This week, more than 7,500 retailing experts invaded Las Vegas, NV to talk shop at Shoptalk 2018, the world’s largest conference for retail and ecommerce innovation. As stated in the event’s site, “Shoptalk covers the rapid evolution of how consumers discover, shop and buy—from new technologies and business models to the latest trends in consumer behaviors, preferences and expectations.”
As any Retail Technology Insider reader know, the world of retail is undergoing massive changes and making way for some extreme improvements. Attendees at Shoptalk 2018 would most assuredly agree. Here are some of our favorite takeaways from this year’s show:
“We believe retail will change more in the next 10 years than it has in the last 10.” #shoptalk18
— Laura Heller (@lfheller) March 19, 2018
Consistent message of #shoptalk18 today. Future is #digital + physical store, not one or the other. The store is alive and well, just evolving to do and be more for shoppers!
— Diana Sheehan (@KR_DianaS) March 19, 2018
Day Three of @shoptalk all about the evolution of the retail store. Stores aren’t dead. Just BORING stores are dead. Brick-and-mortar is still a vital part of the customer experience. #shoptalk @BonfireFive #retailers
— Brent Niemuth (@brentniemuth) March 21, 2018
See? We told you. Change is most definitely on the horizon for retailers, but not always in the way people expect. People have been saying for years that thanks to the explosive adoption of ecommerce, that brick-and-mortar retail is on its way out. As Laura Heller, Diana Sheehan, and Brent Niemuth indicate, physical stores aren’t going anywhere; they just also won’t look like they did 10 years ago. The importance of hybridizing the shopping experience cannot be overstated.
Having seen many @Amazon presentations and keynotes over the years, there’s one thing every one of their speakers always says: Innovation starts by thinking of the customer and working backward. #Shoptalk18
— Matt Gunn (@mattgunn) March 19, 2018
Why do you need screens in store when everyone has a screen in their pocket? Invest in the mobile experience. People want the human contact, we over-staff our stores and invest in tech to empower the associates. – @FrankandOak CEO #ShopTalk18
— Chuck Reynolds (@cyreynolds) March 20, 2018
Panera VP of Digital Experience: voice ordering via Google Assistant cuts order times by 80% vs ordering via the Panera app #shoptalk18
— Jordan H. McKee (@jordanhmckee) March 19, 2018
That knowledge prompts us to unpack this concept a bit more. With such a wealth of technology out there at a retailer’s disposal that they know they should be using, what should shop owners be looking at – both for the shopper’s benefit and their benefit as a business owner? Pay attention to the technology that shoppers are using and apply it to the shopping experience. Mobility comes to mind here – don’t fix it if it ain’t broke, right? Use that already existing infrastructure to more easily and naturally connect with your customers.
A7: All the “buzz” at @shoptalk this year has been around 1) women in retail and 2) voice technology. Collectively, I think it’s an exciting time for merchants! #shoptalk18 #WatsonCommerce pic.twitter.com/gN4JAAXGSt
— Nicole Reyhle (@RetailMinded) March 20, 2018
Breaking consumer shopping news revealed by @CNBC at #Shoptalk today – men are not willing to shop online as much as women, according to @FirstInsight https://t.co/5Do3NZCQnw
— Berns Communications (@bcgpr) March 19, 2018
Here’s how to do it @ces @shoptalk #shoptalk @cindygallop @BradJakeman @KLemkau @joyehoward @r2cgroup more than 110 C level women execs helping to change the world on deck at #shoptalk18 pic.twitter.com/DxY6gKyFWB
— mark toner (@tonerisms) March 19, 2018
1/3 of all speakers @shoptalk this year are women leading the retail industry. Well done! #Shoptalk18 #womenleaders #girlswhoruntheworld pic.twitter.com/DP7sui3Jnz
— Hannah Webb (@hjwebb7) March 19, 2018
Finally, women (both as industry experts and as influential shoppers) were highlighted as a focal point for the show. Shoptalk 2018 boasted that one third of their speakers were leading women in the retail industry and a study revealed at the show indicated the weight female shoppers carry when it comes to online shopping.
The future of retail continues to show a lot of promise, at least as long as you have some sort of digital aspect in place and really analyze the desires and demands of your customer.
Learn more about optimizing the shopping experience in Pitney Bowes’ whitepaper Employing a Single Customer View. To stay updated on the latest trends and best practices in retail technology, follow us on Twitter and subscribe to our newsletter.