I returned from the National Retail Federation's Annual Convention and Expo last month with my spirits lifted by all the positive energy. More than 27,000 retail professionals converged on New York, and unlike the caution or outright doom-and-gloom of some recent years, I met with countless people who had a genuinely upbeat outlook. At NRF, the mood reflected that of a positive economy, with retailers recovering from the recession and ready to embrace the omnichannel selling opportunities ranging from brick-and-mortar to mobile.
The fact is that retailers who have been strong and nimble enough to survive the recent challenging years are doing quite well. We heard several companies talk about positive performances and progress. But they also recognized that years of cost-cutting and under-investment has left them behind the technology curve, and there is pent-up demand to tackle omnichannel initiatives and stay current.
This was the first year NetSuite had an expo floor presence at NRF, although our newly-acquired Retail Anywhere unit has been an NRF fixture for the past decade. Our booth space was busy and our appointment slots full of retailers looking to understand how a fully integrated solution that combines eCommerce, point-of-sale, inventory management and customer management can benefit them.
The average retailer is burdened with several legacy systems with little to no integration. Large retailers spend millions of dollars per year just to manage their data, and mid-sized retailers often simply lack the IT capabilities to bring their ERP, CRM, and point of sale data into a single system of record. SuiteCommerce gives these organizations the ability to immediately extend their complete product line to each and every viable sales channel, and it's going to be exciting to watch the companies that visited us transform their business before the 2014 NRF expo.
I'm confident that real change is coming to retail quickly. We didn't spend much time at all explaining the advantages of NetSuite and SuiteCommerce's approach to running a complete omnichannel retail business on a single cloud solution. Instead, we were asked, "How fast can we have it?" We are now in a world where the opportunities of multi-channel retail are available to companies of all sizes, even traditional retailers who were left out of the first waves of eCommerce development. Today change isn't scary—it's exciting, and it's available.
-Brenden Jenkins, GM of Retail & eTail Products at NetSuite