Existing Functionality to be Preserved Until at Least 2022
A brief history of promotions in NetSuite:
- Standard Promotions were the only option at first, allowing promotions to be created and offered in Site Builder or phone orders like a % off coupon code. This functionality is pretty basic.
- In 2014, NetSuite released a SuiteBundle (a free package that users could install in their account) to support more types of promotions – line level promos allowing a single item to ship free, order based criteria, and things like Buy X, get Y free. This new functionality was welcomed and supported Site Builder.
- Around 2017, NetSuite began offering a new feature called SuitePromotions, with lots of new functionality:
- Stackable Promotions
- Auto-Apply Promotions
- Best Offer
- Cached Saved Searches
- Audit and Visibility
- Automatically Add Free Gift to the Transaction
The new feature is not compatible with the previous promotions – You can have both active in your system, but could only apply either a SuitePromotion or one of the others to an order, not both. The other major downside is that SuitePromotions can’t be used on Site Builder, where the vast majority of NetSuite companies host their sites.
- In November 2019, NetSuite announced that they will be removing standard and advanced promotions completely. Any company using Site Builder or an earlier version of SuiteCommerce Advanced (before Elbrus, released in Spring 2017) would have to build an entire replacement for their website in a new version of SuiteCommerce Standard or Advanced (SCA) if they want to be able to offer any kind of promotions after the sunset date, which has not been announced. Early adopters of SCA who built a site in the 4 years before Elbrus was released are also being forced to upgrade, which can be very expensive due to the many architectural changes made to the platform since then. Not to mention they just spent quite a bit of money to build the new site in the first place.
Now, when creating a new standard or advanced promotion, NetSuite users see this warning:
Notice – SuitePromotions
This type of promotion does not benefit from the new enhancements introduced with SuitePromotions. You can continue using such promotions on transactions, but please note they cannot take advantage of these enhancements. For details, see the help topic Promotions Overview (SuiteAnswers ID: 63010).
Customers who cannot migrate to SuitePromotions on their current eCommerce setup should consider upgrading to a higher version of SuiteCommerce. Support for Site Builder customers and customers on a SuiteCommerce version older than Elbrus will continue until 2022 at the earliest.
So What Are My Options Now?
NetSuite is pressuring companies to move off Site Builder, but without risking the bad press of actually providing a drop-dead date. For any company using Site Builder or pre-Elbrus SCA that wants to keep offering promotions to its customers (which is basically all of them, in my experience), there are 3 choices:
- Buy a license for SuiteCommerce Advanced ($5k/month) and build a new site on it (implementations run 50-100k+).
- Buy SuiteCommerce (formerly SuiteCommerce Standard), a more limited version that is $2500/month. This is a new platform but I’ve seen quotes from 20-40k+ to implement.
- Use a data connector like those provided by Farapp or Celigo and build a new site on a 3rd party platform like Magento, Shopify, WooCommerce, etc. Costs vary widely, starting from $175/month for the connector.
There is a lot to consider when building a new site that your company will be depending on for years to come. I’ll be posting a high level comparison of these options soon. Each company should carefully document its requirements for a web site before evaluating any of these options. Otherwise, the mentality becomes one of trying to make option X work, which can leave out important considerations and needs that could be overlooked until after the contract has been signed.
We Are Here to Help
Our team has more than 15 years of web development each, with a wide variety of platforms. Our goal is to help you find the best solution for your needs, not sell you what works best for us. A new site can often take a year to plan and build, so it’s important to start the requirements process early. Get in touch with us to review your situation with no commitment.
Here is the notice NetSuite emailed to customers:
Questions? Let us know in the comments below.