NRF 2024 Recap: MACH Announcement, Industry Insights, and More

NRF 2024 Recap: MACH Announcement, Industry Insights, and More

Kibo team at NRF

The Kibo team kicked off 2024 in NYC at NRF Big Show. Each year, NRF brings together industry leaders, innovators, and visionaries to explore the latest trends and technologies shaping the future of retail. Amidst the bustling atmosphere, the Kibo team was busy with product demos, presentations, partner collaborations, client discussions, and celebrating our acceptance into the MACH Alliance.

In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at NRF 2024 and provide a recap of this top industry event.

Kibo team members at NRF

Acceptance Into MACH Alliance

During the event, we announced our official acceptance into the MACH Alliance. This represents a significant achievement for Kibo, demonstrating our unwavering commitment to the principles of Microservices-based, API-first, Cloud-native SaaS, and Headless (MACH) technologies.

As a member of the MACH Alliance, we join a global community of innovative practitioners committed to advancing composable, open, and best-of-breed technology. We plan to actively engage in this community, leveraging its expertise in composable commerce to advocate for the transformative advantages of MACH principles, helping businesses transition from traditional enterprise solutions to dynamic, modular MACH architectures.

We were thrilled to be able to celebrate this achievement in person at NRF and with our fellow MACH members at the MACH Haus.

Partner Collaborations, Presentations, and Demos

The Kibo team was busy — from presenting industry trends and meeting with partners and clients to giving demos of Kibo Order Management, eCommerce, and Subscription Commerce. Here’s a recap of what the Kibo team got up to:

Kibo Booth Activities: 

  • Kibo showcased their Order Management, eCommerce, and Subscription Commerce solutions.
  • Attendees were treated to cookies, goodies, and exciting chances to win prizes.

Kibo booth at NRF

Live Demos at the AWS Booth: 

  • Kibo experts offered live demos at the AWS Booth on January 14, 2024.

AWS TechTalk: Unleashing Innovation 

  •  Kibo presented an AWS TechTalk titled “Unleashing Innovation using Cloud-Built Modern Technology with Kibo” at the AWS booth.
  • Attendees learned about the advantages of cloud-based, composable infrastructure for ecommerce businesses.
  • We shared success stories like Proactiv (now Alchemee), highlighting how modern technology has enabled flexibility, agility, scalability, and remarkable revenue growth.

Kibo presentation at AWS booth at NRF

Industry Trends and Insights

In between meetings, demos, and presentations, members of the Kibo team were able to attend some of the key NRF sessions.

Day 1 Key Takeaways

AI is a prominent topic of discussion in various conversations. 

  • AI has been used in retail for personalized recommendations for years, leading to 17% of holiday orders attributed to AI in November and December.
  • AI’s potential in retail extends beyond personalized recommendations, with generative AI, autonomous AI, and artificial general intelligence on the horizon.
  • Retailers may be apprehensive about AI due to its newness, making it challenging to find talent in the field.

Success in retail requires thinking like an omnichannel retailer. 

  • Kohl’s, under Gass’s leadership, started accepting Amazon returns in its stores, which boosted the business by attracting new customers.
  • John Furner, Walmart U.S. CEO, also emphasized the need for an omnichannel approach.
  • Walmart recently introduced app updates, such as allowing Sam’s Club members to skip checkout by scanning items and paying through their phones.
  • Sam’s Club is implementing AI and computer vision technology to automatically confirm purchases, enabling customers to exit the store without waiting for receipt checks.

Day 2 Key Takeaways

Retail media networks have become a focus for retailers seeking additional revenue. 

  • Andrew Lipsman, an analyst, mentioned that in-store advertising offers significant opportunities for retail media networks.
  • Walmart has a wide reach and is exploring new ways to advertise in stores.
  • Walgreens Advertising Group sees each Walgreens store as a distribution center for retail media networks.

Analysts looking at 2024 economy with optimistic perspectives. 

  • Expectations for the economy in 2024 include guarded optimism, with a possibility of a single negative quarter.
  • Analysts are generally optimistic about consumer spending and sentiment but remain cautious due to potential threats like inflation, interest rates, geopolitical strife, and crime.
  • CNBC’s Steve Liesman believes the economy is likely to be okay and not face a recession in the near term as it continues to recover from the effects of COVID-19.

Day 3 Key Takeaways

Tractor Supply achieves ROI with AI. 

  • Tractor Supply CEO Hal Lawton discussed the company’s rapid growth, including doubling revenue since the pandemic and reaching $1 billion in ecommerce sales.
  • Lawton highlighted the significance of AI in retail, comparing it to the early discussions about the internet in the 2000s.
  • Tractor Supply uses AI for various purposes, including generating marketing copy and machine learning for supply chain and inventory management.
  • Generative AI is used for customer service, where it scrapes web and training materials to answer customer inquiries with specific product information.
  • Computer vision is employed to allocate labor effectively in stores based on checkout line and customer volume.

Security is top of mind for Saks. 

  • Saks president Marc Metrick addressed organized retail crime as a significant challenge facing luxury ecommerce, leading to increased consumer roadblocks.
  • Retailers like Saks have had to implement measures like in-store security, such as locking certain products behind glass.
  • Saks has invested in fraud protections to identify customers with a history of fraudulent complaints or returns.

Shein and Temu gain customer trust with transparency and gamification. 

  • U.S. retailers can learn marketing lessons from Shein and Temu, including strong social media presence and gamification of shopping.
  • Shein and Temu have gained trust with U.S. consumers through free shipping, returns, and on-time delivery guarantees.

As we reflect on this exceptional experience, we look forward to the exciting journey ahead, where Kibo continues to lead the charge in shaping the future of retail.

If you didn’t get a chance to see Kibo Order Management, eCommerce, or Subscription Commerce solutions in person at NRF, reach out to our team for a demo.