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Streamlining Your Tech Stack While Accelerating Digital Transformation


Bhaskar Mishra

Senior Vice President, Chief Product Officer, Michaels

Nick Patrick

Co-Founder and CEO

In this session, Nick Patrick, Co-Founder and CEO of Radar, and Bhaskar Mishra, Senior Vice President and Chief Product Officer at Michaels, delved into the intricacies of streamlining tech stacks amidst the ongoing digital transformation. As 2023 was characterized by a push for efficiency, the pressure to achieve more with fewer resources persists into 2024.

Nick Patrick opened the session by addressing the prevalent industry sentiment of doing more with less, a sentiment echoed by the majority of the audience. He emphasized the challenges of tighter budgets and smaller teams against the backdrop of escalating consumer and market expectations. Nick positioned Radar as an all-in-one location platform catering to various customer journey touchpoints, citing examples of its usage in store locators and seamless pickup experiences.

Bhaskar Mishra provided insights into Michaels' digital transformation journey, highlighting three key challenges: meeting heightened digital expectations, integrating store experiences seamlessly, and hiring and retaining top talent. He detailed Michaels' efforts in launching new ecommerce platforms, mobile apps, and marketplaces, emphasizing the importance of creating common components for scalability and efficiency.

Throughout the discussion, the speakers emphasized the importance of vendor consolidation and strategic decision-making in technology adoption. Bhaskar discussed the evaluation process for choosing vendors, stressing the significance of capability assessment and cost considerations. He cited Radar's address validation solution as an example of successful vendor partnership, resulting in a significant reduction in order impact rates.

Nick elaborated on Radar's evolution into a comprehensive location platform and its role in vendor consolidation. He highlighted the trend of combining martech and infotech platforms into unified solutions, aligning with retailers' needs for streamlined operations and enhanced customer experiences.

The speakers also addressed challenges in technology adoption, including internal resistance and the build versus buy dilemma. Bhaskar emphasized the importance of data-driven decision-making and aligning teams based on common incentives. He discussed Michaels' approach to leveraging external vendors for specialized capabilities while focusing internal resources on core competencies.

Geofencing emerged as a pivotal technology in enhancing retail experiences, with Bhaskar discussing its role in understanding customer behaviors and driving personalized experiences. Nick underscored the importance of ROI-driven technology adoption, emphasizing the need for clear value propositions in an era of budget constraints.

Looking ahead, the speakers predicted a continued focus on efficiency and growth in 2024. They anticipate a balanced approach to technology adoption, with an emphasis on driving profitable growth through strategic partnerships and data-driven decision-making.

In conclusion, the discussion provided valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities associated with streamlining tech stacks amidst digital transformation. Bhaskar and Nick's experiences underscored the importance of strategic vendor partnerships, data-driven decision-making, and aligning technology investments with business objectives. As retailers navigate the evolving digital landscape, the session offered actionable strategies for achieving efficiency and driving innovation in tech stacks.

MAR 2024