“Go Back to School at Shoptalk!”
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Sunday — March 18, 2018
International Welcome Brunch Q&A
We invite all attendees from overseas--as well as those interested in learning how to navigate the range of content and activities at Shoptalk--to join us for brunch on Sunday. The Shoptalk team will give a short overview of the agenda and speakers, provide guidance on how best to maximize the four days at the event and answer questions from the audience.
Official remarks from the Shoptalk team and Q&A with the audience will take place from 12:30-12:50pm.
Culture and Leadership for Retail Innovation
Track Room 1
Incubators, Accelerators and R&DView Description
Incubators, Accelerators and R&D
As large retail businesses evaluate their growth strategies and the competition, they must constantly assess whether to (1) create their own accelerators to explore cutting-edge technologies, (2) partner with companies that specialize in helping retailers build out these programs, and (3) invest more substantially in research and development (R&D) to build out new products and initiatives. In this session, we’ll hear from:
The Director Global Innovation Community at Germany’s METRO Accelerator powered by Techstars will provide an overview of its three-month program for technology-first retail startups and its post-Demo Day startup support efforts. He’ll highlight how the program identifies the technologies and business models that are disrupting retail and that hold the greatest potential to impact METRO’s business and the retail industry overall. Startups in the 2017 program ranged from indoor positioning to video analytics and AI-based product insights.
The VP of Strategy at France’s famed Galeries Lafayette and Managing Director at Lafayette Plug & Play, an initiative designed to boost the next generation of retail and fashion companies, will discuss how his accelerator works to identify and support early-stage technology startups through a three-month program. Lafayette Plug & Play’s current startups include providers of AI-based trend detection, image recognition, mobile self-checkout and more.
Tapestry, formerly known as Coach, Inc., is the New York City-based holding company for Coach, Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman. With $6 billion in revenue, the group is tackling innovation from multiple angles, including hosting hackathons, working with startups and experimenting with new ideas in its internal R&D lab. The Head of Global Innovation will discuss how she determines which approach to take to achieve a specific goal, as well as how her strategy varies for each of Tapestry’s brands.
Track Room 2
Interactive Q&A with Professors from The Wharton School: Part 1View Description
Interactive Q&A with Professors from The Wharton School: Part 1
This session will highlight two well-known Professors of Marketing at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Each speaker will spend 10-15 minutes presenting his or her latest research on the retail industry, followed by Q&A with the audience:
Disruption in Retail: How to Compete—Barbara Kahn
Disruptive forces are shaking up the retail industry. The growth of online giants, the rise of Digitally Native Vertical Brands (DNVBs), and partnerships between established retailers and consumer-facing startups are all restructuring the landscape. This presentation will introduce a new competitive framework, the Kahn Retailing Success Matrix, to help retailers think about these changes strategically. It will also help them anticipate (1) shifts in consumer shopping behavior and expectations, (2) what strategies marketers and retailers can use to effectively compete, and (3) what strategies brands are utilizing to grow their businesses and enrich the customer experience.
Predicting Consumer Behavior: Machine Learning Meets Customer Lifetime Value—Pete Fader
As retailers strive to make more and better use of customer-level data, they are starting to rely on emerging methods like machine learning, combining them with established methods like customer lifetime value. While both approaches are valuable, there is confusion about when and how to use each one. Using real-world examples, this presentation will lay out a vision for the most effective way brands and retailers can integrate these techniques to make the best data-driven decisions.
The State of Global Retail and Ecommerce
Track Room 3
Retail and Ecommerce Disruption in Latin AmericaView Description
Retail and Ecommerce Disruption in Latin America
Retail and ecommerce players in Latin America have embraced a variety of innovative business models and technologies to win over shoppers in a region with a population of over 650 million. Success in the region is not easy, however: Latin American retailers have to overcome hurdles that range from complex taxes in Brazil to low credit card penetration in Mexico and logistics challenges in almost every country. In spite of these obstacles—and in many cases, because of them—Latin American companies have learned to be creative and adaptable. In this session we’ll hear from three preeminent retailers in the region:
Established in 1976, C&A Brazil (a division of German mega-retailer C&A) operates almost 300 stores in every state across the country. The company offers fashion trends adapted to the tastes and style of Brazil's 200 million consumers, as well as mobile phones and electronics. The CEO will discuss how he manages the company’s digital business alongside a nationwide network of stores, and how he’s learned to navigate the complexities of operating a nationwide retail business in Latin America’s largest economy.
Founded in 1999, Argentina-based Mercado Libre boasts the largest online commerce and payments ecosystem in Latin America. With GMV of $8 billion in 2016, the company’s marketplace is present in 18 countries and has a registered user base of over 175 million. The SVP and Head of Marketplace at the company will highlight how the company has grown into a dominant ecommerce force in every market in Latin America and highlight opportunities for brands interested in selling in the region.
Tiendas Elektra is the largest specialty retailer of appliances, consumer electronics, furniture, motorcycles, mobile phones and computers in Latin America. Mexico-based Tiendas Elektra has 1,143 points of sale which are focused on underserved social classes throughout Mexico and Central and South America. The Global eCommerce & Omnichannel Director at the company will discuss how it uses digital channels to reach these consumers and what challenges retailers can expect to face in serving shoppers across the region.
Track Room 4
Deborah Weinswig, Founder & CEO, Coresight Research
Track Room 5
Research and Market Insights for the Grocery IndustryView Description
Research and Market Insights for the Grocery Industry
This session will feature presentations by three leading market research firms. Each one will highlight new, original research based on the firm's area of expertise and will provide fresh perspectives that help retailers and brands better understand changing consumer behavior and other major industry trends.
Exploring the CPG Shopping Habits of Generation Z
Generation Z (aged 21 and under) is just beginning to form shopping habits, brand loyalties and purchase preferences. As their purchasing power grows, brands and retailers will need to adjust their marketing strategies to meet the distinct behaviors of this unique generation. In this research presentation, IRI will shed light on the surprising attitudes Gen Z has toward CPG brands as well as discuss which brands are getting it right and how others can find success with this demographic.
Digital Competency In 2025
Within seven years the food and beverage industry will look, feel, and operate far differently than it does today. By 2025, one in every five dollars Americans spend on groceries will shift online, ushering in a new reality for the industry whereby digital competency is inextricably linked to shareholder value. In this data-driven presentation, Gartner will explore what it means to be digitally competent in the new age of retail so that food and beverage brands can learn from the successes and failures of brands further along in the e-commerce disruption curve.
Developing an Omnichannel Collaboration Model
As consumers spend more and more on online grocery - as much as $100 billion by 2022 - food and beverage manufacturers and retailers must shift from traditional to omnichannel strategies that balance their in-store and online presence. Yet an online assessment of over 100 grocery product manufacturers and retailers revealed that overall, both groups simply aren't ready to support omnichannel business models. During this session, Nielsen will discuss six cost-saving and revenue-generating digital initiatives on which retailers and manufacturers must collaborate in order to meet the demand of digitally engaged food shoppers.
Retailer-Startup RelationshipsView Description
Retailers and startups no longer exist in different worlds. Today many established retailers are partnering with or acquiring direct-to-consumer and technology startups. Additionally, a growing number of retailers now sell products from smaller, early-stage brands. In this session, we’ll hear from two startup brands and one traditional retailer:
Lowe's, a $65 billion home improvement giant, has been a pioneer in working with startups. Lowe’s has partnered with early-stage companies such as startup retailer b8ta to sell innovative new technology products in its stores and with startup Porch.com to connect homeowners with contractors and other home improvement professionals. Additionally, Lowe’s Innovation Labs helps support the prototyping and development of disruptive new technologies in areas such as AR/VR, robotics and on-demand manufacturing. Hear the VP of Customer Experience Design highlight how a mega-retailer partners with startups to stay ahead of the curve and meet customers’ changing needs.
