as additional applications are added inventory or warehouse management, customer relationship management (CRM), T&E management, HR and others organizations are left with a disconnected slew or hairball of applications that slow them down even further. The ramifications for organizations juggling multiple applications include: Lost productivity (and the accompanying increases in human error) in work hours spent re-entering data manually and attempting to consolidate data from disparate software systems Lack of visibility to the business intelligence necessary to generate complete, up-to-the- minute analytics and real-time reporting in order to make good decisions Outgrown applications and legacy systems that cannot scale to power the organization s growth. Without scalability in their management software suites, businesses can be trapped by the limits of the very technology that was intended to help them thrive. Businesses ready to expand their ecommerce reach by going global face an even greater range of challenges with standalone software products. Will their ecommerce software have the functionality to handle translated, localized content effectively, as well as the ability to support additional localization with currency conversion, international payments and cross-border fulfillment? How will these businesses entering the global marketplace remain compliant and consolidate financials and business metrics across multiple global websites? Seamless ecommerce platforms that power nimble, end-to-end ecommerce solutions with global business capability are normalizing rapidly as the ecommerce edge that gives organizations from startups to mid-market and established ecommerce businesses higher competiveness in today s B2C and B2B ecommerce environments. 1 Forrester Research Web-Influenced Retail Sales Forecast, 12/09 (US). 2 North American Technographics Retail and Customer Service (online survey), Q R0510 The Ecommerce Edge: The Benefits of a Seamless Business Management Software Suite 2

3 The seamless ecommerce edge is fueled by the integrated buying experience that has emerged as more consumers begin to integrate multiple touchpoints including social media such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn into their shopping patterns. Today s ecommerce shoppers are more discriminate and know that e-tailers offering product research, desired pricing, automated shipping, on-demand customer support, web extras and available inventory are only a click away. Overcoming the Barriers of Standalone Ecommerce Applications Consumers and B2B customers have become more accepting of emerging web technology and how it improves their user experiences. At the same time, these consumers remain intolerant of issues arising between the unconnected silos of service and sales that e-tailers create when they experiment with new technology initiatives that aren t being driven by a fully integrated business management solution spanning quote to order to cash. Savvy e-business leaders are taking steps to overcome the disparate silos and other barriers associated with standalone applications and create a seamless experience for customers across multiple touchpoints even global touchpoints requiring localization. Ideally delivered through cloud computing, a scalable, integrated ecommerce solution that incorporates a complete business management suite along with a flexible ecommerce platform will support and grow their entire business operation. The components of such an integrated application include: Integrated Business Management Suite. Addressing the plethora of disconnected software applications is the first step an ecommerce or multichannel retail company can take to gain better control of its business operations and increase the efficiency of those operations across all of its storefronts. A seamless, integrated business management software suite gives e-tailers the ability to efficiently manage multiple webstores or cross-channel sales operations, and consolidate the entire breadth of business activities. All of the accounting, order management, warehouse management, returns management, billing, customer support, marketing, sales force automation, and customer relationship tracking and management data reside in a single repository, resulting in a single truth that enables all aspects of the business to be managed from within one software application. Ecommerce Platform. In addition to an application that streamlines complex business operations, companies need that software to be based on a scalable and agile cloud-based platform that can be customized easily and quickly according to their unique business logic. The platform should also have the flexibility to incorporate additional best-of breed applications that will allow businesses to extend their reach and enhance the customer experience. R0510 The Ecommerce Edge: The Benefits of a Seamless Business Management Software Suite 3

4 Benefits of a Seamless Ecommerce Business Management Suite As the leading integrated business management suite and ecommerce platform, NetSuite allows you to manage all your ecommerce operations with a single software application. With NetSuite, your entire business accounting, sales, warehouse, customer service, marketing and website is seamlessly incorporated into a single database, so you can improve your productivity by streamlining operations and automating processes across the company. And because NetSuite is delivered as a cloud computing solution over the Internet, you have no costly hardware or software purchases, no expensive integration of standalone software products, or difficult upgrades. Benefits of the NetSuite Ecommerce business management platform include: 1. Accelerated Revenue Growth There are incredible opportunities to increase your website revenue through targeted, personalized marketing campaigns. Do you: Reach out to shoppers who abandon their carts and provide them with additional information about the products they abandoned or coupons for those products? Maximize cross-sell and up-sell opportunities by providing relevant recommendations about additional products your customers are actually likely to purchase? Encourage repeat business with loyalty point programs that apply to both your website and brick-and-mortar sales? Keep in touch with your customers through campaigns relevant to their purchase history and website activities? If you aren t able to answer Yes to most or all of these questions, you re probably not maximizing your true potential revenue stream. NetSuite gives ecommerce companies the ability to execute targeted and personalized marketing campaigns (closed-loop marketing) that are based on relevant information collected about your shoppers, resulting in higher ROI. You can also reduce shopping cart abandonment by sending personalized s to shoppers and providing them with additional information about the product or a limited-time coupon. In addition, NetSuite lets you run automated drip marketing campaigns that continue until your shopper completes the purchase. Automated drip marketing can also keep you close to your customers after the purchase and throughout a product s lifecycle. NetSuite also helps you improve cross-selling with an automated recommendations feature that draws upon your outlet s actual sales history, recommending products that similar shoppers have purchased. Finally, you can use NetSuite to increase repeat purchases with cross-channel loyalty point programs that reward customers regardless of which channel they are purchasing from. R0510 The Ecommerce Edge: The Benefits of a Seamless Business Management Software Suite 4

