IRCE 2013: Breaking Barriers Toward A New Retail Economy, June 4-7, 2013 Register Now
120 Sessions—20% More Than 2012—Devoted to Analyzing How E-Commerce is Breaking Down Traditional Barriers and Creating a New Retail Economy. View Agenda
A Record 220 Expert Speakers, Each One Hand-Picked by Internet Retailer’s Editors Based Solely on Their Expertise on Their Assigned E-Commerce Topic. View Speakers
The 250,000 Square-Foot Exhibit Hall at IRCE 2013 Includes Exhibits of 570 E-Commerce Vendors—the World’s Largest Display of E-Commerce Technology. View Exhibits
For the Second Year Running, IRCE 2013 Is Held Where It Was Born in 2005—Chicago. In June, All E-Commerce Roads Lead to the Beautiful Windy City. Learn More
IRCE 2013 Is Honored to Have Al Gore, the 45th Vice President of the United States, Long a Promoter of Internet Commerce and an Investor and Advisor to Internet-Based Enterprises.
IRCE 2013 Boasts Five Day-Long Workshops on June 4 & June 7, Featuring an In-Depth Analysis of the Hottest Topics in E-Commerce Conducted by the Leading Experts in Each Field. Learn More
With 9,500 Attendees from Every E-Commerce Market Segment, Nothing Matches the Opportunity IRCE Provides Attendees to Learn and Network. See Networking Events
Online Retailing and the New Retail Economy
We didn’t know it at the time, but when the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, it triggered a movement toward democratization and free enterprise that spread—and is still spreading—around the world, freeing up once-closed societies. In its own way, the transformation of the global economy wrought by e-commerce is as momentous a phenomenon when it comes to dissolving barriers—in this case, to an entirely new retail economy. Like the Wall separating East and West, there existed many barriers in traditional retailing, confining retailers and consumers alike—barriers that made entry to established markets difficult and prevented retailer-consumer interaction on a mass-market level. These barriers also inhibited merchants from offering more personalized services and highly targeted marketing. Lastly, such barriers discouraged retailing on a global scale, forcing shoppers to travel to regional malls and tailor their shopping preferences to meet the merchant’s requirements on everything from store hours to store inventories.
With a mind-blowing expansion of new web-based technologies and online retailing strategies, e-commerce is rapidly breaking through all these traditional barriers. The industry is creating a new retail order that puts the consumer in total control even as it spawns major competitive opportunities for the retailers and consumer marketers who embrace it. The 9th annual Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition, the world’s largest e-commerce event, which will be held at Chicago’s McCormick Place West from June 4-7, 2013, will analyze the social, mobile, global, personal, interactive and managerial changes that e-commerce players are bringing to the new retail economy. This is a major educational event that offers online retailing and wholesaling professionals and consumer marketers the insights and analysis they need to give their businesses a competitive advantage in this expanded world of possibilities.
Larger than America’s other two major e-retailing events combined, IRCE 2013 expects to draw 9,500 e-retailing executives from more than 40 countries. They will be treated to a customizable agenda that features 205 speakers and 120 sessions, plus 5 workshops (pre- and post-conference, held on June 4 and 7, respectively) and 10 tracks running concurrently on the two main conference days (June 5 and 6) on subjects that include, but are not limited to:
- Maximizing the effectiveness of rapidly evolving, consumer-empowering interactive technologies and social media platforms
- Designing search marketing strategies for success in an increasingly competitive and demanding search environment
- Seizing the opportunity to establish a viable global footprint as e-commerce continues to render the borders between national markets meaningless
- Targeting on-the-go consumers with the latest mobile technologies and marketing developments
- Dismantling internal barriers within an organization to facilitate more profitable web-based businesses
- Exceeding expectations in order fulfillment and delivery of ever-more-demanding web shoppers
- Exploring the top financial, operational and legal issues today’s e-commerce executives must master
Even if you’ve attended IRCE in the past, this year’s show will truly be breaking barriers of its own, in terms of content that includes more workshops, mainconference session tracks and a greatly expanded roster of 220 expert speakers, fully 20% more than last year’s show.
The Keynote and Featured Speakers of IRCE 2013 have all championed a revolutionary zeitgeist in their own ways. June 5 Keynote Speaker Hiroshi Mikitani, head of Japan-based international retailing and marketing powerhouse Rakuten, brings a global perspective as he leverages his number-one position in Japanese online retailing to become a major global player in e-commerce. With operations in 10 countries across Europe, the Americas (where it acquired Buy.com) and Asia, Rakuten has catapulted itself onto the world’s e-commerce stage. Mikitani’s advocacy of selling and marketing through multiple online venues and his expansionist mindset are sure to resonate with other web entrepreneurs without borders.
June 6 Keynote Speaker Mindy Grossman, CEO of HSN (listed as No. 26 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 with $1.3 billion in 2012 online sales), reveals the strategies HSN has adopted to break down the invisible barrier between TV personalities and consumers, as well as how she dismantled organizational barriers that kept separate divisions from working together. And June 6 Featured Speaker Alex Zhardanovsky highlights a big social media ROI success story for PetFlow.com, a recent start-up that has squeezed its way into a crowded market segment by getting 28% of its traffic from social media platforms.
Also on June 6, IRCE attendees will be treated to eye-opening statistics on online consumer behavior from Gian Fulgoni, chairman of comScore Inc., a provider of online research that he co-founded in 1999. Fulgoni will be sharing his insights on the changing patterns of online consumers’ behavior, e-commerce data that comScore gleans from its base of several million consumers who allow their behavior to be monitored for research purposes. Prepare for a fascinating discussion that teaches you how to befriend consumer trends.
Internet Retailer is pleased to announce that the Special Guest Speaker for IRCE 2013 is Al Gore, the 45th Vice President of the United States and chairman of The Climate Reality Project, a nonprofit focused on solutions to the climate change crisis. Mr. Gore is a forward-looking thinker who played a leadership role in public policies that converted the Internet from a closed defense-research network to an open commercial one. An investor behind many new web-based technologies, the former Vice President is also on the Board of Directors at Apple and serves as a senior adviser to Google.
The Biggest E-Commerce Schoolhouse Anywhere with the Curriculum of Your Choice
No matter where they come from or what role they play on the e-commerce stage, attendees broaden their educational experiences at IRCE. With its content-rich agenda, this year’s show reflects the nature of the industry as a whole: expanding into newer markets all across the globe. Therefore, IRCE provides an expanded curriculum that carries currency with a wider demographics base—even beyond the scope of retail—so that attendees can customize the learning experience that suits them best.
No other e-commerce event provides a diverse array of speakers and subjects under one roof to meet the needs of so many different professionals who depend upon an online presence, from retail chain executives, web-only merchants, leaders in finance and consumer services, to web designers, digital marketers, catalogers, manufacturers, wholesalers and even key decision-makers in the not-for-profit sphere.
New for IRCE 2013
Acknowledging that e-commerce has spread beyond retailing, IRCE breaks its own audience demographics barriers to welcome and openly court the perspectives of featured speakers hailing from the nonprofit world. As with their commercial cousins plying their trades online, nonprofit organizations must master the web-based skills of acquiring adequate traffic, engaging visitors on the site and ensuring easy navigation, and prompting those visitors to act, whether that means signing a petition or pledging a donation. We're pleased to welcome to the main stage our Featured Speaker on June 5, Craig Oldham, Vice President of Digital Engagement for the Red Cross of America. He will tell the story about how a revamped, commercial-quality web site upgrade just months before Superstorm Sandy hit the Northeast enabled the Red Cross to accept donations from a 100-fold increase in normal traffic to its site.
A workshop that's a new offering for 2013 is “Amazon & Me,” held on June 4, which advises retailers on knowing when it's in their best interest to compete against or cooperate with the world's No. 1 e-retailer. And conference tracks that will be making their debut at IRCE 2013 include “Global E-Retailing: The World Wide Web Lives Up to Its Name” on Day 1 (June 5) and “B2B: How Manufacturers and Wholesalers Can Harness B2C Tactics” on Day 2 (June 6).
An Unrivaled Assembly of Exhibitors, All Under One Roof
As is the case with the conference, the Exhibit Hall at IRCE 2013 encompasses all aspects of online retailing solutions. More than 600 exhibiting companies will fill the 250,000-square-foot exhibition floor, making it the largest display of services and technology in the e-commerce industry. IRCE attendees complement what they learn in the conference sessions and workshops by visiting the vendors and seeing their latest technology advancements in action. Since the exhibitors represent over 90% of the e-commerce solutions market, there is no better place for online retailers to research and shop for e-commerce technology and services.
The Most Anticipated Annual Networking Event in All of E-Commerce
The expected 9,500 attendees for IRCE 2013 represent diversity—the multiple industries and full spectrum of company demographics that comprise online retailing, from up-and-coming startups to long-established retail chains. When they meet at McCormick Place West for four days to learn, share, grow and exchange information with one another, what ensues is a memorable networking experience. IRCE 2013 offers abundant opportunities for attendees to socialize and foster camaraderie with one another. From the Welcome and Cocktail Receptions to the ability to recharge (devices and one’s self) at the Cyber Lounges and Relaxation Station to the annual Networking Dinner Party, IRCE offers its registrants plenty of spaces to meet new faces and host conversations that lead to connections and the cultivation of clients.
The first day of the conference features three concurrent day-long workshops on three key areas of e-commerce: technology, positioning your site relative to Amazon and search marketing. Attendees can select any one of these workshops. To learn more about each and to see the full agenda, click the tabs below.
