The increasing number of ecommerce websites forces businesses to find something that can make them stand out from the crowd. With NetSuite SuiteCommerce, you can improve order fulfilment, increase your conversion rates, and make better decisions for your business. All of these can result in a better customer experience.
Customer experience is now a crucial element of ecommerce business strategy as it impacts customer satisfaction, retention, and long-term loyalty. In this guide I am going to explain to you the three different levels of customer experience and why it is something you have to pay attention to.
I will also delve into NetSuite’s ecommerce solution, its key features, benefits, and how it can help fast-growing businesses optimise the customer experience and how that can drive further growth by improving order fulfilment, increasing conversion rates, and enabling better decision-making.
Why Is Customer Experience In Ecommerce So Important
Customer experience begins when someone visits the landing page of a commercial website. Then it continues from the product or service pages to the checkout and payment screens. Even receiving a confirmation email of the order is part of the customer experience.
Safe to say, every ecommerce business leader must be interested in improving the customer experience.
Did you know that 73% of consumers rely on their customer experience when deciding what to buy and where to buy it? That means, if you run a slow and confusing to navigate ecommerce website with no customer support, you could lose three-fourths of potential sales to your competition.
The Three Levels Of Customer Experience
Selling popular products on your website is not enough to create a positive customer experience. To better understand the different components that contribute to a customer’s overall experience, you can breakdown the customer experience into three primary stages:
#1 Engagement – At this stage customers first engage with your business and the content on your ecommerce website. You must consider that shoppers no longer think of purchases as mere business transactions. Engaging customers at this stage means to entertain them and motivate them to interact with your company rather than your competition.
#2 Interaction – Customers must have positive impressions while interacting with your company online (e.g. browsing product pages, adding items to cart, checkout process, Order confirmation, etc.). It could mean not only having friendly live chat agents but making website navigation easy as well. And those positive interactions can translate to repeat business and customer referrals.
#3 Fulfilment – Fulfilment includes all the process steps involved in moving a product from a warehouse or distribution centre to a customer’s doorstep. And you need to fulfil orders fast and efficiently. Any unexpected delays or lack of inventory could upset consumers and make them shop elsewhere.
Unfortunately, only a few bad customer experiences are all it takes to ruin the reputation of your business: About 80% of consumers won’t do business with a company after having more than one bad experience. Then your business will need to provide at least 12 positive experiences to overcome that one bad experience.
On top of that, negative word-of-mouth spreads fast if your webshop continues to fail. People are twice as likely to post negative reviews about a bad experience than positive reviews about a good experience.
That is why you must do everything possible to provide positive customer experiences and little to no negative ones.
When your customer team receives complaints or negative reviews, they should be equipped to handle those with appropriate solutions. For example, they should be able to provide a timeline for resolution, should offer a refund or exchange or provide a discount or coupon or any other incentive to compensate for that negative experience – and hopefully make customers want to return to your website again.
Here are effective ways to make customers happy on your ecommerce website:
- Fast page loading time
- Easy-to-use navigation
- Simple text descriptions
- Descriptive images and high-resolution graphics
- Fast customer support and follow-ups
- Fast order fulfilment
Your ecommerce business could generate almost six times more revenue if you improve its customer experience. After all, positive customer experiences convert prospective customers into paid customers and create customer loyalty on a long term.
In this article, I am going to give you examples of how Oracle NetSuite ERP can help you with customer experience management and how it can give you other improvement opportunities to ensure your customers enjoy shopping with you.
Understanding NetSuite ERP For Ecommerce
NetSuite Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is a comprehensive cloud-based business management system which enables it to help fast-growing ecommerce businesses to operate more effectively and provide superior customer experience.
One integrated solution of this complex system is SuiteCommerce. NetSuite SuiteCommerce can assist in improving engagement and creating better online customer experiences for ecommerce websites to convert prospective customers and leads into actual paying customers.
By implementing SuiteCommerce, ecommerce businesses can improve their online customer experience in the following ways:
- Quickly and effortlessly build a stylish ecommerce website without any web design experience – It won’t take long before your classy online store is up and running.
- Optimise website responsiveness to be more mobile-friendly.
- Cloud access to manage your web store(s) processes and customer relationships anywhere.
