Magento and Oracle NetSuite each announced new e-commerce technology upgrades and applications at their respective user conferences in Las Vegas this week.

It was an eventful week for e-commerce technology providers Magento Inc. and Oracle NetSuite, with each vendor announcing notable enhancements to their platforms.

Peter Sheldon, vice president of strategy, Magento

Magento launched at its Imagine users conference its Progressive Web Applications Studio, a set of tools for building online stores with app-like interactivity. Progressive Web Applications, or PWA, use HTML, JavaScript and other web development technology to produce websites with content and features that automatically render properly across any desktop or mobile device. By comparison, responsive web design, another method for developing similar results, produces sites that are relatively “slow and clunky,” says Peter Sheldon, vice president of strategy at Magento and a former e-commerce technology analyst at Forrester Research Inc.

While making the PWA Studio available now to site developers, Magento will also build it into Magento Commerce version 2.3, which will launch in late summer 2018 as an upgrade to the current version 2.2. Version 2.2 is the first version of Magento Commerce—formerly known as Magento Enterprise for larger companies—to include built-in features for B2B e-commerce, such as the ability to set multiple purchasing authorizations according to the roles of individual buyers.

Magento also announced at Imagine technology integration between Magento Commerce and Amazon Pay, which is designed to let buyers check out more quickly by using information from their accounts to log in and make payments; Klarna, which provides a way for consumers to pay installments or on credit; and sales tax processing software from Vertex.


Shinola, a manufacturer of watches, bicycles, jewelry and other consumer products, says offering Amazon Pay on its e-commerce site has helped improve its site’s user experience and increase sales. “We are always on the lookout for innovative solutions to drive conversion rates,” says Dennis Kopitz,  director of e-commerce at Shinola. “With Magento and Amazon Pay, we now have a powerful and flexible commerce solution coupled with a faster checkout experience. The integration with Amazon Pay has helped us expand our online business and capture more sales.”

At Oracle NetSuite’s SuiteWorld users conference, the Oracle Corp. unit launched SuiteCommerce as a new e-commerce platform for small and mid-sized businesses. NetSuite says it designed the platform so that it can be deployed within 30 days.

The SuiteCommerce platform uses the same core software code as SuiteCommerce Advanced, which is designed for larger companies with higher volumes of transactions and more complex features and transactions. Companies that need a more robust platform after growing on SuiteCommerce can migrate to SuiteCommerce Advanced without having to deploy new software code, NetSuite says.

Amelia Smith, platform manager, DIY Home Center


Oracle NetSuite is also rolling out on its commerce platform over the next several months Elastic Search, which will replace the commonly used SOLR search. During a SuiteWorld presentation, Amelia Smith, platform manager for DIY Home Center, a seller of home improvement materials and tools to consumers and professional tradesmen and contractors, gave several examples of how Elastic goes beyond SOLR’s capabilities.

For example, a common product term searched on—“baluster,” a post, often decorative, that supports such things as staircase railings—is often misspelled in search windows as “balaster” or another incorrect version. Under its old SOLR site search, searching on “balaster” or other misspelled version returned no search results. But on the Elastic search feature, she added, searching on such misspellings of baluster returned dozens of results.

NetSuite also announced at SuiteWorld enhanced capabilities of its OneWorld global business management platform for handling localized content and data requirements for Germany, France, China, Japan, Mexico and Brazil. The capabilities cover such areas as electronic invoice and payment transactions, and methods of managing accounting, financial and tax records.

In another announcement that was frequently commented on by analysts and conference attendees, NetSuite introduced a cloud-based suite of artificial intelligence and machine learning software. Artificial intelligence, or AI, and machine learning are forms of software designed to automate information-sharing tasks and learn from data transactions to conduct such tasks as predicting what customers are most likely to buy or contract terms most likely to result in a sale.


NetSuite said expected benefits from its business intelligence suite include guiding sales reps through cross-sell and upsell opportunities and marketing pros through campaigns likely to convert targeted customers, helping e-commerce site managers to deploy more effective site search and navigation, and helping supply chain managers identify and fix interruptions to the flow of supplies.

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