NetSuite Expands Its E-Commerce Capabilities

NetSuite announced today the impending launch of two new enhancements to the e-commerce capabilities of its on-demand business management software. The first module, Advanced Site Builder, allows NetSuite customers to manage their online stores with more sophisticated professional Web design tools, rather than use the NetSuite-provided toolset. Stores will be more flexible for international customers, allowing merchants to build a single price list, but display terms in any currency, based on visiting customer preferences. NetSuite's second new module is an analytics package for the Web store, providing full clickstream analysis and site-traffic logging. Users can track sales not only at the customer level, where data is integrated directly into the same customer records used by NetSuite's CRM tools, but by important indicators like Web-search terms and referral and affiliate sites. "You will see us modularize," CEO Zach Nelson says. "We have an advanced financials module coming and advanced shipping integration, and that way our customers using the basic suites don't feel like they're paying extra for functionality they don't use." "Clearly, what they're doing is trying to say, 'We're more than just CRM,' which they are," says Chris Selland, vice president of sell-side research at Aberdeen Group. "A lot of the people they're normally compared to, like Salesforce.com and Salesnet, do one or two things, but NetSuite started as an accounting company and when hosted CRM came up, they jumped on it." Concurrent with the announcement of the NetCommerce modules, NetSuite indicated that it now has 1,000 business customers using NetSuite's live e-commerce capabilities. Free Web-store functionality is provided to users of both NetSuite and NetSuite Small Business, allowing customers to sell goods and services tracked in their NetSuite databases. NetSuite's ongoing feature expansion, according to Selland, positions it well to do more for business users. "Even some of the smallest companies--if they want to sell online, they need this," he says. NetSuite's strategy to continue to lure those SME users for a single, on-demand business software provider is a contrast to Salesforce.com's sforce integration initiative. "Salesforce.com is selling an integration platform, saying, 'Do this though partners,' while NetSuite is saying, 'Buy this all through us.'" The new NetCommerce modules are provided at an additional cost (estimated to be $200 per month each), NetSuite says it will continue to provide basic e-commerce functionality to all its existing customers as part of their service agreement. Nelson compares the NetSuite e-commerce service to outsourced options for small businesses like Yahoo! Store. Those services typically have both monthly service charges and per-transaction fees, but Nelson says, "We don't even charge for the bandwidth today."
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