Computers and artificial intelligence have come along at an exponential rate over the past few decades, from being regarded as oversized adding machines to the point where they have played integral roles in some legitimately creative endeavours.
ERP and commerce platform vendor, NetSuite, has acquired fellow US-based retail marketing platform player, Bronto Software, for US$200 million.
The deal unites NetSuite’s cloud-based omni-channel ecommerce platform with Bronto’s commerce-oriented digital marketing offering, and is a step forward in shoring up NetSuite’s position in the retail market.
It also brings NetSuite into competition with marketing automation and email management software vendors such as Marketo. And while NetSuite's sweet spot is mid-market, the acquisition does see it building a more comprehensive digital platform for retail organisations, bringing it into contact with SDL, Oracle, Sitecore, SAP, Adobe and others.
“The capabilities this solution will deliver are transformational,” claimed NetSuite CEO, Zach Nelson. “Just as customers demand seamless cross-channel shopping experiences, they increasingly expect companies to communicate consistently through all of their digital experiences – onsite, at stores, in email or through social or mobile.
“By combining the two companies’ offerings and technology, we can help merchants deliver relevant and consistent digital commerce experiences throughout the customer journey.”
Bronto has been around since 2002 and has focused specifically on delivering a marketing automation platform for commerce-driven marketers. According to its 2014 financials, the company saw 40 per cent year-on-year growth with one-third of new revenue coming from Europe and Australia, where it launched a new office.
Bronto’s customer base of more than 1400 brands includes Armani Exchange, Timex and Trek Bikes.
Capabilities within the platform including email, SMS and social campaign messaging, automation, list management and segmentation tools, and omni-channel customer features such as coupon management.
Bronto CEO, Joe Colopy, said consumers expect brands to know them across every channel and marketing touchpoint.
“Providing that type of experience demands a unified approach to digital engagement, whether driving transactions online or offline, or engaging with them through website, email, mobile or mobile,” he said.
“We’re thrilled to bring Bronto’s industry-leading commerce marketing capabilities to NetSuite’s commerce solutions. This will help merchants to better engage with their customers, drive repeat purchases and build lifelong loyalty.”
The purchase includes a mixture of cash and equity and is expected to close in Q2, subject to closing conditions and regulatory clearance.
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