Three-year-old AYR (short for “All Year Round”) offers a range of womenswear clothing and has raised $5.5 million in funding. Originally part of Bonobos, AYR has since become an independent company, selling direct online as well as in a New York City pop-up shop. Recently the company has partnered with retailers such as Nordstrom and Amazon’s Shopbop. The Co-Founder and CEO will discuss her experience building a new digitally native brand as well as highlight how she negotiated partnerships with traditional retailers to expand her growing brand’s reach.
Five-year-old Mizzen+Main is a menswear clothing company that makes apparel made of innovative materials. In addition to selling its products direct online and through its stores, Mizzen+Main has partnered with retailers such as Nordstrom, Tom James, and over 450 specialty mens stores and golf pro shops across the country. The Founder and CEO will discuss how he made the decision to sell through retailers, how he got noticed and selected by his current retailer partners, and what he’s learned about his customers through these relationships.
Interactive Q&A with Professors from The Wharton School: Part 2View Description
Interactive Q&A with Professors from The Wharton School: Part 2
This session will highlight two well-known Professors of Marketing at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Each speaker will spend 10-15 minutes presenting his or her latest research on the retail industry, followed by Q&A with the audience:
Retail’s New Guiding Principles: The Four Pillars of Success—David Bell
Three new business formats are changing the face of retail: Digitally Native Vertical Brands (DNVBs), Experiential Retail Concepts (ERCs) and Wholesale Led Brands (WLBs). At the core, each success story within these formats is built by deploying a revolutionary set of principles which can be articulated via the BOSS Model: (1) bonding, not branding, (2) orators, not customers, (3) showrooms, not stores, and (4) science, not service. This presentation will use research and examples to illustrate each principle and show why, for some brands, the new formats are complementary.
Retail Formats of the Future: Lessons from China—John Zhang
As several large U.S. retailers close stores, those in China are still experiencing a growth spurt. Moreover, whereas many U.S. companies are just beginning to experiment with the store-within-a-store format or use it in limited product categories, China and many other Asian countries have been relying on this model of selling in just about all product categories, as well as using it to fuel retail expansions online and offline. Do Chinese retailers know something about retail formats that the U.S. players don't? This presentation will outline new research that seeks to answer this question.
Retail and Ecommerce Disruption in EuropeView Description
Retail and Ecommerce Disruption in Europe
Europe is home to some of the most exciting retail innovation in the world. Groundbreaking luxury retailers in the UK, successful ecommerce startups in Germany, disruptive fashion from France and global clothing retailers from Spain are just a few of the areas where European businesses have excelled. A series of incredible speakers will discuss the European retail and ecommerce landscape:
10-year-old mymuesli, a customizable brand of breakfast cereal and other food and beverages, is one of the great success stories of the German startup scene. While it is not the first to apply the concept of mass customization to food, mymuesli is often credited as the first food company to use this type of customization successfully. In this session, the Co-Founder and CEO of this profitable, growing business will discuss how he built a wildly popular brand in Germany from scratch, then successfully expanded into other European countries including Switzerland, the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK.
Having started out as a wool mill and grown to become a legendary catalogue business, La Redoute is now the leading fashion and homeware ecommerce pure player in France, with laredoute.fr counting over 9 million unique visitors every month. With a wide range of private-label brands, roughly 75% of turnover is realized by La Redoute’s own products and brands. La Redoute is present in over 26 countries and sees 30% of turnover from outside of France. The CEO of La Redoute International will discuss how he’s helped take an iconic French brand into new global markets and brought French fashion and homes items to shoppers around the world.
Founded in 1984, Mango is a $2.7 billion Spanish retailer that sells women’s, men’s and children’s clothing. Although Spain is the company’s largest market, Mango operates a network of 2,200 stores in 109 countries. In this session, Mango’s Global Director, Online Sales will discuss how the company serves customers across Europe through both digital and physical channels, and what he’s learned about catering to European shoppers as compared to others around the globe.
Organizing for the Digital Transformation in GroceryView Description
Organizing for the Digital Transformation in Grocery
The grocery industry is set to undergo substantial changes over the next few years as businesses accelerate their digital transformation. In this session, senior executives from leading brands and grocery retailers will discuss how they are revamping legacy processes and infrastructure, prioritizing investments and guiding their organizations through change:
In 2017, century-old families of brands Mars Chocolate and Wrigley combined to create Mars Wrigley Confectionery. The new company includes some of the world’s best-known confectionary brands such as Snickers, M&M’S, Doublemint, Orbit, Skittles and Starburst, and employs 30,000 people in 70 countries. In this session, the Global VP of Digital Commerce will discuss how she is building critical new digital capabilities to serve different parts of the business and helping this CPG giant establish a digital mindset in an industry where the overwhelming percentage of sales still occur offline.
With $15 billion in sales, Grupo Bimbo is the world’s largest baked goods company. The company has a presence in 32 countries in America, Asia, Africa and Europe and owns iconic brands like Sara Lee, Thomas' English Muffins, Entenmann's and Ball Park. It has launched a standalone group called Acelerada which focuses on fast-growth areas—this group leads the development of new markets, products, channels, technologies and partnerships. In this session, the VP and Head of eCommerce at Acelerada will discuss his team’s approach to process and product innovation and highlight how they go to market with new online business models; he'll also discuss how his group helps drive the adoption of new digital distribution channels.
Founded in 1928, Brookshire Grocery Company is a Texas-based regional food chain which operates more than 175 store locations with brands that include Brookshire’s Food Stores, Super 1 Foods Stores, Spring Market and FRESH by Brookshire’s. The company launched a major initiative in 2015 to integrate and refine all of its consumer data in order to gain more visibility into customer behavior and expectations. In this session, the Chief Strategy Officer will discuss how the company now incorporates customer insights into the company's business processes and decisions.
Heather Kang, Global VP, Digital Commerce, Mars Wrigley Confectionery
Omar N Haque, VP/GM & Head of eCommerce, Acelerada @ Bimbo Bakeries/Grupo Bimbo
John D'Anna, EVP Chief Strategic Officer, Brookshire Grocery Company
Mark W. Baum, Chief Collaboration Officer & SVP, Food Marketing Institute (Interviewer)
Adopting a Culture of Innovation: Attracting Talent and Organizing for ChangeView Description
Adopting a Culture of Innovation: Attracting Talent and Organizing for Change
Every organization struggles with creating a culture that encourages innovation. At startups, every hire can have an impact on whether the company is able to commercialize its innovative products and services; at larger organizations, the right processes and organizational structures can drive or inhibit innovation. In this session, we’ll hear from three different types of companies:
The Chief Marketing Officer at Randa Accessories, the world’s largest men’s accessories company with a portfolio of 50+ brands, will discuss how a 108-year-old company with vertical operations across 11 countries stays at the forefront when it comes to technology and business innovation. He’ll share the company’s 3-tiered innovation, culture and talent roadmap that recently propelled Randa from $200 million to nearly $1 billion in revenues.
The Co-Founder and CEO of Leesa, a luxury direct-to-consumer mattress company that has raised $32 million in funding, will discuss how he built a company with a corporate environment that supports both innovation as well as social good. Leesa, a B-Corp company, attracts and retains employees with a culture that both rewards new ideas while enabling people to support their community in meaningful ways, including a social impact program that donates one mattress for every 10 sold—with over 24,000 donated to date—and a program to plant one million trees by 2025.
