Since appearing on the scene in 2016, ShopTalk has fast grown to be a date of note on an already busy retail calendar. Offering a fantastic variety of speakers covering the latest trends in retail and tech, it’s as good an excuse as we need to hop on a plane to Las Vegas for a few days!
Check out our Top 3 takeaways from the floor so far:
Finding the Fit Between Customer Experience + Data Strategy
While CX continues to establish itself as the true North Star for retailers looking to understand their business through the eyes of its customers, a solid data strategy is the flip side of the modern retail puzzle. While collecting the right data can prove challenging in itself, building the analytic and creative skills to translate that data into meaningful stories is just as important for modern retail. Lilly Pulitzer’s Sarah Engle caught the ‘left brain/right brain’ scope of the challenge nicely, with her observation that ‘customer data is both an art and a science’, requiring both process and storytelling to be effective.
Change or Fail – Art Peck, GAP
Speaking to a packed room, Art Peck, President & CEO of Gap Inc offered a clear message to the retail industry when he described today’s stakes with brute simplicity: “Change or Fail”. While just what ‘change’ means exactly continues to be a topic for hot debate, the idea of progress as a necessity is increasingly prevalent. Across the floor, entrepreneur Anil Aggarwal could be found delivering a similarly tough-line statement, “Reinventing retail is not an option. It’s an obligation“. A hush from the audience reinforced the notion that neither was talking lightly.
Do we really need to say it again? Physical Retail matters. The old dichotomy of ‘online vs. offline’ is well past its sell-by date, but for those still looking for further proof, Macy’s keynote delivered. Laura Heller shared the interesting nugget that when a Macy’s closes a store, online sales in the same market tended to decline. While convenience is oft-said to be king, the tangible physicality of the in-store experience is key for building trust. Today’s smart retailers understand that channels operate as part of a single retail ecosystem. Sing it with us, #StoresMatter.