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Netshop Limited

Netshop gains a significant market advantage using Anglia’s totally integrated e-Commerce solution


Company Background

Established in 1983, UK based Netshop Limited is a specialist B2B & B2C e-commerce organisation focusing on ADSL, wireless, computer cabling, comms & networking products. The company has built a loyal user base by providing a wide range of industry leading products backed up by a first class customer service. The services provided include competitive pricing, detailed on-line technical information on all products and telephone advice and guidance provided by knowledgeable and friendly support personnel.


The company’s business management solution was an ageing bespoke solution that no longer met the needs of the business. Netshop were becoming increasing reliant on a shrinking pool of knowledge to support a vital part of its operation. The scarcity of skills meant that it had become difficult and risky to change the system to reflect the dynamics of a fast moving marketplace. “We were totally reliant on our Web presence to sell our products and service our customers” said Netshop’s Managing Director Belinda Morley “Any disruption to that service could have endangered our excellent customer service reputation built up over many years. We needed a stable totally integrated e-commerce solution that allowed us to be more agile in an increasingly competitive sector”.

The Selection Process

“A number of consultants we had spoken to had flagged the MBS Navision business management system as an option that combined rich functionality with the flexibility we needed to meet our needs” said Belinda Morley. “It was also a Microsoft product with a modern look and feel that the users could quickly get to grips with. However, we also needed to work with a partner with extensive e-commerce deployment expertise with the product. Anglia Business Solutions had such a profile and convinced us that they could implement a completely integrated solution that met our current and future needs”.


The Requirement

The main Netshop requirement was for a modern totally integrated e-commerce solution that precisely met the current needs of the business while capable of being changed to facilitate future business opportunities. Furthermore, the company wished to deploy industry standard technology to reduce the risk of being totally reliant on a limited source of expertise for future support. “With the current consolidation taking place in the IT industry, we wanted to be sure that the software authors were going to be around in the future” said Morley “Furthermore as the business expands, we will need access to skilled staff with Navision expertise. The Microsoft factor is a big plus in that respect”.

A key requirement of the new environment was that the new Web front end should precisely mirror the existing successful format. Netshop’s customer feedback indicated that they were extremely happy and familiar with the look and feel of the previous web sites. Furthermore, Netshop had configured separate websites for different customer groups as a means of improving the customer experience. The new solution had to provide a single, central business backend system to drive all of Netshop’s five individual websites. A further requirement was that the solution needed to be flexible enough to rapidly react to the product price changes and promotions that make business in this sector so competitive.


Netshop chose Microsoft Gold Certified Partner Anglia Business Solutions to develop and deliver the new solution. Anglia deployed Microsoft Business Solutions Navision as the core business backend and used its own ‘Reflective E-Commerce Technology’ at the web front end to deliver a feature-rich total e-commerce solution.

With most e-commerce solutions, any changes in product or price details are facilitated with over-night updates. This involves tediously updating numerous database tables with new information. With Anglia’s Reflective E-Commerce technology the website instantly reflects any changes made in the back end business management system. This allows the company to swiftly react to competitive pricing scenarios. It also facilitates the rapid introduction of new product lines.

Netshop website screenshot

Fig 1: Screen shot of, showing large format product image, full product description and links to other downloadable information.

Each of Netshop’s 20,000 products is displayed with a full product description, a large format image, a detailed specification and additional downloads. The Microsoft Navision solution is used to store, manage and retrieve the massive volumes of data required. Product descriptions of up to 10,000 characters in length along with images which are stored and retrieved from Microsoft Navision. The solution provides for five different price breaks and products can be quickly bundled for a promotion or to draw attention to a specific area of the website. Products can be displayed by category or supplier and the website content can be configured to reflect the referring web site. For example, if a supplier website has an associate link to the Netshop site, only products from that supplier are displayed to the visitor.


screenshots of all 5 Network websites all driven from one Dynamics NAV solution

Fig 2: Netshop have 5 individually branded websites, all driven from one central Microsoft Navision backend solution.

The web-front end has the familiar e-commerce “Shopping Basket” functionality, and customers have full traceability of their order from submission to delivery. Customers are assured by secure payment facilities. The security for the checkout is provided by a Verisign certificate and Worldpay services are used to securely fraud check the customer and take the payment. Order confirmations are sent by email. Customers can also request to be e-notified when an out of stock item is available again.


screenshot showing Netshop notify me pop-up
Fig 3: Screen shot showing notify me pop-up.











screenshot of Netshop search results page



Site functionality includes a search facility.

Fig 4: Screen shot showing search results page, with full produce description and image







“Using the components from our Reflective E-Commerce Technology suite and the development tools provided in Microsoft Visual Studio, we were able to quickly build and deploy the feature rich customer experience that Netshop desired”, comments Richard Jones, Anglia’s Development Director. “Netshop now have a flexible and serviceable e-commerce suite with state of the art functionality across five individual websites built on the solid and safe foundation of Microsoft Navision. They can now compete with companies many times their size”

Solution Benefits

Lisa Mann, Sales Manager for Netshop comments, “Administration and update time has been greatly reduced and the time to market for a new product being available can be measured in seconds. We now have full control over all the content across our five websites with a solution that is resilient and easy to support.

“This has been a very successful replacement of a complex bespoke solution that had been developed and refined over quite a number of years” commented Belinda Morley. “The Netshop and Anglia teams worked extremely hard to minimise disruption during the transition to the new solution. Feedback to date from our clients has been exceptional with many reporting their delight with the service provided and the slickness of the order processing operation. We are now well placed to use the new solution as a key business differentiator in the future growth of our business”.

Software Overview

Anglia Reflective E-Commerce Technology, providing the following:


Shopping basket functionality.
Customer Registration Via Email
Searching For Products
Products can be grouped into multiple Categories – products can be grouped in a nested group of categories (i.e router ->ADSL->wireless)
Products can be grouped by Manufacturer, i.e all Belkin products can be displayed in one go.
Components allow for full editorial control by customer.
Products can contain unlimited amounts of text (such as full specifications and descriptions)
The Shop will provide the ability for unlimited number special offers and featured products – these offers are maintained from within Navision.
Shop will reflect automatically changes to pricing and product details held within Navision
Customers will receive order confirmation emails - the definition of these mails can be fully configured and changed at any time.
Customers can track their orders online – order states can be defined within Navision and reported back to the customers.
Customers can ask questions and post to an online guestbook contained within the site – the guestbook is administered by the customer.
Payment is taken securely using the industry standard Worldpay interface.
Online Fraud checking is provided via WorldPay (including AVS and address checking)
Addresses are automatically looked up by entering a postcode this accesses third party software.
Customers can automatically receive alerts when goods become in stock.
The shop can be re-branded very quickly to reach out to specific markets.

Microsoft Components

Microsoft Windows Server 2003
Microsoft Visual Studio 2003
Microsoft SQL Server 2000
Microsoft Business Solution-Navision V3.7


Netshop High Street Websites

For further information contact:

Anglia Business Solutions Ltd
Tel: 0123 873400


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