This year’s second annual ShopTalk was held in Las Vegas and hosted 5,000 people representing 2,000 different brands. The energy was palpable, and retailers seem ready to rise to the challenge of remaining relevant in today’s consumer journey.
Throughout the conference, several key themes emerged:
Distributed commerce: More than just retail’s hottest buzzword, this trend is critical to being relevant to your customer. First, you must think about how the customer shops. They don’t see separate “channels,” rather, they look first for relevance and convenience. Brands must use technology to support these needs first, rather than meeting their own goals first. Social platforms, like Instagram and Pinterest, made announcements to feature more shoppable content allowing brands to reach the consumer where they are.
The mobile experience: A trend that isn’t going away, it is becoming more and more important to think mobile first. As Mindy Grossman, CEO of HSN, noted, “Mobile is the new flagship.” And it should be treated as such. Jonathan Aferness, VP of product management for Shopping at Google, reported that 34% of all US purchases are taking place on mobile phones and nearly half of all customer journeys include the use of mobile. And as time goes on, this number will only increase. It’s important to make sure that you’re taking a fresh look at your mobile experience, and taking into consideration how your customer is using their mobile phone not just on their couch, but also in your retail location.
Using the elephant in the room to your advantage: Peter Faricy, VP of Amazon Marketplace, reported that 55% of customers start their product discovery on Amazon, compared to 26% who use search engines. So, not only are your customers looking on Amazon first, they are seeing your competitors if you aren’t there. Amazon also continues to push the envelope when it comes to consumer’s expectations for shipping. With the proliferation of Amazon Prime and newer offerings like Amazon Prime Now, brands need to stay competitive and offer quick turnaround on delivery.
After taking in many panels, keynotes and expo floor conversations, one quote sums up all the various topics & themes.
“The new world is distributed commerce, audience-centric and platform agnostic.” Mindy Grossman, CEO of HSN