Attendee Takeaways: Erika Strum Silberstein, President of Commerce, Wine Enthusiast Companies  - Retail Innovation Conference & Expo

Attendee Takeaways: Erika Strum Silberstein, President of Commerce, Wine Enthusiast Companies 

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This week, we’re spotlighting one of our wine-derful #RICE22 speakers and active member of our IRCE advisory board, Erika Strum Silberstein!  

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Erika Strum Silberstein is President of the Commerce division for Wine Enthusiast Companies, which was founded by her parents in 1979. Wine Enthusiast was originally founded as a catalog and magazine for wine lovers and has evolved into a wine lifestyle business that is driven by the convergence of commerce and media.  
 
Erika has been at Wine Enthusiast for 16 years and has a proven track record of growing online revenue and traffic in each step of her career. Her experience is rooted in search engine optimization (SEO) strategy, email marketing, UX and social media. She loves to challenge the status quo, while also driving growth and efficiency for the business. Most recently, she built a corporate social media team that drives traffic, revenue and experimentation across platforms. She also launched lucrative email acquisition programs and an affiliate revenue channel for media. Erika believes in “test and learn” strategies, encouraging employees to be innovative and supporting them to grow alongside the business. 

We had the pleasure of working with Erika as a speaker on the Growth Marketing Panel: New Priorities and Investments for Acquisition and Retention for #RICE22, where she shared how she is focused on measurement and attribution to constantly prove the value of Wine Enthusiast’s activities across all channels. During the panel, she provided her thoughts into shopper preferences using attribution technology: “Think about a customer, not a channel,” she explained. “We’re guilty of this, too. I say all the time that we’re on Facebook, but who are you reaching in the end? Remember that people are whole people. There’s not a TikTok customer. There’s not a Facebook customer. People interact with you in many, many places.”   

For more insight from Erika, check out our Q&A with her to learn about her top takeaways from #RICE22! 

Retail Innovation Conference & Expo (RICE): What were your key takeaways from attending the Retail Innovation Conference & Expo?  
Erika Strum Silberstein: My takeaways were to focus on lifetime value and behave like you have a performance marketing agency for your current customers. Also, the platforms are transient and unreliable. Other key takeaways were relying solely on acquisition to fuel the company’s growth is dangerous. We need to think of ways to stand out amongst a sea of options, tell our brand story and show off our expertise. 

RICE: Regarding the session content, did anything stand out or surprise you? What was new/noteworthy for you? 
Erika: The sessions were inspiring and grounded. I really enjoyed Dan Gingiss’ presentation on creating memorable customer experiences. 

RICE: What are you planning to prioritize in 2023 and how did the event help validate this for you? 
Erika: I have a renewed focus on referral, which will be important for us as we’re often a single-purchase business. If we can find our next customer without paying an acquisition fee, it’s worthwhile! 

If you want to hear more from Erika, listen to her episode on our podcast, Retail Remix here

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