The Head of Business Development, JL Ventures at iconic $5 billion British retailer John Lewis will discuss how the company approaches innovation through its internal incubator which designs, develops and takes to market new customer propositions for John Lewis and Waitrose. He’ll discuss how John Lewis ensures JL Ventures supports new initiatives by combining the benefits of a startup with access to the main retail businesses.
Interactive Q&A with Professors from The Wharton School: Part 3View Description
Interactive Q&A with Professors from The Wharton School: Part 3
This session will highlight two well-known Professors of Marketing at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Each speaker will spend 10-15 minutes presenting his or her latest research on the retail industry, followed by Q&A with the audience:
It’s Not About Big Data, It’s About Better Data—Professor Eric T. Bradlow
While many retailers focus on capturing the economic value promised by big data, they lose sight of the fact that better data is what yields comparative advantages—the ability to target customers, optimize store layouts and improve product design, to name a few. This presentation will outline new types of data available to brands and retailers using the latest technologies. It will also provide examples of companies that are successfully leveraging business intelligence to fuel their growth.
Using Neuroscience to Create Impactful Customer Experiences—Michael Platt, PhD
As technology advances reshape business in nearly every industry, many companies have turned from basing important decisions on questionnaires and focus groups to card swipes, GPS tracking, and click-throughs online. Such data science approaches have yielded new insights into consumer behavior at both the aggregate and individual level. This presentation will discuss how combining these observable data with neuroscience and cutting-edge computational models can offer new insights into consumer psychology and create opportunities to fine-tune marketing and retail experiences to maximize lifetime customer value.
Track Keynote: Industry Perspectives on Global RetailView Description
Track Keynote: Industry Perspectives on Global Retail
Retail innovation is happening globally, with some of the most exciting developments coming from outside of the U.S. In this session, we'll explore two areas where an international lens is necessary to highlight the most cutting-edge innovation: luxury fashion and architecture. Join us to hear from the CEOs of one of the UK's preeminent luxury retailers and a world-renowned architectural design firm:
London-based fashion retailer MATCHESFASHION.com was launched as a single bricks-and-mortar boutique focused on a range of luxury designers. Today the company sells online as well as in four stores and at a private-shopping townhouse in London; delivery is available to over 170 countries. The company features over 400 established and emerging designers from Balenciaga, Gucci and Saint Laurent to Valentino, Dolce & Gabbana and Vetements and was named British Luxury Brand of the Year in 2017. In this session, the CEO of MATCHESFASHION.com will discuss the growth of the global luxury sector and how companies can meet shoppers’ needs through a variety of different physical and digital retail formats.
Gensler is the world’s largest company focused on architecture, design, planning and consulting. The firm boasts a long list of groundbreaking projects including China’s 2,073-foot-tall Shanghai Tower, Korea’s world-renowned Incheon International Airport, NVIDIA Headquarters in Silicon Valley, and Kuwait’s brand new retail concept The Avenues. In this session, the Co-CEO of Gensler will talk about how trends in design, culture, and consumer behavior are leading to the reimagining of the purpose and form of physical retail experiences.
Dawn Dickson, Founder & CEO, PopCom
Quentin Lebeau, Co-Founder & CEO, TokyWoky
Allison Lee, Founder & CEO, Hemster
Daniel Black, Founder & CEO, Glass-Media
Marcello Gamberale Paoletti, CEO, Viveat
Diane Keng, Co-Founder & CEO, Breinify
Markus Stripf, Co-Founder & CEO, Spoon Guru
Nicole Mossman, Founder & CEO, EverThread
Track Keynote - Grocery Leaders on the Future of the IndustryView Description
Track Keynote - Grocery Leaders on the Future of the Industry
Grocery retailing is undergoing rapid evolution due to shifting consumer behavior and advances in both technologies and business models. In this session, senior executives from two leading grocery retailers will share their vision of the future of the industry: one will address new grocery store formats and offerings while the other will discuss technology innovation in stores as well as in last-mile deliveries:
Sprouts Farmers Market specializes in fresh, natural and organic products. Headquartered in Arizona, Sprouts has more than 27,000 team members and operates more than 285 stores in 15 states. The company reported annual sales of over $4 billion in 2016. Sprouts is known for its small-format, bright and welcoming stores with natural light and a farmers' market-like setting that highlights fresh produce at the center of the store. In this session, the CEO will discuss the company’s experience as a leader in smaller and experience-driven stores and share learnings from Sprouts’ unique development strategy and recent investments in infrastructure.
Kroger is the largest traditional grocery retailer in the U.S., with nearly 2,800 stores in 35 states and annual sales of more than $115 billion. Kroger is investing heavily in digital innovation to redefine the customer shopping experience. Among its investments is the rollout of grocery delivery and its curbside pickup service called ClickList, which has reached 1,000 stores, and the planned rollout of its "Scan, Bag, Go" technology to 400 stores in 2018. In this session, the Chief Digital Officer and Group Vice President will discuss the future of these initiatives. He will also share how the company is using customer data to drive personalized experiences and ecommerce decisions.
Jeff Gennette, CEO, Macy's, Inc.
Monday — March 19, 2018
Track Room 1
Chatbots and the Future of Messaging in RetailView Description
Chatbots and the Future of Messaging in Retail
With consumers spending an increasing amount of time on messaging apps, many leading brands and retailers are launching their own chatbots and leveraging popular messaging apps to respond to shoppers' needs quickly and seamlessly. At the same time, growing use of new technologies like AI and the deployment of new innovative features like in-app keyboards are making it easier for shoppers to browse and buy via chatbots and messaging apps. In this session, we'll hear from some of the leading messaging platforms and a brand using the platforms:
Launched in 2016 on Facebook Messenger, eBay ShopBot uses deep learning algorithms paired with natural language understanding (NLU) and computer vision to help shoppers hunt for deals and discover products through a simple conversation or a photo. eBay ShopBot, also available on voice-activated Google Assistant, learns by analyzing eBay’s billions of descriptions, images and items. It’s one of the few multi-modal assistants in the market today, covering voice, vision, touch, type and emojis. eBay’s VP of Engineering will discuss the development and rollout of eBay ShopBot, and what he's learned about eBay shoppers through this service.
With more than 1.3 billion people using Facebook Messenger every month, it is one of the most popular messaging apps in the world. Messenger is now available for brands interested in building unique experiences with text, images and video to make suggestions, encourage purchases and offer support to consumers in a continuous conversation. Facebook’s Head of Messenger Business will discuss how its expressive platform, automation and AI is enabling Messenger to build connections between people and businesses.
Viber is an instant messaging service owned by Rakuten that boasts over 800 million users and a strong following in parts of Asia, Europe and Africa. Viber has made a significant push into commerce: its new Instant Shopping feature allows users to press a shopping bag icon at the bottom of the screen to search for items and see products for sale inspired by their current chat. Viber has also launched a keyboard option which enables consumers to take action by pressing buttons within the messaging app. The Head of Ecommerce at Viber will discuss the company’s move into commerce offerings and how brands are using the platform to reach and convert shoppers.
