Yesterday was the first full day of ShopTalk and the conference is buzzing from what most attendees are saying has been some of the best keynotes and panels they’ve ever seen. As thought leaders and key executives from some of the top retailers in the world converge, clear trends are starting to emerge that set the stage for what innovation looks like in the retail world in 2019.
What makes ShopTalk truly unique is the focus on getting the most innovative retailers in the world together to actually share what’s working, what isn’t, and what they are trying to improve on themselves. This kind of transparency is what keeps ShopTalk on the bleeding edge of retail innovation and also why over 200 media outlets cover the show.
The Bold Metrics team has been on the ground at ShopTalk, both at our booth (#3433 – come by and say hello!) and in the keynotes and panels, soaking up as much information as we can to bring back to you. So whether you’re here in Vegas with us or not, we wanted to make sure you’re able to stay on top of the major trends in retail, here are the top three below:
1. Brand and Retailers need to understand their customers better
While “personalization” has been a popular buzzword in the retail world for years now, this year the conversation has gone a bit deeper. It’s no secret that brands and retailers are sitting on a huge amount of data, but the general consensus is that they aren’t doing enough with it to improve the customer experience.
One of the best quotes from a keynote yesterday is – “No, there is no retail apocalypse, but yes there challenges. We have to understand our customers and redefine retail for the future.”
It’s pretty clear that the sky is no longer falling for retailers, but where it’s clear many are falling short is when it comes to really leveraging the data they have on their customers to create better experiences.
2. Physical stores aren’t going away, but they are being re-invented
A few years ago you might have thought that eCommerce was going to take over, and while eCommerce growth has been incredible, it’s now clear that stores are here to stay. Erik Nordstrom gave a very thought-provoking talk yesterday, in it he said, Our stores are long term investments. We don’t get concerned with short term trends.”
What is changing in-store is how retailers leverage technology and customer data to reduce friction. Dressing rooms have long been a pain-point for shoppers and technology to make that experience easier is high on the list for apparel retailers.
It’s also clear that stores impact online sales, Macy’s shared some interesting data highlighted in this tweet from Laura Heller:
3. Engagement is what drives everything
It doesn’t matter how many new AI or ML technologies you add to your store or your eCommerce site, if they don’t drive engagement, they don’t make an impact. Nicole Reyhle from RetailMinded shared a great quote from yesterday in a talk given by beauty retailer Ipsy.
“Engagement is what drives everything”
This also ties directly into the top trend we’ve seen, understanding customers better. The more brands and retailers understand their customers, the better they can get them to engage and in the process provide experiences that keep them coming back.
It’s another full day at ShopTalk and we couldn’t be more excited. If you’re walking around the show floor and need a little food in your stomach, just let your nose take you to the smell of fresh popcorn, we’ll be making it all day at the Bold Metrics booth, #3433.
Enjoy and thanks for reading!