Shoptalk 2018 Reveals eCommerce Is Continuing to EvolveWritten by Nicola Malaney
What an incredible show!
From the beautiful venue to the keynote speakers, to all of the wonderful people we got to meet, Shoptalk 2018 did not disappoint. The Venetian provided an amazing space for over 8,400 retailers and tech companies to share ideas about the future of eCommerce, and everyone was abuzz with ways and means to succeed in the “new normal.”
It was apparent that some exhibitors really knew how to drive traffic to their booths. I found myself spending quite a lot of time checking out Zaius, not because I needed a CRM solution, but because they had adorable puppies from the local SPCA that they let you hold. Genius! BigCommerce also got it right with its morning mimosas and afternoon Moscow Mules. Yum!
On day one we heard from Amazon on the success of its flagship store, Amazon Go, where the checkout process has been revolutionized: There is no checkout, you just grab and go. Ironically, due to its popularity among Seattleites, people find themselves lining up just to get in, which really defeats the purpose. However, once the novelty wears off I imagine things will balance out.
Next, we listened to Target executives explain how their acquisition of Shipt will provide their consumers with personal grocery shoppers. As a self-proclaimed Target-mom myself, I can’t think of anything more convenient. You mean to say I don’t have to drag my kid out in the pouring rain when I realize it’s Taco Tuesday and the avocados I bought a few days ago are overripe? Sold!
Another player changing the game is Likeaglove. Their smart leggings give women the ability to find the perfect pair of jeans and they double as a fitness tracker, which is brilliant. These are just a few examples of customer-centric innovation we saw while at the show, but there were plenty of others.
Shoptalk really hit the mark with its Hosted Retailers and Brands Program. Essentially a speed-dating session for businesses, this program enabled exhibitors and sponsors to have 15 minutes of private discussion with retailers and brands they were previously matched with.
It was a well-oiled machine with gigantic digital timers ensuring everything ran on schedule and plenty of Shoptalk volunteers steering the masses to prevent bottlenecks. Our team felt that these meetings were exceptionally valuable and that was the consensus of everyone we spoke with as well. Between these meetings, the educational sessions and the impressive exhibit floor, there was plenty to keep busy with and that helped me stay away from the casino floor!
We thoroughly enjoyed our first Shoptalk and are excited about the takeaways, both intangible and tangible. There was great swag at some of the booths. Visa had virtual reality glasses, Google had cute T-shirts and eBay gifted everyone with tins of Garrett’s popcorn, which was absolutely delicious.
Aside from the novelty items, what we’re really bringing home is inspiration. We can see how eCommerce is continually evolving and we’re excited to be keeping freight management at the forefront of these changes. We’ll be applying what we learned at Shoptalk to continue our mission to deliver impactful freight solutions in both B2C and B2B platforms. We met some great folks from all over the globe and are looking forward seeing where those relationships take us. Stay tuned!