New web store developer toolkit allows static web sites to instantly become database driven e-commerce sites
SAN MATEO, CA.—June 2, 2003—NetLedger, Inc., makers of Oracle® Small Business Suite, today announced that NetSuite, the most widely used on-line mid-market business management application, offers a new Web platform for building e-commerce applications. The new NetSuite application programming interface, called the Web Store Developer Kit (WSDK), provides companies with an easy way to convert static Web sites into dynamic database-driven e-commerce sites that are tightly integrated with their front- and back-office operations. Thus far, more than 100 companies have implemented the new WSDK standard. Several of these integrated web sites can be seen at /portal/sg/webstores_1.html. The Oracle Small Business Suite name is used under license from Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ: ORCL).
Turning a static Web site into an e-business destination—where products and prices are dynamically updated, each customer is charged their own price level and displayed their own content, inventory is tracked in real-time, orders are taken on a secure shopping cart with fraud protection, multiple warehouses are instantly notified for fulfilment, and customers can track their orders and support tickets—has been a daunting challenge for even the largest companies. It requires tying together a Web site with separate on-site systems for inventory, invoicing, shipping, customer service, contact management and document publishing. An e-commerce capable Web site can easily cost more than $100,000 to create.
The new NetSuite WSDK eliminates this problem, allowing customers to have a full e-commerce application for as little as $400 a month. More importantly, what users get is not a low-end Web store, but the holy grail of high-end Web sites—a reliable and scalable site personalised to the visitor, offering robust functionality and seamless integration.
"I have been responsible for creating database driven e-commerce sites, and only the largest companies can afford to build them," said Zach Nelson, president and CEO of NetLedger. "The WSDK is a major break-through in allowing companies of all sizes to treat their customers the way sites like Amazon.com do."
More than one hundred companies have successfully implemented the NetSuite WSDK to link NetSuite's front- and back-office functionality to their sites, automating their entire business operations. Here is what they are touting:
"Our manufacturing business had been running smoothly for years but the sales arm of our company couldn't take orders online," said Eric Forsberg, vice president at Novak Conversions, Inc. (www.novak-adapt.com), a manufacturer and dealer of custom Jeep® parts based in Logan, Utah. "We were skeptical before we looked at the NetSuite Web Store Developer Kit because we were neither database nor Web development experts. But we were at actual productive work within an hour, and once the site was deployed, we saw the orders coming in immediately. Credit card processing within NetSuite is seamless to our operations. Since the tie-in is so direct, this information is all generated automatically, dynamically and in real-time. Our site went from garden variety to professional in less time than we had budgeted. With an increasing number of our sales now flowing through the Web, it is absolutely showing up on our top line. With the affordability of NetSuite's system, it also shows up on our bottom line."
"NetLedger's Web Store is a powerful, integrated solution that allows us to focus on our products and our business instead of our back-end infrastructure," said Richard Lee, president and CEO of Bluebeam Software (www.bluebeam.com), in Pasadena, Calif. "We easily customised the Web Store to match the look and feel of our site and to function seamlessly from site to store. We have engineers on our staff who built and maintained e-commerce Web sites with a team of 10 back in the 90's. By comparison, Bluebeam has only one person spending about 20 percent of their time managing our NetLedger Web Store. This translates into a faster time to market, lower maintenance costs, and a better customer experience."
"NetSuite provides us with so much integration and automation that we are operating with half the staff of similar companies," said Tyler Smith, partner of Niche Retail, LLC (www.nicheretail.com), based in Birmingham, Mich., which operates specialty Web sites and is a leading online retailer of jogging strollers, Britax Car Seats, Escort Radar Detectors and Aero Beds. "Since 2001, we have been increasingly using NetSuite's Web Store Developer Kit to automate our eight consumer Web stores. The WSDK together with other NetSuite features such as Return authorisations and Cases are saving us thousands of man-hours and providing a better online experience for our customers. We continue to experience exponential growth (we have four more stores scheduled for launch this year) and could not have done it without NetSuite."
The Web Store Developer Kit was designed to integrate NetSuite's existing front- and back-office functionality into any Web site through an easy-to-implement HTML script/query interface. With this NetSuite application programming interface, customers are able to build customised Web sites that have full e-commerce capabilities by linking their site to NetLedger Web Store's secure shopping cart and checkout technology. The scripts provide real-time product, entity, and custom record data such as pricing, inventory, contacts or payment terms. Editing the data in NetSuite's user-friendly interface dynamically updates the information displayed on the Web site. Providing HTML scripts for insertion into an existing Web site, the Web Store Developer Kit can convert any static Web site, hosted by anyone on any platform, into a dynamic database-driven Web store that is completely integrated with NetSuite. NetSuite will soon even offer dynamic Web hosting—enabling existing sites to be transferred to NetSuite for enhanced performance, greater scripting flexibility, and customer-specific content publishing—making NetSuite the one-stop destination for all of a business' Web needs.
Advanced on-line CRM functionality includes automatic event-driven customer communication, individualised customer portals, and a complete suite of customer self-service features. The NetSuite system automatically sends e-mails to customers when an order is placed or shipped, including tracking numbers, methods of shipment. NetSuite offers the ability to embed on-line lead forms in Web sites, allowing for automation of lead capture and routing of new visitor information. NetSuite also allows customer support to be delivered on-line, either by embedding trouble-ticket forms directly on the Web site, which are then routed, or via publishing of a self-service knowledge base that Web site visitors can use to answer their own questions. In addition, NetSuite's customer centre can be tied to external Web sites, allowing customers to view their order history, review their trouble tickets, view estimates, pay invoices, or update their customer profile.
Secure Order Processing—WSDK gives access to a powerful shopping cart within NetSuite, free of charge. This shopping cart streamlines customer interactions with event-driven e-mail upon order shipment, fulfilment and lead captured. The checkout process includes secure credit card processing—including verification, authorisation and payment—with two layers of credit card fraud protection. It also includes invoicing with terms, customizable checkout and registration forms, and UPS Online® Tools. The shopping cart can accept coupons with flexible expiration terms that are tracked back to partners and marketing campaigns. The shopping cart can also associate customers to their referring partner for tracking commissions and ROI of marketing campaigns. And the shopping cart enhances customer satisfaction by remembering repeat customers' addresses and optionally credit card accounts, so data re-entry is not required.
Database-driven product and inventory management—The WSDK allows external Web sites to leverage NetSuite's advanced inventory management and shipping capabilities to process orders in real-time. Via the WSDK, the NetSuite product catalog can be leveraged to serve real-time pricing and inventory data. Cross-sells and up-sells improve sales. Inventory control settings permit disabling of back orders. Sales reduce available inventory in real-time. Mass price updates enable all prices to be simultaneously increased or decreased by a set percentage. Finally, customer-specific pricing for business-to-business customers is available to completely personalise their shopping experience.
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