Product and Merchandising Strategies
Track Room 2
Innovations in Product DevelopmentView Description
Innovations in Product Development
Leading retailers and branded manufacturers are taking a variety of new approaches to product development: They are employing tactics such as using data to inform product design, creating computer-generated prototypes to reduce lead times and deploying A/B testing tools to refine products before market launch. Some are even using direct input from the user community to create new product lines. In this session, we'll hear from venture-backed retailers that are pioneering the use of nextgen technologies and techniques to reduce the risks in product development, improve speed to market and create differentiated products:
Founded in 2013 in Berlin, Lesara is an online retailer that sells fashion and lifestyle products in 24 markets across Europe. Lesara has raised $66 million in funding. Lesara is known for being one of the pioneers in agile retailing: its vertically integrated supply chain takes only two weeks to go from idea to product. Join us to hear from the Founder and CEO as he shares his data-driven approach to fashion. He will address how Lesara is using AI and algorithms to analyze data from myriad sources such Google trends, social media and fashion bloggers—as well as data from the company's own web analytics and inventory management systems—to identify trends in real-time. He will also discuss how the much shorter time-to-market enables Lesara to produce smaller quantities at a time rather than larger orders that may not sell.
Minted was founded in 2007 and has raised $90 million in funding—the company’s primary product is stationery but has since expanded to other categories such as wall art prints and party decor. Minted uses a crowdsourcing model for designing new products and holds regular design challenges that are open to artists and designers. Visitors to the website vote on design submissions with the winning designs being sold online. In this session, the Founder and CEO will discuss her unique approach to product development and how it helps her differentiate the company’s products as well as create a loyal and engaged community.
Roman Kirsch, Founder & CEO, Lesara
Mariam Naficy, Founder & CEO, Minted
Janice Wang, CEO, Alvanon (Interviewer)
Product and Category Expansion: Spotlight on FlipkartView Description
Product and Category Expansion: Spotlight on Flipkart
Retailers have long used category expansion as a way to increase and diversity revenues. In this session, an executive from one of the top ecommerce players in India will announce the company's recent grocery launch and discuss how Flipkart entered this challenging but potentially lucrative sector:
Today less than 1% of India’s $428 billion grocery sales are transacted online. Not surprisingly, Flipkart, India’s leading ecommerce destination with over $7 billion in funding, is looking to tap into the growing online grocery market. In this session, the Head of Product for grocery will discuss how the company has built its offering from the ground up over the past 18 months. He'll highlight how Flipkart created 1) a new shopping experience designed for grocery use cases and frequent repeat purchases, 2) a highly complex end-to-end supply chain built around local constraints, and 3) new technology platforms that can handle inventory, pricing and promotion requirements unique to the grocery industry.
Amit Zunjarwad, Director & Head of Product, Flipkart Supermart, Flipkart
Research and Market Insights
Track Room 3
Retail Insights from Research OrganizationsView Description
Retail Insights from Research Organizations
This session will feature presentations by three leading research firms. Each one will highlight new, original research based on the firm's area of expertise and will provide fresh perspectives that help retailers and brands better understand changing consumer behavior and other major industry trends:
Technology Innovation Invigorating the In-Store Experience—CTA
In-store technology investments are rapidly expanding beyond internal operations to enhance the customer experience. Augmented reality, artificial intelligence, robots, mobile checkout, click-to-brick strategies and much more are helping stores today drive loyalty and long-term value. How are these innovations taking shape in the market and what are the measures of success? CTA’s research will describe the current state of retail technology as well as what retailers should expect in terms of ROI and more.
The Future of Private Label in Retail—NPD Group
Across all categories in retail, private label is—or soon will—dominate product assortments. This shift is revolutionizing the way retailers go to market in stores and online and will impact every company’s business—regardless of whether they adopt this paradigm. In this presentation, the NPD Group will combine its checkout data with insights from its databases spanning 20 industries to identify the areas of risk and growth created by the private label dynamic.
Lessons from Startups: A New Source of Insights for Retail—Fung Academy
Collaboration between corporations and startups has mostly focused on bringing new products and services to market and hedging risks in an ever-changing retail market through investment. However, working with startups offers another valuable upside--access to highly detailed data on end user behavior. In this presentation, Fung Academy—a research division the Fung Group which also includes Li&Fung—will share findings from working with startups at its Shanghai-based Retail Innovation Lab, known as the Explorium.
Engaging Customer Experiences
Track Room 4
Mobile Experiences in the Customer JourneyView Description
Mobile Experiences in the Customer Journey
Mobile has become a fundamental part of retailers' and restaurants' digital strategies, touching every aspect of the customer journey from discovery to transaction. The most innovative companies are going beyond typical use cases, launching interactive offerings like AR or seamless order-ahead capabilities. In this session, we’ll hear from one established retailer, one fast-casual restaurant chain and one startup:
Panera Bread, a $2.8 billion bakery cafe chain, was an early adopter of digital technologies in both its fast-casual restaurants and on its mobile website and app. The company’s digital sales topped $1 billion in 2017, driven by more than 1 million orders each week. Panera’s VP of Digital Experience will share how the company is delivering a seamless user experience on its mobile properties to engage consumers throughout the customer journey, including its order-ahead service.
Lowe’s, a $65 billion home improvement retailer, has been a pioneer in the digital space. Its latest initiatives include two new augmented reality apps: Measured, which allows shoppers to use their smartphones to measure an object or distance when designing or decorating a room, and Envisioned by The Mine, which lets customers view high-quality images at scale. The VP of Digital Development will discuss the latest digital initiatives—from AR apps to AI-driven customer service tools—that Lowe’s has rolled out in order to create meaningful engagement with the customers.
Poshmark’s early bet on mobile shopping has been a boon for the company’s business. The six-year-old startup first launched its community marketplace where members buy, sell and talk fashion exclusively as a mobile app. Even after expanding the business to desktop in 2014, $4 million worth of inventory continues to be uploaded to Poshmark’s marketplace from mobile phones every day. We’ll hear from the Founder and CEO about how Poshmark, which has raised nearly $160 million in funding, is using mobile technology to build an engaged community of members that thrive on discovery.
Grocerytalk: Disruptive Trends and Business Models
Track Room 5
VC and Accelerator Perspectives on The IndustryView Description
VC and Accelerator Perspectives on the Industry
CPG companies and retailers are leveraging accelerators and incubators to identify and develop new breakthrough brands—these brands are differentiating themselves through innovative products or go-to-market strategies. At the same time, high value acquisitions of grocery and CPG startups has led to increased investment in the space, including from corporate CPG companies and retailers and venture capitalists. Join us to hear from some of today's leading investors and accelerators as they highlight which emerging trends and business models are set to change the industry:
Launched in 2014, AccelFoods is a $35M venture fund that has invested in over 30 early-stage food and beverage companies. The fund leverages relationships, operations expertise, and develops infrastructure to help scale innovative companies. AccelFoods counts Danone among its investors. In this session, we’ll hear the Co-Founder and Managing Partner discuss how the food and beverage industry is being driven by a new generation of entrepreneurs—these entrepreneurs often have a background in technology and life sciences and are now bringing their expertise and passion to the food industry. Lauren will share how today's founders are pushing the boundaries of food with new and unique ingredients, marketing platforms, and methods of sales and distribution.
7-Eleven is the world’s largest convenience store chain. It operates, franchises or licenses 63,000 stores around the world. 7-Ventures is the corporate venture arm of 7-Eleven; it invests in early-stage food and beverage businesses as well as services. 7-Ventures provides startups with the use of their stores as a laboratory in order to get instant feedback. In this session, the Director of Business Development & 7-Ventures at 7-Eleven will discuss how the company discovers, tests and invests in startups to ensure 7-Eleven remains the destination for customers to find new and innovative products and services.
A member of SOSV, a $250 million global fund, Food-X is a food innovation accelerator. Food-X partners with early stage companies from across the food supply chain and helps these companies grow quickly through startup capital, mentorship, education, network and coworking space. In this session, the Managing Director will discuss how entrepreneurs are helping to create a post-industrial food system that is closer to the source and that enables the production of healthy, nutrient-rich food. He will also share how food startups are using technology innovations from other industries to help revolutionize the food supply chain.
