8 talks to get excited about at Shoptalk 2020

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Announcement: Shoptalk has been rescheduled for September 14-17, 2020 due to the rapid escalation of the Covid-19 outbreak

Shoptalk 2020 is only a few weeks away and we’re already counting down the days until we land in Las Vegas and get the party started (and discover some industry-leading retail insights, of course). 

In case you haven’t heard, this year’s lineup of speakers is entirely female – a bold but brilliant move by Shoptalk to advocate women in the retail sector and get a female-led dialogue started. 

Find out what to expect at Shoptalk 2020 here

We look forward to hearing all the amazing speakers on the line up, but here are 8 talks we’re a little too eager to hear:

The future of brands: Catering to Gen Z

Date and time: Monday 23 March 2:20pm – 3:00pm

Summary: Consumers in every new generation seek brands that reflect their worldview and demand shopping experiences that cater to their unique needs. As the oldest members of Gen Z begin to enter the workforce and do their own shopping, brands and retailers alike are examining the characteristics of this generation. While some qualities that define Millennials, like diversity and a strong sensitivity to authenticity, are likely to characterize Gen Z as well, important differences around politics, economics and shopping behavior are also emerging. In this session, an industry expert will share her research on Gen Z consumers. The presentation will be followed by a conversation among executives at three youth-oriented companies who will discuss their understanding of this new generation of consumers, and how it will shape product and marketing decisions over the next few years.

Speakers:

Why we’re excited: More likely than not, the buying behaviors of Gen Z will come to shape the overall retail landscape in years to come. That’s why it will be particularly exciting to hear fresh insights into the shopping behaviors of Gen Zers and how youth-oriented brands are applying these insights to their offering.   

The Transformation of Physical Retail: Shifting Retail Formats and Footprints

Time and date: Monday 23 March 10:00am – 10:40am

Summary: The retail experience hasn’t changed fundamentally in decades, but today retailers are aiming to differentiate themselves through newly designed stores that meet and exceed shopper needs. Many retailers have embraced experiential retail, for example, offering everything from in-store entertainment and activities to tailoring services. Others have rolled out innovative technologies to create more efficient or engaging customer experiences. In this highly visual session, brands and retailers will immerse attendees in transformative store experiences. They’ll also share case studies about their successes and learnings from introducing these engaging store concepts.

Speakers:

Why we’re excited: Here at Qudini, beautifully choreographed in-store experiences are something we’re particularly passionate about, and we can’t wait to hear (and see) how brands are creating immersive experiences in-store. 

Social Marketing and Commerce: The Future of Social Commerce

Date and time: Monday 23 March 3:05pm – 3:45pm 

Summary: Social commerce has taken off in markets like China, with platforms including WeChat and Pinduoduo expected to rake in more than $300 billion in sales tied to these efforts this year. While social commerce hasn’t yet gained the same level of traction in the US, recent offerings from Instagram, Pinterest and others promise to make it easier for shoppers to discover and purchase products on their platforms. At the same time, innovative startups have built businesses that are designed to seamlessly tie together content-driven commerce and community. In this session, brands and retailers will discuss early learnings from their latest social commerce initiatives, as well as their thoughts on the future of social buying.

Speakers:

Why we’re excited: Anything omnichannel is enough to get us excited, and there’s nothing more omnichannel right now than social commerce. It’s great to see brands embracing sites like Instagram to sell products directly – but this is clearly only just the beginning of something brilliant and we look forward to seeing where mobile commerce could take the retail industry in the years to come.

Find out what key themes will emerge at Shoptalk 2020 here

Emerging Technology Spotlight: Customer Experience – In-Store Experience

Date and time: Monday 23 March 3:05pm – 3:45pm

Summary: This session will feature presentations from executives at cutting-edge technology companies whose solutions help retailers elevate the in-store experience  – including Qudini’s CEO and Co-founder, Imogen Wethered.

Speakers:

Why we’re excited: As well as seeing Imogen do her thing, it’s also refreshing and humbling to see what other incredible tech offerings are reshaping the retail space.  

New Retail Experiences: Working with Startups to Transform the Business

Date and time: Monday 24 March 8:30am – 9:10am

Summary: Retailers are always looking for new ways to expand their portfolio of products and services. Some build these offerings organically – increasingly, however, large retailers are looking to partner with or acquire startups to help extend their offerings. These startups provide innovative products and services that enable retailers to launch new business models or supplement product sales with new services. In this session, hear how startups and large retailers are working together to create a new generation of retail experiences.

Speakers:

Why we’re excited: As a tech startup ourselves, it would be very interesting to see how retailers are benefitting from outsourced tech services and how we can best add value to their existing offerings and power their future initiatives. 

New Retail Experiences: Blending Physical and Digital Retail

Date and time: Tuesday 24 March 9:15am – 9:55am

Summary: Many retailers offer omnichannel customer experiences, yet relatively few blend physical and digital channels seamlessly across their organizations. Ecommerce and retail store teams may interact more regularly, but it’s still rare to find businesses that have fully merged data streams across business units to create a true single view of the customer, for example. In this session, retail leaders will share how they have addressed internal omnichannel challenges and which approaches worked best on their journeys to become fully integrated organizations.

Speakers:

Why we’re excited: One of the main challenges facing retailers is collecting and utilizing in-store data to improve customer experience and operations – so it will be particularly exciting to hear how brands like Coach and J.Crew are revolutionizing their offering by blending these two channels together. 

Personalization: Delighting Customers through Personal Interactions

Date and time: Tuesday 24 March 2:20pm — 3:00pm

Summary: Today’s online shopping experiences are increasingly tailored to each individual – consumers now expect retailers to understand their preferences and buying habits. Increasingly, these expectations are crossing into physical stores as innovative retailers adopt new clienteling and customer service technologies and empower their associates to build meaningful connections with shoppers through personal service. In this session, hear from industry leaders as they discuss how they’re using personalization tactics online and offline to create more relevant, engaging shopping experiences.

Speakers:

Why we’re excited: Technology, data, changing consumer expectations, collaborative partnerships and enhanced in-store operations are all driving retailers to deliver more personalized consumer offerings and experiences. We can’t wait to hear how Ultra Beauty, FabFitFun and Macy’s are delivering personalized offerings both online and in-store.  

Evaluating Retail Technologies: The Technology-Enabled Store

Date and time: Wednesday 25 March 8:45am – 9:45am 

Summary: A wide variety of new technologies are transforming the customer experience in physical stores while also helping to streamline operations. From groundbreaking monitoring technologies that capture data in areas such as inventory and foot traffic, to revolutionary self-checkout solutions and digital signage, the store is getting smarter, more interactive and more efficient. In this session, leading retailers and real estate companies will provide tactical insights into how they’ve evaluated, deployed and measured new in-store technologies.

Speakers:

Why we’re excited: Modern consumers now expect the latest and greatest tech when visiting a store, but more often than not, their expectations aren’t met. It will be particularly exciting to see what brands like Walmart are doing to offer powerful, digitally-driven consumer experiences and behind-the-scene operations. 

For the full line up of speakers at Shoptalk 2020, take a look at the agenda here.

We can’t wait to see you all there and look forward to what will surely be one brilliant week of retail innovation!

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