E-Commerce Technology Workshop
Putting the Latest Technologies to Work for You
Technological excellence is key to a retail web site’s success. The underlying technology may not be sexy and it might not attract shoppers, but an e-retailer who doesn’t provide the latest technology at its site will lose shoppers as surely as if it had the wrong merchandise or pricing. This workshop will help retailers of all sizes understand the complexities of today’s technology, the implementation challenges and how the right technology at the right time will help them be better competitors.
Welcome and Introduction by Bernardine Wu, CEO, FitForCommerce
Internet technology evolves fast and what brought success yesterday won't be as effective today. In this introduction to the E-Commerce Technology Workshop, the workshop chair will help e-retailers understand recent technology evolution, what's coming down the road and what tech investments they should be prepared for in the coming year.
Omni- and multi-channel may be current industry buzzwords, but they do reflect an underlying reality: The technology choices you make are related to your business model. Technology investment priorities will differ based on whether you’re a bricks-and-mortar or a web-only merchant. Organizational structures will be different. Your entire order processing and fulfillment operations may be different. This session will help attendees devise approaches to their technology investments based on their current business models and will help ensure that the tech decisions they make today will serve them in the future.
The big ones: Choosing e-commerce platforms, order management and other major systems by Debra Jensen, Vice President, Chief Information Officer, Charlotte Russe, John Kinsella, SVP Strategy, Senior Consultant, FitForCommerce, Todd Morris, Founder & CEO, Brickhouse Security, Jesse Price, Director, Online Marketing, Alpha Industries
Technology evolves quickly—and Internet technology even more quickly than others. E-retailers constantly face the challenge of keeping up with that evolution. This session will examine how to know when the time is right to move to new technology and will explain some of the best ways to select a core technology. Our speakers will look at what’s new and different about today’s replatforming, how to decide whether to change out more than one large system, how to prioritize, how to know when you should buy separate systems for major functions or look for an integrated solution, who the leading vendors are in certain areas and when and how to use systems integrators.
Like no time in history, marketing has become a technology-driven undertaking. The creative part is certainly still paramount, but marketing success now rides on the ability to measure results and make fast changes. This session will examine the technology toolbox all marketers must have, explain which are critical and which are nice-to-haves, and how to prioritize and then explain the need to obtain budget dollars. Our speakers will also look at new areas of marketing technology that the Mad Men generation never had to deal with, such as retargeting, comparison shopping, marketplaces, predictive analytics, in-house search tools, campaign management, database marketing and affiliate marketing.
Mobile is big and growing and all e-retailers and marketers know they have to pay attention to it. But it’s not easy to keep up with mobile, especially when you’re still trying to keep up with the Internet. This session will guide attendees through how to make decisions on mobile technology, especially how to assess outside providers of mobile technologies. Our speakers will bring attendees up to date on the latest mobile technologies, explain how technology for selling on smartphones differs from technology for selling on tablets, look at how to enable store associates with mobile technology and examine the mobile payment landscape.
In a world where shoppers click quickly from one site to another and where Google ranks sites in search results based on a site’s content, product information and content management become competitive weapons. Good content systems can hold consumers at a site and provide a reason to click and buy. This session will examine the technology behind content and product information. Our speakers will look at the current challenges of sourcing, loading and managing product data from manufacturers; examine the technology behind content management to determine whether the technology actually works in keeping content fresh and informative; help attendees balance their investment in content technology with investments in staff to do the content work; and help provide a framework for assessing a vendor’s technology offering.
5 hot new technology developments by Brian Beck, CEO, Just4MyPet.com, Jason LaRose, SVP, E-Commerce, Express, Jan Linert, Director, Online Marketing & Web Analytics, The Children's Place, Tom McFadyen, CEO, McFadyen Solutions, Greg Phillips, Web Analyst, OfficeMax, Sarah Veit Wallis, Chief Operating Officer, Indochino
Technology infuses every area of an online retailer’s operation. This final session of the Technology Workshop will provide rapid fire assessments of five new crucial technologies that all e-retailers must know about in web site operations, merchandising, customer relationships, fulfillment and marketing.
Welcome Reception / Exhibit Hall Opens
Amazon & Me Workshop
Strategies for Competing & Cooperating with the No. 1 E-Retailer
Every online retailer, no matter the category of product it sells, competes with Amazon. Amazon sells everything. A huge proportion of online shoppers start ALL their shopping trips at Amazon. Amazon has a large base of Amazon Prime customers who have financial incentives to shop at Amazon. And Amazon sets the standard for web performance, meaning that consumers hold all web sites to the standard that Amazon sets. This group of sessions will help retailers of all sizes understand how Amazon does what it does and how they can compete with Amazon.
How Amazon does it by Colin Sebastian, Senior Analyst, Robert W. Baird & Co.
Amazon succeeds because it continually innovates and invests in all areas of operation. The first session in the Amazon & Me Workshop will take a close look at Amazon’s investments in technology, distribution and marketing and help attendees understand how and where they should be investing to avoid being left in Amazon’s dust.
It seems that everything Amazon touches turns to gold, but in reality the online retailer and marketplace focuses on three elements—selection, value and convenience—all of which advance the company’s success. Scot Wingo and Eric Best have worked for 15 years at competing companies where they helped small retailers go head to head with Amazon. They will explain to retailers of all sizes 10 Amazon strategies that they can take away from Amazon’s successes.
Online retailers are attracted to the massive Amazon Marketplace because it gives access to the large Amazon customer base and exposes their products to shoppers who might not otherwise know about them. But there are risks as well as rewards in selling on Amazon Marketplace. This session will help retailers of all sizes weigh the pros and cons of selling on Amazon Marketplace and determine if that approach is right for their specific situation. It will also provide guidance for those who sell on Amazon Marketplace to make sure they get maximum benefit out of the strategy.
Break for lunch.
Replicating Amazon innovations to boost sales by Rich Bayer, SVP, Partner Relations, ShopRunner, Josh Bultz, Vice President of Business Development, Build.com, Rey Pasinli, Executive Director, Total Apps Inc., David Rifkin, President & CEO, Microfiber Products Online
Amazon has pioneered many innovations that online consumers have come to take for granted: One-click checkout, same-day delivery and Amazon Prime, to name some of the best known. While those initiatives have given Amazon an edge over competitors, there is no reason other retailers can’t offer the same services. It just takes some insight into the development process and faith in the payback. This session will look at the benefits of those consumer offerings and guide attendees in how to develop their own responses.
Amazon leverages its investment in four dozen fulfillment centers by selling fulfillment services to other retailers. While it sounds great to have the best in the industry fulfill your orders, there are risks as well as rewards of doing business with Amazon. This session will lay out the pros and cons of using Fulfillment by Amazon and help attendees analyze the upside and downside of turning your orders over to Amazon for fulfillment and delivery management.
Amazon Services opens the sophisticated and market-leading Amazon technology platform to other e-retailers. Many online retailers reason that since they will be outsourcing their e-commerce platform in one way or another, they might as well hook up with the industry’s best. There’s logic in that assessment—but there is also risk. There are lots of other top-notch service providers. This session will help attendees weigh Amazon Services against other outsourced or SaaS platforms and identify the risks and rewards with each approach.
The Amazon & Me Workshop will wrap up by exploring first-hand experience as reported by members of the audience. This session will bring back speakers from earlier sessions and invite the audience to share their own experiences working with Amazon or trying to replicate Amazon offerings. This session will also provide an opportunity for audience members to ask experts questions about Amazon’s operations, approaches or a suitable response to Amazon that previous sessions did not address.
Welcome Reception / Exhibit Hall Opens
Search Marketing Workshop
Winning Strategies for New Challenges in SEO
Successful search marketing requires continuous evaluation of your program against ongoing refinements to search engine policies and practices as well as new opportunities for search marketers. This track will delve into the new Google Shopping and its pay-to-play model, how AdWords-sourced sales may be your best growth opportunity and what content and practices constitute spam. Learn how to drive better SEO results, bolster your program by revisiting the basics, exploit secrets that search marketing can borrow from social media, and more.
Google Shopping is a new program in which retailers bid for placement in search results. Many retailers are scrambling to adjust to the loss of free clicks on the former Google product search listings and to develop new strategies for using Google Shopping. This first session of the Search Marketing Workshop features an SEM expert and a retailer who’s found success in playing by the new program’s rules. Presenters will provide an overview of Google Shopping, delve into its bidding rules and offer tips on best practices for handling data feeds, product targeting and more.
Enhanced Campaigns, just launched, are an aggressive attempt by Google to push advertisers to bet big on mobile. Up until now, mobile consumer adoption has far outpaced mobile advertiser success. Enhanced Campaigns bring a surprising amount of new features that can improve ROI for all AdWords targeting options, whether desktop, tablet or mobile. Yet there’s also a surprising amount of pitfalls with the new format. You’ll hear from an online advertising expert and a retailer who is expertly navigating these new opportunities to fine-tune campaign targeting and substantially boost ROI.
Making sense of Facebook Search by Yulia V. Smirnova, CEO & Founder, CommerceBrain
Facebook’s latest effort to make money out of its huge base of users—Facebook Search Graph—seeks to harness consumers’ penchant for searching online and is a direct challenge to Google. This session will feature original research by an experienced e-commerce thought leader who will explain how marketers can use the new Facebook search program, how the program changes what it means to optimize a site for search engine results, how Facebook search fits into an overall marketing plan, which products are likely to sell well when promoted through Facebook Search Graph, how the program might evolve as more marketers and consumers use it, and more.