Disruptive Technologies and Pioneering Brands
Track Room 6
The Next Generation of Direct-to-Consumer Startups: Part 1View Description
The Next Generation of Direct-to-Consumer Startups: Part 1
This session will feature presentations from four emerging direct-to-consumer startups whose businesses are changing the way consumers discover, shop and buy. An executive from each company will highlight the unique business model, technologies and products they're leveraging to build scale in an increasingly crowded market with few barriers to entry.
Dirty Lemon Pioneers Text-to-Order Model
Dirty Lemon has pioneered a new way of ordering consumer packaged goods: customers who want to purchase a case of its detox beverages can do so exclusively by sending the company an SMS text message. In this presentation, Dirty Lemon will share how its innovative selling model eliminates friction and helps it build a more personal, conversational relationship with customers.
Function of Beauty’s Data-Driven Approach to Personalized Hair Care Products
Function of Beauty is a direct-to-consumer startup that uses proprietary algorithms to develop bespoke hair care products for each of its customers. In this session, the company will outline the five strategies it has implemented to scale its business in a competitive category, including extreme product customization and vertical integration.
Cuyana's "Fewer, Better Approach" to Fashion
Cuyana is a premium line of fashion essentials that is sold direct-to-consumer. The startup was founded on the premise that women should own fewer, better things; as a result, each of its items is made using high-quality materials made to last. Cuyana also offers a checkout option through which customers receive a linen bag with their delivery which they can fill with clothes they no longer wear and wish to donate--once returned to Cuyana, the consumer receives a credit for the donated clothing. In this presentation, Cuyana will outline how its business model enables customers to buy high-quality goods at attainable prices in a socially responsible manner.
How Farmstead Is Using AI to Deliver Fresh Food in Under an Hour
Farmstead is an online grocer that sources and delivers fresh, local food from farms to consumers in 60 minutes or less. The startup uses artificial intelligence to predict demand and deliver in real time, helping it operate more efficiently by limiting the number of SKUs available which in turn reduces waste. In this presentation, Farmstead will share how it is using technology to streamline online grocery as well as its plans to scale.
Voice-Activated CommerceView Description
The rise of voice-activated assistants like Apple's Siri, Amazon's Alexa and Google Assistant is creating a new mass market platform that is enabling discovery and, increasingly, commerce. At the same time, innovative startups are building technologies that allow retailers to incorporate voice capabilities on their own mobile apps and websites. In this session we’ll hear from:
Movie ticketing giant Fandango has been at the forefront when it comes to working with voice-activated assistants. Fandango is a preferred ticketing partner across a wide variety of assistants including Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and others, providing consumers with personalized information on movie titles, times, locations and ticket options. This session will feature Fandango’s Head of Global Strategy and Business Development who will discuss the company’s experience working across multiple voice-activated platforms.
Launched in 2016, the Google Assistant is now available on over 100 million devices, ranging from smartphones and voice-activated speakers to cars, smart home appliances and watches. In this session, the Director of Global Business Development for Retail and Shopping will share new insights on how consumers are using voice across the entire shopping journey and how retailers like Walmart, Target, Costco and Home Depot are leveraging Google Assistant to deliver personalized, conversational assistance to their customers at scale.
Five-year-old Voysis, which has raised $8 million in funding, allows ecommerce companies to launch their own brand-specific, native voice experience—the technology enables consumers to use natural language voice to search and transact on the site. Voysis gained recognition for its ability to create synthetic voices that sound more human than leading voice assistants in the market. The Founder and CEO of Voysis will share his vision on the growth of voice-activated commerce and how voice will fundamentally alter how consumers interact with brands.
Advances in Merchandising: AI, IoT and BeyondView Description
Advances in Merchandising: AI, IoT and Beyond
Sophisticated tools now enable retailers to better predict which products will resonate with consumers at different price points and in different locations. Through improved use of data, retailers can reduce the chance of stockouts as well as costly markdowns and liquidations. This session will look at how retailers and brands are using algorithmic and AI-based predictive analytics, as well as community feedback, to understand what shoppers are likely to buy:
Johnson & Johnson (J&J) is a medical devices, pharmaceutical and consumer packaged goods manufacturing company with annual revenues of $71 billion. J&J serves just over one billion people per day worldwide with products that are critical to their daily lives. J&J's supply chain has to adapt to changing consumer preferences and technology disruption around the world in order to successfully manage inventory availability. In this session, the Senior Director of Global Supply Chain Advanced Planning will discuss how J&J uses technologies such as AI and sensors to transform current demand, inventory and supply planning—these functions are going from linear and siloed processes to being concurrent, continuous, and automated.
Founded in 1999, BuildDirect is a technology-enabled marketplace that allows homeowners and professionals to purchase heavyweight home improvement products directly from sellers. BuildDirect offers its suppliers access to its logistics network, including warehousing services, ground and ocean logistics as well as its predictive analytics platform. In this session, the CEO will discuss how this platform leverages machine learning to forecast demand in real-time, enabling sellers to identify new inventory locations, optimize prices based on competitive data, and select shipping programs to lower shipping costs for customers.
Established in 1979, Adorama is leading camera, audio and video retailer in New York City; the company’s ecommerce site is an award-winning online destination for imaging and consumer electronics. Adorama caters to both beginners and professionals with a wide assortment of products and technical advice. Join us to hear from the CEO as he discusses how this legendary retailer is leveraging technologies such as AI to gain a real-time understanding of product trends and competitive positions in order to make faster and more informed assortment and pricing decisions.
Retail Insights from Consulting Firms and Industry AnalystsView Description
Retail Insights from Consulting Firms and Industry Analysts
This session will feature presentations by leading consulting firms and industry analysts. Each one will highlight new, original research based on the firm's area of expertise and will provide fresh perspectives that help retailers and brands better understand changing consumer behavior and other major industry trends:
The Great Retail Bifurcation: An Industry Divided—Deloitte
Despite headlines proclaiming the retail apocalypse, the industry as a whole is still healthy and growing. That growth, however, is happening unevenly, with some retailers thriving and others facing a decidedly tougher new reality. The varying fate of retailers is tied to an important underlying dynamic—the dramatic bifurcation between low- and high-income consumers, which has driven clearer distinctions between price-sensitive shoppers and those who are willing and able to pay more for differentiated offerings. In this session, Deloitte will discuss the factors fueling the Great Retail Bifurcation and explore how retailers might seize the opportunities it presents to change the “apocalypse” into a period of renaissance.
Bricks-and-Mortar in the Age of Ecommerce: What’s Working and Why—Cushman & Wakefield
At a time when much of the news surrounding retail is challenging, there are a number of physical retail concepts, many of them new, that are performing exceptionally well. In this presentation, Cushman & Wakefield’s research division will explain what is working today in retail, as well as how shifting consumer tastes, demographic changes and other factors are playing a role.
Delighting Customers Through Personal InteractionsView Description
Delighting Customers Through Personal Interactions
Today’s online shopping experiences are more personalized than ever, and consumers now expect retailers to understand their preferences and buying habits. Increasingly, these expectations are crossing into physical stores as forward-thinking retailers adopt new clienteling and customer service technologies, and empower their associates to build meaningful connections with shoppers through personalized experiences. In this session, we’ll hear from one quick-service restaurant chain, one established retailer and one agency:
Pizza Hut is investing in new technologies that cater to consumers’ individual tastes and demands. The Yum! Brands subsidiary recently rolled out a capability through which customers can place an order on social platforms; Pizza Hut stores consumers’ preferences there, enabling seamless reordering. The company has also developed a delivery algorithm that better predicts when customers will receive their orders based on variables like weather, construction and traffic in their area. Pizza Hut’s first-ever Chief Customer Officer will discuss these and other approaches the company is taking to build personal connections with consumers both online and in its 16,000 locations.
