Retail Trends,

Top takeaways from Retail Breakfast Club Stockholm 2023

Our Retail Breakfast Club returned to the center of Stockholm in mid-October and this year the theme was all about discovering more about the tech revolution that’s happening behind the scenes of retail.

Retail is in a constant state of flux yet, since the pandemic, the rate of change has been through the roof. In fact, change is happening so fast that it can be hard to keep up. We know from our experience that plenty of retailers know what they’d like to change to create great customer experiences and boost growth…but struggle to know where to start.

This edition of Retail Breakfast Club was designed to show that change is easier than many believe. 

Behind the scenes of retail tech, new technology – referred to as MACH architecture – is revolutionizing how fast and how cost efficient these changes can be achieved. 

No matter what role you have in retail, Retail Breakfast Club was a chance to broaden your mind and gain knowledge about the possibilities enabled by the new generation of retail technology where you have the choice, freedom, and flexibility to do things the way you want to.

With an awesome panel discussion and keynotes from Jens Levin, Sitoo co-founder and CEO, and Jasmin Guthmann, VP and Executive Board Member of the MACH Alliance, the audience were treated to a fascinating insight into the world of retail tech.

Here’s our top takeaways from the event:

1. Omni is everything

Ecomm continues to expand but, for the first time since the pandemic, growth in bricks and mortar sales is outpacing ecomm sales. Growth in both channels further underscores the importance of having a true omni strategy and approach to retail. 

Yet, still, the biggest challenge for retailers is connecting all their sales channels in real time. Many have attempted to do it but they’ve often taken the wrong approach – either trying to develop solutions themselves or engineer legacy systems to do it. 

The result of this always means lost sales and potentially losing loyal customers because they have a bad experience. Too often retailers will get sucked into the trap of thinking they have to change their ERP first and they’re scared of this because it’s a huge job. It doesn’t have to be like this. 

Our advice is, start with the front-facing systems and get something in the store that can really help store associates support customers. And it’s important to remember you don’t have to swap everything all at once – start with the pieces that are going to have the biggest impact and deliver the most value – and this is what will bring you closer to full omnichannel capabilities.

2. Speed of evolution is key

Following on from this we heard how speed of evolution is key. With market conditions and customer behavior changing all the time, you have to be in a position where you can react and respond to changes. This means having the courage and ambition to act quickly, daring to take a chance on something new, and believing that evolving is the secret to thriving. 

With this in mind, it’s crucial you build a foundation that enables and empowers you to act quickly…

3. You don’t know what you’re going to need in the future

You’ll be ensuring your business is ready to step into the future of retail if you put the foundations in place to harness the power of new tech. It’s hard to fathom how quickly technology is moving. 

Currently the IQ of your standard AI is 150. In 18 months time, it’s likely to be 1,500. Similarly, in the next 18-20 years, technology is likely to be between 100,000 – 1 million times more advanced than it is today. 

We don’t yet know how this is going to impact retail, CX, or customer behavior. But we do know how to be ready for it – and this means having technology in place that’s built for the future and with the future in mind. 

4. MACH is the seal of approval

As far as we’re concerned, this technology should be MACH-certified. If a piece of software is rubber-stamped as MACH-certified by the MACH Alliance you know instantly that it’s already had to meet and pass specific criteria. What MACH does is ensure that the SaaS companies you’re working with are actually delivering what they say they’re going to deliver from an architecture perspective. For example, to be part of the MACH Alliance a software vendor has to actually be microservices-first and not a big, monolithic system with an API bolted on to it.

MACH-certified vendors have to have composability, connectability, scalability, and be easy to swap in and out. It’s this level of flexibility and control you need to be ready for what the future of shopping brings.

The MACH Alliance brings together tried, trusted, and proven software vendors that are cloud-native, API-based and built for the current and future needs of retailers. The MACH Alliance is the seal of approval for these vendors that retailers know they can trust.

5. Put the power in your hands

MACH isn’t a cult of people excited about tech. Its approach is all about putting the freedom of choice in your hands. With a composable stack, you are the master of your destiny. You can choose what works for you, your business, your store associates, and your customers.

With MACH-certified software, you can seamlessly add and experiment with new functionalities, services, and integrations without disrupting your existing infrastructure. This agility and adaptability allows you to test new ideas and opens up possibilities for leveraging emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and automation, allowing you to create personalized experiences, optimize operations, and drive growth.

In Summary 

If there’s one lasting lesson from Retail Breakfast Club it’s this; in this rapidly changing business landscape, agility is of paramount importance. 

Embracing MACH principles within IT architecture is vital for agility as MACH-based systems are inherently adaptive, allowing rapid responses to environmental shifts. By breaking down applications into smaller, independent components that can be updated and deployed separately, organizations can readily adapt to market changes, evolving requirements, and emerging technologies.

Innovation and experimentation are crucial to the future of any retail organization. The role of technology should be to help retailers to offer seamless transactional experiences while incorporating brand discovery and storytelling. It all comes down to removing friction and adding convenience for the consumer.

If you don’t know where to start, the MACH Alliance ensures that the software retailers’ purchase delivers what it promises.

If you want to learn more about our approach to retail and how it can benefit your business, we’d love to talk to you.

Get in touch

View all posts