According to Mark Geraghty, Agsure general manager, it took six months to build the new computing and ecommerce platform for the new organisation which opened its doors for business last week. He said that Elders had recognised it would be difficult to replicate its brand online, so instead chose to establish an entirely independent business unit focused purely on online sales.
That independence extends to the computer platform used to run Agsure which is one of a handful of companies which have emerged as early adopters of NetSuite’s SuiteCommerce system which was launched in the US earlier this year.
On his now annual pilgrimage to Australia NetSuite chief executive Zach Nelson, said that there were 2,800 customers running the company’s earlier cloud based e-commerce solutions internationally. But he acknowledged that the company’s first iterations of an ecommerce platform were limited, and did not afford retailers the flexibility that SuiteCommerce permits.
One of the first four international users of the totally re-engineered SuiteCommerce system is Perth based Kitchenware Direct which has used the platform to underpin its new Avago.com.au online retail site. Mr Nelson said that only 100 users would be rolled out on the new platform this year, with general release of the system slated to begin in the first quarter of 2013.
Mr Nelson said that over the last three years Australia’s online commerce marketplace had matured significantly. The company released research commissioned from the Australian Financial Review in association with Frost & Sullivan which showed that 12 per cent of Australia’s GDP was now coming from ecommerce, even though only half of the nation’s businesses has embraced ecommerce for either B2B or B2C transactions.
Online commerce today was worth $180 billion, but was expected to rise to $300 billion by 2017 according to Frost & Sullivan.