As commerce continues to evolve at the speed of light, there is a greater need for innovation and agility than ever before. That kind of ingenuity was on display at SuiteWorld18, NetSuite’s annual user conference in Las Vegas.
The biggest news was the release of SuiteCommerce(opens in new tab), NetSuite’s newest ecommerce software, which allows businesses to easily launch, manage and enhance their ecommerce websites, and the Commerce Extension Framework, which empowers business users to add new functionality to their online store with just a few clicks.
But the stars of the show were a diverse group of companies who use NetSuite’s ecommerce software(opens in new tab) to provide great experiences across all channels that meet shifting customer expectations and drive success. These customers included pure-play ecommerce companies and omnichannel businesses with brick-and-mortar stores that sell B2C, B2B and both.
Here’s a quick recap of some of the most interesting commerce-related sessions from the show:
Reimagining customer experiences
Three distinctly different companies talked about how they are melding digital and physical experiences to gain an edge over the competition. Tony Drockton, CEO of luxury handbag company Hammitt(opens in new tab), said his company throws extravagant events and partners with social influencers to not only engage current customers, but expose new shoppers to the brand. Outdoor Voices(opens in new tab) VP of Technology Kevin Harwood explained that the apparel retailer wants to become a community hub with yoga classes and group runs. And Devin Becker detailed how his B2B company, Becker Safety and Supply(opens in new tab), hosts an annual safety expo and utilizes social media to increase customer engagement, which translates to more sales for the distributor of safety supplies and equipment.
The Duck Store builds for the future
The Duck Store(opens in new tab) is the bookstore for the University of Oregon and carries a wide variety of merchandise – textbooks, apparel, electronics, art and school supplies and more. It has 13 stores across the state and a growing online business. Its niche, legacy solutions could not provide the best-in-class customer experience it sought. That led The Duck Store to replace its disparate systems with a single platform that unifies point-of-sale, ecommerce, financials, inventory and order management. The result is a thriving omnichannel retailer(opens in new tab) that satisfies students, professors and Duck fans no matter where they purchase items.
Regina Andrew Design brings an online B2C experience to B2B
Regina Andrew Design(opens in new tab) sells its unique home décor and home furnishings goods exclusively to interior designers, small retailers and large chains like Neiman Marcus and Macy’s. But the online shopping experience for its B2B buyers is comparable to leading direct-to-consumer sites. The Regina Andrew web store(opens in new tab) features photo galleries, detailed product descriptions, real-time availability information and rich search functionality. By putting itself in the customers’ shoes, Regina Andrew made improvements that increased online order volume and average session time while lowering bounce rate.
Improving SEO for your ecommerce site
SEO best practices are always evolving, and SEO expert Diego Gallo outlined the newest factors affecting Google search rankings, including HTTPS encryption, mobile-first indexing and fast site performance. He also noted that your content must be relevant, keyword-focused and technically optimized with metadata and schema markup to climb up the rankings. DIY Home Center’s(opens in new tab) Amelia Smith then showed how these SEO recommendations helped her ecommerce company reach a larger audience, increase unique page views and lower bounce rates.
Maximizing revenue from your high-value customers
With data siloed across multiple systems, socially-conscious apparel retailer Toad & Co.(opens in new tab) struggled to take advantage of the data it collected. Now, the retailer finds, analyzes, and acts on data it aggregates from NetSuite and other systems like Google Analytics and email service providers. Toad & Co. uses that information to organize clients into tiers based on dollars spent and number of orders, then targets them with appropriate emails, social ads and paid search listings highlighting products similar to or related to previous purchases. That has led to major spikes in online conversion rate, average order value and revenue per email sent, moving lower-tier customers up the pyramid.
Personalized commerce in the cloud
The cloud presents a tremendous opportunity for companies because it brings together data from numerous sources, analytics and much more, said Mark Fitzgerald, COO of point-of-sale supplies distributor POS Supply Solutions(opens in new tab). Fitzgerald noted this single source of information in the cloud makes it possible to build personalized experiences, and 44 percent of consumers are more likely to become repeat buyers after such a targeted experience. POS Supply moved from Magento to SuiteCommerce Advanced to centralize its data(opens in new tab) and provide those personalized experiences – for example, the third time someone visits a product page, it triggers an email with a promo code. These insights helped POS improve conversion rate, repeat buyer rate and revenue per email.
Optimizing site search
Site search can be a tremendous asset to your ecommerce website – when it works as intended. DC Dental CFO/COO Howie Friedman explained how the supplier of dental supplies and equipment uses data and logic within NetSuite to provide the most relevant search results that drive conversions. Returning customers can also see previously ordered items on the DC Dental site(opens in new tab) to ensure they’re choosing the right item. Kabir Merali, NetSuite Search product manager, also reviewed common search configuration mistakes, like not including related search terms in item data and over-using “fuzzy” search matching.
Didn’t make it to SuiteWorld18? Watch the highlights video(opens in new tab).