Online marketing and search opportunities you are missing by Jochen Heck, Retail Industry Director, Google
Google may not explicitly tell retailers what spam is, but it knows it when it sees it—and it acts. To avoid the penalty box as search algorithms change, e-retailers need to respect some time-honored practices, many of which are based on common sense that is too-often overlooked. Hear from a senior executive at Google who has a unique perspective and understanding of what companies are doing well -- or not doing – in order to take advantage of the web as a marketing vehicleand to extract maximum value from SEM campaigns.
SEO strategy specifics for retailers large and small—and what they can learn from each other by Benj Arriola, SEO Director, Internet Marketing, Richie Hannah, Director, Digital Marketing, GreatCall, Jeff Oxford, Owner, BeerPongStadium.com.
Search is a marketing tool that retailers of all sizes employ to reach shoppers and capture sales, and optimization techniques that work for a very large retailer may not make sense for a smaller merchant. But big retailers haven't cornered the market on SEO success; smaller retailers have some tricks of their own. This session will showcase effective organic search strategies for e-commerce, how methods for large merchants differ from those for smaller merchants, and what retailers of different sizes can learn from each other about SEO.
Search engines’ changing algorithms make it a challenge for search engine optimization efforts to keep up. But retailers who improve execution on well-known basics—for instance, reducing duplicative page content that can confuse search engine crawlers—can boost SEO results regardless of what's in or out at individual search engines. An expert will review the 10 most effective practices retailers should include in their SEO, and a retailer will share results of incorporating them into its own program.
At some retailers, managing Facebook PPC programs falls to those who manage paid search. Understanding the value of clicks, how to test and adjust campaigns quickly and knowing why it’s key to format landing pages that match the expectations of the clicker are all critical to running both a successful SEM campaign and a successful PPC campaign on Facebook. Yet major differences exist between the two. Our speakers will disclose what to leave in, what to lose and what to add to best practices in search marketing to take on Facebook PPC successfully.
In optimizing web sites, e-retailers often think they’re doing something right when they’re actually doing the exact opposite of what they should be doing. This lively session will feature search engine optimization experts who will review from an SEO perspective a selection of web sites volunteered by attendees. The aim: Build your confidence that you are doing all you can with SEO. Whether our experts choose your site or not, you are guaranteed to learn a lot from this interactive critique of live web sites.
Welcome Reception / Exhibit Hall Opens
MAIN DAY 1
June 5th, Main Day 1 at IRCE 2013, begins with General Sessions from 8:30 to 10:15 a.m. They feature Keynote Speaker Rakuten's Hiroshi Mikitani, Special Guest Speaker Al Gore and Featured Speaker Craig Oldham of the American Red Cross. Following an hour-long break in the Exhibit Hall from 10:15 to 11:15.m., five concurrent tracks that run through the end of the day offer a wealth of the latest competitive information for top executives, marketers, retail chains, global sellers and small retailers.
June 5 (8:30am - 10:15am)
The CEO of the parent of the Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition welcomes attendees to the Ninth Annual IRCE. Kurt Peters, who leads editorial content for Internet Retailer and is chair of the Ninth Annual Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition, provides insight into the theme of Breaking Barriers and discusses why the concept of reaching across borders within an organization, between the organization and its customers, and around the world is more important than ever in the Internet age.
KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Spanning the globe for e-commerce opportunity by Hiroshi Mikitani, Chairman and CEO, Rakuten
Rakuten is leading the way in how to become a global e-commerce brand. It operates Japan’s largest shopping mall, with more than 100 million items for sale and sales in excess of $14 billion. The third largest b2c online marketplace company in the world, Rakuten owns the US-based Rakuten.com Shopping, No. 36 in the Internet Retailer Top 500. It recently bought a stake in Pinterest, one of the hottest new social media networks, and owns Rakuten LinkShare and MediaForge, two major US digital marketing agencies. Rakuten has acquired e-retailer Play.com of the UK, No. 29 in the Internet Retailer Europe Top 400, and PriceMinister of France, No. 136. It has other e-commerce operations in Brazil, Austria, Germany, Spain, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. The company’s digital goods acquisitions include e-reading company Kobo plus streaming and video on demand company Wuaki.tv. The fall 2012 acquisition of ADS in France signaled a move into logistics automation as well. No symbol is more fitting of Rakuten’s global ambitions than the decree two years ago that English is the company’s official business language. Hiroshi Mikitani, Rakuten’s visionary and dynamic founder and CEO, will lay out the strategy behind Rakuten’s approach and explain what companies must do to become true competitors in today’s global, Internet-based economy.
FEATURED ADDRESS: When consumers come, you gotta let 'em in by Craig Oldham, Vice President, Digital Engagement, The American Red Cross
When Superstorm Sandy hit the US Northeast last fall, Americans across the country wanted to help. Millions turned to the American Red Cross as a credible organization that would use their contributions wisely. So trusted is the Red Cross, in fact, that traffic to the site increased 100-fold in the aftermath of the storm. Luckily for the Red Cross, it had just completed a re-engineering of its site and the new site handled the traffic without a hitch. A Red Cross executive who was involved in the development of the new site will talk about the importance of a robust backbone to handle unexpected traffic spikes, why the Red Cross decided it needed a new web site and how it assessed potential needs and solutions. He will detail how the site responded when need was most critical and provide insights into how all organizations can make sure their sites will stand up to expected or unexpected waves of traffic.
SPECIAL GUEST SPEAKER: The Global View: The Internet, business and the worldwide opportunity by Al Gore, Director, Apple Inc., Senior Adviser, Google
Few business or political leaders have the insight into the role of the Internet as Al Gore, 45th Vice President of the United States and a visionary who has helped shape public policy and focus public attention on such cutting-edge topics as e-commerce, information technology and climate change. As Senator and then Vice President, Mr. Gore was a leader in converting the Internet from a closed Department of Defense research network into an open, commercial one. Mr. Gore is a respected investor in a wide array of web technologies through his Generation Investment Management firm and as partner in the venture capital firm Kleiner, Perkins, Caulfield and Byers. Today, Al Gore is chairman of The Climate Reality Project, serves on the Board of Directors of Apple and is a senior strategic adviser to Google. Few people are more qualified to provide insight into how the Internet will continue to break the barriers to a one-world globe and what businesses need to do to make sure they remain competitive with companies all over the world.
Strategies for Top Executives
Track A: E-Commerce Chiefs Share Success Tactics
Top executives face new challenges in a market where competitors are constantly finding new ways to relate to consumers and consumers are increasingly taking control. This track will deal with important issues that today’s top e-commerce executives must master. Niraj Shah of Wayfair will kick off the track talking about why e-retailers must remain flexible to keep up with consumers. Other speakers will explain the new importance of the distribution center as a competitive weapon, why you must create a content strategy, how to find the next big thing and more.
Endless adaptability: The key to e-commerce success by Niraj Shah, CEO, Wayfair
The ability to change has always been key to business success, but the pace of change is much faster and the need to adapt quickly more intense on the Internet than it ever was in the offline world. Our kickoff speaker for the Strategies for Top Executives track has lived that adaptability. After a career as an entrepreneur, business executive and board director, he co-founded Wayfair (formerly CSN Stores), now No. 50 in the Internet Retailer Top 500. The company has evolved with the market and as consumers have become more sophisticated about using the web. He will explain the importance of flexibility in the face of rapid change, how Wayfair creates flexibility in its online organization, what that has meant to success and what new e-retail developments he foresees.
What are your major competitors up to? by G.B. Heidarsson, Chief Operating Officer, eDataSource
By sheer size of their audience, the largest e-retailers set the standards for all other retailers. If the biggest are doing it, you can be sure your shoppers will expect it from your site—whether you want to invest the resources or not. This data-intensive session will look at the ways the largest online retailers convert shoppers into buyers, then turn them into loyal customers. Our speaker, whose company monitors the largest online retailers and gathers millions of data points every year, will provide specific examples of what large retailers are doing and analyze whether each action merits investments by other retailers.
Content has become more important than ever to e-commerce. Good content differentiates one site from another, engages consumers who are looking for more than a shopping experience and, since Google began looking at the quality of content, ranks sites high in search results. Our first speaker will explain Jackthreads’ collaboration with artists and tastemakers, development of custom video, lookbooks, themed sales and more. Our second speaker will discuss how his distinctive apparel and accessories site delivers unique content that creates an emotional connection with customers and serves the company well in search results. They will discuss how to ensure your content strategy and commerce strategy complement each other and best practices for bringing custom content to your e-commerce site.
Identifying the next big thing by Norm Colbert, Partner & Managing Director, Petsky Prunier
Keeping up with Internet innovation is key to success. But it’s not always easy to find out what’s hot. One way to keep up is to look at where the money is going. Investment money isn’t an infallible barometer, but if a lot is going to a particular marketing approach or technology, there’s a chance that’s the next big thing. Our speaker for this session, an investment banker, will provide a data-driven session on e-commerce investment and acquisition activity, accompanied by commentary with practical observations on what makes a business model stand out.
E-retail competition moves to the last mile: Why CEOs need to rethink distribution by Jon Barker, Chief Operating Officer, Hayneedle, Christina Bieniek, Principal and Omnichannel Merchandising, Planning and Supply Chain Leader, Deloitte Consulting
E-retailing competition is quietly shifting to the last-mile contact with the customer. Major online retailers are investing big time in distribution centers. Smart competitors are looking for new ways to differentiate their services and unlock the value of their inventory and network. Not all retailers can afford to build multiple distribution centers so they must partner with providers with broad reach. This session will examine how retailers need to rethink inventory and their distribution network to more effectively serve the customer.
