It’s the final countdown until we’re headed to Chicago for the Retail Innovation Conference & Expo! There are many things we’re excited about, but the biggest in my opinion is that we’ve brought back IRCE, one of the retail and ecommerce industries’ most beloved events.
And not to toot our own horn or anything, but I think we’re delivering. On May 11 and 12, we’re digging into the topics and trends that matter to ecommerce leads, social strategists, IT pros and other members of the evolving digital team. Across our eight tracks (yep, you read that right), we’ll have retail practitioners, analysts and even some big names in tech, dig into how they’re embracing a new era of connected commerce through social media, live shopping, SMS, email marketing, personalization and more.
You can check out the agenda to get all of the details about our talk tracks and speakers, but for now, I want to spotlight the 6 sessions I personally am most excited for:
Global Growth: Trends, Challenges and Opportunities
Wednesday, May 11, 10:30am-11:15am
Marketplaces. DTC ecommerce. Live shopping. There are so many ways for brands to reach, and sell to, audiences worldwide. But what challenges should retail organizations prepare for, and how can they optimize a strategy that is sound for their business—and tailored to the wants, needs and expectations of global consumers?
If you have global growth on the brain, do not miss this panel focused on the trend- and tech-based insights that will shape your path forward. We’ll have a dynamic panel of experts, including Fareeha Ali of Mirakl, who has deep expertise in ecommerce and marketplaces; Sonya Gill of THE LNK, an awesome company designed to connect U.S. consumers to up-and-coming merchants in India; Abhishek Ahluwalia, who oversees the global strategy for Mondelez International; and Katie Thomas of Kearney who plays a pivotal role in the firm’s global research.
What’s Your Omnichannel Personality?
Wednesday, May 11, 3:30pm-4pm
We all know that omnichannel is key to retail success. But not all businesses or strategies are created equal. And most of all, the right approach to omnichannel isn’t the same for every business. “Omni” doesn’t necessarily mean “all.” It depends on your business. Mind blowing, right?
Sharon Gee, Vice President of Omnichannel Partnerships at BigCommerce, will break down the different “personality types” of businesses, and outline the strengths, strategies and tactics that each can leverage to drive growth. I’ve had the pleasure of chatting with Sharon before and I can promise you that you’ll walk away from this session with rich data, tactical takeaways and a lot of inspiration to bring back to the office. Not to mention, BigCommerce works with brands of all sizes and across a multitude of categories. They’ve seen their fair share of growth stories, so expect some great anecdotes, as well.
Creating a ‘Retention-Ready’ Acquisition Plan: Lessons from Booming DTC Categories
Wednesday, May 11, 4:15-4:45pm
We’ve all read the headlines: the cost of acquisition is through the roof. Beloved DTC unicorns who go public can’t hit revenue targets because they’re spending so much on acquisition. Set your business up for success by building a plan that considers retention strategy and long-term engagement from the beginning.
To offer you insights on new advertising channels, community-building tactics and ways to drive referrals and word-of-mouth for your business, we’ve put together a power panel of experts. Kristen LaFrance will be our moderator; she is a lover of all things DTC, CPG and community building and will set this session up for success. Then, we have our brand practitioners: Gefen Skolnick, Founder of Couplet Coffee, which is all about intentional expansion; and Aminah Fawad of Stix, a brand that is revolutionizing feminine care and wellness. This session is the cherry on top of the DTC Innovation Forum, a track dedicated to the topics, trends and challenges of DTC brands. The forum will be chaired by Rose Hamilton, a retail pro and CEO of Compass Rose Ventures, who will offer her own wisdom on how to make your brand shine.
The Future of Social Commerce: Embracing Content and Community to Drive Customer Loyalty
Thursday, May 12, 10:30am-11:15am
Coresight Research forecasts that the U.S. live commerce market will become a $25 billion industry by 2023. Additional predictions indicate that the broader social commerce landscape will create a $1.2 trillion opportunity for brands and retailers. Are you ready to seize this new commerce opportunity? We’re thrilled to have Deborah Weinswig, Founder and CEO of Coresight Research leading this session. She will share fantastic research, lessons and best practices to help attendees maximize their social commerce strategies.
Meeting Customers Where They Are Through Personalization
Thursday, May 12, 11:30am-12pm
When it comes to online shopping, competition and customer expectations have never been higher. The best way for brands to earn (and keep) customers is to prioritize owned channels and create personalized experiences across a multitude of touch points. Jewelry brand Dana Rebecca Designs has done just that, creating personalized flows to reach consumer segments effectively, and using analytics to understand the impact of these experiences. With the depreciation of third-party cookies, brands of all sizes and across categories are looking to bolster their first- and zero-party data. See what’s possible when you connect in a relevant and meaningful way with consumers and orchestrate immersive experiences online, whether it be through your site, email marketing or text messaging.
Tackling Inhibitors of BNPL Growth: Industry Disruption, Regulation and Consumer Hesitancy
Thursday, May 12, 2:15pm-2:45pm
During the BNPL Summit, we’ll be digging into one of the industry’s hottest tech categories. Attendees will learn different models and success stories, and even how they can use BNPL to drive acquisition and retention across target markets. But with every new technology filled with promise, there are challenges to adoption. David Morris of Insider Intelligence studies the payment space and has zeroed in recently on BNPL. He’ll dig into the inhibitors of BNPL growth, including new regulations and consumer concerns, and what retailers can do to optimize their investments.
Check out our agenda to see what else we have planned during IRCE, the place to be for all things ecommerce and digital experience. And oh yeah, register now! We’re only two weeks away from the big event!