SuiteCommerce

What is SuiteCommerce? And why is it the best NetSuite ecommerce option?

If you have NetSuite ERP, you know that there is power to having all your data in a single location. This page goes through key areas of the SuiteCommerce module to help you understand why it beats Shopify Plus, Magento, and other ecommerce platform options. Since SuiteCommerce requires NetSuite ERP, we make the assumption that you are either implementing NetSuite or already have NetSuite as an platform. In our changing world, we have seen dramatic increase in online sales over the past year. A major shift to online shopping has been occurring for the last decade, but the most recent world events have put more pressure on organizations to change earlier than expected. By the end of this page, we hope that you will be more informed to make an ecommerce decision. If you want to get a demo of SuiteCommerce and how it works, then schedule a demo with our NetSuite solutions consultants.

Want a SuiteCommerce demo? Contact our team and get your free design mockup to help envision your webstore!

What is SuiteCommerce?

What is SuiteCommerce
What is SuiteCommerce?

What is SuiteCommerce: Video Summary

SuiteCommerce is NetSuite's flagship ecommerce platform that is pre-integrated into the ERP. These means that companies don't need to pay for an integration between an ecommerce platform and NetSuite. 

For example, if you were to purchase Shopify Plus as your ecommerce platform, you would need to pay approximately $5000 per year for the connection between Shopify and NetSuite. You would also need to pay for the implementation of the connection (mapping data).

If you had SuiteCommerce, you would not need to pay for this connection or the implementation of the mapping. SuiteCommerce comes unified with order and inventory management, CRM, and ERP.

NetSuite ERP drives the ecommerce experience which means that having total access to your ERP data is essential to scaling your ecommerce solution. Since SuiteCommerce is built by NetSuite for NetSuite, all the data is accessible so that your ecommerce solution can change as your business changes. You won't hit a roadblock keeping you from optimizing the ecommerce user experience for both B2B and B2C.

Difference Between SuiteCommerce Advanced (SCA) and SuiteCommerce Standard

What is the difference between SuiteCommerce standard and SuiteCommerce Advanced?

Different Types of SuiteCommerce: Video Summary

If you have already begun your search into finding out more about SuiteCommerce, then you may have stumbled across two terms...SuiteCommerce Advanced (SCA) and SuiteCommerce Standard (SC).

It is important to understand the difference between the two options since one is half the price of the other. Most people think that SuiteCommerce Standard (now just called SuiteCommerce) means that you can't customize the theme or extensions. This is not true. In fact, you can do most of the same customization's. 

The primary difference is that SuiteCommerce Advanced has total access to the source code. Heavy customization changing the architecture of the platform will require SCA to be able to accomplish the goal. 

What are some examples of a source code change that requires SCA?

 

1) A company wants every order through the ecommerce platform to be entered as a Purchase Order rather than a Sales Order. This would require a change to source code. 

2) A company wants to allow customers to log into "My Account" and modify existing orders that were already placed themselves. This would require a change to source code.

What are some examples of a customization that doesn't require SCA?

1) You want to change the theme. Let's say you don't like your theme and have a graphic designer make a new mockup to match. This mockup has a different layout and new colors. This is not a change to source code. It is HTML and CSS work which you have access to with SuiteCommerce standard.

2) You want to create an extension that adds a new line item to the cart when an add-on (i.e. engraving option) is selected. This requires JavaScript but does not require source code changes. 

What if I don't know if a customization requires source code changes?

The easiest way to identify which type of solution you need is to get in touch with a SuiteCommerce developer that builds customization's in the platform on a daily basis. They will know if a source code is likely required. If you have a road map of features you will want for the ecommerce platform, it is a good idea to explain them to the developer so that you pick the correct solution. 

Can I upgrade to SCA later if I only need SuiteCommerce Standard for now?

Yes you can. It is rather easy to transition from standard to advanced. If you don't need SCA for multiple years, you can change later if you only need standard features for the time being. You don't need a brand new implementation to switch. It takes about a day to fetch the code and deploy it to SuiteCommerce Advanced. The best part about SCA is that you'll never need to transition to another platform again due to limitations of the solution. 

Are there benefits to not having a managed bundle (SCA does not managed upgrades)? 

Absolutely, and this is because of the many customization's that SuiteCommerce Advanced customers tend to add to their ecommerce platform. Companies rely on having a platform that doesn't break whenever a managed upgrade occurs. When you have customization's in your ecommerce solution, you don't want them to break when a managed upgrade to the latest version occurs. You want to make the transition when you have had the time to test out the upgrade in sandbox first to ensure all your customization's still work properly. This is the reason that SCA is version locked meaning that it doesn't automatically upgrade to the latest version. Whenever you want to upgrade, you'll want to get in touch with your development team to audit the theme and extensions, test the new version in sandbox, make any updates to a customization, and deploy to production when fully tested.

 

SuiteCommerce Standard does have managed updates, but just be aware of your customization's prior to each update. There are ways that developers can use extensibility API (managed NetSuite functions) to ensure that a customization will break less frequently.

SuiteCommerce Advanced vs Shopify Plus vs Magento

SuiteCommerce Advanced vs Shopify Plus vs Magento: Video Summary

Many companies look at a variety of ecommerce solutions before deciding which one is best for them. Unfortunately, not all companies actually spend enough time diving into SuiteCommerce Advanced since they often hear more about Shopify Plus. This is simply because SuiteCommerce Advanced is only available for NetSuite customers. As a result, there is a small pool using the solution. However, it is truly the best solution for ecommerce when you have NetSuite ERP. Let's break down all the reasons why and give you more insight into the cons of Shopify Plus and Magento that you might not have known about. 