Going local is the new global: Getting your online business ready to compete internationally by Scott Heimes, Chief Marketing Officer, Digital River
The most successful e-stores in the future will be those ready to compete in the world market. Success in the global online market means more than just translating your e-commerce site into a foreign language and accepting an international currency. Our speaker for this session, who has extensive experience building and managing online businesses for some of the biggest brands on the Internet, will talk about e-commerce and e-marketing strategies that will prepare your global site to do business in local markets around the world. This interactive session will also test your e-commerce IQ. You will be presented with real world champion/challenger scenarios—that pit one online store strategy against another—and then be asked to choose which scenario resulted in the best online customer experience, and drove the biggest results. Follow-up discussions about the winning scenarios will underscore some of the major issues about global selling that top execs must be aware of and frame approaches that can help ensure your sites are speaking to local audiences as soon as they go live.
The Internet has taken price competition to new, undreamed-of levels. For e-retailers, competing on price means more than just beating competitors’ best prices; it means knowing your customers, your margins, your goals and having the management expertise and technology to implement pricing strategies. This session features two experts who will explain how to conduct competitive analysis; how to learn what processes competitors use to set prices; how to anticipate when the competition will respond to your prices and what will trigger a response; how to test and revise the hypotheses; and when not to compete on price—all with the goal of maximizing profit.
Cocktail Reception in Exhibit Hall
Track B: Putting the Web at the Center of the Enterprise
Consumers are not only shifting their buying to the web, they are taking control of the shopping experience both online and offline. The Retail Chains track will lay out strategies and tactics retail chains must adopt to win the new consumers who are intent on breaking the barriers between themselves and the products they want. Retail chain attendees will learn how to make the web the centerpiece of an organization, how mobile can help in-store sales, how to turn online info into in-store action and more.
Retail chains have had a challenge keeping up with the fast-growing e-commerce market. Just witness chains’ collective growth of 15% in the Top 500 versus 32% for web-only retailers. The challenge often is the result of longstanding business practices that executives are reluctant to change. But with the right approach, an organization’s culture and practices can be harnessed to grow Internet sales. This session will help chains develop a digital roadmap specific to their retail category, each with its own pace of investment and timing for digital. One speaker, who has retail as well as consulting experience, will help attendees recognize where they are within their lifecycle and consider the key decision points leading up to changing strategy or deepening their digital investment. Our other speaker, a retail executive, will provide the retail point of view and examine the challenges of adopting change.
Your store shoppers are spending more time online—shopping, researching products and prices and engaging with you through social media channels. So it makes sense to base store actions on what these online interactions tell you. This session will show attendees how to use web-based pricing data to set prices in stores. Our first speaker has developed a technology that applies predictive analytics to online social engagement tools to gather real-time preference, pricing and sentiment data on new products, then helps retailers apply it to their stores. Our second speaker is a retailer who will explain the management challenges to creating a successful program and the results.
Retail success today calls for consistency among channels. Achieving that consistency is most often the role your e-commerce site plays. This session will examine how retail chains can deliver a quality customer experience across every touchpoint, store, web, mobile, marketplace and call center. Our speakers will examine how to build and use a single customer data set to ensure consistency across channels, display real-time store-by-store inventory information on a web site, simplify management of e-commerce and back-office functions and leverage customer data for personalized marketing.
Leveraging your store base for e-commerce fulfillment: How to make it work by Jason Merrick, Director, E-Commerce, Peter Glenn Ski & Sports
Some companies have aggressive goals of shifting a fair amount of sales to the Internet. One of the keys to achieving that goal is to fulfill orders from stores if a distribution center is out of stock. It’s a logical approach that matches up the right product with the right consumer at the moment the consumer is ready to buy. But there are challenges to fulfilling from the store. Our speaker in this session will explain the logistics required to make store fulfillment a reality, the training store personnel require to make it work, what the company expects to get out of the program and what refinements and enhancements are in store.
M-offers: Driving online shoppers to the store by Leeann Fecho, Manager, Emerging Media, Loyalty Marketing, Follett Higher Education Group
The 18- to 24-year-old crowd is adept at mobile and they sleep with their smartphones. How do you ensure mobile customers are also stepping into your physical stores? Using mobile to unify channel experiences, and gamification as a playful incentive, one retailer is leveraging the “always connected” shopper mindset and re-introducing consumers to the store via mobile offers for redemption at the point of sale. This session’s speaker will provide insight into the strategic vision driving the evolution of their mobile initiative, and share results from a recent m-offers pilot.
Retailers who have responded to showrooming—consumers’ practice of experiencing a product in a store then searching for a lower price elsewhere using a mobile device—by adding enhanced digital options or haggling over price are looking at the problem from only one perspective. When it comes to price, chains will almost always lose to web-only merchants and give up more margin than they can afford. Our speakers will explain how retailers can win the showrooming battle by finding customers who matter most and giving them what they want; turning the store into an experience, not just a place to shop; constantly testing new approaches, formats and product mixes; reorganizing so the entire staff is ready to innovate and execute new ideas.
Store associate as Internet advocate: The right training, the right incentives by Katherine Bahamonde, EVP, Global E-Commerce, Operations, C. Wonder
Some retail chains are counting on broad online selection to boost or save sales at stores. When an item isn’t available in a store, the thinking goes, the store associate will order it from the web site for the customer and have it sent to the customer’s home. Too often, the ball gets dropped here. However, some retailers are succeeding on this front by training store associates to recognize opportunities for online sales, equipping them with the supporting in-store technology and motivating them to close the sale. This includes authorizing associates to match competitors’ offers on pricing and other latitude seldom granted. This session’s retail speaker will also cover the tactics that, while seemingly sensible, are ones to avoid because they will sabotage sales both in-store and online.
Cocktail Reception in Exhibit Hall
Track C: The World Wide Web Lives Up to Its Name
Online retailers that are not taking advantage of the ability to sell across borders are leaving money on the table. These sessions will explain the intricacies of breaking through international borders and help attendees assess what they stand to gain by doing so. Global marketers will learn why eBay is making a push into China, all factors retailers need to take into account when selling overseas, quick ways to get into foreign markets, how foreign marketing differs from domestic and more.
eBay explores what’s next for e-commerce in emerging markets by Wendy Jones, VP, Geographic Expansion and Cross Border Trade, eBay Marketplaces
The world of commerce is changing. Consumers now have unprecedented access to global inventory. And high-growth countries are driving significant change, with 55% of ecommerce growth expected to come from emerging markets by 2015. What will it take to thrive in these markets? With 112 million active users around the world, eBay is the world’s largest marketplace and the undisputed leader in mobile commerce. Wendy Jones will explore key trends driving e-commerce in high-growth countries around the world. She will look closely at Russia and China, two countries where much of this innovation and growth are occurring. And she will share practical examples of how eBay is simplifying cross-border trade for consumers and merchants around the world.
E-commerce worldwide is rapidly developing. And while e-retailing has grown on a national basis until now, the barriers are coming down. The fastest-growing retail web sites in Europe are US-based; 15% of the Top 500 online retailers in the US are European-owned, and the Asian and Latin American markets are attracting foreign marketers and investors. This session will examine worldwide markets, analyze the degree to which foreign retailers have an opportunity and lay out some of the factors that retailers need to consider as they go into each market.
Marketing in a foreign country: What you can and can’t transfer from the US by Aaron Magness, VP, Marketing, Coastal Contacts
In the US, online marketing has developed certain standards and protocols that almost everyone knows. Those marketing approaches, however, don’t always translate so easily when entering overseas markets. This session will examine how e-mail, search engine optimization, pay-per-click search marketing, social and mobile marketing—and consumer responses to them—differ by market. It will lay out specific steps retailers can take to ensure that their approaches are actually creating sales and not driving shoppers away.
Strategic planning: Equipping your business for e-commerce abroad by Mitch Goldstone, President & CEO, ScanMyPhotos.com
Retailers with a knowledge of how site features and back-end functions must change for international markets have the best chance of success as they expand outside the U.S. In this session, a retailer who has made a major international expansion will share the key elements that go into preparing for e-commerce beyond our borders, such as ensuring timely fulfillment, adapting search and other site features for international markets, and building in transaction security and fraud protections. Learn how cultural norms that differ from those in the US can affect what is the best approach to these discrete functions, and take home vital information that US retailers contemplating international expansion need to know.
Address protocols, customs requirements, tax laws and other issues seem insurmountable to some marketers when they’re analyzing foreign markets. And then there are returns and customer service, big enough challenges in the US without adding the foreign element. This session will lay out the options for the entire process of getting orders to customers, back again when warranted and dealing with the inevitable customer inquiries. Our speakers will help attendees determine when to outsource, when to do it themselves, when a combination makes sense and how to negotiate with vendors to develop the optimal approach.
An easy way to test a new market without a huge investment in web site infrastructure is a local marketplace where retailers can list their products and rely on the marketplace’s own marketing initiatives as well as guidance the marketplace can provide to sellers. Such marketplaces as eBay worldwide, Tmall in China and Mercado Libre for Latin America can provide quick and easy entrée into a market. This session will describe some of the major marketplaces around the world and help retailers decide which are right for them.
The Global E-Retailing track will wrap up with US e-retailers who will recount their experiences in selling to foreign markets. They will describe how they made the decision to sell overseas, the challenges they faced and how they overcame them and what they’ve gained—tangible and intangible—as a result.
Cocktail Reception in Exhibit Hall
Track D: Bootstrapping Your Way to the Next Level
Smaller e-retailers with smaller budgets have a big challenge in having to compete with larger retailers having deeper pockets. But this challenge has made small retailers turn out innovative solutions based on creativity more than dollars. This track will showcase where to find free and low-cost resources and how to use the latest e-commerce tools and technology for building your business and how to find funding to take it to the next level, as well as lessons from the fastest-growing merchants in the Internet Retailer Second 500.
