Last week was a tad crazy when it comes to conference season, there were at least 4 conferences I could have and should have attended. However until I can figure out how to be in two places at the same time I had to pick which events I could attend. One of those events was NetSuite’s SuiteWorld in San Jose. Unfortunately I was only able to attend the first full day, but what I took away from the time I spent was their new offering for retail.
They announced SuiteCommerce InStore – a next generation POS (point of sale) and retail reporting tool that bridges the online and brick & mortar experience. Click here for press release. This new offering from NetSuite, which builds on their existing solutions, follows the mantra launched from main stage. Is it an ERP or a web site? At the core of this statement is the belief that you must treat your business from a unified view. There is no longer a view of inventory that is for the eCommerce engine versus one for the traditional brick and mortar world. There is only one view – one that takes a view at ALL inventory, regardless of what channel it is destined for. What this means for retailers:
- Retailers, by providing a more complete view of customers, can now empower their stores to better satisfy customer needs. For example, if Lawrence Williams walks into a Williams- Sonoma store to purchase a new Cuisinart mixer, if equipped with this solution, the store manager and associates will have access to all the data associated with Lawrence. Did he search the web site for the mixer? What color? Which model? Did he look for other products? The store associate can now anticipate and deal with Mr. Williams’ needs more effectively.
- Much better coordination between the online and physical world. One of the most frustrating issues retailers face is have a promotion for a product in a store that could also be fulfilled online, but not having that full view of the inventory. Companies that leverage SuiteCommerce InStore, will be able to react with much more flexibility to fluctuations in demand or inventory, regardless of where the drivers are coming from. This unified view of inventory and customer is key when it comes to meeting the demands of consumers.
- A greater understanding of what is happening on the ground. Retailers have always struggled with gaining a richer sense of what is happening within their stores. POS (point of sale) data is nice, so are orders and even advanced video technology. But what if you could add a rich layer of information that tied in the online and in store experience of the consumer? Retailers will not only be able to empower their stores to better manage the customer experience, but they will also be able to collect behaviors of those customers.
It will be interesting to observe how this solution progresses. It fits into our Matrix Commerce model that looks at the places where digital has allowed the customer and the supply chain to converge. This, edge of the retail network, at the store level, is one of these intersection points. NetSuite retail customers should see this as a positive evolution of the retail solution. Over the past few months, many of the retail executives we have met with expressed the desire to provide their store locations with a complete view of the customer. NetSuite’s SuiteCommerce InStore solution addresses the needs of the retailer to gain greater channel agnostic insights.