The hyped-up heyday of e-commerce may have come and gone, but service offerings remain for companies that want to take advantage of the Web as a sales channel. Hosted business application service provider NetSuite Inc. late last week announced Version 10 of its namesake application service with special features intended to support e-commerce activities such as support for up-selling and Web site visitor analytics.
Separately, a new ASP, Demandware Inc., of Woburn, Mass., launched early this month. Led by President and CEO Stephan Schambach, who founded e-commerce pioneer Intershop Communications AG, Demandware is developing a hosted, customizable e-commerce service for retailers and manufacturers thats due to become generally available by the first quarter of next year.
NetSuite, best known for its hosted ERP (enterprise resource planning) and CRM (customer relationship management) application services, is used by more than 100 of its customers to manage their online storefronts. New features in NetSuite 10 cater to those customer needs, including an Upsell Manager, which suggests products or services that a customer is likely to buy based on past purchase history—a staple of e-commerce. Version 10 also features NetCommerce Analytics, which analyzes customer or prospect behavior at a Web site, such as pages viewed and search terms entered on a per-customer or per-prospect basis.
"The Web site is still the most disconnected customer interface at most companies," said Zach Nelson, CEO of NetSuite, in San Mateo, Calif. Nelson said NetSuites service can connect the Web with its hosted order management, inventory management and CRM applications.
JRs Sports Collectibles Inc. is running part of its Sportstation.com Web site on NetSuite, said JRs chief operating officer, Matt Bowen. NetSuite provides JR with integrated order management, inventory management, customer service and partner relationship management for its online retail, catalog mail order, bricks-and-mortar retail and wholesale businesses, said Bowen, in Anaheim, Calif.
"Now we have the technology in place to expand into all those areas without having to add new personnel," Bowen said, adding that NetSuite allows JR to automate processes such as manual order entry.