DTC fanatic. Ecommerce expert. Consumer and retail industry analyst. This man wears many hats and if you don’t know him, it’s time for you to get acquainted with him. Allow us to introduce Phillip Jackson!
Phillip is a podcaster, speaker and Co-Founder of Future Commerce, a media startup focused on conscious commerce in the retail world. With over 15 years of experience creating unique online customer experiences, he has both built and managed digital audiences for some of the world’s most recognizable brands. Phillip is also a marketer with an engaged global audience topping more than 100,000 monthly active listeners across four retail and digital commerce-focused content properties. See, we weren’t kidding, he’s a busy guy! We’re so lucky to partner with Phillip and his team at Future Commerce and we greatly appreciate collaborating with him on analyzing trending topics in retail.
Dig into our Q&A below with Phillip to learn more about his experiences at RICE and how he’s prepping for our 2023 event!
Retail Innovation Conference & Expo (RICE): What were your key takeaways from attending the Retail Innovation Conference & Expo in 2022?
Phillip Jackson: At other shows in the industry, retailers definitely seem to be on a mission. A lot of brands attend because they’re being paid to be there, and their travel is being compensated in such a way that I feel like they’re less there to learn and to network and more attend to fulfill obligations. And so, I think RICE has a bit of a different vibe to it than any other retail industry trade show or expo. I always look forward to RICE because I think it’s truly differentiated. In the last year, my key takeaway is that we’re in an era of extreme change, things are moving very quickly, and sentiment is changing dramatically.
RICE: Regarding the session content, did anything stand out or surprise you? What was new or noteworthy for you?
Jackson: In Chicago, a lot of the conversation focused on supply chain disruption and inflation, and while inflation is still here, the script has flipped quite a bit with supply chain disruptions, we have the opposite issue. We have too much inventory on hand. Black Friday looks like it might be some of the greatest sales in history to blow out a lot of that inventory, which is probably going to lead to a lot of challenges with brands competing with each other and cannibalizing themselves in the process. A lot of the interesting content was not the tactical content that was given like advice of how to plan better, how to strategize your inventory planning, or how to future proof your supply chain, the things that stood out to me were really teaching us how to think differently, and how to approach problem solving in a more sustainable way. Also, to stop being reactive and to start being proactive and thinking not about what it is we do in a business, not the tactics we employ, but more about how people think and understanding what drives behavior. If we can understand those things, then the “what do we do to appeal to that?” will always take care of itself. So, that is the kind of content that resonates with me, and we had a little bit of that at #RICE22.
RICE: What are you planning to prioritize in 2023 and how did the event help validate this for you?
Jackson: I’m really trying to find the positive consumer and optimistic consumer sentiment. I want to find which brands are winning because people will continue to buy things in the next year, even if economic growth slows. People will always continue to purchase. I want to figure out which brands are winning with their customers: not just how they’re doing it, but how they came about building the systems, teams and the decision-making processes that cut through things like red tape and bureaucracy, and how they actually empower people to make decisions and react to data quickly. I want to learn how these brands look beyond what others are doing and instead look deep within themselves to figure out how they’re going to emotionally resonate with the consumer. So, that’s on my list for 2023. I’m looking forward to it and I hope to see all of you at RICE 2023!
Fun fact: Phillip Jackson is joining the speaking faculty again for RICE23 and will be digging into the commerce trends impacting how consumers identify themselves, interact with each other and find a place in the world. We also have a few more exciting projects in the works, so stay tuned for more details on how we’re working with him and the Future Commerce team. Grab your ticket now before prices increase and be sure to sit in on Phillip’s thought-provoking session!