Founded nearly five decades ago in France and celebrating 20 years in the U.S. in 2018, Sephora is a pioneer in delighting customers through personal interactions. Online, the multi-brand beauty retailer leverages data to send customers relevant marketing messages, incorporates augmented reality so shoppers can virtually try on products, and provides a platform where customers can engage with other beauty enthusiasts. These personal experiences continue in stores, where Sephora’s associates provide one-on-one consultations and digitally keep track of items customers have tested for future orders. The EVP of Omni-Retail will outline the myriad ways the LVMH-owned company is tailoring the shopping experience to each customer and delivering it seamlessly across touchpoints.
The Lionesque Group is a full-service agency that creates popup stores for brands and retailers that are looking to build brand awareness, test physical stores or experiment with new store concepts. Since its founding in 2009, The Lionesque Group has produced over 150 brick and mortar experiences in major cities across the U.S., assisting with everything from concept to buildout and execution. We’ll hear from the Founder and CEO about how her firm works with consumer-facing companies to create store environments that tell a brand story and cultivate one-on-one interactions with visitors. She will also discuss the technologies being implemented in these stores to collect customer data that can be used to improve the service each shopper receives in store, as well as to foster additional interactions with customers even after they leave.
Reinventing Traditional Grocery Business Models: Meal Kits, Subscriptions and ReplenishmentView Description
Reinventing Traditional Grocery Business Models: Meal Kits, Subscriptions and Replenishment
Consumers are buying groceries in novel ways, including through meal kits which offer measured amounts based on recipes and in curated subscription boxes. These innovative services tap into consumers’ desire for convenience while also helping brands and retailers facilitate exploration and build customer loyalty. In this session, we’ll hear from one healthy snacks brand, a meal kit company and a subscription frozen food service:
KIND Snacks is one of the fastest-growing brands in the $7 billion snack bar industry. Helping fuel the company’s growth is the KIND Snack Club, a subscription offering that lets consumers replenish their cabinets with KIND products without having to visit the grocery store or click a button. KIND's VP of Ecommerce will share how the company’s subscription program, which allows consumers to receive deliveries at their desired frequency, is removing friction from the buying process and keeping customers loyal.
Chef’d is a meal kit delivery platform that caters to people who enjoy cooking and want to save time planning meals and grocery shopping, but aren’t necessarily interested in committing to a subscription plan and want the option to reorder previous purchases. The nearly three-year-old startup has raised $60 million in funding, including strategic investments from FreshDirect, Campbell Soup and Smithfield. The Founder and CEO will share how his company’s partnerships with celebrity chefs, established CPG brands and others have helped Chef’d establish a unique business model in the online grocery space and deliver high-quality, preportioned ingredients to customers with a variety of health and dietary preferences.
Daily Harvest is a direct-to-consumer service that delivers easy-to-prepare, clean foods straight to subscribers’ doors. The startup, which has raised $43 million in funding, has quickly built a loyal group of customers who want food that is both easy to prepare and without nutritional compromise. The Founder and CEO will discuss how Daily Harvest's mission has helped it attract time-crunched, health-conscious shoppers, as well as how technology and vertical integration allow it to overcome the stigma of frozen food.
The Next Generation of Direct-to-Consumer Startups: Part 2View Description
The Next Generation of Direct-to-Consumer Startups: Part 2
This session will feature presentations from four emerging direct-to-consumer startups whose businesses are changing the way consumers discover, shop and buy. An executive from each company will highlight the unique business model, technologies and products they're leveraging to build scale in an increasingly crowded market with few barriers to entry:
Rockets of Awesome Reimagines Childrens' Apparel Market With Data-Driven Designs and Personalized Selections
Rockets of Awesome is a direct-to consumer startup that uses real-time data and machine learning to design colorful children’s apparel that it produces in-house. From there, the company leverages its proprietary technology to curate personalized boxes of apparel that it sends to busy moms. In this presentation, Rockets of Awesome will explain how it’s using a vertical supply chain and real-time data to make shopping for kids’ clothes a more personal and convenient experience.
11 Honoré Brings Size Inclusivity to Luxury Fashion
11 Honoré is the first ecommerce startup to provide women sizes 10-20 with designer fashion straight from the runway. After going from concept to reality in under a year, 11 Honoré will explain how it is working with designers to procure exclusive inventory for a customer who’s never before had access to this type of product, all while ensuring customers aren't charged a premium on products.
Bellabeat's Connected Jewelry Promotes Health and Wellness
Bellabeat is a connected jewelry company whose products help women track their health and wellness. Its Leaf product helps women monitor their sleep, activity and fertility while its Spring water bottle tracks their water intake and sends a reminder when they aren’t drinking enough. In this session, Bellabeat will explain how it develops innovative products that fuse fashion and wellness.
LIVELY's Nimble Supply Chain Challenges the Intimate Apparel Industry
LIVELY is an intimate apparel brand known for blurring the aesthetics of lingerie, activewear and swimwear to combine style and comfort across a broad size range--coining the term Leisurée. As one of LIVELY's investors and sole supply chain, Gelmart International, an intimates manufacturer, partnered on a factory that is focused on LIVELY--allowing LIVELY to control the entire process from design to production to distribution. In this presentation, LIVELY will explain how its partnership with Gelmart is helping the company differentiate itself in the $13 billion intimates industry by ensuring its products are high quality and enabling it to immediately respond to customer feedback by increasing production of popular products or making tweaks to existing items.
Zia Daniell Wigder, Chief Global Content Officer, Shoptalk
Mary Dillon, CEO, Ulta Beauty
Adam Sussman, Chief Digital Officer, Nike
Tim Steiner, OBE, Founder & CEO, Ocado
Ben Silbermann, Co-Founder & CEO, Pinterest
Carolyn Everson, VP, Global Marketing Solutions, Facebook
Shifting Ecommerce Trends and Technologies
Track Room 1
Track Keynote: Reinventing Traditional Retail Business ModelsView Description
Track Keynote: Reinventing Traditional Retail Business Models
Retailers are pursuing a variety of new approaches to attract and retain customers, including embracing rental models, subscriptions, and service offerings like installation and assembly. In this session we'll hear two leading startups discuss how they’re redefining retail to meet changing customer demands:
Founded in 2011, Gwynnie Bee is a clothing rental subscription service for women in sizes 0-32. Gwynnie Bee’s model allows consumers rental access to thousands of garments, to stay on trend without having to update their wardrobe, and experiment with new styles. In this session, the CEO will highlight how Gwynnie Bee maximizes garment usage and how retailers across the industry can now leverage this innovative model to effectively monetize their inventory.
Handy was founded in 2012 as a platform that connects consumers with 80,000 prescreened professionals who are hired to perform household tasks like painting and cleaning. The company has since expanded into retail, inking partnerships with Walmart and Wayfair, with the aim of building a national installation and assembly network for furniture, TVs and smart home products. Under the partnerships, shoppers have an option to hire a Handy contractor to assemble their furniture or install a smart home device as they check out. The Co-Founder and CEO will discuss how Handy is working with retailers to help them sell more product and deliver a better customer experience by making shoppers comfortable buying high-ticket or complex items.
