NetSuite injects apps with 'upsell' features

ASP NetSuite on Thursday unveiled the latest version of its hosted applications suite with a focus on "upsell" and e-commerce functionality.

The NetCommerce Analytics feature lets users see customer behavior patterns, such as past product purchases, or even initial product selections moved to shopping carts but not purchased. Based on that data, the software can be used to launch an e-mail marketing campaign on, say, the product that found its way into the shopping cart but was never ordered.

"The theme of 10.0 is the more you know the more you sell," said Mini Peiris, director of product management for CRM and e-commerce at NetSuite.

NetSuite 10.0 contains Upsell Manager, which can automatically suggest products or services a customer would be likely to consider based on that customer's purchasing history.

According to Sheryl Kingstone, program manager at The Yankee Group, Upsell Manager represents the trend in CRM to embed analytics into the application.

"Analytics was always separate. But it doesn't add value unless you can leverage the data you have in your operational systems, and you can execute on that data," Kingstone said.

Embedding the analytics will promote a more targeted selling environment based on past customer behavior, Kingstone added.

This latest iteration also includes an e-commerce component that enables customers to integrate their Web sites with CRM and ERP applications.

"You can take your existing Web site today, put it in NetSuite, and you get a database-driven site," said Zach Nelson, CEO of NetSuite.

Nelson explained that NetSuite is able to achieve that level of ERP, CRM, and e-commerce integration because they built their service to solve that specific problem, rather than trying to piecemeal everything together.

"We spent US$60 million (on integration) so you don't have to," he said.

The integration that NetSuite provides also offers click-stream data and links with Upsell Manager.

NetSuite 10.0 also carries improvements to its dashboard that include key performance indicators, the ability to publish dashboards to specific users, and RSS for delivering content to a user's dashboard.

NetSuite 10.0 is available immediatelyand includes the NetSuite Upsell Manager at no additional charge. The NetCommerce Analytics is optional, at a cost of $199 per month.

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