3 Trends. 3 Brands. 3 Deep-Dive Discussions During #RICE24 - Retail Innovation Conference & Expo

3 Trends. 3 Brands. 3 Deep-Dive Discussions During #RICE24

I’ve been covering the retail industry for 12 years and there has never been a shortage of emerging trends to investigate and new topics to explore. However, I will say that we saw some incredible momentum in 2023, which has made planning for the 2024 Retail Innovation Conference & Expo agenda even more exciting (and rewarding).  
Within our three core conference tracks — Content, Community and Commerce — we plan to hit on the technologies and tactics shaping the evolved customer journey. Five of the trends I’ll be watching closely as we prep for our 2024 event are:  

Social Commerce 

I have been covering this sector for years, starting with Facebook’s shopping cart widget way back when and now, with the evolution of immersive content experiences. Although Meta and even TikTok are leaning heavily into advertising, I’ve loved seeing Pinterest evolve and emerge as a differentiating source of inspiration and discovery for consumers.  
The entire Pinterest experience is built upon context, inspiration and joy. Over the past two years, the company has evolved and expanded its offerings to create a full-funnel experience for consumers that seamlessly connects them to brands and products that will bring their visions to life.  
Carrie Sweeney, Pinterest’s VP of Retail, will dig deep into the Pinterest mission and vision, and share how the company has helped brand and retail partners create shoppable moments and experiences.  

The Role of Efficiency and Immersion in Stores 

Industry has reaffirmed, time and time again, that the store plays a critical role in driving consumer engagement and bottom-line revenue results. However, consumer behaviors and expectations have evolved rapidly over the past year. And as a result, brands and retailers have had to think critically about what their consumers really want from physical store experiences. For some, utility and efficiency are top of mind; for others, it’s all about entertainment and discovery.  
IKEA has been able to strike an incredible balance between these two worlds, and I’m so excited to interview Sara Del Fabbro, Deputy Retail Manager (Deputy COO) for Ingka Group (IKEA) to dig into the company’s approach. We’ll discuss the evolution of its in-store fulfillment offerings, the role of localization, services and so much more!  

The Future of the Marketing Team  

Last year, we were lucky to have Liquid Death’s Director of Digital Retail on stage to discuss how the burgeoning water brand was harnessing a powerful combination of DTC, wholesale and marketplaces to drive penetration. Of course, the brand’s out-there marketing strategy (informed by data and some creative risk taking) was the centerpiece of the discussion.  
This year, we’re thrilled to have the brand back, but this time, we have SVP of Marketing Dan Murphy in the hot seat. Given his role, he is going to discuss the future of the marketing team, and how brands can improve efficiency, speed, creativity and authenticity at a time when budgets are tight, and the stakes are high. I personally have loved speaking with marketing leaders about this topic, especially considering the hype surrounding artificial intelligence (AI). We have heard that branding is more important than ever — and a remarkable story is key to standing out in a sea of sameness. But how can your team operate more efficiently and effectively while maintaining these creative standards? I’m sure Dan will have a lot to share on this topic.  

We look forward to hearing from these industry all-stars – along with many others – live in Chicago this year. Be sure to register for your pass soon, Super Early Bird rates end on Thursday, Feb. 22!  

Looking for more details on this year’s event and our incredible speakers? Be sure to check out the official Retail Innovation Conference & Expo content hub.

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