- Integrate with other important solutions of NetSuite ERP to manage inventory, orders, customer support, and other critical organisational activities in real-time.
- Create an omni-solution to fully personalise the customer interactions each time they are in contract with your web store.
Some of the main features of SuiteCommerce are more complex to learn than others. So, the best approach to do is implement it gradually and focus on one feature area at a time.
NetSuite has three ecommerce solutions designed to suit the needs of any business looking to expand their online sales presence:
- SuiteCommerce SiteBuilder is rather a rudimentary ecommerce platform that provides limited options for tailoring. NetSuite has discontinued the sale of new editions of SiteBuilder but continues to provide support to its existing subscribers.
- SuiteCommerce has become the standard option for NetSuite ecommerce, providing fast-growing businesses with an easy and effective way to build a fully-featured online store.
- SuiteCommerce Advanced (SCA) is a cutting-edge enterprise-level solution that smoothly integrates with the back-end, providing a fully customised shopping experience from the initial brand interaction to the end of the consumer journey.
Now, let’s explore some of these main features in greater detail so that you can understand them better.
Key Features Of NetSuite For Ecommerce
I think it is better to overview these three solutions independently in which way I can explain to you how they can complement each other in terms of scalability, complexity, and advancement.
By doing so, you can better understand which solution or combination of solutions can best support your online store’s growth, streamline your back-end processes, and deliver the best possible customer experience.
NetSuite SiteBuilder was first made available in 2003. It was the early days of ecommerce, which meant there was relatively mild demand for it. But on the other hand, other ecommerce platforms, such as WordPress and Shopify, were not yet around.
SiteBuilder had old-fashioned capabilities by today’s standards. There was no back-end system to simplify the customisation or modification of an ecommerce store. That means, users could only edit the FTP files of the website to make even minor changes to the website functions and design.
New NetSuite users can no longer apply for SiteBuilder because it is slowly getting phased out. But in the era of advanced ecommerce solutions, it is still surprising to see that a considerable number of websites still continue to operate on legacy NetSuite Sitebuilder.
NetSuite has made SuiteCommerce the new default choice for ecommerce. It comes with drag-and-drop website design tools and pre-designed templates to streamline the creation process. If you have ever used online web design tools like Wix or Weebly, then you understand the concept of visual-based web design. Basically, you could have a new ecommerce website created within minutes.
On the other hand, if your business has experienced web development capacity, you might not find the customisation options enough.
But if such skills are not in your team, or if you just want to focus more time on developing the business process side, you and your team will appreciate spending less time on building your ecommerce website with SuiteCommerce.
I found the primary benefits of SuiteCommerce as follows:
- Drag-and-drop website design tools
- Supports search engine optimization (SEO)
- Compatible with Google Analytics to track website analytical data
- Built-in sales and marketing tools (e.g., coupons, social sharing, cross-selling, upselling)
- Responsive website designs for mobile and desktop users
- Faster loading times with the integrated content delivery network (CDN)
- Perfect both for Business-to-Consumer and Business-to-Business transactions
- And for sure, SuiteCommerce integrates with other NetSuite tools
If you are new to ecommerce or just starting your business on a limited budget, the standard version of SuiteCommerce is the best option. The price is $2,499 monthly for unlimited access to these NetSuite SuiteCommerce tools through the cloud platform.
The standard SuiteCommerce has an enterprise option for businesses that need a more extensive version of the software.
SuiteCommerce Advanced, or SCA, is geared toward companies who have web developer capacities with advanced coding skills, because it allows your business to access and edit the central coding of the ecommerce website. That way you can fully customise any functions or design features you would like creating a completely unique customer experience to your visitors.
SuiteCommerce Advanced supports back-end integration to design that fully personalised customer experience. As soon as visitors first communicate with your brand, you can provide them with a strong and competitive experience catering to their interests and demands.
Key features of the SuiteCommerce Advanced include:
- Full access to the website coding for advanced edits
- Advanced support of search engine optimisation (SEO)
- Website extensions and add-on features available to enhance functionality
- Contains advanced sales and marketing tools (e.g.: coupons, gift cards, cross-selling, upselling, invoicing)
- Creates fully responsive website designs for mobile and desktop users
- Fast international loading times with the integrated content delivery network (CDN)
- Supports guest checkouts (not requiring account signups for purchases)
- Drag-and-drop visual-based website editing
- Connects to Google Analytics website data tracking
- Provides advanced web content management functionalities like product comparisons, faceted and elasticsearch engine, or shopping cart saving function.
