What MACH Alliance means for retail and why we joined

What does this new standard mean for retail software? And, crucially, why does it matter?

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    MACH Technology

New standards for retail software

Tucked away on the streets of the Lower Eastside in New York City is a hidden gem of a bar. There’s no signs, no flashing lights, nothing of any description to set it apart. If you didn’t know what you were looking for, you’d breeze right by.

But if you know, and you pause to knock on the industrial steel door with no handle, you’ll be granted entry to an exclusive club, where new standards are set, industry norms are challenged, excellence is second nature, and possibilities are redefined.

This isn’t just a bar for the public. It’s where every bartender wants to go. Because, in doing so, they know they can learn, better themselves and help shape the future of the industry for the better.

And, while retail’s coolest tech in town club isn’t serving up super-clean martinis (alcohol-free options available!) on beds of dry ice, it is shaping the future of the industry for the better.

Say hello to the MACH Alliance; the organization setting the new standards for retail software.

At the mid-point of 2022, our status as a best-in-class retail software vendor was further enhanced after we became a certified member of the MACH Alliance. So why did we join the MACH Alliance? What does this new standard mean for retail software? And, crucially, why does it matter?

This guide covers:

Chapter 1: What is the MACH Alliance?

The MACH Alliance, a not-for-profit industry body that advocates open and best-of-breed enterprise technology ecosystems, was only founded in June 2020 but has already been referred to by leading global market research company, Forrester, as ‘the coolest tech in town club.’ Membership approval is now seen as a gold standard for retail tech companies to secure.

As the MACH Alliance explains on its website, MACH stands for:

M – Microservices: Individual pieces of business functionality that are independently developed,
deployed, and managed.
A – API first: All functionality is exposed through an API.
C – Cloud-native SaaS: that leverages the cloud, beyond storage and hosting, including elastic scaling and automatically updating.
H – Headless: Front-end presentation is decoupled from back-end logic and channel, programming language, and is framework agnostic.

In essence, MACH Certification gives enterprises confidence they are choosing best-in-class vendors that can deliver future-proof technology.

The MACH Alliance’s mission is to future proof enterprise technology and to propel current and future digital experiences with open and connected enterprise tech. Collectively our voice represents the next generation of technology and business. – MACH

Chapter 2: Why is the MACH Alliance important for the future of retail?

It’s a given that the essence of great retail is giving customers what they want, when they want.

When the only option was for a customer to walk into a store then giving them what they want was simple. But now, in the age of always-on-retail, your stores are everywhere. There’s physical stores, ecomm stores, marketplaces, social selling and more.

This means that, in order to still give customers what they want whenever they want it, the modern retailer has to create a consistent shopping experience with all sales channels connected in real time, no matter where the customer starts their journey. To do this, the right systems and building blocks need to be in place.

And one big monolithic service that tries to do everything (and more often than not fails) isn’t the answer. Legacy software solutions are rigid, tough to integrate, often based on a local server and built for a model of retail that’s been consigned to the past.

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.

MACH technology gives retailers efficient deployment and automated updates. It ensures easy integration between services and systems. It gives retailers elasticity, automated scaling and only one single version of the software. Power, flexibility and composability are then in the retailers hands. They can create an ecosystem based around what they need and how they want to run their business.

And it means retailers can innovate, experiment, be agile and nimble, and deliver great experiences across every single touchpoint.

To break the benefits in the MACH acronym down:

Microservices result in flexibility, efficient deployment and faster updates.
API-first ensures the APIs are efficient, reliable and easy-to-use.
Cloud-native SaaS means auto scaling, elasticy, flexibility and automated updates.
Headless Commerce eliminates all cross-channel friction related to payments, campaigns and order data.

This is the future of retail and this is why MACH is so important to the industry.

To ensure that enterprises can innovate swiftly and have an agile experience roadmap, they must own a modular “swappable” architecture. This is the only way to deploy new features rapidly and retain control of their destiny. - MACH

Chapter 3: Why we joined the MACH Alliance

We’re passionate forward thinkers. We lead by inspiring others around us, knowing that excitement drives innovation. We dare to dream big and act brave, and by turning curiosity into knowledge and knowledge into innovation we push the limits of what’s possible with retail tech.

In line with MACH Alliance’s mission, at Sitoo we’re very much about tearing down barriers, encouraging retailers to question what they know about retail technology and helping them embrace the enormous possibilities of composable best-of-breed technology.
The software retailers choose – whether it’s a CRM, eCom, footfall counter or a Unified Commerce Platform anchored by Point of Sale (POS) – and their IT architecture, play essential roles in helping them deliver the kind of experiences their customers desire.

Membership of the MACH Alliance gives our customers – and future customers – an additional level of assurance that we are the best of the best and firmly committed to an API-first, open, cloud-native approach to our development.

Being part of the MACH Alliance is a quality stamp. Innovation, a pioneering approach, and pushing boundaries of what’s possible with retail technology sit at the heart of everything we do. We truly ARE all that MACH stands for: Microservices, API-first, Cloud-native, Headless and that’s why we joined.

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.

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