Speed of Ret'AI'l to the power of MACH

Authored by Prasad Tangirala, Vice President of eCommerce engineering at Conn's HomePlus and a MACH Ambassador.

We can't spell Retail without AI. Everyone is in a race to launch generative AI (chat GPT or Bard) based experiences on their websites. Conn's Home Plus was one of the first e-commerce sites to launch an AI chat-driven product Q&A. We could pull this off with minimal investment and effort because of our early adoption of MACH.

MACH is a strategic choice, given the magnitude of churn and change the industry faces. The marketing technology landscape provides a great visual of our industry's massive opportunity (and problem). There is an innovation overload happening that no organization can digest. No one can keep up with 1000+ new products /ideas debuting each year. Also, this means any technology choice we make today will have several great replacement options in about 3-5 years.

We realized early on that Composable architectures provide a way out. We chose a MACH-certified AI search provider while upgrading from an earlier generation search two years ago after completing and evaluating the proofs-of-concept with three vendors. We worked with them to ensure their AI search recognized our inventory distributed in each of our stores, warehouses, and drop-shippers. It was flexible enough to be customized to handle our complexity out-of-the-box. That proved to be a great decision even as we re-platformed our e-commerce site while growing the business.

So now, when our chosen vendor was trying to beta their conversational AI offerings, we could immediately take advantage of it. Please check out our conns.com implementation of this technology, and ask some questions about our products. And remember, "Financing" is not a bad word at Conn's. We have a financing option for most customers, and we are one of the few retailers who offer next-day delivery on large appliances and furniture in all 15 states in which we operate.

Happy shopping and Happy holidays!

About the Author:

Prasad Tangirala is a MACH Ambassador and VP of eCommerce Engineering at Conn’s Home Plus. He is passionate about digital transformation that results in non-linear business growth having led several such successful transformations. Prior to Conn’s he was leading the eCommerce practice at Cognizant and early on he held product and technology leadership roles at Amazon and Apple and financial (lending) startups.