- Ability to set products by different currencies, create international customs documents, shipping prices, tax rates, and translate to various languages
- Supports to sell multiple brands
- Suitable both for Business-to-Consumer and Business-to-Business companies
- And of course, SuiteCommerce Advanced also natively integrates with other NetSuite tools (CRM, Order Management, Inventory Management, Finance)
SuiteCommerce Advanced is perfect for experienced teams or fast-growing ecommerce businesses with high volume of transactions, customers, and inventory to manage and process. You can enjoy the benefits of the SuiteCommerce Advanced version for $4,999 monthly.
Benefits Of Using NetSuite For Ecommerce
Safe to say, NetSuite SuiteCommerce offers everything a fast-growing ecommerce business needs to manage the business, such as customer service, marketing, order management, inventory management, POS, finance, etc. As a result, this comprehensive solution eliminates the need to integrate with other third-party business management solutions.
SuiteCommerce makes it easy to scale your business to any size necessary. You may not have much inventory initially, but you can always add more as your business grows. SuiteCommerce lets you add thousands of products to your online store and manage them from any location.
Furthermore, you can continuously improve your website’s performance and conversion rates with fine tuning the filtering capabilities or site navigation. Your company will save time, money, and resources on optimising the customer navigation path of the website right through SuiteCommerce rather than other external tools.
SuiteCommerce provides vast convenience and flexibility by being native on NetSuite and I believe that makes it a must-have above a certain business volume. Start-up businesses can choose the standard version for easy website creation, while those with established and high volume commercial activity can create more custom functions with the advanced version.
You are probably thinking: “OK, but how do I drive traffic to my ecommerce website?” SuiteCommerce has advanced SEO tools to help you optimise the search engine ranking of your product pages or any other important landing pages.
For example, the platform contains pre-installed meta description and product description features to simplify the SEO setup of all pages. You can edit the meta tags, meta title, and meta description and set SEO-friendly URLs for all pages. Also, to increase the click-through rates, you can add Schema markup.
It won’t take long before your ecommerce website’s pages achieve higher rank on the search results pages of Google and Bing.
So, is SuiteCommerce the right ecommerce website management tool for you? Let’s review the pros and cons:
- Linking front-end and back-end systems to improve transparency and customer experiences on your website
- Supports to create compelling product promotions and email marketing campaigns to upsell to your loyal customer base
- Includes advanced ecommerce tools and features, such as customer reviews & ratings, dynamic imaging, multi-image views, quick views, etc
- Supports selling products in multiple currencies, handles custom requirements, shipping prices, tax rates, and wide range of languages
- Responsive website design that adapts to the screen sizes, browsers, and operating systems of the most common mobile and desktop devices
- Friendly customer service representatives ready to assist you
- Comprehensive documentation
- Requires integration with NetSuite Enterprise Resource Planning System
- Website content management has rather standard features and solutions
- No fixed prices – You pay based on the modules and features selected
- It takes some time to understand and learn all the functions of the platform
I believe there are more pros than cons to the SuiteCommerce platform. Therefore, every fast-growing ecommerce business should consider investing in a SuiteCommerce subscription to support their businesses to even greater levels.
Optimising The Customer Experience With NetSuite Ecommerce
Many ecommerce businesses think low prices and quality products are the only ways to attract customers. These are important factors for sure, but a quality customer experience is even more important. Research shows that 86% of online consumers will pay even higher prices for products if they can have a higher customer experience.
An excellent online customer experience reflects well on your brand’s performance too. Consumers will begin connecting your brand with their good experience doing business with your company. So, if you generate positive customer experiences, you will build more loyal customers to your brand. That is how you grow your ecommerce business and stay competitive in an overcrowded marketplace.
Every customer experience matters, such as:
- Website loading time
- Navigating and shopping on the website
- Communicating with sales representatives
- Payment options and processing
- Text or email notifications
- Customer support assistance
Now let’s see how NetSuite SuiteCommerce can help you to perfect all of these elements and build long term brand loyalty.
