Insights from ShopTalk Las Vegas
Last week in Las Vegas over 5500 attendees came together for ShopTalk 2017 – the new retail and ecommerce conference that is disrupting the US event landscape. Over the four days from 19-22 March, 330 speakers shared insights into their businesses including keynotes from Lionel Richie, Amazon, eBay, Rebecca Minkoff, Alibaba Group, Sephora, Target, Walmart, Houzz, and many more. Proud Aussie moments included being the second largest attendee group and our very own Lana Hopkins from Mon Purse taking the stage in the investment & entrepreneurship track.
Across 17 track sessions retail’s hottest topics were covered ranging from start-up pitches, global perspectives, demos and announcements, physical retail going digital, online going offline, and the list goes on. The event did not disappoint and everyone I spoke to left inspired and armed with some great insights.
I have asked some of our Australian delegation members in attendance to share with me their top 3 takeaways, and this is what they said:
Lana Hopkins, CEO and Founder, Mon Purse
- Artificial Intelligence is key – it needs to done properly and in a meaningful way. It’s primarily important because we need to be maniacally obsessed about knowing and truly understanding our customers.
- Digitally native brands will lead the future of retail.
- The power of building a true brand is priceless.
Jethro Marks, CEO, Mercury Retail P/L , The Nile
- Amazon is the first thought on everyone’s mind.
- AI and machine learning are today’s main attraction, but faster shipping is what really matters. EBay announced a new guaranteed shipping program, Walmart now offers free 2-day shipping and Amazon is fulfilling orders in 2 hours.
- Globally, online marketplaces are big and are just getting bigger…Amazon, Alibaba, eBay and Walmart all shared huge numbers of visitors and orders shipped. Few merchants can or should ignore these channels.
Alice Kuepper, Director, Online Retailer Conference and Expo
- AI and conversational commerce is transforming retail like never before – eBay, Amazon, Google, IBM they all had the same message – AI is the future of retail. Applications of AI were showcased for example as a management tool by accessing retailer’s data, Uri Minkoff asked Alexa what the most was purchased item in the spring collection and got the correct response in one second.
- Experiential retail needs to be memorable, shareable and repeatable – successful brands build communities and brand love, Sephora and Rebecca Minkoff were the prominent examples of this.
- Stores are capitalising on their physical blueprint to drive a logistics advantage, big retailers are investing into stores by combining physical and digital – Walmart and Target drove that message home.
Helena Stylman, Director, Retail Global
- Online Marketplaces Create a Direct–to–Consumer Path for Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs (for example) in 2016, Amazon’s marketplace helped 100,000 entrepreneurs worldwide and created 600,000 jobs.
- Alibaba is relatively less known in the US (compared to Australia) yet they do more business then eBay and Amazon combined – as stated by Lee McCabe, VP for North America, Alibaba.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) was a very popular topic that was prevalent, both on the agenda and the exhibition hall. The power of AI to transform the consumer journey was heard loud and clear!
- The overarching message from the event was clearly that the future of retail is all about using technology to strengthen customer relationships by improving their experiences, while making the day-to-day operations easier for merchants.
- To keep up in a very competitive landscape, retailers need to embrace new business models and let go of the old. They need to capitalise on technologies that will surprise and delight their customers and create lasting connections and relationships.
I have come back from Las Vegas inspired (fairly tired too I have to admit), and I cannot wait for you all to come to Online Retailer and feel the same way (we-re not in Vegas but we have the ORIAS!). Online Retailer is your local catalyst for the growth and transformation of our complex ecommerce ecosystem and you don’t want to miss hearing the great initiatives and trends our retailers, brands and vendors are pioneering.
At Online Retailer Sydney this year you will have access to retail stars such as Rebecca Minkoff, Indochino, Sacks Fifth Avenue, and GGV Capital from the US and Canada, as well as our local Adore Beauty, Nourished Life, OzSale, IKEA, ShowPo, Super Retail Group, Booktopia and many more, sharing their knowledge and insights on how they have managed to be relevant, disruptive, memorable, and truthful to their brand.
Not only that, but they will also share with us how they adapted to changes in the digital landscape and what they believe the future of retail will look like.
Ultimately, Online Retailer is your platform to do business, share ideas, connect, be inspired and learn how to use technologies to enable growth and greatness!
The Team and I cannot wait to see you all there on July 26 and 27. Go get your tickets now!