ShopTalk: 3 Lessons Learned at the Next Gen Commerce Event

Updated on May 21, 2018

The Criteo team was out in full force for ShopTalk, an annual event that focuses on the latest trends in retail and ecommerce. From new technologies to changes in consumer expectations, retailers, brands, startups, tech companies, investors, and analysts came together to discuss the rapid evolution of how today’s consumers are discovering, shopping, and buying.

Criteo was front and center with our StoreFront on the conference floor during show hours. And throughout the event, we had fruitful discussions with leading retail innovators about the Criteo product suite, omnichannel marketing, and the future of the industry.

From our conversations and the show sessions, we walked away with three key lessons that retailers and brands should be mindful of in 2017:

  1. Data is king. 

CEOs from MindMeld and Bonobos and CMOs from Aritzia, Casper, and Modell’s took the stage to share the same message: Companies who use data to their advantage will reign supreme this year. Oliver Walsh, CMO of Aritzia, remarked that, “The role of marketing is to know who you customer is and stay true to them. You need to anticipate what they want before they do.” Similarly, Modell’s CMO, Tami Mohney, stated that, “The #1 need in marketing is data analytics and then making that data actionable.” The most powerful asset any marketer has today is data they can use to understand and market to their target audience.

  1. 1:1 customer experiences are table stakes. 

Shoppers want to be treated as an audience of one. PS Dept, an app that helps consumers find and buy products they see online, such as on Instagram, has seen this first-hand. Michelle Goad, CEO and Co-Founder, said that people are obsessed with the custom 1:1 experience they receive when trying to find the perfect item, which PS Dept accomplishes with both bots and human interaction. Aritzia, a women’s fashion boutique, also focuses heavily on providing unique experiences. “When we deliver personalized experiences to customers based on what we know they want,” continued Walsh, “it helps drive loyalty and engagement.”

  1. Connecting online and offline experiences is next.

It’s all about omnichannel. Even digitally native stores are going offline for 1:1 human experiences. “Creating moments for shoppers offline is paramount. It builds loyalty by triggering an emotional connection they can’t find online,” remarked Modcloth CEO, Matt Kaness. Away CEO and Co-Founder, Steph Korey, added that, “You need to turn your store into an experience wherever it takes place. You also need to connect your experiences wherever they are.”

Creating unique experiences for customers will continue to challenge retailers in 2017. They’ll find that the key is collecting actionable consumer data to better inform marketing and creative strategies.

We’re already looking forward to ShopTalk 2018! For more insights, check out our latest research on cross-device shopping habits.

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