Heading to Las Vegas on March 18th to become part of the ShopTalk class of 2018? You’re about to join thousands of industry executives and professionals at the beautiful, 4,000+ room Venetian to learn about technologies and trends at the forefront of retail and ecommerce. Learn from hundreds of CEOs and senior executives across 100 sessions and keynotes delivered by speakers such as Mary Dillon (ULTA Beauty), Jeff Gennette (Macy’s), Alon Cohen (Houzz), and Daniel Alegre (Google).
ShopTalk 2018: Plan Before You Go
With 332 speakers across 100 sessions, it can be daunting to plan out your session attendance. This guide will help omni-channel retailers get the most out of ShopTalk by narrowing the list of sessions to our top 5 must-attend sessions and detailing the variety of networking opportunities available at the conference.
To get a head start on planning, download the ShopTalk 2018 Workbook, the exhaustive agenda for ShopTalk 2018. At 222 pages, you’ll be glad you planned a bit before arriving in Las Vegas on the 18th.
5 ShopTalk Sessions You Won’t Want to Miss
The ShopTalk agenda features over 300 confirmed speakers across 100 sessions, not to mention mainstage and track level keynotes. Here are our top 5 session picks for ShopTalk 2018, organized by date.
Pick #1: Wharton School Q&A, part 1
- When: March 18th - 2:00p-2:40p
- Track 2: Wharton @ ShopTalk
Part 1 of the Wharton School Q&A will feature two presentations:
Title: Disruption in Retail: How to Compete – Barbara Kahn, The Wharton School
- A new competitive framework, the Kahn Retailing Success Matrix, will be introduced to help retailers think about major retail landscape changes strategically.
Title: Predicting Consumer Behavior: Machine Learning Meets Customer Lifetime Value – Pete Fader, The Wharton School
- Customer lifetime value is an established way to optimize profitability. But what happens when you combine emerging technology, like machine learning, with CLTV? Pete Fader will provide real-world examples from brands and retailers and will provide a vision for how these techniques can be integrated to enhance your data-driven decision-making.
Pick #2: Delighting Customers Through Personal Interaction
- When: March 19th - 9:45a-10:25a
- Track 4: Engaging Customer Experiences
Today’s online shopping experiences are more personalized than ever, and consumers now expect retailers to understand their preferences and buying habits. Increasingly, these expectations are crossing into physical stores as forward-thinking retailers adopt new clienteling and customer service technologies, and empower their associates to build meaningful connections with shoppers through personalized experiences. In this session, you'll hear from one quick-service restaurant chain (Pizza Hut), one established retailer (Sephora) and one agency (The Lionesque Group).
Pick #3: Omnichannel and Seamless Customer Experiences
- When: March 19th - 4:30p-5:10p
- Track 2: Shopping Experience of the Future
Few retailers have a truly seamless omnichannel customer experience—they must still manage myriad issues including prices, products and promotions across every consumer touchpoint. Retailers are also seeking competitive advantages with initiatives such as infinite shelf capabilities and click and collect, popular consumer offerings that require high levels of inventory visibility. In this session, you'll hear from three established retailers: BJ’s Wholesale Club, Ulta Beauty and Best Buy.
Pick #4: Innovations in the Warehouse: Robotics, AI and Beyond
- When: March 20th - 4:30p - 5:10p
- Track 5: Innovations in Delivery, Pickup and Logistics
The rapid growth of ecommerce is forcing retailers to secure more warehouse space and run their distribution centers more efficiently. As a result, a number of technology solutions have emerged to increase warehouse capacity and automation.
Retailers are deploying robots guided by computer vision in warehouses to increase the efficiency of the order fulfillment process; in addition, retailers and brands can now access spare warehouse capacity on-demand through new platforms. In this session, innovative warehouse technology providers Fetch Robotics and FLEXE will discuss how warehouse technology is evolving to boost efficiency and lower costs in the fulfillment process.
Pick #5: The Evolving Store Workforce
- When: March 20th - 5:15p - 5:55p
- Track 2: The Evolution of the Retail Store
The role of stores is changing. Store inventory is increasingly being used to fulfill online orders—at the same time, stores are becoming more experiential as retailers add new services and features. Physical retail locations are also being infused with technologies that both improve customer experiences and streamline operations.
The store workforce needs to adapt to these changes: Employees must now be flexible enough to pick up new skills and knowledgeable enough to cater to higher customer expectations. In this session, leading retailers The Source, The Container Store and Walmart will discuss how they are using new tools and strategies to train, schedule and incentivize the store workforce.
ShopTalk 2018 Networking Opportunities
Are you the networking type with your pocket full of business cards? There are 6 key networking opportunities at ShopTalk to consider, including:
Techtalks (open to all attendees)
- Monday, 3/19: 2:45p – 3:45p and 6:00p – 7:00p
- Tuesday, 3/20: 2:45p – 3:45p and 6:00p – 7:00p
Techtalks include 200+ presenters from ShopTalk exhibitors and sponsors and will take place separate from the main ShopTalk agenda. These presentations will highlight the latest tech-driven solutions so you can be in-the-know about emerging technologies that can help your organization deliver seamless customer experiences.
Discovery Zones (open to all attendees)
Explore the exhibit hall anytime on Monday and Tuesday, 8:00a – 7:00p. There will also be an exhibit hall reception from 6:00p – 7:00p on Tuesday, 3/20.
Hosted Meetings Program (prescheduled)
- Monday, 3/18: 4:00p – 5:00p
- Wednesday, 3/21: 8:00a – 9:00a
Hosted Meetings match stakeholders responsible for buying or evaluating retail or ecommerce technology at their companies with 8 technology vendors.
Networking Dinners for Retailers and Brands (prescheduled)
Retailers and Brands Networking dinners are invite-only sponsored dinners. These dinners will bring together 15-20 retailer and brand peers grouped by roles (CEOs/Marketing Leaders/Ecommerce Leaders/Startup CEOs/CIO). Visit ShopTalk’s site to sign up for an invite to a networking dinner.
Funding Founders (pre-show introductions)
The Funding Founders Program matches startup founders with VCs, accelerators and other investors for introductions and onsite meetings. If you’re interested in participating, sign up at the ShopTalk funding founders page.
Conclusion: Omni-Channel Has Evolved
One thing is constant in omni-channel retail, change. Unified Commerce is the next iteration of omni-channel retail.
Enspire Commerce is a Unified Commerce Platform by enVista. We can help you rapidly integrate disparate systems and processes to deliver a seamless customer experience. Whether you're concerned about customer engagement, omni-channel order management, or managing fulfillment and returns across channels - we can help.
Your customers don't care about channels. Neither do we. Meet with Enspire Commerce at ShopTalk 2018 and let's start the conversation!