|By Maureen O'Gara||
|January 11, 2013 09:00 AM EST||
NetSuite said Thursday that it's bought 28-year-old Retail Anywhere in a deal that's supposed to deliver the first cloud-based system that unifies POS and e-commerce in a single application.
The company, which is majority owned by Larry Ellison, says it's bringing brick-and-mortar retail businesses to a global commerce cloud, grafting multiple-customer touchpoints onto its SuiteCommerce platform to deliver an integrated cloud business suite for retailers including POS, web sites, smartphones, tablets and call centers.
Terms were not disclosed.
Retail Anywhere, which specializes in POS terminals and the software that runs them, became a NetSuite partner when NetSuite trotted out its SuiteCommerce last spring and talked up Commerce-as-a-Service stating it could manage and scale both the retail back-end through its the core ERP/financials and CRM solutions as well as give clients a web store B2B/B2C front-end.
Retail Anywhere decided to base its next generation of POS terminals on SuiteCommerce and created an Apple POS app for NetSuite. It runs on traditional POS widgets as well as iPads, iPhones and the iPod touch to facilitate transactions from anywhere.
The two companies teamed up and reportedly attracted 30 joint customers. With the likelihood of up-selling NetSuite to Retail Anywhere's large bank of clients it found the tie-up potentially profitable hence the acquisition.
"Up to now traditional retailing has been left behind as the rest of the world has embraced cloud technology," Andy Lloyd, NetSuite general manager of commerce, said in a statement.
"With this acquisition, even brick-and-mortar retailers are able to become part of the rapidly evolving global commerce cloud. By adding an in-store solution to SuiteCommerce, NetSuite is enabling merchants to meet their customers' demands for cross-channel shopping integration. NetSuite Retail Anywhere further extends the reach of NetSuite's full platform of business capabilities to the showroom floor, where most retail business still takes place today."
According to a recent Deloitte survey, consumers who engage with retailers through multiple customer touchpoints were likely to spend 71% more than those who only engage through the traditional brick-and-mortar channel. It also said that legacy retail systems lack the technical capacity to unify multiple channels, and retailers have to use multiple, disparate software systems to run their businesses, creating inefficiency and customer frustration.
Initially at least NetSuite will connect point-of-sale with its cloud platform and build on to its SuiteCommerce platform. Ultimately it will probably drop the POS hardware end of Retail Anywhere in favor of a purely digital experience.
Retail Anywhere will become part of NetSuite's eTail/Retail Products business, with its CEO Branden Jenkins as general manager of the unit.
Retail Anywhere competes with Celerant, Micros, Retail Pro, Syncronics and Tomax.
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