Shoptalk never disappoints, this year with an array of high calibre speakers and panel discussions that dove deep into the heart of what’s pumping throughout the world of retail and all its arterial and capillary branches - provoking much debate and deeper, lasting thinking as we move forward.
Here’s our fast track recap
1) Conversational commerce and the use of bots in product recommendation engines and customer support took centre stage, primarily with Alexa as the conduit but there’s been little real world evidence of brands successfully deploying this tech to any significant advantage, thus far.
2) Omni-channel was renounced as an aspiration and delivered as a more an abundant industry standard - essentially the backbone forging the expectancies customers now have. Exceptional use cases from Zara and Starbucks have the set the bar high for all other retailers to engage their customer groups, apropos the myriad of complexities at the back-end to successfully fulfil an omni-channel strategy and execute the front-end ‘me-channel’ expectancy is creating internal headaches.
3) Amazon stole an entire day of discussion surrounding Amazon Go, futuristic delivery methods, Amazon Pay and the on-going growth and dissemination of the Amazon marketplace - officially divulging that 55% of all commerce searches now begin on Amazon (take that Google?)
4) Augmented reality featured lightly via social partnership commerce inside Houzz and how brands should be leveraging social hotbeds of huge user bases to flesh out new commerce concepts.
Off the radar and relegated from last years hot topics were contactless/mobile payments - yet they’ve evolved into a cornerstone for flexible, secure payment happiness with customers and lowered friction - as well as drone delivery or the use of warehouse and distribution robotics inside the supply chain but both were an ever present with some solid demonstrations on the floor.
Shoptalk will return later this year in Copenhagen with its European edition - October 9-11 and we can’t wait with Ikea, Harrods and Galeries Lafayette already on the card.
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