10 Retail Influencers You Need to Start Following - Retail Innovation Conference & Expo

10 Retail Influencers You Need to Start Following

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If you’re anything like me, your social feed is filled with cat videos, recipes you’ll never make and ads for products you’ll never buy. Although social media is primarily used to keep up with friends and stay up to date on the latest pop culture trends (at least that’s how I use it), it’s also a great tool for inquisitive minds. It doesn’t have to be just memes and pictures of your cousin’s baby — it can be used as a way for you to learn something new every day. And during my more recent mindless scrolls, I realized something important was missing: real, authentic points of view and lessons from retail experts. 

So, I set out on a quest to find THE brightest minds in the industry so I could liven up my feed, learn a thing or two and get inspired as I continue to work in the wonderful world that is the retail industry. 

Below you’ll find some of the awesome influencers I’ve added to my social feed. If you think your feed can use a little retail makeover, too, give them a follow! 

Ken Hughes

Funny ✔️ Brilliant ✔️ Irish ✔️ 

I mean really, what else could you want? In all seriousness, Ken Hughes is acknowledged as being one of the world’s leading authorities on consumer, shopper and cyber shopper behavior. At a time when consumer behaviors change faster than the weather, following someone like Ken can help you stay in tune with the latest trends so you don’t miss a single beat. His presentations are infamous for their sheer energy, entertainment and passion, which is exactly why we made sure to get Ken on board as a keynote speaker at the 2022 Retail Innovation Conference & Expo. Follow Ken on the socials and if you like what you see, get your ticket to #RICE22 to see his Irish wit in person. 

Jason Goldberg

If you’re a retail geek like me, you need to be following THE retail geek, Jason Goldberg. We recently featured Jason’s podcast, The Jason & Scot Show (with co-host Scot Wingo), on our retail podcasts to subscribe to list because it is chock-full of insights on the latest news and trends in the world of ecommerce and digital shopper marketing. With a focus on e-commerce and digital marketing for omnichannel retailers, he has worked with over 100 clients on the Internet Top 500 and has been responsible for billions of dollars in online revenue.  

Deborah Weinswig

Trying to understand the complexities of global retail is no easy feat; that’s why I was sure to add Deborah Weinswig to my feed. Deborah is an award-winning global retail analyst and a specialist in retail innovation and technology. She is a fierce advocate for innovation, creativity and the implementation of efficient technologies in the retail space. 

Melissa Gonzalez

Look no further, the queen authority on the pop-up revolution is here. Continually pushing the boundaries of experiential retail, Melissa Gonzalez is an award-winning innovator, seasoned visionary, and brand storyteller. Melissa is a regular contributor on ABC radio and a frequent go-to-source on retail trends for major media publications across the globe. We love to work with Melissa; she was even one of the very first guests on Retail TouchPointsRetail Remix podcast! We love her insights so much that we had to make her a part of #RICE22, too! She’ll be presenting a session in our Design:Retail Conference titled “Top 5 Trends Driving the Future of Store Design.” I already know which notebook I’m going to bring to her session to fill up with notes (yes… it has cats on it). 

Rob Garf

Rob Garf has been in the retail space for 20 years. He serves as VP of Industry Strategy and Insights and the Chair of the Client Advisory Board for Retail at Salesforce. He’s whip-smart, forward-thinking and is an all-around good guy. He’s a key source for Retail TouchPoints as we strive to uncover the leading tech trends and imperatives for experience success. You’ll definitely want his perspective on your feed ASAP. 

Rick Watson

Through a combination of candor, business acumen, strategy and commerce technology expertise, Rick Watson helps companies quickly see and eliminate their roadblocks to growth.  Rick is constantly dropping hot takes on the tech trends he believes will lead the ecommerce industry moving forward. Last year Alicia Esposito sat down with Rick as part of Retail TouchPoints Retail ThinkTank content hub, and the conversation did not disappoint. Get a taste of it here, and then head on over to his socials to make his posts a mainstay in your feed.  

Rose Hamilton

We recently featured Rose Hamilton on the #RICE22 blog for good reason: As a digital and marketing executive and strategic advisor, Rose has over twenty years’ experience growing businesses and architecting omnichannel brands. Rose has led strategy and managed teams in several direct-to-consumer businesses throughout her career. What I’m saying is…Rose is the DTC goat. She’s another awesome leader we’ve secured to speak at our #RICE22 event. She’ll be chairing the fantastic new DTC Innovation Forum. While we wait for the event, get her added to your feed. 

Nikki Baird

You know what I love about Nikki? She’s not afraid to use her own digital-native children as guinea pigs in this wild world of digital, social and retail. As the Vice President of Retail Innovation at Aptos, she’s charged with accelerating retailers’ ability to innovate and regularly draws on her experience as a retailer (store operations and supply chain), an ITer (point of sale and back office), a consultant (IT strategy) and a software marketer (for two different retail solutions). 

Matt Maher

Matt Maher is a Futurist, Speaker and Founder of M7 Innovations. He has guided executive teams at Fortune 500 companies through the ever-changing media and technological landscapes — conceptualizing, presenting and executing on innovative solutions. Matt is another friendly face who’s been featured on the Retail Remix podcast that we’re super stoked is also a part of #RICE22. 

Cathy Hackl

Cathy Hackl is THE person to follow for those of us looking to get a better understanding of the metaverse. She is a globally recognized metaverse expert, tech futurist, and top business executive with deep experience working in the metaverse. We’re thrilled that Cathy will be sharing her expertise with us at #RICE22, but until then, get up-to-speed on all things metaverse by giving her a follow! 

I hope you join me in following these pros so we call all get just a little smarter, more innovative and creative. And don’t forget to get your ticket to #RICE22 so you can see some of these experts in action! Get your ticket by March 8 to save up to $700!  

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