The Power of Next in Retail: Businesses Undertake the Evolution to Omnichannel

Branden Jenkins, GM of Retail, Oracle NetSuite Global Business Unit | Maggie Miller, Senior Commerce Content Manager

May 15, 2017

BUILT/ a new company created to transform the customer experience for professional builders in the UK has no shortage of challenges in getting its business up and running, not the least of which was finding a system that could support its business now and in the future.

For BUILT/ and its CEO Nick Thomas, that system was NetSuite. NetSuite, BUILT/ and other innovative retail customers shared their experiences and plans for the future during the retail industry keynote during the recent SuiteWorld 2017 conference.

With instant access to information and products at their fingertips, customer expectations are far beyond what they’ve ever been. Multi-touch, multi-channel purchases are the norm, and while most research is started online, the transaction may take place online or in-store.

In the words of Branden Jenkins, Regional VP of Retail at Oracle NetSuite Global Business Unit, “it comes down to that primary challenge – today, customer is king.”

How to deliver on today’s expectations and be prepared for next was the theme of the retail industry keynote.

It all comes down to having the right systems in place to support business operations and the customer experience. For retailers, that means a unified cloud platform that is ready to scale across all channels and business models. Retailers can then get a single source of truth for customer, order and inventory data in real time, making that data available to all existing and future front-end, customer-facing systems to provide personal, relevant and engaging experiences.

SuiteSuccess for Retail is a customer engagement model engineered to solve unique industry challenges so retailers have faster time to value, increased business efficiency, flexibility and greater customer success. SuiteSuccess(opens in new tab) follows a “stairway to heaven” approach to get customers on that path to success. Customers on various steps of the stairway took to the stage to talk about their journey.

Innovative Experiences

BUILT/ is in step one of its SuiteSuccess journey – remediate. It’s laying the foundation to run its entire business on the NetSuite unified cloud commerce platform with the focus of providing a digital-first approach around the customer by unifying the online and in-store experience.

To develop the foundation, Thomas surveyed potential customers and discovered that they wanted price consistency and transparency when buying supplies. In order to achieve that, Thomas knew he needed a solution that could surface all the data into one place, while also being flexible and scalable for long-term growth.

“We saw a way to build a business model which would reward the customer with a better experience,” Thomas said.

Being reborn in the cloud

Another NetSuite customer who successfully completed step one of its journey is Lucky Brand. The denim jean and apparel company transformed its technology environment on an 18-month deadline after a private equity firm took the company private.

Lucky Brand selected NetSuite ERP, CRM and order management as its foundational system to run its business. But the company had some other cloud-based solutions it wanted to use and connect with NetSuite. With the help of NetSuite partner, Dell Boomi, Lucky Brand was able to integrate all of its systems and is now onto becoming an omnichannel business.

“[The IT department has] been leading the way in driving the business and it feels really good to have a tool that allows us to do that,” said Kyle Pretsch, Director of Integrations and Omnichannel at Lucky Brand.

Micro-Vertical Focus to Enable Your Success

NetSuite is also focusing more deeply on subsets of the retail industry. One of its first areas of focus is Retail Apparel. With NetSuite’s long history of success in the retail segment built into a product specifically for apparel retailers, including apparel-specific functionality and leading best practices, companies will have a solid technology foundation to transform into omnichannel businesses.

For example, Toad & Co., a retailer and distributor of sustainable outdoor clothing, is on a mission to double its business in the next three years. As Kelly Milazzo, VP of Operations at Toad & Co. said on stage the company is “going all in” with NetSuite running ERP, point-of-sale(opens in new tab), and soon ecommerce(opens in new tab) on the unified platform.

“We’re bought into the omnichannel idea -- we believe that’s the future,” said Milazzo. “The 360-degree view of the customer, seamless interaction with the brand, single source of data – all the good stuff NetSuite offers is what we’re looking for.”

Milazzo said she’s counting on NetSuite to continue providing best-in-class, innovative products so they can focus on what they do best – making clothes.

To learn more about what NetSuite is doing to support the retail industry, watch the on-demand keynote session from SuiteWorld17.

NetSuite has packaged the experience gained from tens of thousands of worldwide deployments over two decades into a set of leading practices that pave a clear path to success and are proven to deliver rapid business value. With NetSuite, you go live in a predictable timeframe — smart, stepped implementations begin with sales and span the entire customer lifecycle, so there's continuity from sales to services to support.