Shopping Experiences of the Future
Track Room 2
Innovative Experiential RetailView Description
Innovative Experiential Retail
Leading retailers are creating new physical environments that enable consumers to experience their products in more immersive and memorable ways. Some are creating experiences where customers can interact with their products in a one-on-one setting; others are enabling shoppers to explore and experiment through services, exhibitions or social gatherings. In this session, we’ll hear from one design agency and two startups:
Since its founding in 1999 as a network of German design agencies, dan pearlman Group has built locations that help customers experience brands in new ways. Among its 1,500 completed projects are the cutting-edge shopping center Bikini Berlin, which brings together shopping, dining, exhibitions and rooftop views of Berlin’s Zoo under a unique architectural design. The firm’s Co-Founder and CEO will show examples of the projects her firm has conceptualized as well as share key learnings so that brands, retailers and shopping center owners can create memorable experiences that attract shoppers around the world.
Launched in 2010 as a personalized subscription service that gives members an easy way to discover and buy beauty products, Birchbox has raised $87 million in funding. The company opened its first physical shop in 2014—with the same goal as its original online offerings, Birchbox's New York City location was designed to create a way for casual beauty consumers to experiment with the category. The store features a Try Bar where shoppers can test a rotating selection of products; a mini-salon where customers can get their hair or makeup done; and an area where they can hand-pick their own box of products. We’ll hear from Birchbox, which has since opened a second location in Paris, about how the startup is bringing the essence of its brand into a real-life setting and learning how customers engage with its products.
Over the past two years, INDOCHINO has raised over $70 million in funding to provide men with the luxury experience of ordering a custom suit at a reasonable price. The Canada-based digitally native brand has since opened nearly two dozen showrooms where men are paired with a style expert who helps them design one-of-a-kind garments made to their measurements. The CEO will speak about INDOCHINO’s unique experiential approach to retail via stores that don’t carry any inventory. He’ll also outline the company’s future brick-and-mortar plans and how these locations have helped the company achieve a two-year compound annual growth rate of over 50% while becoming EBITDA positive in 2017.
The Retail Industry Shakeout
Track Room 3
The Investment Perspective: Trends Shaping the Future of RetailView Description
The Investment Perspective: Trends Shaping the Future of Retail
Upheaval in the retail industry has grabbed Wall Street's attention. Some investors are placing long-term bets on the brands and retailers they feel have sustainable business models, while others are unwilling to wait for returns on their investment. At the same time, activist investors are seeking out businesses whose shares they deem to be undervalued, often requesting spots on the company's board or making demands such as pushing executives to sell off real estate. In this session, we’ll hear from some of retail’s biggest investors about their outlook for the sector, including whether the robust 2017 holiday season is a harbinger of things to come:
Advent International is one of the largest global private equity firms. The company has invested over $39 billion since its founding in 1984, including over 70 investments in the retail, consumer and leisure sectors across 21 countries worldwide. We’ll hear from one of the firm’s Managing Directors about what Advent looks for when investing in consumer-facing companies like Five Below and Douglas. As a board member at Lululemon and First Watch Restaurants, she will also discuss the relationship Advent has with its portfolio companies’ management teams as they seek to improve operations and drive sustainable growth.
JP Morgan’s Investment Banking Consumer & Retail Group has served as an advisor on many of the sector’s high-profile M&A deals including Family Dollar’s merger with Dollar Tree and BC Partners’ $8.7 billion acquisition of PetSmart. As consumer tastes have shifted, however, the companies partaking in these types of deals is also changing—causing traditional players like Walmart and Whole Foods to join forces with Jet.com and Amazon, respectively. We’ll hear from the Managing Director and Global Head of Consumer Retail Investment Banking about how retail M&A is evolving as online sales grow and the market deals with an oversupply of product and real estate. He will also share his outlook for future deals.
Advance Venture Partners is a venture capital firm that was founded in partnership with Advance Publications, a media and technology holding company with a portfolio that includes Condé Nast, Charter Communications, Discovery Communications and Reddit. AVP invests in small- and mid-sized software, commerce and media companies and has an investment portfolio that includes consumer-facing commerce platforms such as Farfetch, Rent the Runway and Curology, as well as commerce-oriented technology companies like Gigya, a customer identity management platform, Compass, a technology-oriented real estate firm and EVRYTHNG, an IoT platform that brings analog consumer products online. We’ll hear from AVP’s Founding and Managing Partner about how he evaluates investments and what he considers to be the most significant shifts in business models and technologies that will affect the retail industry.
The Future of Brands
Track Room 4
Evolving Brand-Retailer RelationshipsView Description
Evolving Brand-Retailer Relationships
The relationship between consumer brands and retailers is in flux as brands shift resources toward operating their own stores and websites. Yet even as these strategies are helping brands achieve greater margins and learn more about customer behavior, brands’ relationships with retail partners remain essential—for many brands, the overwhelming majority of sales go through these wholesale channels. This session will feature perspectives from a top multi-brand retailer and two fast-growing consumer brands:
Launched in 2014, direct-to-consumer startup Madison Reed is disrupting the $15 billion hair color market with an omnichannel offering that spans products and services. In addition to its direct-to-consumer branded website, the at-home hair color company now sells its products through specialty retailers including Ulta and Sephora, at hair salons and via its growing network of Madison Reed Color Bars. These Color Bars provide Madison Reed with an opportunity to control the entire brand experience, from services to sales. The Founder and CEO will share what she’s learned as third-party relationships play a bigger role in Madison Reed’s business, as well as the insights she’s gathered from operating branded brick-and-mortar locations.
Founded in Brazil in 1979, Melissa Shoes’ unique jelly footwear is now sold in more than 70 countries across 1,000 points of sale. Wholesale remains a critical piece of the brand’s business, as partnerships with Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Shopbop, Bando, Amazon and others help it build scale and brand recognition. Yet as it seeks to learn more about its customers and control more of its brand positioning, Melissa is also investing in its own ecommerce site and branded retail stores, including a large experiential flagship store in New York—the company is supporting these direct offerings through technologies such as facial recognition linked to CRM in its stores, inventory sharing and VR commerce for its ecommerce site. The CEO of Ilhabela Holdings, who exclusively introduced Melissa in the US, will discuss how Melissa Shoes is balancing growth in its first-party business with its wholesale offerings.
Nordstrom, one of the best-known fashion retailers in North America, operates more than 350 locations across the U.S. and Canada. Nordstrom is known for its partnerships with a wide range of brands: established names like Nike and Chanel are sold alongside newer brands like Good American and digitally native brands like Bonobos and Baublebar. In this session, the VP of Merchandising Planning and Inventory will discuss Nordstrom’s focus on launching new brands and growing their existing partnerships with limited distribution brands to offer customers a sense of newness and discovery.
Grocerytalk: Go-to-Market Strategies for the Digital Age
Track Room 5
Optimizing the Brand Experience for EcommerceView Description
Optimizing the Brand Experience for Ecommerce
Center aisle brands are making the shift to ecommerce. To succeed online, these CPG companies are creating packaging that is easier to ship, branding that stands out on the web and mobile devices and search-optimized product content. They are also developing strategies to advertise on leading retail sites. In this session, ecommerce and marketing executives from CPG brands will discuss new strategies for selling on virtual shelves in addition to physical ones:
Founded over a century ago, Kellogg is a leading US-based CPG company with annual revenues of over $13 billion. Kellogg produces cereal and convenience foods—its brands include Frosted Flakes, Rice Krispies, Special K, Pringles, Pop-Tarts, and Kashi. Join us to hear from the VP of eCommerce Acceleration as he discusses the various strategies his team is using to grow Kellogg’s ecommerce business, including forming innovative and unorthodox partnerships to reach customers and exploring new ways for online customers to discover the brand.