5 2. Reduce Costs Your resources are not best spent on managing your IT. If you see your CAPEX dwindling, you may want to revisit your true IT costs. How much money is your business spending today on computer hardware and software, developers, consultants and network administrators? Are you buying and maintaining your own servers and databases? Do you pay people to integrate and upgrade your software, or to connect the networks in your various physical stores? Do you need to hire a web designer every time you make any changes to your website? It all adds up and should be part of your total cost of ownership (TCO) variance analysis. We went from the most expensive piece of software on the planet [SAP] down to nothing... But we knew that we had to get on a single system, and that s where NetSuite came in. Brad Kugler, CEO, Distribution Video & Audio But there are even more questions you should consider in determining true TCO. How much time is your staff spending to answer questions that your customers and employees could answer for themselves if that information was readily available? Do you offer your customers self-service tools to avoid angry phone calls and tied-up employees? Can your employees see all of the information they need to do their jobs, so they don t have to bug other employees and reduce everyone s productivity? You can make your employees more productive. With NetSuite, you can save enough money in reduced IT costs and improved productivity to pay for the software many times over. For example, NetSuite customer, Asahi Kasei went from spending 3% of its revenue on SAP maintenance to less than 0.1% by switching to NetSuite. That s because NetSuite, as a cloud computing solution, eliminates the need to buy and maintain servers and databases which is why cloud computing is where business is going today thanks to the ubiquity of high-speed Internet. You no longer have to buy multiple software packages, integrate them and upgrade them; you can update your website without any technical resources. 3. Improve Customer Satisfaction It s cheaper to satisfy an existing customer than to find a new one. Are you doing all you can to keep your customers happy? When customers have a question, are they able to quickly get a satisfactory answer a requirement in the on-demand age? Do you offer self-service capabilities for them to answer their own questions? Does everyone they may interact with have the ability to access a powerful business dashboard quickly to answer their questions accurately, since the only answer worse than no answer is a wrong one? Can your support staff view shoppers purchase histories, track their packages and review their previous questions? Time compression is an integral part of today s customer expectations. Your customers expect to get their solutions faster than ever. And keep in mind that more than half of customers research (for more information, discounts, reviews, etc.) on the web before making a purchase. Are your in-store employees aware of what a shopper has viewed or bought on your website? Finally, can you tell your customers what store locations have the items they re looking for in stock? NetSuite provides both self-service tools for your shopper, and complete customer and inventory information for your employees. With NetSuite, your customers have 24/7 self-service access to view their lifetime purchase history, track packages, reorder items, request returns, or view all of their communications with your company. At the same time, NetSuite gives your employees a 360-degree view of your customers histories, including their transactions, payments and communications. They can see shoppers website activities, and their online and offline purchases. And they can view your inventory availability by location, so they know where the item is still available and can ship it or transfer it to the desired store location. R0510 The Ecommerce Edge: The Benefits of a Seamless Business Management Software Suite 5

6 4. Unify Sales Channels If you sell through both a website and a brick-and-mortar store, you need to run both channels in a unified way. Ask yourself: Can your shoppers buy something online and pick it up or return it at one of your physcal stores? Offering this service can make a sale. For instance, many customers may want to save on shipping costs or get in-store extras such as easy returns and repairs or free gift wrapping. We enjoy having a hosted solution so that we do not have to buy and implement software upgrades, and the Internet-based solution has been responsive and reliable for our point-of sale systems as well. Dave Weiss, Internet Marketing Manager, Wrigleyville Sports Can you view your sales and inventory across both channels in real-time? Does your website show the inventory availability of your products in each of your stores? Can your employees answer your shoppers questions regardless of which channels they ve interacted with? Can you offer loyalty point programs across channels? If your customers look online and go into your brick-and-mortar store, can you apply pricing and promotions uniformly across channels? Today s shoppers expect a seamless transition between your web store and brick-and-mortar store when both types of stores exist under the same brand. Your store.com and your store should be the same. NetSuite lets you unify your sales channels into a single system so you can manage both your online and offline channels with one version of the truth across inventory management, finance and accounting, sales, marketing, service and returns. This makes your business more agile for today s web-savvy consumers and allows you to provide better customer service, streamline your business operations and gain greater visibility over your business performance in all channels in real time. NetSuite also helps you manage your multichannel business more productively. With real-time metrics, you can view the profitability of stores, products and customers with NetSuite s integrated reporting functionality to help you formulate the best strategies for your organization. Apply pricing and promotions uniformly across channels or apply different pricing (matrix pricing) for different regions, customer types and other criteria. You can also manage multiple online channels with NetSuite. You can publish dozens of different sites and manage them all with a single inventory record, order management system and customer database. When you update anything about your products, those changes can automatically apply to all of your sites if you wish. Many NetSuite customers also sell on ebay and enjoy having all their ebay product and sales data flow seamlessly between ebay and NetSuite. Other ecommerce options include pushing your product information to Google, Yahoo, Shopping.com and other product feeds all from a single product database. B2B resellers benefit from a NetSuite strategy in maintaining EDI standards when publishing catalogs. R0510 The Ecommerce Edge: The Benefits of a Seamless Business Management Software Suite 6

