5 Key Takeaways from Shoptalk 2018

In the blink of an eye, Shoptalk 2018 is now behind us.

The iAdvize US team had a great time at our booth in the Emerging Technology section – whether it was meeting retailers or getting to know our neighboring exhibitors, we built genuine relationships and exchanged meaningful conversations (and knowledge) throughout the event.

In addition to having attended several sessions at Shoptalk, we were inspired by the speakers. It is spectacular how the technology, retail, and digital landscape have and will continue to evolve with time.

With all the notes the team has gathered, we decided to compile our top 5 key takeaways and share with you our experience from this event.

Here are our top 5 key takeaways from the event:

1. Utilize brand ambassadors to extend your customer lifetime value

One of the most thought-provoking speeches from Shoptalk came from Emily Weiss, CEO of Glossier.

To stand out from the crowded beauty space, Weiss explained the importance of leveraging brand advocates to “engage with each other on product recommendations, dislikes and overall makeup routines.”

In this context, brand advocates refer to the brands’ existing loyal customers and/or product experts that have years of experience and knowledge using their products or services.

After all, as consumers ourselves, we prefer to speak with our peers; existing customers that have been using the brand’s products. Instead of a salesperson, placing today’s consumers in front of a brand advocate will allow for a much more genuine (and therefore helpful) conversation.

“Beauty is an experience and people are obsessed with sharing experiences. And people are looking to other people and not experts when they’re in the discovery phase of something.” Emily Weiss, CEO of Glossier.

Read more: Learn how this beauty industry leverages their community of loyal customers and product experts here.

2. Optimized omnichannel is the way to go

Omnichannel is a term we have seen and heard over and over again in the digital space today. Why is it growing in popularity?

As technology becomes more and more integrated into our daily lives, we are no longer dealing with just one channel. We need to account for the desktop experience, mobile experience, tablet, and etc.

And here’s where omnichannel comes in; it is strategizing your marketing, selling and customers’ experiences via a multi-channel approach. Of course, a true omnichannel experience drives brand loyalty – resulting in an increase in your bottom line.

As Mary Beth Laughton, EVP of Sephora said during her presentation “We have a team focused on omnichannel experiences, so we don’t fall back into channel silos.”

Read more: Read more about how you can optimize your digital interactions through different channels here.

3. Personalization, personalization, and personalization

“At Shipt*, the same person that’s picking your avocados and selecting your eggs is the one showing up at your door. That’s what members love about Shipt.” – Bill Smith, Founder and CEO, Shipt

Another powerful quote from one of the speakers at Shoptalk.

*In case you’re not familiar with Shipt, they are an Internet-based grocery delivery service.

Shoppers don’t want to speak to a salesperson who is just interested in selling; they want to genuinely connect with someone who knows what they are talking about, someone who has deep product knowledge and someone who shares the same passion.

Putting a face behind the conversations taking place online creates genuinity and authenticity between them and the online shoppers.

It may seem like a small touch but do not underestimate its power; this touch personalizes relationship and signifies the start of a connection between the brand and the consumer.

Read more: Learn more about what online shoppers are seeking for premium customer experiences and how retailers can improve their approach.

4. Leveraging technology to enhance user experiences in the online space

Just like the Internet, technology is intertwined in our daily lives. It is impacting the way we work, learn and shop.

Consumers today are tech-savvy, “they want to experience it their way as opposed to yesterday’s world which was ‘our way.’” – Jimmy Duvall, chief product at BigCommerce

So yes, it is absolutely crucial to contemplate our strategies, and how we can leverage the up and coming technology to enhance our customers’ experiences. And then complement your technology with a sprinkle of personalized touch – the online shoppers are humans after all.

Read more: Learn how you can utilize AI and chatbots to outperform and deploy a conversational strategy at scale.

5. Online shoppers are looking for quicker solutions

Whether it is quicker meal preps or answers to their questions, online shoppers want everything right away.

According to Helen Vaid, the Chief Customer Officer of Pizza Hut, “Pizza Hut customers want it now and hot; and mistakes are not an option.”

Speed, convenience, and accuracy are the highlights of this key point here. Proactive solutions that are accessible via multiple channels are online shoppers’ best friends.

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