Integration Of Customer Data
As I mentioned above, NetSuite SuiteCommerce integrates all the critical features of the software platform, such as Enterprise Resource Planning, Inventory Management, Order Management and Customer Relations Management.
This comprehensive system integration allows you to track all of your orders, every customer record, the available inventory status and all other business critical company information in real-time. And since SuiteCommerce runs on a cloud base, all of your sales teams, customer support representatives and other key employees will have access to a ‘single source of truth’ information.
This way SuiteCommerce will help you to achieve the following key benefits:
- Automatically synchronise all real-time customer data and business information even from numerous ecommerce platforms to your NetSuite ERP
- Track customer activities across all channels, such as their interactions with staff and behaviours on the website
- Then use this information to create a single view customer dashboard
- Create personalised customer profiles and discover buyer personas
- Improve the targeting parameters your marketing campaigns
- Execute highly customised upsell or cross-sell campaigns based on customer activities and behaviours
- Create special promotion campaigns
- Fulfil customer orders faster and on schedule
- Address the needs of customers easier and faster
- Share customer profiles and real-time activity information with other members of your company
- Save money on customer management
Any ecommerce business with a mid size or bigger team will benefit from SuiteCommerce. Staff members can use it to easily share and evaluate real-time customer information and understand specific customer needs and desires. Overall, your team will have the data and toolset necessary to provide the best customer experience possible.
Automated Order Management
NetSuite SuiteCommerce has an advanced order management system for satisfying the increasing customer expectations and improving company profits. It lets you easily manage sales orders, inventory and deliveries by integrating all the finance, fulfilment, and sales functions in one location. With that, you can streamline the whole order management process to deliver even faster to your customers.
SuiteCommerce provides omnichannel experience allowing buyers to purchase from anywhere, even in international relation. The platform gives you numerous fulfilment options including store fulfilment, warehouse shipping, subscriptions and drop shipping.
The automated order management tools give you end-to-end support: From validating orders and sending confirmations to customers when orders are shipped and delivered. With SuiteCommerce you will maintain transparency and clear communication with the customers to provide a high-quality customer experience.
Real-time Inventory Management
The NetSuite Inventory Management lets you track all your company’s inventory in real-time at physical locations, sub-locations, and other relevant location categories you determine. Some companies subdivide their primary physical locations to allow precise and accurate inventory tracking.
You can decide whether subdividing is better for your inventory management needs or not. Either way, the system will let you know the total real-time inventory levels at every location.
Knowing inventory levels is critical for fulfilling orders and enhancing customer experiences. NetSuite Inventory Count function gives you complete and accurate access to your current inventory levels. It categorises inventory items according both to their value and volume. That helps you to reduce overhead costs, lower safety stock level, and refill stock only when needed.
NetSuite provides you complex inventory and stocking planning calculations in a completely automated way. For accurate stock management, your team can have real-time visibility on the optimal stocking levels, re-order locations, lead times, and they can have suggestions by inventory items.
Needless to say, in SuiteCommerce you can track products by SKU numbers to review all the details about them through the entire sales cycle.
Integration with Payment Processors
Every ecommerce transaction requires a payment processor system to collect and transfer a customer’s payment securely. Third-party companies are usually the ones that provide integrated payment processing to ecommerce businesses. Perhaps the two most popular third-party payment processors are Stripe and PayPal in the market.
Think of a payment processor as a broker or middle person between your company and the customers. The processor verifies the payment and transfers the funds to the seller’s payment processing account.
No one at your company ever sees the customer’s sensitive payment information because it processes through the third-party payment processing company. That way, it creates a more secure transaction for the customer.
Customers can submit online payments by providing the payment processors with their credit card numbers, debit card numbers, and bank account information (ACH). Some payment processors even process cryptocurrency payments too.
NetSuite SuiteCommerce is compatible with most of the world’s biggest and most widely used payment processors. They include the following:
PayPal – I am sure you recognize the PayPal payment processor as millions of online consumers and businesses have used it for decades now. Once customers create a PayPal account and submit their payment information, they can make purchases on your ecommerce website without submitting their payment details to you. This gives customers a greater sense of security.
