Dissecting Our Ultimate Retail Tech Stack

Written by Theo Burns

July 27, 2023

In the ever-evolving world of retail, embracing the right technology has become the driving force behind success and the long-term health of a brand. Imagine the following collation of solutions to be similar to a human body: we’re going to be dissecting the ultimate tech stack for retailers, meticulously crafted to address their unique needs and challenges.

At the heart of this unparalleled integration lies NetSuite, the leading cloud-based ERP system that empowers businesses to streamline their processes and unlock new levels of efficiency. In this blog, we proudly showcase a selection of our esteemed partners’ solutions, each seamlessly integrated with NetSuite, to offer a comprehensive ecosystem that elevates retailers to the summit of their industry. From revolutionising document management to boosting customer engagement, join us as we unveil the unparalleled potential of a unified tech stack designed to reshape the future of retail.

The Heart of an Unbeatable Retail Tech Stack

At the heart of the ultimate retail techstack, you can’t look further than the world’s #1 cloud-based ERP. NetSuite allows brands to apply best practices and automate key retail processes such as Order to Cash, Procure to Pay and Record to Report, enhancing efficiency and data visibility for all areas of the business from Finance to Inventory Management to Human Resources. Its scalability accommodates company growth nationally and internationally, whilst its automatic updates ensure compliance with ever changing regulations. With real-time analytics and customisable dashboards, it allows real-time and data-driven decisions to be made. On the whole, using NetSuite will streamline operations and foster agility whilst reducing costs, making it the go-to solution for businesses looking to optimise their operations and drive success even further.

Brand’s invest in NetSuite to remove silos and have a single source of truth so we couldn’t forget about NetSuite’s partner of the year for 2022 when designing our ultimate tech-stack. With this goal in mind, Workiro provides unlimited file sharing, document management, electronic signatures, and communication for both internal and external use, smartly fused through one intuitive app which can be accessed without leaving NetSuite.


Integration Flows: The Blood Vessels of Your Tech Stack

In today’s market, many retail businesses leverage best-in-class software applications to achieve specific goals, including some of the solutions outlined below. While these applications can meet individual requirements, the true strategic advantage lies in integration – establishing frictionless data exchange between all applications in an intelligent manner. 

Patchworks offers a cost-efficient solution to streamline retail operations through a centralised integrations hub, ensuring security and scalability. All of our solutions are now proudly ‘Powered by Patchworks’ to automate the seamless flow of data across your entire business. Our technical experts map out all necessary connection points, implement the integrations, and conduct the thorough testing necessary to ensure a truly end-to-end integration experience.


Supercharge NetSuite’s Finances

NetSuite may be the heart of the operation but finance is certainly one area that requires a good chunk of brain power. We’ve picked out four applications (and one extra NetSuite module) that will take NetSuite’s standard functionality to the next level:

Moss is our selected spend management platform (which we use internally) that allows businesses to centrally manage virtual and physical cards, invoice payments and reimbursements. Chasing receipts, extracting data from invoices and categorising transactions are things of the past thanks to AI and custom rules, freeing up more time for company growth. 

Avalara’s ‘AvaTax’ connector is a bundle tightly integrated with NetSuite that can automate sales and use tax calculations for the entire quote-to-cash process.

YOOZ makes use of a unique blend of AI deep learning and big data-based technologies to guarantee the smartest data extraction of digital and physical invoices, to eliminate almost all of the remedial work. 

Infinet Cloud is a NetSuite native ‘SuiteApp’ that is developed for payroll and electronic leave management. 

Finally, NSPB (Netsuite Planning and Budgeting) automates and streamlines the process of planning, budgeting, reporting and forecasting. It removes the risks and inefficiencies of using spreadsheets and delivers advanced capabilities such as predictive forecasting.


Feet on the Ground: Service Your Customers With Fast, Intuitive POS

When it comes to bricks and mortar stores, we’d recommend looking no further than Lightspeed (formerly Vend) for its comprehensive and user-friendly platform. Whilst Lightspeed offers a full range of eCommerce and payment solutions, they are our go-to for all things POS due to their advanced reporting and analytics capabilities which provide valuable insights to optimise sales and marketing strategies. The cloud-based POS solution features tools including; retail store management, inventory management, cash drawer control, payment processing, purchase order management, customer profile access, accounting software integration and integration with POS hardware.


The Face of Your eCommerce Operations

They say don’t judge based on first impressions but that’s exactly what many online shoppers will do so you better make sure the face of your eCommerce brand (your website) is scrubbed and smooth. 6 months ago, I would’ve said to look no further than Shopify but depending on your vertical and strategy when it comes to social commerce, it may be worth checking out the new kid on the block in Europe: Shopline (who we’ve recently partnered with them, by the way). 

Whilst Shopline are moving towards offering all the features of external solutions within their platform as a one-stop-shop, you may still choose to go down the Shopify route (like many others) and search for best-in-breed solutions to integrate into your webstore. When it comes to applying the final touches with a bit of makeup, there are three solutions that we’d recommend Shopify retailers to check out when sprucing up their eCommerce front-end.

For B2B sellers, Sparklayer is the powerful platform that transforms your existing website into a fully featured B2B solution. If you’re not ready to commit to the price-tag that comes with Shopify Plus but want its B2B functionality: Sparklayer is the solution for you!

Yotpo enhances customer engagement and online reputation with AI-driven insights, user-generated content and loyalty capabilities. By leveraging Yotpo’s features, retailers can create a vibrant online community and boost conversions, whilst building a strong brand image, ultimately driving sustainable growth and success.

Last but not least, Gorgias streamlines customer support and enhances overall efficiency with a unified helpdesk that centralises all customer communication channels (including webchat, instagram, Facebook and SMS and WhatsApp). Gorgias ensures swift responses for customers, with seamless access to order details, and improves overall support quality which drives sales and creates brand loyalty.


All Hands on Deck for Logistics

Once everything’s looking pretty, it’s time to get to work and prep those orders. Of course I’m going to say that NetSuite WMS has everything you could ever need… It does. If you’re following our ‘Ultimate Tech Stack’ to a tee and you’re already using NetSuite as the heart of your business, there really is no reason to look elsewhere. Through smart forecasting and demand planning, you’ll stay ahead of customer needs, maintaining optimal inventory levels without overstocking or shortages. NetSuite WMS is a game-changer, offering a comprehensive suite of tools tailored to meet the unique demands of retail logistics. However, If I had to pick a ‘best of the rest’ solution or a Warehouse Management Software for brands who are not using NetSuite as your single source of truth: it’s got to be PeopleVox.

The last part of our ultimate tech stack relates to shipping and returns. As any partnerships manager would, I’ve got to sit on the fence for this one between Sendcloud and Shiptheory. Both solutions allow you to integrate with multiple carriers, automate your fulfilment process and improve customer satisfaction with branded updates. Depending on your maturity and strategy for shipping, you may lean one way or another as Sendcloud allows you to access discounted shipping rates through economies of scale. On the other hand, Shiptheory is great for retailers who already have relationships with carriers and have their own rates. When it comes to returns, both platforms have returns portals integrated into their system which are gaining traction with users. Personally, I think ZigZag Global has the most user-friendly and feature rich returns portal out of any returns solution on the market, including increased capabilities around live-exchanges and marketplace resell to save the sale.

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