Harnessing the latest tools for e-commerce success by Ken Johnson, CEO, Manpacks.com
Small e-retailers must work smarter to compete against large companies with more resources. One way to do that is to use the latest e-tools in ways that larger companies haven’t discovered yet. Our speaker in the first session of the Small Retailers track, a startup three years ago, turned to Twitter and Facebook to construct the company’s foundation, and adopted the hot subscription model. The co-founder of Manpacks will explain why his company is taking the route it’s on, what it took to get where it is now and what he sees in the future that will allow Manpacks to grow even further.
Free and easy: Mining the web’s low-cost and no-cost resources to build out your site by Patrick Garmoe, Online Marketing Specialist, Betty's Pies Distributing LLC, Christopher Swanson, Co-Founder & Co-Owner, Betty's Pies Distributing LLC
Development budgets are tight everywhere, especially for startups. Yet dollars aren’t the only way to get the design ideas and tools, content, features, testing and analytics services and fulfillment help your site needs. Many low-cost and no-cost resources exist online. In this session, learn where to look on the web to find less-expensive advice, services, material and technology. You’ll hear from two retail executives who went that route and what's worked and what hasn't in the free and low-cost development realm.
Technology to support your site is evolving faster than many retailers' budgets are growing. When looking to squeeze the most out of your e-commerce investment, where does it make sense to focus spending first, and what can you spend less on or skip altogether? And in evaluating new opportunities and what it will take to support them in the future, what’s shaping up as the must-have technologies you’ll need to prioritize next? In this session, get the inside track from two industry experts.
As an e-retail business grows, so do the demands on the merchant platform on which it’s built its business. Retailers that start out small and reach higher volumes must make judgments on whether their initial e-commerce platform provides the functionality needed to support intended growth. E-retailers will share why they thought it was time to consider a platform move, how they went about researching and deciding, and what you should consider in making your own decision to move off or remain on your first e-commerce platform.
A date with an angel: Finding funding for your early-stage e-retail business by George Deeb, Founder & Managing Partner, Red Rocket Venture Consulting & Capital, Tyler Spalding, Co-Founder & CEO, StyleSeek
Angel investors—wealthy individuals with money to invest in startup businesses, which is an initial funding source for many e-retailers—are as hidden from view as their ethereal namesakes. In this session, a consultant experienced in advising Internet startups offers advice on how to go about finding angels, what they look for when considering investment in a new company and what angels expect to get in return. And you'll hear from the co-founder and CEO of an online startup that has successfully raised its first $1 million investment about that experience.
An Internet Retailer survey identified the five biggest obstacles to growth cited by smaller e-retailers. Yet the experience of our speakers proves that these issues needn't be a barrier to success. See how two of the fastest-growing retailers in the Internet Retailer Second 500 tackled the top challenges limiting many retailers of similar size to grow their businesses at an exceptionally rapid pace—and learn how you can do the same.
Social media 101 for small retailers by Carrie Gouldin, Web Community Manager, ThinkGeek
Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door—but for smaller retailers without big marketing budgets, attracting that kind of interest is a challenge. In this session, learn from a social media strategist at ThinkGeek, a purveyor of "stuff for the smart masses." She'll outline how strategic participation in social media can build traffic and boost marketing efforts at little cost and what it takes to motivate customers’ active participation in social media on your behalf.
Cocktail Reception in Exhibit Hall
Track E: Finding and Connecting with Today's Everywhere Shopper
Shoppers' ability today to access your site and brand from multiple channels demands new strategies for getting the right information to them at the right time, and in the right place. In this track, discover how to decide on the right marketing spend to target different customer types, how data from iPad shoppers can boost all cross-marketing efforts, how to get your CFO into your corner as a top marketing ally and more.
An e-retailer’s most qualified pool of potential buyers isn’t necessarily out there at the other end of a search marketing campaign. And it’s not necessarily composed of your most loyal customers. It’s the consumers who have been to your site once, or purchased only once, who comprise the biggest revenue potential. This session will examine all three segments using data from more than 300 retailers, show how to value each of the three groups, and share tactics for each to maximize the value of your marketing dollars. Speakers include an expert in omni-channel personalization and a retailer who's found inventive ways to leverage this data.
Accurate attribution is the key to making sure your affiliate program drives incremental revenue. And retailers today see that requires specific skills, consistent oversight and ongoing evaluation of the value different types of partners bring. This session will show retailers how to determine precisely if their affiliate programs are driving incremental sales, and how much, share how to build a successful affiliate program without relying on coupon sites, explore new strategies for optimizing a retailer's affiliate base and more.
Marketers accumulate a mass of customer data, and they can turn this data into profitable campaigns. But as many as 85% of online marketers don’t fully leverage their customer data from e-mail—in many cases, because they don’t know how. Discover how to target selected customer groups, re-engage inactive customers and improve return on investment—all by mining customer data and applying it to e-mail marketing. You’ll also hear from a retailer who converted formerly unmanageable data into e-mail campaign refinements and about the results achieved.
Tablet shoppers differ from other online shoppers. They browse differently, shop at different times of the day and are particularly attracted to certain categories of merchandise. Yet their behavior can yield insights, such as dwell time on any single product image, for example, that can apply to marketing to shoppers across multiple devices and channels. Learn what the behavior of tablet shoppers can tell you about marketing and merchandising decisions and how to use those insights in marketing to customers across all channels.
How to turn your CFO into a marketing advocate by Arthur Lachman, Executive Vice President, E-Moret
Many CFOs evaluate projects based solely on what it will cost. But this can slow down the building of an e-commerce business. In this session, learn from a former CFO how to turn your CFO from a barrier to marketing initiatives into an advocate for growth by focusing your communication on strategies such as the accurate cost/benefit evaluation of marketing and promotion, deciding whether to outsource or bring programs in-house, keeping vendor costs down, building efficiency into daily business activities and more.
It’s time to lock into holiday e-mail marketing strategies for Q4, and this session will share tips from the experience of hundreds of retailers during Q4 2012. You’ll learn from a Retail Systems Research survey how retailers allocated budgets and where they saw the most holiday season success. You’ll also hear from a retailer and how he applied the advice he received the previous year to achieve a significant lift in e-mail campaign conversions during holiday 2012, and how he’s preparing for holiday 2013 as a result.
E-retailers have mostly avoided broadcast advertising since some early sites blew big bucks on TV ads only to go down in flames. But now, some are taking another look. With many online options such as search and e-mail, what’s the payback on expensive TV versus less expensive online marketing? Does it add to the marketing mix in any unique way? Learn from a cabinet retailer who ran a TV ad on the DIY Network why he decided to do it, what it took to produce and place the ad, its results—and whether it might work for your business.
Cocktail Reception in Exhibit Hall
MAIN DAY 2
On June 6th, main day 2 at IRCE 2013, the day begins with General Sessions from 8:30am to 10:15am. Following an hour-long break in the Exhibit Hall from 10:15 a.m. to 11:15, five concurrent tacks that run through the end of the day will cover B2B, fulfillment, social commerce and marketing, technology, and design and merchandising, and will offer a wealth of information for improving your e-commerce business. See below for details.
June 6 (8:30am - 10:15am)
June 6 Keynote Address: How Boundaryless Retail Drives 21st Century Success by Mindy Grossman, Chief Executive Officer, HSN Inc.
Few large retailers have done a better job of overcoming institutional barriers to multi-channel commerce than HSN Inc., No. 26 in the Internet Retailer Top 500, with nearly $1.5 billion in online sales. While other players are struggling with bolting on another service or adding another device, HSN has systematically broken down the organizational silos that stand in the way of what CEO Mindy Grossman calls “Boundaryless Retail.” Mindy will describe how HSN has evolved far from its roots as a TV shopping channel into an integrated network of experiences that combines content, community and commerce, engaging consumers wherever and whenever they choose to shop. HSN’s robust digital strategy, which includes the HSN Arcade gaming portal and an active social media presence, is generating fast-growing sales via the web, mobile and tablet while driving consumer excitement and engagement with the brand. Mindy will speak about how HSN is defining this new era of Boundaryless Retail and what it takes to break through the barriers to success in the 21st Century retail world.
Today’s consumers: No longer constrained by walls or held in place by a wire by Gian Fulgoni, Chairman, comScore
Consumers have broken out of the bounds of traditional shopping big time. Consumers were freed up from having to get in their cars and go to the store when shopping and buying moved to the Internet. But they were still tethered to their computers. With the rise of mobile, consumers now have a choice of shopping venues like never before. ComScore closely tracks how consumers use the Internet. Gian Fulgoni will provide detailed information about the ways consumers are shopping today and what it will take for retailers to grab their share of the consumer wallet.
FEATURED ADDRESS: How social marketing became the rocket fuel for a small start-up by Alex Zhardanovsky, Co-Founder, PetFlow.com
PetFlow.com was a start-up just three years ago. Today it is on track to do $65 million in online sales in 2013, a large part coming through the 600,000 fans the company has on Facebook. Alex Zhardanovsky, who has spent a career building, selling and investing in e-commerce-related companies, knew he had to do something different for his pet supplies retail company to stand out from the online pet supply crowd and thrive online. He will tell how he used social media to break through the obstacles that separate retailers from customers and now gets 28% of traffic to his site from social networks—all on a spend of less than $200,000.
