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NetSuite acquires Retail Anywhere

By Retail Technology | Thursday January 10 2013

Enables cloud-based software provider to extend multichannel commerce suite into store point-of-sale

NetSuite, a provider of on-demand finance and enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, revealed plans to target instore operations with its first retail IT acquisition.

The cloud-based IT provider has been building a strong customer base made up of small-to-midsized online retailers with the evolution of its SuiteCommerce platform for managing multiple customer touchpoints in both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) environments.

Now this deal to buy Retail Anywhere for an undisclosed sum is designed to deliver the industry’s first integrated cloud business suite for retailers. The fellow US-based supplier is also an existing NetSuite SuiteCloud Developer Network (SDN) partner, offering its point-of-sale (PoS) SuiteApp for NetSuite.

The PoS SuiteApp can run on traditional PoS hardware as well as Apple iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch mobile devices.

Cross-channel shopping integration

Andy Lloyd, NetSuite general manager of commerce products, said that by adding an instore solution to SuiteCommerce, NetSuite is enabling merchants to meet their customers’ demands for cross-channel shopping integration.

Speaking exclusively to Retail Technology, Lloyd explained that the acquisition provides NetSuite with three key components. “First, is direct collaboration on the product that can result in deeper integration and the ability to support cross channel shoppers better. Rather than having two companies with a similar vision we will be building a single unified product on the combined technology foundation,” he said.

“Second, Retail Anywhere brings NetSuite a talented management team with a deep knowledge of the retail industry, built on 30 years of retail experience from Retail Anywhere. Finally, by acquiring Retail Anywhere, NetSuite will be able to better support the tremendous global demand for the combined solution in a manner that would have been difficult for Retail Anywhere as a standalone company.”

“In a retail industry where most widely-deployed PoS solutions were developed before the web browser existed, there is a tremendous market opportunity for solutions that enable retail operations for the mobile, consumer environment,” added Branden Jenkins, Retail Anywhere chief executive, who now joins NetSuite as general manager of its retail products business unit.

Competing with best-of-breed providers

Strategically, Lloyd believes the acquisition positions NetSuite as a credible alternative for multichannel to traditional, best-of-breed providers. “Retailers have been struggling with a mish-mash of systems to support their instore, e-commerce and operational needs, and in many cases have given up on the hope that they would be able to support shoppers’ increasing demands for integrated online and instore experiences,” he said.

Lloyd added: “Retail Anywhere’s SaaS [software-as-a-service] PoS offering provides NetSuite users with software that empowers retailers and their associates with the tools and information they need to delight customers and maximise sales at every visit. But, beyond instore, in the years ahead NetSuite expects to significantly deepen its overall retail functionality to better support retailer specific needs like assortment planning and retail method of accounting.

Having reportedly been deployed to some 30 accounts last year, the Retail Anywhere technology is now available in the US, UK and Australia as a component of the NetSuite SuiteCommerce platform. It will be showcased at the National Retail Federation annual trade show in New York next week.

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