7 5. Improve Marketing ROI The next generation of ecommerce marketing takes closed-loop analysis and combines it with true lifetime ROI valuations. Instead of relying solely on drip marketing, you can measure marketing success from NetSuite with targeted and event-based marketing activities that produce improved marketing ROI and generate higher-quality leads. NetSuite also lets you track the lifetime revenues or cross-channel efficiency of your marketing campaigns to understand which of your marketing campaigns are successful and how profitably they have been performing. In addition to gaining insight into overall campaign performance, can you view the actual revenue associated with each campaign in real time and then adjust the campaign accordingly. The ecommerce edge makes organizations more nimble so they can perform better in ecommerce markets, which can be disrupted as quickly as it takes to post a blog review or announce what a celebrity has opted to wear to an event or that a bad snow storm is approaching. With NetSuite, you can measure not only campaign revenue, but actual profitability as well. NetSuite stores the cost and margin on your products, which allows you to set tolerance levels for marketing spend based on the gross and whether the product or service is being launched. 6. Gain Real-Time Visibility and Business Intelligence Across the Enterprise To make intelligent business decisions, you need on-demand access to the key information about your business. For example: Can you access all of your business information anytime you need it? Do you know exactly how much stock you have of each of your items by location? Can you quickly get a list of customers who bought a particular product within a certain date range? Are you aware of the profitability of each of your stores, products and customers? Can you track the success of your marketing campaigns in real time? These questions and more can only be answered by keeping your finger on the pulse of your business with smart business intelligence tools. As a 100% cloud-based integrated business solution, only NetSuite provides you with complete business intelligence anytime, anywhere. On-demand, NetSuite provides you with data about all of your departments and sales channels, viewable in one place and with a single version of the truth even among multiple channels and stores. There s no reason to slip on old data: NetSuite gives you real-time information about your sales, inventory and customers. NetSuite also helps you streamline inventory, shipping, logistics and RMA processes and workflows starting with business intelligence so that you can do more while spending less. NetSuite can track your inventory by location and automatically reorder based on your sales history. Trend analysis also extends to customer behavior: create personalized marketing campaigns based on your customers purchase and browsing histories; automatically get recommended up-sells and renewals based on sales data. Last but not least, NetSuite can automatically notify you when your business takes a turn, keeping you on top of the situation. Knowledge is power. NetSuite gives you more knowledge. R0510 The Ecommerce Edge: The Benefits of a Seamless Business Management Software Suite 7

8 7. Go Global but Look Local There is a huge global market that is growing bigger by the minute, and world economies are becoming increasingly interconnected. But do you have a global strategy in place, and, just as importantly, a way to achieve it? Can you sell to shoppers around the world and have them believe you are a local player? That is, can you present your product in their local language and accept their local currencies? And can you easily ship your products to their countries? Stepping into the global marketplace should be a natural next step not an adventure filled with guesswork and pratfalls. NetSuite facilitates global ecommerce with unique international capabilities and proven sales tools used by hundreds of satisfied NetSuite e-tailers and retailers today. NetSuite webstores have already been translated into a dozen languages. They also allow web store visitors to translate the entire website into practically any other language. Making international payments is easy with NetSuite. You can accept more than 170 different currencies and update those currencies automatically with the latest conversion rates on a nightly basis. Got the invoice with payment already? Now ship your products anywhere in the world with no hassle. NetSuite works closely with global shipping carriers to facilitate international shipping with real-time rates, shipping label printing and customs documentation. Fees such as duty and taxes are also automatically added to the selling price. Conclusion For the small amount we pay each month, we get a global financial consolidation system that has all the power and features a company our size needs, and more. Todd Harmon, CFO, Six Apart As businesses strive to capture an increasing share of the rapid growth in the ecommerce channel including global ecommerce, they are re-examining their business operating models and ecommerce platforms. These businesses understand that they need a flexible and agile software application that will support their entire business operations a fully integrated end-to-end business management solution like NetSuite that trims waste, provides more on-demand and real-time visibility and makes the organization more nimble, positioned to support today s new breed of consumer (of which more than half will refer to the web before making a purchase decision). This ecommerce solution must be able to plug into the myriad of current and emerging customer touchpoints sprouting up anywhere and everywhere as social media grows and multimedia turns increasingly viral. If it sounds like a lot, it s because it is a lot. The Ecommerce Edge, which will push the competiveness of thriving ecommerce companies, will reduce the complexity of organizations so that their leaders and employees can focus on retaining customers and driving revenue. Cloud computing where business is going is the only platform for such a solution, cutting IT costs dramatically and powering on-demand knowledge and real-time visibility over an entire organization. R0510 The Ecommerce Edge: The Benefits of a Seamless Business Management Software Suite 8

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