What the Top 500 tell us about today’s interconnected market by Kurt Peters, Executive Editor, Internet Retailer
Every year just before IRCE, Internet Retailer publishes the rankings of the 500 largest online retailers in the US and Canada. This session will provide insights into who’s moving up, who’s moving down and what the latest rankings mean to all e-commerce competitors.
Fulfillment, Customer Service & Payments
Track F: Customer Service & Payment: Making the Last Mile Count
As retailers’ expertise in marketing, design and merchandising grows more sophisticated, the behind-the-scenes processes are becoming more important to a site's success. Making sure the product is available when the customer wants it, getting the order right and delivering it on time are critical. GM Raj Subramonian will share how Dell Global Outlet turned product returns from a cost center into a marketing opportunity. You'll learn how to find a perfect fit when seeking a fulfillment vendor, how to use Twitter for customer service, how to create a distribution center the meets todays demands and more.
Tweeting for customer service: How to make Twitter a customer service channel by Dave Gilboa, Co-Founder & Co-CEO, Warby Parker
How consumers contact an e-retailer is unpredictable and totally up to the consumer. When Twitter emerged, few marketers would have expected consumers to use Twitter for customer service inquiries. But they are. If you don’t know it — or you don’t have a plan for responding to Twitter customer service inquiries — you’re missing an opportunity. Our speaker will discuss how to create a Twitter strategy, who the right people are to serve those customers and what it takes in resources to ensure you’re keeping up with the tweets.
Direct-to-consumer distribution centers have developed standard operating procedures over nearly a century. But e-commerce changes how they operate. Today’s consumers want to know at the moment they place an order whether the product is in stock and they want faster delivery of multiple items. Those demands have changed how distribution centers operate. This session will examine today’s pressing issues and help retailers understand how to build a distribution center that will meet today’s needs.
There are myriad ways at the back end for online retailers to improve their customer experience and increase sales, from a faster order fulfillment to a pleasant customer service experience. Our speakers in this fast-paced session will share their first-hand experience on how retailers can push their order fulfillment and customer service operations to create a standout shopping experience.
Accepting payments is a crucial area of e-commerce, but not something that most online retailers pay attention to until a problem arises. But many good reasons exist to pay constant attention to payments processing, the two most important being to ensure that your security is always up to date and to find ways that you can reduce costs. This session features a seasoned payments consultant and an e-retailer who will outline 10 ways you can reduce the cost of accepting payment and minimize your security risk.
Finding the fulfillment vendor that suits your needs by Kevin McCracken, COO & Co-Founder, Social Imprints
Outside service providers specialize in certain areas, just as some online retailers specialize. That means not all vendors will suit the needs of all retailers. This session features a retail executive who tried out several shipping solutions until he found the one that was just right for his operation. He will discuss how the company learned it needed to switch, how it identified prospective new providers, how it whittled the list to finalists, how it made the final decision and how it tested the choice to make sure it was the right one.
This session will focus on the key elements of managing full product lifecycle logistics to refresh returned merchandise to meet the needs of the secondary marketplace through use of a primary retail market strategy. Our speakers will reveal how to discover hidden earnings by creating secondary market capabilities, including a reduction in scrap, growth of broker channels, enterprise refurbishment, and ultimately changing the P&L impact of returned merchandise. They will also discuss improvement in the net margins of the Dell outlet business unit, which deals with repairs and returns, and how Dell uses returned products to create aftermarket sales.
E-commerce sites enjoy the trust of most consumers for a good reason: they are secure. But as the world has learned, computer security can be breached. This session will explain simple, low-cost and overlooked steps that online sellers can take to ensure their sites remain secure. It also examine how much companies are spending to increase privacy and security methods, explain what is coming up from regulators, consumers and hackers, and tell attendees how they can use security investments as a way to boost consumer confidence and sales.
Social Commerce & Marketing
Track G: New Strategies for a Hot Medium
Social commerce continues to be an effective—yet hard-to-understand—means to increase online sales. This group of sessions will explain how to create a social media strategy and how to measure whether it is doing its job. Presenters will show how retailers are powering up sales by making shopping on their sites social. Speakers will talk about cutting through the online clutter to make sure your social marketing efforts connect with consumers, growing your social network base, what you need to know now about Pinterest and more.
Engaging customers who are already bombarded with social media by Marta Gerdes, Vice President, Marketing, Tampico Beverages
Some creative marketers have harnessed Facebook to launch innovative marketing approaches that would be impossible to achieve in the offline world — resulting in increased followers which, they expect, will translate into more sales. One of the most creative approaches is Tampico Beverages’ piñata game, in which a would-be player has to recruit another player to try to break open the piñata and win entry forms for sweepstakes. Tampico’s marketing chief will explain what it took to create the game, the goals and the results, including the benefit of the 57,000 Facebook Likes the game earned.
The Internet disrupts all kinds of business processes, including interacting with shoppers. In the past, posting real users in stores to engage shoppers and convert them into buyers would have been impossibly expensive. But it’s not so hard on the Internet. In fact, several retailers have experienced double-digit growth rates in conversions when they recruited actual users of their products to provide live chat info to shoppers. This session will explain the thinking behind the process, the technology and management expertise required to make such a program work and the results that one retailer achieved.
Marketers build social success not just on advertising and not just on posting content at Facebook, but by melding the two tactics and understanding how they work together. This session will explain Facebook’s ad options and Facebook postings—and how they reinforce each other. Our speakers will help attendees understand Facebook ads. They will also deal with how to create content for a Facebook page that prompts consumers to re-post the information or take other action. And they will lay out strategies for making sure ads and content work together and reinforce each other.
Using fun and information to grow a social network base by Seth Berkowitz, President & COO, Edmunds.com Inc.
Before you can do anything with Facebook, you have to build a base that you can then engage with marketing and promotional activities. But you can’t count on even some of your most devoted customers signing up merely because you created a Facebook page. Our speaker in this session will explain how automobile review, information and shopping site Edmunds.com grew its fan base to more than 100,000 on Facebook and 35,000 on Twitter with a combination of marketing, content and fun experiences.
Putting the social into online shopping by Kerry Bennett, Vice President, Marketing and Communications , HauteLook
For a long time, e-retailers have looked for ways to add to the online shopping experience the social element that some consumers love—viewing and getting a companion’s opinion on the products. Now, consumers’ embrace of social media is making social sharing a key element of shopping and purchasing online. White-hot online fashion retailer HauteLook, a Nordstrom company, will explain how it supports and encourages social shopping on its site, how shoppers have reacted, what benefits it has gained as a result and what further evolution is possible.
Pinterest a year later—what all marketers need to know by Jason Miles, Co-Author, "Pinterest Power"
Pinterest seemed to shoot out of nowhere. At the beginning of 2012 – barely more than a year since Pinterest launched –the social site where users express their interests in all kinds of topics already had 15 million users. It is still growing at a phenomenal rate. Such a rocket start has forced marketers to pay attention and added another layer of uncertainty to web-based marketing. An expert social marketer will analyze the growth and future prospects of Pinterest, help attendees understand how to best use Pinterest and look at possible ways the use of Pinterest by marketers will evolve.
As social networks’ effects spread throughout an organization, companies will undergo a change in philosophy and a massive redesign of corporate structure and organization. Just as the Internet has displaced jobs by moving staff functions to consumers, the social revolution will replace employees with the collective power of thousands or millions of online, unpaid, and often anonymous individuals. Our speakers will explain how the changes under way already are causing dramatic shifts in the ways early adopters operate, the types (and number) of employees they hire, the speed at which they move, and their operating margins. As those companies succeed, traditional retail organizations will have to follow suit.
Track H: Making E-Commerce Systems Work Harder for You
Online retailing is one of the brightest areas of the world economy. And that means demands on technology keep getting more intense. This group of sessions will lay out the complex technology challenges that today’s e-retailers face and what it takes to meet them. Presenters will talk about how to get more out of your technology vendors. You'll learn about how to minimize the disruption a platform migration, the technology plan one retailer put in place to support its goal of 100% growth in a single year, how to prepare your site for heavy traffic and more.
How to make vendors work harder for your business by Pinny Gniwisch, Adjunct Professor, E-Commerce, McGill University
Technology can be so complex and seem so black-box-ish that some e-retailers can be intimidated by technology vendors. Unless you have a deep understanding of technology and what you want it to do, you could find yourself at a disadvantage when negotiating with providers of technology. This session will provide practical tips for retailers on how to make vendors work for your business. Our speaker is an experienced e-commerce executive whose company dealt with many e-commerce technology providers. He will provide insights into what he learned in that process on what is negotiable, what kind of flexibility buyers can expect in terms and prices, what you can get just by asking for it and what you might have to give up to get something in return, and more.
E-retail management faces a big planning and investment challenge in making technology decisions based on continuing strong growth. How do you know what to build out when your growth is in excess of 50% or even 100% a year? Our speakers in this session from a regional department store chain presided over 108% growth in sales from 2011 to 2012. They will reveal how they planned, implemented and supported a doubling of sales in a way that kept the orders flowing and growing.
How to migrate to a new e-commerce platform without losing sales and driving your tech team nuts by William Bartley, Chief Product Officer, Sole Society, Jon Provisor, CIO, Guidance, Greg Thorson, CEO, EnvironmentalLights.com
When an e-retailer is ready to implement a new e-commerce platform, executives must be ready to manage many moving parts—both tangible and intangible. Our speakers will focus on such diverse issues as partner expectations, developing the roadmap, assessing impact on current operations, ensuring security remains tight and up to date, when and how to integrate and transfer data, making sure your SEO doesn’t suffer during and after the transition, hosting decisions, testing, post launch quality control, and more.
