Retailers have seen a lot of rapid change in 2020. After starting the year with a sense of business-as-usual, demand quickly plummeted as shopping trends were tested by stay-at-home orders due to COVID-19. Overall retail sales dropped a combined 23% in March and April before May brought a rebound with the biggest one-month increase (17.7%) ever recorded.
Similar numbers show up in aggregate data for NetSuite customers. Across all channels, sales order volume has increased 59% year-over-year in May for retail customers. As consumers shift their needs from just immediate products like food, medicine and paper goods to the more regular activity that was happening before COVID-19 there’s been a rebound for retail brands.
Keeping up with wild swings like this is tough on any business, but retailers with systems that supply them with the insight they need to make tough, proactive decisions have an advantage. NetSuite 2020 Release 2 is designed to give retailers more insight than ever.
The latest ecommerce enhancements bring expanded themes, performance optimization and powerful analytics capabilities. Supply chain innovations include a planning repository and workbench as well as new supply allocation and risk prediction features. And new warehouse and financial management tools round out the release. Read on for a detail summary of what retailers will find in NetSuite 2020 Release 2.
- Website themes deliver an engaging ecommerce customer experience. Themes are now managed to ensure your site stays up to date with every NetSuite release with new features and functions. Additional new features include added layout flexibility, enhanced mobile user experience and multi-language support.
- Optimized performance tools and automated alerts provide simple-to understand, visual data on your web store’s activity and performance. You can identify problems and take action before issues impact your business. You can easily identify root cause of slow performance, and automated performance monitoring tracks benchmarks and detects errors and anomalies.
- On the analytics front, the new Merchandise Hierarchy Workbook enables analysis of items, inventory, sales and fulfillment data with pre-built customizable KPIs and reports. You can quickly analyze merchandise performance and view performance trends by category. Meanwhile, SuiteCommerce Behavioral Analytics lets you leverage shoppers’ behavioral data to deliver a more unified customer experience across channels.
Autonomous Supply Chain
- NetSuite’s new supply planning solution (available to customers who use NetSuite Demand Planning) has been completely re-architected, featuring a dedicated planning repository that ensures planners can make decisions based on timely and consistent information. Planners can easily monitor, firm up or release orders for approval and aggregation, review and accept action/exception messages individually or in bulk. Further, pegging information provides planners full visibility into how demand is allocated to supply.
The planning workbench slices and dices data by product line, plan, location, user-defined item categories and groups. It highlights situations that require attention, helping to prevent both shortages and excess supplies, and provides what-if analysis capabilities for simulating multiple plans.
- Intelligent predicted risk capabilities have been extended to include sales orders, providing users with greater insight into potential risks on goods not shipping on time. Purchase orders can be identified as being at risk and recommend alternate vendors based on new machine learning algorithms.
- Additional precision can be provided to supply allocation by allowing inbound shipments to be included in the allocation of supplies in context with related purchase orders. Additionally, fill rate optimization allocates existing supply to satisfy as many sales order lines as possible based on the given supply.
- NetSuite WMS now has the ability to receive, transfer and pick goods inside a location without bins, making it ideal for retailers. Retailers can now operationalize and optimize in-store fulfillment and store-to-consumer delivery processes. Retail stores and small warehouses benefit from the efficiency of hand-held picking without the overhead of managing bins.
Financial and Operational Excellence
- Invoice grouping enables the consolidation of multiple invoices into a single invoice that’s delivered to the customer, and it also allows payments accepted at the group level to be applied to individual invoices. This reduces manual grouping, ensures accurate invoices and improves cash flow by decreasing days sales outstanding.
- You can manage approvals and actions from the Employee Center by configuring an approval workflow for vendor prepayments. And users can leverage the CSV import assistant for bulk updates and imports of vendor prepayment transactions. You can also make copies of existing vendor prepayment transactions.
Learn More About NetSuite 2020 Release 2
These are just the highlights; there's much more for retailers in NetSuite 2020 Release 2 than can be covered in a single blog post. For more specifics on the complete list of new features, be sure to read the Release Notes.
New to the release process? Learn more about it here.
Finally, be sure to request access to your Release Preview account when it becomes available. There, you'll be able to see how the new features will work with your own data and get a jumpstart on maximizing the impact of NetSuite 2020 Release 2.
The preceding is intended to outline our general product direction. It is intended for information purposes only, and may not be incorporated into any contract. It is not a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions. The development, release, timing, and pricing of any features or functionality described for Oracle’s products may change and remains at the sole discretion of Oracle Corporation.