Top Trends to Follow at Shoptalk 2017

What happens at the Shoptalk conference this year in Vegas better NOT stay in Vegas.

If you missed the buzz around Shoptalk’s inaugural 2016 conference (which boasted more than 3,100 attendees!), now is the time to pay attention to one of the hottest gatherings in retail.

Running from March 19-22 at the Aria in Las Vegas, this retail and eCommerce event promises dialogue, discussions, networking, and collaboration around “the most critical technologies that are currently impacting retail and ecommerce or are poised to fundamentally alter the industry going forward.”

At a time of rapid evolution and mindblowing changes in the way consumers discover, shop and ultimately purchase, retailers are looking to technology to help match or exceed customer expectations. Shoptalk prides itself on bringing together a diverse group of executives, stakeholders, and senior-level leaders from across the commerce ecosystem—established retailers and brands, tech companies, startups, investors, analysts, and media—so that everyone benefits from the insights, perspectives, shared learnings, and predictions about the state of retail today and where it’s heading.

Ten key technologies are included on Shoptalk’s agenda; below are the top five trends that we are excited about and the sessions we recommend checking out.

Customer Service and Loyalty

In a competitive retail environment where consumers have a plethora of options and a multitude of ways to purchase, building loyalty is key. To keep customers coming back, many retailers are focusing on customer service and their omnichannel experience. Check out Track Keynote: Omnichannel Customer Experiences (Monday, Session 4: 3:10-3:45pm) to hear more about the importance of consistent customer experiences across platforms. The session also promises to address the ins and outs of utilizing exciting initiatives like endless aisles and in-store pickups, both of which require seamless operational coordination and communication.

Measurement and Analytics

Data and metrics are all the rage these days for good reason: they provide valuable insights which, if utilized correctly, can equal revenue gains, improvements in operations, and increased customer satisfaction rates. One session that sounds particularly interesting is entitled Measuring Store Shoppers (Monday, Session 6: 4:30-5:05pm), which will explore the consumer shopping data retailers now have access to and how three companies, all focused on offline analytics innovation, are thinking about the next generation of customer data.

Store Technologies

We might be biased, but introducing mobile technology into stores for employee use is kind of our thing. The Track Keynote: Store Technology (Monday, Session 1: 8:30-9:05am) includes conversations with the CIO of Rite-Aid and the COO of Crate & Barrel; both companies are focused on how technology can enable stores to run more efficiently when associates utilize mobile devices such as tablets. They will also discuss the in-store experience for shoppers and how to make it more engaging.

Fulfillment and Logistics

Fulfillment is one of the more challenging customer expectations to meet these days. A prevalent example is the trend towards buying online and picking up in the store. The convenience for consumers can be a logistical headache for retailers. We recommend Track Keynote: Evolution of Last-Mile Fulfillment: Delivery and Pickup (Monday, Session 3: 9:50-10:25am) to hear the President and CEO of Samsclub.com talk about the coordination efforts needed in the retail supply chain. The CEO of Postmates will discuss not just in-store pickup options but also the use of sidewalk robots for on-demand delivery. (We know: we had you at robots.)

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Speaking of, the final trend we find fascinating is Artificial Intelligence and the implications it has on retail, especially around personalization, search results, and measurement and analytics for online and in-store. While it may feel like we’re in the early days of this trend, four speakers will address the ways AI is disrupting retail in the Artificial Intelligence in Retail (Tuesday, Session 2: 9:10-9:45am) session. If you can’t make it, be sure to keep an ear out for AI references when you hear discussions around data and analytics.

Going to this year’s event? Our team would love to meet with you! Click here to schedule a meeting!

We hope you enjoy your time in Vegas, and please don’t forget to visit your favorite event sponsors (Inkling!) at Booth #L112.

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