Testing of an e-commerce platform’s technology is important to an online retailer’s success. But there are scales of testing from the big tests that run after a platform implementation to the ongoing smaller tests that keep a platform up to date and humming along. This session will highlight some of the smaller areas that e-retailers should be tracking closely that can boost conversion rates and lead to higher sales. Our speakers will examine not only what to test, but how to interpret test results and then how to measure results of changes.
When your web site experiences more traffic than management expected it, it becomes a great opportunity to take your site to the next level—if you’re prepared for. This session will cover techniques to prepare your web site for traffic spikes and ensure the site remains operational during the most critical times. Among the tactics that our speakers will discuss, are when it makes sense to simply add servers, how to test to find bottlenecks and methods for addressing them, how to identify and protect against a variety of failures, how to prepare for expected heavy traffic and key things to monitor during spikes.
Should you trust the cloud? by John Baranowski, Co-Founder, CIO, LoveBook
Cloud computing has suddenly become the next big thing. Cloud computing make sense – a company doesn’t have to invest in its own storage servers or in constantly updating technology. But there are risks in the cloud, not the least of which are: What if you can’t access the cloud? What if your cloud-services corrupt or lose your data or suffer a security breach? This session will describe the decision one company made in going with the cloud, examine the pros and cons of cloud-based computing and help attendees assess the risks and rewards of using the cloud.
How does a company that started nearly 200 years ago – in horse and buggy days – use technology to increase revenue and engage customers? The web site for Brooks Brothers, the company that invented the ready-to-wear concept during the Gold Rush era, has employed web site analytics from Adobe to increase revenue by millions of dollars by implementing a data-driven customer experience. The company’s testing and web analytics strategies with a direct feedback loop has enabled Brooks Brothers to capture and analyze online activities and take profitable action on that information. Brooks Brothers and Adobe will share insights and strategies on how to sort through vast amounts of data to uncover hidden behavioral patterns that help determine the best action to achieve business goals.
Track I: How Manufacturers & Wholesalers Can Harness B2C Tactics
Wholesalers and manufacturers have wrestled with e-commerce strategies for years, but they've done so in isolation--until now. A full track of b2b sessions will show how wholesalers and manufacturers are using the Internet to sell with the same success enjoyed by b2c sites. Our speakers will share how social media marketing can work for b2b, where the best opportunities lie in the $559 billion b2b market, the secrets of search marketing for b2b, how b2b brands are breaking through online to new b2c markets and more.
B2b Today: Half a billion and growing by Andy Hoar, Senior Analyst, Forrester Research
B2b e-commerce will reach $559 billion in the U.S. in 2013, roughly twice the sales of b2c e-commerce, according to a brand new report from Forrester Research. This is the first comprehensive report of the state of b2b e-commerce sales in the U.S., signaling that b2b e-commerce is coming into its own. The author of the Forrester report will map out the landscape of b2b e-commerce today, explaining which industries are leading and lagging, which have the most growth potential and what all manufacturers and wholesalers need to know as they muscle up their e-commerce operations.
Search marketing is not an obvious way for a b2b site to find customers. Search is most strongly associated with consumers looking for products and the b2b company that doesn’t set its search terms and parameters properly could very well wind up with lots of consumer traffic while missing out on business traffic. Our speakers in this session will explain their companies’ approaches in using search marketing to find qualified corporate buyers without impinging on the b2c staff’s area.
In a not very long time, the same people who were updating their Facebook pages in college and engaging in other kinds of online social media will be the ones responsible for corporate buying at large and small businesses. When that happens, they will turn to the same social media they use now to help them make buying decisions in their personal lives. So while social marketing and b2b don’t seem to go together, they are actually well suited to each other. Our speakers in this session will discuss social marketing initiatives at Grainger and Cisco Systems, including the role social marketing will play in the future of b2b sales and how the companies use Facebook and other media channels to reach the next generation of corporate buyers now.
How the Internet changes the game for product sourcing by Jules Pieri, CEO, The Grommet
Retailers on the lookout for new interesting products used to comb through quirky catalogs that featured independently produced products and reflected the sensibilities of the catalog’s publisher and buyers. After they spotted a product they liked, it often took weeks or months to arrange meetings and demos, and agonizing months of watching sales data to make sure consumers liked the item, before the product could get into stores. Today, retailers and product developers turn to the Internet where retailers get a more in-depth look at the product and developers have the opportunity to present detailed information to prospective buyers via videos—and the sales data is almost instant. Our speaker will describe how one such product launch site works with both product developers and retailers to reduce the risk of new and independent products for both parties. She will walk attendees through how to use such services (and social media outlets) to get early access to trending yet proven products, and provide guidance on opportunities for collaboration and partnership to ensure success.
It’s a global e-commerce world—especially for b2b by Paul Miller, Vice President, U.S. E-Commerce and Customer Information , W.W. Grainger, Inc.
Just as the b2c business has been changed by the global reach of the Internet, so has the b2b business. Customers can now come from anywhere in the world, meaning that manufacturers have to be prepared to service customers in multiple languages, ship to multiple countries and accept payment in multiple currencies. While those are the same challenges that b2c retailers face, the issues are much larger in the b2b world as the orders are larger and customers more sophisticated about what they want. This session will explore the challenges and opportunities of global b2b selling.
Everything you want to know about resale price and MAP programs but didn’t know who to ask by Eugene Zelek, Partner, Freeborn & Peters
While manufacturers and retailers have been wrangling over pricing for a long time, the issue is a lot more contentious online where price comparison is so easy and retailers can change prices so quickly. Supreme Court rulings have given manufacturers wide latitude in prohibiting discounting, but many manufacturers don’t have a clear understanding of what is and is not permissible. A lawyer with deep experience in pricing will explain what manufacturers can and can’t do and the remedies they can seek to maintain consistent pricing.
For more than 30 years, furniture and home accessories seller Bombay was a wholesale brand in the US. But with consumers exhibiting a decided preference for buying online direct from the manufacturer, Bombay is adopting a b2c Internet strategy. Our speakers will explain how Bombay had to change its organization to a b2c mindset, how it is communicating to consumers that they can now buy direct from Bombay, and the challenges in everything from site design to order fulfillment and customer service that Bombay had to overcome.
Design & Merchandising
Track J: Styling Your Site for Success
Your site's much more than an opportunity to sell shoppers what they come to buy. The quality of its design and merchandising tools also serve to make shoppers regular customers and spread the word about your brand to friends, and put you top of mind next time they are shopping. Michael Blum of Herman Miller will show how a single site can be designed to serve up the best experiences for different customer segments. Other speakers will share how to create content that sells, easy site fixes to boost sales, the best and worst of e-commerce site design and more.
With so many ways to merchandise products online, where does a retailer start? This session will begin with Lauren Freedman reviewing The E-tailing Group's Merchandising 50 to understand which features deliver retailers the greatest ROI. She will be joined by Alan Higley of apparel manufacturer Coolibar. The two will select 10 top features, including search, seasonal selling and customer reviews and analyze their value to Coolibar's business, plans for implementing new elements and where they see opportunities for growth. Attendees will gain a unique perspective into one retailer's approach to merchandising prioritization.
Choosing the design and features best for your web site isn’t easy. One way to start is to look at what does and doesn’t work for other e-commerce sites–from where to place product recommendations, to what is the most efficient navigational path, to where to and how to set up the most effective product merchandising. Our speakers will address the best and worst of design on e-commerce sites by calling out examples from the sites themselves and also sharing how these insights improved the recent redesign of one speaker’s e-commerce site. They’ll deliver plenty of takeaways on what could enhance your own site as well as what to avoid.
Ten worry-free, time-friendly, guaranteed to sizzle tactics for creating content that sells by Ken Burke, Founder & Chairman, MarketLive, Peter Taylor, Director, Business Development & E-Commerce, Sport Chalet
Tame the content beast and really connect with your consumer! In this action packed, example-filled session you’ll see firsthand how to efficiently market and produce top-notch content. Learn from the story of how one understaffed web merchant found a way to get the right content in front of its consumers. You’ll discover how to drive brand engagement across channels with simple editing tactics, how repurposing content keeps consumers interested, the secrets behind content that gets shared and more.
Designing for the intersection of one brand and many customer types by Michael Blum, E-Commerce Channel Manager, Retail, Herman Miller
Most e-commerce sites serve a broad array of customers. But providing a different customer experience for different customer segments on a single site can be tricky. In this session, learn how iconic furniture manufacturer Herman Miller meets this design challenge and targets the needs of different customer segments via different paths through its site, making sure it offers to each segment the products, services and content that best bring its brand to each group.
People access a web site for many different reasons, so it’s good for retailers to have as many ways as possible to engage consumers. That approach is challenging in stores, with their physical constraints on innovation, but working digitally allowed Walgreen.com to incentivize developers to come up with applications for its photo section. Our speakers will describe this initiative, how Walgreen’s came up with the idea, how it recruited and screened participants, how it judged entries and what the company has gained as a result.
Beyond click, search and buy by Sarah McIlroy, Founder and President, FashionPlaytes.com
The shopper universe consists of more than just focused consumers intent on a mission—for many, it’s the opportunity to browse, explore and experiment before they buy that keeps interested in a site. At FashionPlaytes.com, which allows girls to design and purchase their own clothes online, shoppers spend an average of an hour on the site. Learn how to make such site stickiness translate into sales, how to engage your customer in news ways, and how to support this strategy with a design that keeps them coming back to look, play and buy.