First of all, remember that your ERP drives the user experience. Without an ERP, you can't manage your ecommerce data effectively. Because of this, you should have all the ERP data at your disposal to utilize it when you need.

Notable Key Points on Ecommerce

SuiteCommerce Advanced:

  • Amount of ERP data that you can surface is far above other solutions

  • Price: $5000 per month

  • Does not require a connector/integrator 

  • Extensibility API makes it easier to maintain customization​

  • SuiteApp store and 3rd party SuiteMarkets store

  • Version locking allows for customization's to not break unexpectedly during a version upgrade

  • NetSuite order management, CRM, inventory, and ERP already optimized

  • Single page application ideal for user experience

    • JavaScript loads first and doesn't have to reload when user changes pages while shopping​

  • My Account (Customer Portal) miles ahead of other ecommerce options 

vs Shopify Plus:

  • Requires connector/integrator along with an integration implementation ($2500-5000 per year plus implementation)

  • Without required add-on the price is $2000 / month

    • Additional fees for transactions, shipping, theme templates (totals more than SCA at the end)​

  • Managed upgrades can break customization's and cause you website to be down

  • Limited B2B functionality with "My Account"

Summary:

 

Shopify Plus is comparable to SCA if you are implementing solely a B2C website. However, it does not beat SCA if you have a B2B part of your ecommerce solution. 

Magento:

  • Price: $5500 per month ($500 per month higher than SCA)

  • Magento 1.0 users are forced to complete a brand new implementation to Magento 2.0

    • Not a simple upgrade​

    • Basically a brand new website implementation if you have Magento 1.0

  • Requires connector/integrator along with an integration implementation ($2500-5000 per year plus implementation)

  • Requires monthly security patch

    • This increases your maintenance cost​

    • If you don't perform, your website has a security risk

Summary

 

If you have NetSuite or are planning to get NetSuite as your ERP, stay up to date with the latest SuiteCommerce features to see how it best fits into your business modal. If you want to get SuiteCommerce Standard to save more on your monthly licensing, then make sure to chat with a SuiteCommerce developer to help identify any areas that you may need SuiteCommerce Advanced in the future. Spending a little time and money identifying where SuiteCommerce Standard may be the better fit will help you cut costs and position yourself for the seamless upgrade to SuiteCommerce Advanced when you are ready.

Having all your data managed in one place makes everyone's lives easier which is one reason why companies frequently choose SCA over other platforms since all the images, marketing data, files, and supporting data already lives in NetSuite. 

Final Scoring

If you are a B2B organization, SuiteCommerce Advanced is the ideal solution. Shopify Plus is a close second with Magento falling in 3rd. If you are solely a B2C ecommerce company, then both Shopify Plus and SuiteCommerce Advanced are tied for first place which Magento trailing behind.

Next Steps

What should your next steps be?

Now that you have a break down of SuiteCommerce and how it outperforms the other major platforms, its time to dive a little deeper. If you have a go-live under 8 weeks, it's important to get moving quickly. 

  1. Contact your SuiteCommerce implementation partner

  2. Take a look at some out of box themes or have your partner make a new one

  3. Contact your NetSuite Account Manager if you have one already (we can do this for you as well)

  4. Designate who from your team will be the point of contact (ideally a marketing team member)​​

  5. Start the requirement meetings with your implementation partner. This shouldn't require more than 3-4 hours to go through your processes and identify any required customization. The goal is to identify any non-standard or complex customization's to your website. 

  6. Set a go-live date after you have identified the hours it will take for a customization. Without heavy customization, a SuiteCommerce Advanced website takes 150 - 250 hours to implement.

  7. Get a domain name (i.e. www.yourwebstore.com or wholesale.yourwebstore.com)

  8. Set up status meetings with your implementation partner project lead. (1-2 times per week)

  9. Go-Live

  10. Work on post go-live projects that may include any search engine optimization (SEO) or continuous improvement projects. 

  11. Consider accounting support specialized in ecommerce. 

Bonus Video: 5 Ways to Better Utilize SuiteCommerce

5 Ways to Better Utilize SuiteCommerce

Useful Search Terminology Tips

When you are beginning to learn about any new software solution, it's good to know some terminology. These are some commonly misused terms that are less used. I'll propose new things to search for instead which will help you get better search results as you dive into NetSuite ecommerce solutions. 

If you are looking for ecommerce themes, use the term SuiteCommerce themes instead of NetSuite themes

If you are looking for SuiteCommerce, try to avoid spacing mistakes like Suite Commerce or Suite Commerce Advanced.

There are several other terms used to describe SuiteCommerce Advanced like NetSuite SCA. These are all good terms that help. Even though terms like NetSuite commerce is an acceptable way of naming it, it might not get you as useful search results because people have not utilized the term frequently. 

Since you might be looking for experience to advise you along the purchasing process, the term SCA consultants or SCA consulting is not commonly used, but instead, you will want to either look for SuiteCommerce partner or SuiteCommerce Advanced Developers. The developers know all you need to know in order to advise you along the implementation path.

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Beyond SuiteCommerce - NetSuite Services

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The Anchor Group NetSuite Consultants team brings services beyond SuiteCommerce Advanced by providing NetSuite development to your organization. You will be surprised how affordable your rates will be for senior level NetSuite consultants and developers. 

If a project is NetSuite related...we are equipped with the people you need.

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