Best Kiteboarding Splashes into E-Commerce Using NetSuite
Few vendors were prepared to meet the company's requirements for customizable products.
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Best Kiteboarding supplies all manner of gear and equipment for kiteboarding, one of the world's fastest-growing watersports. Having built a reputation for flexibility and quality, the company was running into a serious flexibility problem of its own: Its front- and back-end operations were not fully integrated. "The original system that was put in place never linked up properly," says Troy Lawson, the company's chief operating officer. "Our front end wasn't as stable or flexible as we would have liked, and there was a lot of duplicate entry required to keep the systems in sync." Furthermore, the customized shopping cart Best Kiteboarding was using for its Web site was close to wiping out. "We had customized our shopping cart to the point where we couldn't develop it anymore; we were stuck," Lawson says. "We could never upgrade or increase its capabilities." Unwilling to let a more-limited technology in the office limit growth on the water, Best looked for a better solution. After an exhaustive search, the company adopted NetSuite in February 2005. "We evaluated approximately 80 systems, and this was the only one that met all of our requirements," Lawson says. "I could go on for hours about how great this system is." In particular, he notes that few vendors were prepared to meet his requirements for customizable products, or to support automatic tracking and crediting of affiliate marketers who provide buyers to Best Kiteboarding through third-party Web sites. The affiliate performance is recorded in NetSuite's Partner Center, where internal sales managers and the affiliates can all monitor it. Best Kiteboarding even found a new method of tailoring the NetSuite Web Store to allow customers to configure their custom kiteboarding rig on fewer screens using inline frames and the NetSuite product matrix. "Having fewer screens gets our customers through the shopping cart and to the checkout quicker," Lawson says.
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