It’s easy to get distracted by the latest bells and whistles it’s possible to add to your site’s design, but it’s surprising how many e-retailers haven’t yet mastered the basics—and don’t even know it. In this session, two web design experts will revisit the foundations of effective e-commerce site design. They’ll highlight where sites commonly misstep, and where there’s room for improvement. Take away a bucketful of easy fixes, scored from advice on your site or on the sites of your peers, that are sure to boost your results.
The final day of the conference features two concurrent day-long workshops: Social Commerce and Mobile Commerce. Attendees can select either one of these workshops. To learn more about each and see the full agenda, click the tabs below.
Mobile Commerce Workshop
Getting Ready for Retailing’s Future
Shoppers are adopting mobile at an astonishing pace. And any retailer who does not keep up with the mobile revolution will be left behind. This workshop will delve into the latest mobile technology and marketing developments and look at what’s yet to come. Attendees will learn how to create a mobile strategy, what mobile shoppers want, how to optimize a mobile site, and more.
Dell: How the mobile leader keeps its edge by Brandon McGee, Director, Global Mobile, Dell Inc.
Dell is a mobile pioneer, trying out many initiatives that eventually become industry standards. The Keynote Speaker for the Mobile Workshop will explain why Dell has led in mobile. He will address the important organizational issues that arise when a new way of doing business comes along. And he will divulge what it takes to be first to market in mobile initiatives as the market has evolved, starting with the basic mobile approach a few years ago all the way up to developing the Windows 8 app recently.
More than a third of adults are more inclined to make a purchase in a store if they could find a good coupon for an item or service on their mobile device. This is particularly true among younger adults (54%). 15% of adults say they have made an online purchase using a mobile device when in a physical store because they found a better price online. This session will feature two companies presenting fresh survey results that provide insights into how consumers are using mobile devices for shopping and how marketers take advantage of the most pervasive new user behavior prompted by mobile shopping.
Evolving a mobile strategy by Karen Hansen, Manager, Digital Products, Vitamin Shoppe
The pace of change in mobile is frenetic, and retailers must make sure their mobile strategic plans keep up. The director of e-commerce at The Vitamin Shoppe, which recently added In-stock Nearby search functionality to its m-commerce site, will walk attendees through the history of The Vitamin Shoppe’s mobile strategy, from before the 2010 launch of an m-commerce site to incorporation of mobile video, HTML5 and QR codes today, when mobile’s touch can be felt throughout the company.
How brands are adapting marketing to mobile by Carrie Seifer, Vice President, Strategy, Millennial Media
Mobile technology is driving significant change in how consumers shop and interact with retail brands as well as with each other. Mobility offers shoppers the chance to connect anytime and anywhere with their favorite retailer brands, proactively share and compare what they see and purchase, and react instantly to news, offers and alerts on anything from news to great deals to coupons to contests. Major marketers have moved with the times in adapting their marketing strategies since mobile content and access has become such a big part of brand presence, and in this session, you’ll see how some of retail’s brand leaders have accomplished that. Their examples will spark ideas on how mobile can contribute to your own marketing efforts, and how to make that happen.
Apps offer mobile shopping experiences better than m-commerce web sites because they reside on the smartphone and can take advantage of all the innate features and functions of the mobile devices. But HTML5, an advanced web programming language, can dig into smartphones and enable many of the devices’ features on the web site. Our speakers will discuss how they have used HTML5 in recent mobile site redesigns, the skills required of in-house staff, and how the new sites have fared.
Building m-commerce: Different approaches, different outcomes by Lorenz Jakober, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Akamai Technologies, Jeff Klonowski, Manager, E-Commerce Mobile, Recreational Equipment Inc.
As retailers move toward next-generation strategies for mobile sites and apps, they must consider the best way to build. Transcoding, where a merchant typically partners with a vendor to scrape content from an e-commerce site and pour it into an m-commerce mold, is evolving. Another approach is to develop a site based entirely on XML, a language that can help streamline a site. Then there’s the option to build a mobile app from the ground up. An m-commerce expert and a retail executive pair up to dissect the pros and cons of various approaches and showcase techniques in action.
Virtually every retailer in mobile commerce has an m-commerce web site. That’s the starting point because sites offer the greatest reach, accessible to anyone with a mobile device and web browser. Apps are different. They reach only a slice of the potential mobile audience. But apps typically offer a richer, speedier experience compared with sites, and apps can exploit all technology on a smartphone because they reside on the phone as software. Our speakers will present their stance on sites and apps, and show how they expect to succeed in m-commerce with or without an app.
Navigating the legal landmines of text message marketing by David S. Almeida, Partner, Sedgwick
The 1991 Telephone Consumer Protection Act, passed to curb abusive telemarketing practices, did not cover marketing via text message. That’s because such messaging didn’t exist. However, consumers have filed hundreds of class action lawsuits under the law citing unwanted texts and violation of privacy. Many receive large payouts in settlements. Retailers using text in a mobile commerce program must tread carefully to avoid liability. An attorney representing a Pizza Hut franchisee in a text class action lawsuit details safe practices in text message marketing and the types of texting to avoid.
The growth in traffic to some e-retail sites from iPads and other tablets has jumped dramatically, in many cases taking retail executives by surprise. What those execs are also learning is that the tablet experience on their sites is much different from the PC experience. This session will feature two retailers who experienced sudden increases in tablet traffic. They will discuss what they had to do to accommodate such users, how responsive design fits in, and what it took from a management and a technology perspective to make their sites tablet-friendly.
There is no single recipe for success in creating m-commerce sites and mobile apps. This session offers attendees the opportunity to present their mobile sites and apps to two m-commerce experts who will offer critiques, highlighting where retailers excel and constructively showing where and how they could better serve mobile consumers. This session is a must for any retailer in mobile commerce looking to improve the mobile experience or retailers just getting into m-commerce on the hunt for ideas and inspiration.
Social Commerce Workshop
How the social networks can produce sales
Social media has been nearly as revolutionary as the Internet itself. Today, few e-retailers can expect to succeed without a social media/marketing presence. This workshop will help retailers understand how to use social networks to their advantage, ways to measure social media success, how to use lesser known networks and what’s coming.
Facebook is a powerhouse in social media and has quickly become a key factor in the marketing strategy of savvy retailers. But Facebook is evolving constantly and rapidly, and retailers must keep up with the latest tools and opportunities to ensure successful campaigns on the social network. In this session, hear directly from a Facebook executive on the company’s latest thinking about using the network for marketing as well as from a retailer who has created winning campaigns on the social network, and get a glimpse of what’s in the works at Facebook for the near future.
Retailers and brands of all flavors are continuing to experiment and investigate marketing opportunities via Pinterest. Some tread carefully, so as to not offend. Others are more aggressive about putting their brand out front before what is a not-too-well-defined audience. In this session, speakers will detail the different campaigns they’ve tried; user feedback that’s helped re-route the course; and what they are doing to preserve the relationship with consumers, and not alienate with missteps. Many of the retailers most active on Pinterest already have a very loyal following—whether they are in the crafts arena, DIY or high-end fashion—so they remain nimble as they learn what works.
How much social marketing is too much—or not enough? by Jeff Campbell, Managing Director, Resolution Media, Aaron Goldman, Chief Marketing Officer, Kenshoo, Brad Walters, Director, Social Media & Emerging Platforms, Lowe's
Social media marketing is so new, few marketers really know what is effective and what isn’t. Should you post every day? Every week? Offer discounts? Focus on branding? This session will report the results of a year-long analysis of 65 billion Facebook impressions and 20 million clicks that provide insight into the optimal use of Facebook. Among the results: showing an ad more than seven times to one user suppresses engagement; the combination of high exposure and low frequency increases conversion rates; and more.
E-retailers can no longer simply put something on a social network because everyone else is doing so and hope for the best. A mini-industry of social analytics has grown up to track and measure brands’ social activity, then provide data that guides marketers on refinements and new programs. But social media marketing is still so new that many marketers are unsure what constitutes success. Our first speaker will provide insight into how to choose an analytics vendor, how to interpret results from the vendor, and how to use the results to build a successful social media campaign. Our second speaker will discuss the front-line issues of getting and using social analytics data.
Break for lunch.
Creative things you can do with Facebook data by Jason Falls, VP, Digital Strategy, CafePress, Sen Kanthaswamy, Manager, E-Commerce Business Development, Sales, Henry's Camera, Siva Kumar, CEO, TheFind
Facebook has a wealth of data about its members. The challenge for marketers has been to find ways to use that data. Several marketers have discovered innovative uses for the information that members provide to Facebook. Our first speaker will talk about how CafePress prompts shoppers to log into CafePress.com using their Facebook log-in data, then uses the shopper’s profile info to present relevant products. Our second speaker will explain how comparison shopping site The Find uses members’ Likes to present targeted marketing messages when an item a member has Liked goes on sale at one of The Find’s retailers. Our third speaker will explain how Henry's Photos gleans intelligence about product preferences via Facebook and applies the knowledge in stores and sales training.
Beyond Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are a host of social networks that represent opportunities for retailers to expose shoppers to their brands. There’s Tumblr, where Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams posts vivid images, and where consumers reblog postings, helping the brand’s name recognition grow organically. There’s Instagram, where Bonobos and Red Mango are hosting contests to get shoppers to take and share photos relevant to their brands. And there’s Google+, where retailers can host live chats in the site’s Hangouts. Three retailers will discuss how they’re using the sites and why, as well as what quantifiable benefits they’ve seen from their efforts.
While retailers and other marketers are trying to figure out how to make money on social, creative people are coming up with new social marketing initiatives. This session features a couple of venture capital investors who are constantly sweeping the market for the next evolution of social media marketing and commerce. They will discuss some of the concepts that they are following and give their take on whether marketers should jump aboard or watch the parade for a while.