While buying pretty much anything online feels like the norm, it hasn’t always been like this. (Gasp!) Amazon, the obvious example, paved the way for e-commerce as we know it today and led to what has been dubbed “the Amazon effect”—a massive shift in consumer behavior, habits, and expectations. A couple of decades later, online shopping continues to grow even more popular amidst a global pandemic. Many small businesses need to pivot their strategies to include an e-commerce option.
While we can’t predict the future, we can learn from the past and be prepared for rapid and unexpected changes. Here are a few reasons why NetSuite is the best e-commerce platform for small businesses.
Built to Help Small Businesses Grow
As a small business, preparing for rapid growth might not be in your purview just yet. Growth can mean different things for different companies—an expanded product line, ramping up in production to meet demand, hiring additional staff, international sales, merging with another organization, etc.—and it can happen when you least expect it.
To succeed in today’s competitive marketplace, you need to be prepared to pivot and tackle growing pains head-on quickly. If you’re relying on entry-level accounting software or manual processes, you might find yourself caught off guard and playing a tiresome game of catch up. The term ‘ERP’ sounds intimidating and might even seem like a luxury—one that your small business can’t afford. But the truth is, as cliche as it sounds, you can’t afford to run your business without a collaborative, integrated solution.
NetSuite was built to help businesses scale with growth. Start small with SuiteSuccess (industry-specific solutions) and expand with as many optional modules as you find your business needing to stay on top. No additional hardware or programming is required.
Bottom line: The biggest mistake you can make is letting yourself believe that NetSuite is too sophisticated for your small (for now) business.
Unifies Online and In-Store Experiences
Despite the insane growth of e-commerce, there are still a lot of small businesses that don’t have e-commerce functionality on their websites. For small businesses experiencing growth, customers expect a seamless shopping experience between brick-and-mortar and online.
Whether you are planning to establish or improve your online presence, NetSuite SuiteCommerce makes it easy to capitalize on both your online and offline operations. B2B or B2C, NetSuite allows you to convert more customers through the modern e-comm experiences you value as a consumer: robust search, item quick views, wish lists, real-time inventory visibility, the ability to reserve an item in-store, “save for later” shopping cart options, and more.
Sure, you can get all of that with most mainstream e-commerce solutions, so what makes NetSuite special? NetSuite SuiteCommerce is the best e-commerce platform for a small business because it unifies in-person and online shopping experiences via a single, cloud-based commerce platform natively integrated with core financials and other critical back-office functions, including inventory, order management, and customer support. One system, one single view of your customers.
Recurring Subscription Management
As an online retailer, one way to boost your revenue stream is to offer a subscription program. This helps to cut down on customer acquisition fees and dramatically improves customer retention, all the while allowing you to pass some of the savings onto your customer through “subscribe and save” discounts. Win-win!
Before you say, “subscriptions don’t make sense for our business!” think again. While it’s true that not all businesses are fit for subscriptions, we’ve seen some pretty wacky ones—so take some time to think about which of your offerings could be positioned as a recurring purchase. And remember, they don’t have to be part of a themed box to be a subscription.
Of course, to run an effective and successful subscription program, you need to have the system in place to automate the billing, start to finish. SuiteCommerce Order Management provides continuity and subscription order management capabilities allowing you to put the program on autopilot. Unlike other popular e-commerce platforms, these capabilities are native to NetSuite and do not require integrating disparate, third-party solutions. (We’re starting to sound like a broken record, aren’t we?) In the case your subscription billing needs are a bit more complex, our Built-for-NetSuite Native SuiteApp 360 Subscription Billing provides high-volume processing, robust subscription change capabilities, and revenue recognition compliance.
Boosts IT Capabilities Without the Overhead
Typically, small businesses don’t have, require, or even desire an extensive IT footprint. Understandably, it can seem a little overwhelming. While expanding into e-commerce does require an investment into additional software, many small business owners have concerns about the resources necessary to maintain it. Perhaps one of the most significant advantages of NetSuite for a small business is getting all of the functionality you need—financials, e-commerce, warehouse/inventory management, fulfillment, etc.—with minimal, and in some cases no, hardware and IT support. And, you guessed, those functionalities are all integrated seamlessly.
While we don’t want to give you the impression that NetSuite is completely autonomous, its automation, ease of customization, and expansive portfolio of native modules make it an ideal platform for a small business to scale with, without relying on developers and a fully staffed IT department. In fact, by switching to NetSuite, a study⁺ found that IT support costs are reduced by 40-65%.
Concerned about choosing between costly updates and getting stuck with legacy systems? NetSuite’s twice-a-year, automatic updates ensure all customers are running the latest version, keeping businesses up-to-date with the latest innovations and helping them stay competitive.
Another perk of NetSuite’s true cloud solution is the built-in availability, security, and compliance measures that flow through to every native module and connected SuiteApp, relieving small business owners of the worries that come with e-commerce like digital payments, data breaches, and up-time.
So, what does all this mean? NetSuite might not be the first software to come to mind when looking for an e-commerce platform. But the reality is, to run and grow a thriving e-commerce channel, the best results will come from having all of your functions integrated and supported by a platform built to grow.
The scalability, flexibility, and customizability of NetSuite make it the best e-commerce platform for a small business — whether a start-up or well-established and seeking to expand your reach, NetSuite is the only system you need.
⁺Source: SL Associates Study, Cloud-Based Business Solutions Suite Delivers Key Performance Improvements