Stripe – Another popular online payment processor, considered as a viable alternative to PayPal. Once you integrate your Stripe account with NetSuite, you will be able to import all transactional information to have them in one location. It even has the capability to automate the process for generating invoices after orders are submitted.
Authorize.Net – It derives from a standard API integration feature, so you can set it up with your web shop easily and quickly. It comes with supportive features like international currency acceptance, fraud detection & notification, and recurring customer billing.
Solupay – One-click is all it takes to integrate Solupay with your SuiteCommerce website. Then you can manage customer invoices and billing statements from the same platform.
Braintree – A payment processor both for web and mobile payments. PayPal acquired Braintree in 2013, so it operates under PayPal’s leadership now. The processor lets customers perform immediate one-touch payment submissions with international currency support.
CyberSource – The company belongs to the payment giant Visa which makes them a unique payment processor offering advanced data security and fraud management features.
SuitePayments – NetSuite’s native payment gateway also accepts a wide range of online payment types including debit cards, credit cards, ACH payments like e-checks, and cryptocurrency (Bitcoin). By being an integrated solution, with SuitePayments you can manage all online payment related activities from a single platform.
Personalised Customer Experiences
One of the commercially most significant features of SuiteCommerce Advanced is ecommerce personalization. Now you can customise web pages to feature content relevant to an individual customer’s preferences and user characteristics. That way your customers will see products and special offers that most probably pique their interest.
As a result, customers can have a much better chance of making purchases on your website because they will see products that interest them. It is a dream come true for an ecommerce business manager.
SuiteCommerce Advanced provides Site Management Tools Areas and Merchandising Zones to create and grow personalised experiences for customers. Use the SuiteCommerce Product Merchandising App to establish merchandising webpage zones for upsells and cross-sells according to specific consumer behaviour and filters.
For instance, suppose you own an online office supplies store and you set up a merchandising zone promoting ink and toner offers. If an online customer filters the search for the keyword “printer” or “printing” on your website, the merchandising zone containing your ink and toner seasonal offers will show up on the customer’s search results screen.
This is just a simple example, but as the website manager, you have complete control over the product merchandising rules based on any other customers’ actions on your website. It’s more up to your commercial acumen or sales creativity.
In the Site Management Tools Area you can define where specific content is displayed on your web pages, contents such as unique HTML codes, text content, photos, images, and for sure the Merchandising Zones.
You can define these scoping options to showcase the specific content on a single page, all pages, or on particular page types. To keep the above example, you can set a specific promo code to only show to customers who visit the “HP Printers” category page.
Customisable Shopping Cart
If you spent some time managing an ecommerce website, I am sure you already realised that more customers abandon their shopping carts than complete their orders.
It is understandable because many potential customers merely browse websites for the best prices on their favourite products. Think of it as the online version of window shopping. Some people are just simply not ready to buy.
As an ecommerce manager or business owner, you must find a way to bring those potential customers back after abandoning their online shopping carts. One way is to send them personalised reminders or further information to motivate them to finish their purchase.
Have your personalised shopping cart in NetSuite send automated email reminders to customers who abandon their shopping carts. And if you need to give them an incentive to complete their purchase, the system includes an exclusive coupon code in the email. You can specify the promo code as a limited-time opportunity that expires.
NetSuite also lets you search manually for customers who have abandoned their shopping carts. Then you can target them directly and send further personalised messages above the automated ones about the products in their shopping carts.
When you bring customers to the checkout screen, it can be a quick single-page checkout or a multi-page checkout with additional options and offers presented to customers.
The checkout page can accept credit cards, debit cards, gift cards, and promotional codes. Many customers prefer a faster checkout process where they can submit their payment on the first checkout page.
SuiteCommerce Shopping Cart is also capable of providing shipping estimates right in the order summary section which nowadays I believe is a must customer experience factor for every advanced ecommerce website.
SuiteCommerce allows unregistered guests to complete their checkouts without requiring them to register for an account on your website. They can always register later if they wish to track their orders themselves.
In NetSuite SuiteCommerce the shopping process is secured end-to-end by HTTPS support to establish secure payment transactions on your ecommerce website. The security includes real-time multilevel fraud protection and PCI DSS-compliant credit card processing. Simply integrate your shopping cart with your preferred payment processor and let them handle the rest.
