Logicbroker’s Key Takeaways From NRF 2024

By Jager Robinson | January 22, 2024

The retail world is looking bright from the Logicbroker booth. Members of the Logicbroker team were on hand at NRF 2024 and after three days of meetings, booth conversations, sessions, and more, it became increasingly clear that we live in an interconnected world of not just our supply chains but our customers, clients, and partners. No longer are retailers isolated from the post-sale product experience. Consumers now demand supply chain updates (through inventory, availability, or returns information), or they will take their business elsewhere. 

Social media, small suppliers, and advancing technologies means everyone has a voice, stake, and say in the industry. Through this intersection, several key areas of focus are driving conversations both at trade shows and in our one-on-one meetings—AI, building a more robust supply chain, and creating long-term partnerships. 

It’s All About AI—Again

The well that never seems to dry, AI took center stage at NRF 2024 through both keynote sessions and one-on-one meetings. While AI and Machine Learning dominated the airwaves (being a focal point or area of conversation at an impressive 11 individual sessions at NRF 2024), the reality was retailers are more and more looking for ways to utilize AI for intrinsic efficiencies. 

A few years back, with ChatGPT leaping into center stage, AI’s conversation was focused around “what is the future for this incredible new technology?” Now, the conversation has shifted to “How can AI improve my organization?” Microsoft, Samsung, and more are making practical AI leaps introducing new models that not only act as simple language models (like ChatGPT) but also empower frontline workers or create fully autonomous stores like Amazon Go. 

It’s not about AI as a way to boost capital, it’s about introducing AI into your systems to boost efficiency. AI tools and automation tools in general can boost the productivity of your current staff to offset the need for more Full-Time Employees (FTE). 

With FTE requirements at an all-time low, AI can intercede in the customer journey, creating thousands of personalized recommendations to not only the consumer but to the retailers themselves. Typically, we hear of the need for more personalized shopping experiences as a consumer-centric initiative. With new AI models, the control can be shifted toward retailers to the point that an AI model built into your tech can recommend new brands and suppliers to maximize your current customers’ journey, rather than rely on the customers to click a button or shop consistently. 

“AI is going to be at the intersection of commerce for many years to come and as a whole we are still in the very early innings,” said Steve Norris, Logicbroker’s VP of Digital Commerce. “What we see is everyone asking about AI, some companies experimenting, but very few using it to solve tangible business challenges that face retailers today. At Logicbroker, we see the introduction of AI as a continuation of all our autonomous tools. Automated onboarding, automated connectivity, and automated recommendations are and will be a game changer for each of our customers and the entire industry as new leaps in AI technology hit the market.”

A ‘Supply Chain’ Isn’t Always About Inventory

We are all aware of inventory challenges in commerce. Online or in-store, one of the common problems of an interconnected world is simply the ability to navigate global shipping and manufacturing constraints. However, inventory availability was not a concern at NRF 2024. 

What really stood out at the conference was the idea of driving optimization in the supply chain to weather another inventory issue as we saw between 2019-2021. Now, it’s not about getting products to market, it’s about building an ecosystem that guarantees products when the next inevitable global challenge arises. 

The key here is data utilization. As organizations look to lower return costs, reduce their environmental impact, and navigate through geopolitical incidents and natural disasters, retailers must explore ways to better capitalize on the data flowing through their systems. 

A typical retailer’s data set is largely unused, misunderstood, or simply underutilized. First-party customer data can shape your owned inventory, dropship, and marketplace strategy before you even bring products to market, let alone the ability to build a resilient supply chain. With a tech partner helping retailers analyze their data, they can build a more resilient future, one that has all the information to predict and protect against future slowdowns. 

And, here is where our good friend AI comes into play. Decisions can be made faster and without constant rechecks with an algorithm mapping vital trends to consider in a retailer’s supply chain

Long-Term Partnerships Solve Most Issues

The last key trend the Logicbroker team saw at NRF was the renewed focus on building long-term relationships. As a long-time tech partner in the dropship and marketplace space, we’ve always focused heavily on maintaining and nourishing long-term relationships with our clients. Retail commerce has never been a short-term game. Products come and go, but with a focus on building the perfect multi-vendor commerce platform, retailers are starting to understand the value of building a relationship with a tech partner that spans decades, rather than focusing on short-term gains only.

This renewed focus comes from the challenges we’ve seen over the last 2 years. With interest rates remaining high, and inflation hitting most retailers’ customer base, retailers need to adapt and overcome challenges in conjunction with their partners, not in spite of them. 

“Unlike a lot of other providers, we have real people our customers can talk to,” said Blair Hall, Logicbroker’s VP of Client Experience. “When issues arise, and they always do, we don’t leave them high and dry to try and figure it out themselves. While that seems intuitive, we’ve seen dozens of our competitors leave their customers to automated messaging services that not only make it hard for their customers to navigate through their commerce platform, but also difficult for the tech partner themselves trying to figure out what the main issue is. We pride ourselves on being open to all forms of communication, both constructive and evolutionary, because we all know the pain points when it comes to building an eCommerce program that just works. 

Continue The Conversation

One of the unique aspects of the eCommerce industry is the intersection of talent, data, and technology. Logicbroker welcomes the ability to meet with customers (both present and future) at events like NRF, and we welcome everyone to continue our productive conversations online. Visit the various pages on our website to learn more about all things multi-vendor commerce, and reach out to our team to schedule one-on-one interviews that explore how to best optimize your eCommerce experience (whether that’s with Logicbroker at the helm or not). 

About Logicbroker

Logicbroker is a premier multi-vendor commerce platform that seamlessly connects trading partners regardless of integration types. Our modern solutions empower retailers and brands to take control of their customer experience by harnessing and analyzing vital first-party data, reducing inventory risk, and curating their expanded assortment. By improving the visibility into our client’s commerce programs, Logicbroker can better position retailers and brands for transformative growth.

As business needs and demand shift, Logicbroker provides the ability to quickly switch suppliers and product fulfillment between 3P to 1P and responsibly find new sources of inventory that uphold your brand integrity and meet your delivery promise. ​We work with mid-market and Enterprise manufacturers and retailers across a number of verticals including Health & Wellness, Home Improvement, Consumer Electronics, Toys & Babies, and Consumer Packaged Goods and service brands such as Samsung, Victoria’s Secret, The Vitamin Shoppe, Walgreens, Ace Hardware, and BBQGuys

Modern dropship & marketplace solutions have never been so easy.

Are you ready to drive growth and gain unparalleled speed to market with a modern, scalable dropship or marketplace program? Fill out the form below to get in touch with our team: