SalesTechStar Interview with Vinesh Vis, Chief Sales Officer at Kibo

Vinesh Vis, Chief Sales Officer at Kibo chats about the growing use of headless platforms in today’s dynamic retail market:

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Welcome to this SalesTech Series chat Vinesh. Tell us more about your role at Kibo. How has the sales team, and even salestech at Kibo, evolved through your time there?

As Chief Sales Officer at Kibo, I’m dedicated to aligning the sales organization around the company’s go-to-market strategy and growth opportunities. 

When I started at Kibo in 2018, I came from a SaaS background where we sold our solutions to only one buyer persona. But at Kibo, where we have three main product lines, our sales team interacts with multiple personas. On top of this, there’s been an evolution in enterprise SaaS sales, where sales cycles are now longer, due to these additional personas and business units being involved in the decision to purchase. What worked years ago in enterprises sales, no longer works and your sales strategy and tactics have to evolve too. 

With multiple personas involved who all have different needs, it is not about what you are selling, but how you are selling. It is crucial to make your buyers feel seen and heard and that you as a sales executive understand their challenges and how you can solve them. My team works very hard to listen to our customers, and we learn a lot from the top innovative retail brands that we work with such as Adidas, Darn Tough, Reebok, Waitrose, and Jelly Belly.

Read More: The Kibo Eclipse Expert Review Published On Online COSMOS

In today’s ecommerce and online buying-selling marketplace, headless systems and technologies are picking up pace in terms of demand and popularity. Can you share a few thoughts about the growing importance of these technologies today? 

Consumers are embracing the omnichannel experience, and as a result, brands must provide a compelling and dynamic retail experience. This is what I’m seeing many of our customers at Kibo working towards as they build an engaging shopping experience for their customers. 

Recognizing this need, I’ve observed that the industry is moving away from monolithic platforms and toward the integration of headless technology. Brands are finding that headless architectures offer benefits in seamless channel connectivity, greater development agility and flexible integration management – providing the omnichannel experience today’s shoppers require. 

Headless also provides the advanced tools and functionality that both developers and marketing teams need to succeed. This includes delivering out-of-the-box, advanced capabilities – such as AI-powered personalization, product and catalog management, and search and navigation – in addition to cart, checkout, and fulfillment functionalities. 

But, according to a 2021 report from IDC, fewer than 20% of all digital commerce implementations are what would be considered truly headless. So, clearly there’s a chance for growth in this area as more retailers start to embrace headless technologies.

Why will headless technologies continue to grow, and how will this impact the state of other technologies/tools in B2B?

At Kibo, we’ve noticed that more and more ecommerce brands are adopting headless commerce because it meets the sophisticated requirements of those operating in today’s online retail environment. Headless’ flexibility in front-end applications makes it perfectly suited to an omnichannel world. So, whether on desktop, mobile, in-store kiosk, or the digital channels of the future, a headless platform can provide customers with an exceptional, seamless digital experience. What’s more, headless brings a number of advantages, such as:

  • Faster site speed
  • Faster time-to-value
  • More agility
  • Management simplicity 
  • Lower customer acquisition costs and higher conversion rates

Lastly, I think it’s important to note that headless provides service orchestration – the ability to design and control all aspects of a sales channel. As other technologies and tools emerge, they will need to be able to easily integrate to headless, allowing retailers to build out a best-in-class, bespoke ecommerce solution. 

I would also suggest that retailers who want to make a move to headless technologies, should consider working with a strong partner. A solid vendor partner can help you deliver and integrate a new solution into your tech stack and offer important support and guidance through this process. At Kibo, we’re lucky to have such strong partnerships with companies like Ignitiv, Cognizant, Amplience, and Vue Storefront, that have helped our customers accomplish their digital commerce initiatives.

Read More: Kibo Expands Headless ECommerce Offerings With NRF Debut Of Storefront Accelerators

What are a few ways in which you feel eCommerce technologies and trends will change globally as ecommerce marketers and platforms become more sophisticated in how they craft experiences?

I do see some interesting things happening globally in ecommerce. First, I believe that we will continue to see consolidation in the marketplace, with multiple acquisitions. Yes, there will always be new technologies and service providers who enter the marketplace, but that will never stop larger companies from acquiring companies with expertise and skills that will help them continue to grow.

I also think as retailers continue to build personalized experiences for customers to meet them where they are, we will see even more regulation to protect the privacy of consumers. The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way that consumers work and shop, with barriers breaking down between the home and the office, and even between online and offline channels for shopping. While it’s important for retailers to craft customized personalized journeys for consumers, care will have to be taken to protect both consumer privacy and data.

When it comes to creating and building mobile online journeys that lead to repeat purchases, what should marketers and product teams keep in mind?

I think that marketers and product teams must always remember that the end goal is to make the consumer’s path to purchase as easy and seamless as possible. They can achieve this through personalized experiences, which consumers have now come to expect. 

However, only 14% of consumers say their last shopping experience was personalized, and only 15% of retailers have fully implemented personalization strategies. Despite all the data at our fingertips, without headless technology, retailers are finding it difficult to deliver 1-to-1 personalized experiences across every channel while responding and adapting to customers’ changing needs and expectations. 

We’d love to hear a few thoughts on your views on the global ecommerce and mobile commerce industry and predictions for 2022!

In my opinion, the key to success in 2022 will be the effective execution of omnichannel retail experiences. The last two years have taught our team at Kibo and our customers about flexibility and the importance of meeting customers where they are, delivering the experience that best fits their unique journey. 

Customer journeys are not homogenous anymore. The technology that has the greatest impact on 2022 will be the solutions that prioritize omnichannel customer relationshipsRetailers should continue to improve the experiences that worked for them, whether that be Click-and-Collect, Buy Online Pickup in Store (BOPIS), or another fulfilment method.  

Also, we’ll see personalization continue to flourish as each customer’s journey diverges from the next. By giving the prospective buyer a shopping experience that is catered to their needs, retailers can leave a lasting impression that highlights convenience and reliability. 

Any last thoughts, takeaways, before we wrap up?

I think it’s important to note that switching to a new commerce platform is a big undertaking and not without its challenges. Therefore, it’s important to remember that headless can be complicated if not done right.

But I think it’s also important to remember not to put headless commerce into its own box when thinking about the overall customer experience. It’s not just about the presentation layer but also consider the other platforms and solutions on the backend that you rely on as a retailer, such as order management and personalization. I always suggest making sure to choose a provider who can solve your needs for years to come, and not just for the near future.

As long as you do your due diligence and choose a headless provider that offers a range of services out-of-the-box and will give you comprehensive, ongoing support, the complexity can be managed while still supporting innovation.

Read More: SalesTechStar Interview with Alison O’Keefe, General Manager of Retail Partnerships, AdAdapted

Kibo is a unified commerce company that delivers personalized, omnichannel experiences.

Vinesh Vis is the Chief Sales Officer at Kibo

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buying-selling marketplaceChief Sales Officerdigital commerceEcommerceInterviewKibomobile commerceSaasSales OrganizationSalesTechStarShopping ExperienceTechnologiesVinesh Vis
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