NetSuite reveals first multi-billion retail customer
Cloud software company enables high-end American kitchen and homewares retailer to launch four different branded stores and e-commerce websites in record time
The US retailer, which last year made over $4bn (£2.6bn) in revenue, attended the cloud-based financials, enterprise resource planning (ERP) and commerce software firm Netsuite's third annual customer conference taking place in San Jose today to discuss the launch.
John Strain, the retailer's chief information officer (CIO), said the company evaluated a number of different alternatives to support its international growth ambitions before deciding on NetSuite's "retail in a box" package.
Retail in the cloud
"We looked at building out our existing systems or buying a new best-of-breed package, but looked at the retail-in-a-box offering of NetSuite, which is also part of an entire suite of ERP," he said.
The retailer went live 2 May on NetSuite SuiteCommerce to power four newly-launched and individually-branded e-commerce storefronts for four of its brands in Australia, combined with NetSuite Retail Anywhere point of sale (PoS) as the till system for four new retail stores in the Bondi Junction suburb of Sydney.
Consistent brand experience
Strain said that, with 46% of Williams-Sonoma's domestic business generated from direct-to-consumer sales, the company wanted "the customer to be able to experience our brands in the same way as they would in the US".
Speaking about the e-commerce websites launched simultaneously in complement to the stores, he added: "They had to be pixel-perfect. And, while we had to go out to market with everything in place, they are pixel 'pretty darn good'. And some of the features and functionality are better than our domestic sites."
Strain also cited time to market and risk mitigation as additonal benefits. "Being cloud-based, I didn't have to own hardware or worry about security or patching. This gave us a fast implementation time versus a three-year cycle: we were live in 10 months, with e-commerce live in three months."