Streamlined Customer Service
With the NetSuite ERP System in the background, SuiteCommerce gives you all the necessary tools that are needed to provide fast and efficient customer service. By using a single platform, you can manage all your company’s customer support, marketing campaigns, financial data, sales orders, warehousing and inventory activities from an integrated cockpit.
SuiteCommerce monitors customer engagement by tracking the shopping cart activities and contents and studies buying habits to create a more personalised online store. The system can collect your customer’s specific interactions and behaviours to produce comprehensive customer profiles around their interests and actions.
As a result, you will increase the lifetime value of your customers because you can address customer concerns much quicker, fulfil orders efficiently, increase sales conversions, and even identify up-sell or cross-sell opportunities. The best part is that you can do this throughout numerous countries or regions, different channels and in many web stores associated with your ecommerce business.
Driving Growth with NetSuite Ecommerce
NetSuite SuiteCommerce has a comprehensive variety of advanced ecommerce tools to expedite the growth and scale of your business. Here are the top three ways it can help you drive ecommerce growth:
Improve Order Fulfilment
Customers become loyal based on the quality of a company’s order fulfilment. If you want your online business to stand out from the competition, it must surpass customer expectations regarding order fulfilment.
And to achieve that, your business needs functionalities like automated order tracking and notifications, integration with third-party logistics (3PL), faster and more cost-effective shipping options. Overall, every fast-growing ecommerce business needs a robust and scalable ecommerce platform.
NetSuite SuiteCommerce’s Order Management System allows buyers to purchase and return products quickly and easily. You can choose from different fulfilment options through the system, such as drop shipping, in-store, warehouse, and subscription programmes.
In the system all orders are trackable on the order lifecycle dashboards to ensure fast and efficient delivery of all ordered items.
Increase Conversion Rates
Converting visitors into paying customers is the essence of ecommerce. But when people browse your product pages and add products to their online shopping carts, they don’t always take the final step to complete their purchases.
So, next time how do you get customers to complete their checkouts and complete their purchases?
Customer research is the most significant Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) tool. SuiteCommerce is a platform that has the necessary data to review your customer’s behaviours and information, and to understand how they interact on each page of your website. With such analysis in your hand, you can incorporate targeted conversion techniques on each page.
If customer data is not available or insufficient, you can use another effective tool for optimising conversions: You can run A/B testing, which works comparing two different versions of a web page or other conversion element to prove which one performs better. You can see which version of a website or specific element of a website (layout, text, or images) generates the most clicks, sign-ups, or sales overall.
You can find multiple A/B testing tools to use, such as Google Optimize, Optimizely, or VWO. These tools can be integrated with NetSuite SuiteCommerce to increase your conversion rates but you may start with Google Optimize.
Make Better Decisions
The available size and scope of analytical data should significantly impact how you manage your ecommerce website.
For example, SuiteCommerce Analytics Data Tool tracks customer behaviour information on your online store using cookies. That creates a significant amount of data with many possible customer action scenarios. Then you and your team can review this to make better, data driven business decisions.
The SuiteCommerce Analytics Data Tool can help you develop better sales strategies and marketing campaigns with appealing content to the customer visiting your store the most. Your company’s sales agents and marketing managers can benefit from this information when deciding on critical tactics like product advertising and pricing.
Wrapping It Up
NetSuite is a robust cloud-based platform with all the features needed to manage your fast-growing ecommerce business and continuously improve customer experience in it. And providing an excellent customer experience in ecommerce is crucial for any business in a highly competitive market.
Understanding the key features and benefits of NetSuite’s ecommerce solutions, both SuiteCommerce and SuiteCommerce Advanced, can help you make a wise decision on how to improve the customer experience in your webshop. While SuiteCommerce has many pros, such as back-end integration and advanced ecommerce tools and features, some of them can be cons if your business is not the right fit for it.
By integrating customer data, automating fulfilment tracking, and having real-time inventory management, your businesses can design highly personalised customer experiences through customisable content, personalised shopping carts, and streamlined customer service.
That superior customer experience will drive your business growth by increasing conversion rates and enabling better decision-making. With its many benefits, NetSuite ERP can help your ecommerce business stay ahead in the game and provide an constantly exceptional customer experience.