NetSuite point of sale system unifies online and offline shopping experience

SAN JOSE – Omni-channel is the buzzword du jour this week at NetSuite’s annual user conference – getting to one view of the customer whatever channel they come to you through. The cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) vendor is trying to walk the omni talk with the launch of a new point of sale (POS) solution that promises to unify the in store and online brand experiences.

Called SuiteCommerce InStore, the solution has been developed as part of SuiteCommerce, a cloud-based omnichannel B2B and B2C commerce platform used by more than 3,000 brands to drive their commerce strategies across point-of-sale, ecommerce and call centre. With the addition of an enterprise-class, mobile-first POS solution, retailers will be able to access inventory and customer information in one place to improve the shopping experience for customers.

“Lots of disruption is coming, and the next one is the omni disruption in two forms – omni-channel and omni-business,” said NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson. “Today, you need to recognize your customers wherever they are. If I’m paying you money, I want you to know who I am.”

And it needs to go beyond the business to consumer (B2C) world, added Nelson. Purchasers expect companies to know them whether they’ve dealt with them in a B2C world, the business to business (B2B) world, or both. That will require bringing together behavioural and transactional world for one system of record.

With SuiteCommerce InStore, NetSuite is seeking to bring that omni-channel commerce experience into the retail storefront. Sales associates in the store will have visibility into inventory anywhere in the business, and the ability to combine different fulfillment models such as cash-and-carry and ship-to-home in a single transaction.

It can handle the usual POS transactions such as discounting and gift receipts, and merges with the online experience by allowing customers to access products they left in their online shopping carts or have on their wish lists. The sales associate in the sales floor also has a full view of the customer’s history with the brand, including purchases, returns, exchanges, store visits and service requests – across all channels.

NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson.
NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson.

“SuiteCommerce InStore is the strongest proof point yet that NetSuite’s vision of a single platform serving every customer touch point, built on top of a company’s core operational system will allow retailers to better serve their customers, and innovate faster than their competitors,” said Andy Lloyd, general manager of commerce products at NetSuite. “It is very difficult for a retailer to deploy a unified omni-channel commerce system that delivers customer-centric ecommerce and in-store experiences on the timeline and at the price point that they can with SuiteCommerce.”

A US furniture retailer with a web store and 59 retail stores, Lovesac is an early user of SuiteCommerce InStore attracted by the real-time access to customer data and orders across channels, omnichannel order management, inventory visibility and a mobile app to drive further functionality.

“We immediately saw how SuiteCommerce InStore could serve as the foundation for the next-generation in-store experience we are building,” said Lovesac COO Ryan Johnson. “It was obvious to us that the product was designed with the omnichannel shopper in mind, but also with an eye toward helping our sales associates serve our customers better. And, because it is built on SuiteCommerce, we were able to deploy all of its omni-channel capabilities in a fraction of the time it would have taken to deploy virtually any other point of sale solution.”

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Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
A veteran technology and business journalist, Jeff Jedras began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the booming (and later busting) Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal, as well as everything from municipal politics to real estate. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada. He would go on to cover the channel as an assistant editor with CDN. His writing has appeared in the Vancouver Sun, the Ottawa Citizen and a wide range of industry trade publications.

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