Shoptalk 2017: Disrupting & Transforming The Retail Industry

April 7, 2017  | By Mariana Fischbach

ShoptalkShoptalk 2017 in Las Vegas last month owned up to the reputation it created last year of providing fresh, groundbreaking and unmatched content as well as networking opportunities for the retail industry. The show, which proclaimed itself as “The New Blueprint For Retail & eCommerce,” featured more than 325 senior-level speakers who covered the ongoing disruption of retail and commerce.

The second annual Shoptalk event took place during a time when we are seeing, hearing and reading about significant turmoil in the retail industry. Daily headlines leading up to and following the show discuss Amazon’s market leadership, follows the journey of retailers becoming truly omnichannel capable and highlight traditional retailers who are closing their doors due to today’s ever-changing environment.

While it may seem we are witnessing what appears to be the retail apocalypse, the truth is this may be the most exciting time to be a retailer – and this is exactly what we saw at Shoptalk 2017.

Straight from the horse’s mouth, here are some of the best sound bites about blending technology with retail we heard on the show floor:

  • “At the forefront of all technology implementations, remember that your store associates are your strongest assets. Today’s retail transformation should also widely focus on empowering store associates through technology.” – Michael G. Relich, COO, Crate & Barrel
  • “When deciding what technology to implement throughout your retail organization, keep in mind the idea of explicit tech vs. implicit tech, what will your customers see and interact with vs. what technology will go behind the scenes to make all touch points connect.” – Healy Cypher, Co-Founder & CEO, Oak Labs
  • “Figure out what is important to your shopper’s and rewrite the rule book.” – Brian Kavanagh, Senior Director, The Hershey Company
  • “Balance duality, innovation cannot be in the corner, it must be part of the complete process.” – Mary Beth Laughton, SVP of Digital, Sephora
  • “Retailers spend the time to get your innovation right.” – Anne Marie Stephens, Founder & CEO, Kwolia
  • “There is a macro-level of personalization and a micro-level.” – Nadia Bourjarwah, Co-Founder & CEO, Dia&Co
  • “Consider where AI will intersect with human service.” – Shana Tellerman, CEO, Modsy

It’s a transformative time in the industry where many retailers are going back to the drawing board and shaking things up by partnering with savvy technology vendors to deliver authentic yet innovative experiences to their consumers. While taking a risk may seem scary, the end results of transforming a retail operation demonstrate a bright future ahead.