We recently hosted our Kibo Client Summit in LA to connect with our customers and team members. In the world we currently live in, we’re grateful for the opportunity to bring together retail leaders from all over the continent to share ideas, hear about the latest Kibo updates, and celebrate each other’s successes.
Our sessions were engaging and interactive, we received feedback and thoughtful questions, and attendees left the event feeling motivated for the future.
We had a slew of speakers covering everything from digital transformation and customer experience to order management and omnichannel journeys. Below highlights a few of our sessions and the key themes from the event.
Ace Hardware’s Digital Transformation Leads to Award Winning Omnichannel Experience
After the opening remarks, Bill Kiss, the SVP, CMO & Head of Omnichannel at Ace Hardware, shared his organization’s digital transformation story. Like most retailers, their story starts with the pandemic. “Covid really did change the customer mindset across multiple demographics,” said Bill.
As customers prioritized convenience in their shopping journeys, Ace Hardware prioritized its omnichannel experience and “elegant digital operations.” In 2021, Ace Hardware was among the top-ranked retailers for omnichannel purchase according to Incisiv.
With the majority of their business being buy online, pick up in store, they focus on delivering better experiences on the website and mobile app while leveraging systems like Kibo and operations to provide fast and frictionless store fulfillment.
“We want to be the fastest in retail,” said Bill.
Bill ended his presentation with a few pieces of advice: Think and measure the entire end-to-end journey, establish ‘make it better’ as a companywide mindset, and trust in your key partners.
“We wouldn’t be where we are today in this growing, strategically important business – digital at Ace – without our partners. I look at Kibo; I look at Google. Both are important to where we’ve been and where we’re going,” said Bill.
Thought Leadership Panel
A powerhouse panel followed with Mark Lowe from Ace Hardware, Brandon Finch from Jelly Belly, Jennifer Skeen from Sun & Ski, Rajib Das from Ignitiv, and moderated by Vinesh Vis, Chief Sales Officer at Kibo.
Retailers Continue to Face Supply Chain Disruptions
Especially as we head into the busy holiday season, supply chain disruptions remain a significant challenge for many retailers. Leaders in the space are investing in their digital commerce infrastructures to ensure these disruptions don’t negatively impact the customer experience.
Doubling Down on Digital Transformation
While some retailers are pausing investments in technology and hiring in preparation for a lagging economy, leaders in the space are doubling down. It’s been proven in past downturns that companies that invest in digital transformation often come out ahead of their competition.
Collaboration Between Business and IT
We’re seeing the wall between Business and IT teams break down – fostering cross-functional collaboration that ultimately leads to better customer experiences and long-term growth.
Headless Enables Frontend Freedom
One of our most popular presentations was our Headless Commerce breakout session by Blake Billings, Manager, Solutions Engineering at Kibo. During the session, he outlines the key advantages of going headless, including:
- Decoupled backend processes from predefined frontend processes
- Limitless customization and personalization
- Complete omnichannel experience
- Adjustable frontend sales tools, enabling more flexibility
Advanced Inventory Management Strategies
Madhulika Saxena, Sr. Product Manager at Kibo, Mark Wright, Sr. Director, Solutions Engineering at Kibo, and Rajib Das, Founder & CEO at Ignitiv, led the discussion around advanced inventory management strategies.
They highlighted some key challenges from a customer experience perspective, including accurate inventory visibility, ordering from the preferred channel, and order fulfillment speed. Many of the Kibo Order Management System features help clients overcome these challenges:
- Real-Time Inventory: Capture inventory data in a single source of truth and get end-to-end real-time inventory visibility.
- Future Available to Promise: Option to allocate against future inventory shipments for any given sale.
- Reserve in Cart: Allows shoppers to reserve an item in their cart for a specified period of time.
- Inventory Segmentation: Segment inventory based on specific classifications, such as channel or order type.
Driving Loyalty with Subscription Commerce
Sachin Sharma, Director, Product Management at Kibo, and Mark Wright led the discussion around building customer loyalty with subscription commerce. To help companies take advantage of the growing subscriptions market, we launched Kibo Subscriptions Management earlier this year.
Kibo Subscriptions Management brings value to three distinct personas: Retailers, Shoppers, and Customer Service Representatives.
Retailers: Control the subscription strategy by naming products for subscriptions and customizing subscription prices, discounts, frequencies, and trials.
Shoppers: Give customers a personalized shopping experience by allowing them to self-manage their subscription orders, including pausing subscriptions, swapping products, skipping an order, and canceling.
Customer Service Representatives: Empower customer service representatives to help shoppers edit their subscription orders and minimize time to resolution.
Congratulations to Our Award Winners!
During the event, we recognized Kibo customers that deliver exceptional customer experiences, have proven themselves as leaders in their industry, and commit to pushing the boundaries of digital commerce.
Hall of Fame
Winner: Jelly Belly Candy Company
Nominees: Ace Hardware, Jelly Belly Candy Company, and Pearson Vue
The Hall of Fame award recognizes the significant long-term commitment of a client to the Kibo ecosystem and vision for commerce. Jelly Belly Candy Company pushes the boundaries of what’s possible with Kibo and is a true digital innovator in its respective space.
Winner: Fortis Life Sciences
Nominees: Bi-Mart, Coastal Construction, Cracker Barrel, Fortis Life Sciences, Sound United, and United Hardware
Fortis Life Sciences received the Rising Star award for its outstanding eCommerce programs and demonstrated adoption of Kibo’s technology.
Leading by Example
Winner: Sun & Ski Sports
Nominees: AM Retail, Kohler, and Sun & Ski Sports
The Leading by Example award recognizes Sun & Ski Sports for its commitment to inclusivity and diversity, while demonstrating the Kibo core values of Accountability, Commitment, Innovation, Openness, and Teamwork.
Winner: Home Hardware
Nominees: Ace Hardware, City Furniture, and Home Hardware
The Trailblazer award recognizes teams that are fearless innovators and early adopters of nascent technology and market leading digital strategies – such as headless and composable commerce. Home Hardware has demonstrated its commitment to being forward-thinking leaders in its industry.
Exceptional Consumer Experience Award (D2C)
Winner: Alchemee (Proactiv)
Nominees: Alchemee (Proactiv), Calendars.com, French Toast, Jelly Belly, and Yamaha CA
The Exceptional Consumer Experience Award recognizes Alchemee (Proactiv) for going above and beyond to create frictionless customer journeys that attract, convert, and retain shoppers.
Exceptional Omnichannel Experience
Winner: Boscov’s Department Store
Nominees: Boscov’s Department Store, London Drugs, Peavey, rue21, and Sundance Catalog
The Exceptional Omnichannel Experience award recognizes the organization that delivers seamless omnichannel experiences, allowing its customers to shop anywhere, anytime. Boscov’s Department Store is committed to meeting its customers’ needs with flexible online order fulfillment options, including buy online, pick up in store.
Thank You to Our Sponsors
We’d like to thank Ignitiv and Amazon Web Services for their sponsorship and continued support. We look forward to continuing our partnership and collaborating on future endeavors.
That’s a Wrap
The LA Client Summit further proved that Kibo is a community that brings together the most talented and innovative leaders in the space. We’re thrilled to continue working with our customers and look forward to the next time we all get together in person.