Shoptalk 2016: It’s All An Experience


Last week the Ketner Group team attended the inaugural Shoptalk conference at the Aria Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. The much-anticipated conference lived up to its promise, bringing top industry leaders together to discuss the technology disruption currently turning the industry on its head.

Shoptalk offered a three-day jam-packed agenda that in true Vegas fashion ran well into the late hours of the night, bringing with it great networking opportunities, organic thought leadership conversations and even a stellar performance by Wyclef Jean at the conference’s Industry Night.

This year’s sessions also brought a few resonating themes and posed several questions about where the industry will find itself in the next few years. It’s no surprise that the wave of technologies available to retailers today has them scrambling for a roadmap of the perfect combination needed to deliver the greatest customer experience possible.

Both vendors and retailers throughout the show agreed that the customer experience is paramount. No matter if your organization is omnichannel, strictly digital or only brick-and-mortar, at the end of the day shopping is not about channels, it’s an experience, and the technology that you implement throughout should create a memorable experience.

Here are the top interesting takeaways we gathered from industry leaders at this year’s Shoptalk:

  • Buying a product is an experience; all touch points must intersect in order to create this experience.
  • Retailers are now living in an all-channel universe; the Internet will not destroy physical stores, it will just grow to be a part of every transaction.
  • The customer has never been more in charge.
  • What is happening to retailers right now in terms of adopting in-store technology and becoming omnichannel should be considered an evolution vs. a revolution.
  • Technology will not dehumanize the physical store experience—it will enhance it.
  • The principles of retailing are still there, but retailers need to figure out the balance between old and new.
  • Be agile – everything that touches a retailer’s organization touches the consumer.
  • Retail complexity breeds a different opportunity, people will still need to understand what humans want and this will lead to new opportunities to bring together data, artificial intelligence and technology to meet the customer’s needs.
  • Think of artificial intelligence as amplified intelligence for retailing.

All in all, the conversations at Shoptalk demonstrate that while the industry is continuing to adopt technology and change, this is only the beginning. Can’t wait to see what innovative topics Shoptalk brings to the table in 2017!