Mondelēz International is one of the world’s largest snack companies, with 2016 revenues of $26 billion. The company’s portfolio of brands includes Oreo, belVita, Cadbury Dairy Milk and Trident gum. Mondelēz has made ecommerce one of its top priorities and is investing in capabilities and infrastructure as well as enhancing its online product assortment. Net revenues in ecommerce grew more than 40% in 2017. In this session, the company’s VP and Global Head of Ecommerce will discuss how his team is exploring different strategies with their online retail partners such as subscriptions and personalization while also building a direct relationship with customers online.
ZX Ventures is a global growth and innovation group within AB InBev, one of the world’s largest global brewers. Launched in 2015, ZX Ventures develops new products and businesses that address emerging consumer needs. The team also oversees the development of AB InBev's digital footprint in over 20 countries and across several platforms including its own ecommerce sites, partnerships with pureplay and omnichannel retailers, and investments in digital startups. In this session, the Global VP of eCommerce will share learnings from the company’s international digital initiatives such as WeChat stores for brands like Budweiser and Corona and the relaunch of the Bud Light brand in the UK using digital platforms.
Disruptive Technologies and Pioneering Brands
Track Room 6
Startups Revolutionizing the Retail Industry: New Consumer ExperiencesView Description
Startups Revolutionizing the Retail Industry: New Consumer Experiences
This session will feature presentations from cutting-edge technology companies whose solutions are creating new consumer experiences for brands and retailers. An executive from each company will highlight changes in consumer shopping preferences and behavior, and demonstrate how his or her technology can help brands and retailers boost their engagement with shoppers.
ViSenze Reveals New Visual Search Tool
Today’s consumers crave a more efficient and engaging online shopping experience. Visual search technology simplifies the process by allowing images, rather than keywords, to help shoppers find products at exact moments of inspiration. In this session, ViSenze will discuss how AI-powered visual commerce is helping brands and retailers capitalize on the influx of images available online by allowing them to deliver a more personalized shopping experience through product recommendations, out of stock alternatives, shoppable images and more. ViSenze will also introduce a new visual search tool.
PERCH Introduces Next Gen Platform to Manage Mixed Reality Experiences in Stores
Brands and retailers are investing in technology to create differentiated store experiences that attract and engage customers. PERCH, whose interactive displays unite digital content with physical products, has developed a mixed reality platform that combines computer vision, digital media and omnichannel services to create a more fulfilling store experience. In this presentation, PERCH will announce the next generation of its Campaign Management System, which enables brands and retailers to deploy content to hundreds of stores with the click of a button, seamlessly creating a more engaging customer experience.
Chicory Announces Expansion of One-Click Shoppable Media for Grocery Retail
As shoppers become more comfortable buying groceries online, New York-based Chicory is using artificial intelligence to scan recipes and match ingredients down to the SKU level. The technology makes any recipe instantly shoppable, connecting grocery retailers and CPG manufacturers with potential customers by allowing them to add items to their carts with one click. In this presentation, Chicory will announce expanded capabilities for its technology, which come as it brings top national retailers onto its platform.
Linc Announces New Framework That Enables Brands to Automate Over 90% of Shopper Assistance
No customer likes to wait on hold or refresh their inbox waiting for updates. As shoppers reward convenience with wallet share, brands are looking to conversational channels to provide real-time customer service engagement wherever shoppers want. Linc Global, whose customer care automation platform is already used by companies like Carter’s OshKosh, P&G and JustFab to resolve 70% of customer inquiries with automation, will demonstrate how its new framework combines AI, open APIs and advanced customer profiling to automate the most complex needs and push beyond 90% automation.
Brands Selling on MarketplacesView Description
Brands Selling on Marketplaces
Online marketplaces have evolved well beyond their early days of auctions and pre-owned products. As a result, brands are increasingly turning to marketplaces as alternative sales channels in the U.S. and abroad. In this session, we'll hear from brands on how they’re successfully leveraging online marketplaces to build awareness and revenues, and from a leading marketplace on how the most successful brands are using these platforms to drive engagement and transactions:
eBay is one of the largest marketplaces in the world with more than one billion live listings and 168 million active buyers across 190 different markets. eBay’s sellers range in size, from consumers to small- and medium-sized businesses and large enterprises. In this session, the VP of B2C Selling & Global Trust at eBay will discuss how this global ecommerce giant is meeting the needs of brands looking to sell through the platform, and how it’s leveraging technologies like AI to change the face of shopping on the platform.
With annual revenues that surpass $1 billion, Crocs first launched 15 years ago with a boat shoe. The company has since sold 300 million pairs of its iconic shoes in over 90 countries. We’ll hear from the VP of eCommerce Technology & Operations at Crocs as he talks about how he’s worked with global marketplaces including eBay, Tmall and JD.com as well as other platforms across North America, Europe and Asia.
Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) is a $45 billion beverage and brewing company with operations around the globe. Anheuser-Busch works with a wide range of digital distribution partners, including Amazon, through their PrimeNOW and Fresh platforms, to sell its products. The company also partners with small marketplace services such as Drizly, Minibar and Saucey to distribute its products. In this session, hear from the Head of eCommerce, North America at Anheuser-Busch as she discusses how this huge CPG company works with its marketplace partners.
Omnichannel and Seamless Customer ExperiencesView Description
Omnichannel and Seamless Customer Experiences
Few retailers have a truly seamless omnichannel customer experience—they must still manage myriad issues including prices, products and promotions across every consumer touchpoint. Retailers are also seeking competitive advantages with initiatives such as infinite shelf capabilities and click and collect, popular consumer offerings that require high levels of inventory visibility. In this session, we’ll hear from three established retailers:
BJ’s Wholesale Club runs more than 200 clubs across the East Coast of the U.S. The 33-year-old chain recently accelerated its investment into an arsenal of omnichannel capabilities, including the recent launch of its mobile app. The app ties together BJ’s physical and digital offerings, allowing members to save coupons directly to their digital account for use at the in-store checkout. The chain is also testing a self-checkout technology that accelerates the checkout process. The company’s first Chief Digital Officer will talk about how these types of technologies deliver a more seamless shopping experience for customers. He will also discuss the ingredients required to make these frictionless experiences work.
Ulta Beauty is a $5 billion specialty retailer that sells both mass and prestige beauty brands. The 27-year-old company is enjoying a period of rapid growth as it opens 100 locations a year and invests in technologies that tie its in-store experiences to its website and mobile app. That includes rolling out endless shelf capabilities across its chain of 1,000+ stores. The SVP of Strategic Marketing, CRM, and Loyalty will share how Ulta is creating a seamless experience across channels for its shoppers—and, most importantly, the 26 million members of its ULTAmate Rewards loyalty program.
Over the last five years, Best Buy has transformed its business by improving the customer experience in stores and online. Specifically, Best Buy elevated its digital presence by building online and mobile capabilities to give customers a seamless experience that complements the hands-on experience they get in the store. As a result, Best Buy has more than doubled its domestic online revenue since 2012. The President of Ecommerce will share how Best Buy has enhanced its digital presence to create a multichannel experience for customers.
The Real Estate Perspective: Locations and Experiences That Attract ShoppersView Description
The Real Estate Perspective: Locations and Experiences That Attract Shoppers
The rise of online shopping has made it possible for consumers to purchase an endless array of products without ever stepping foot in a store. As a result, real estate firms are reimagining their shopping centers as entertainment and lifestyle properties that are less dependent on traditional, transaction-based retail and more about creating experiences. In this session, we’ll hear from two shopping center owners and a global commercial real estate services firm:
GGP, one of the country’s largest owners of retail real estate, has been actively redeveloping its 120+ shopping centers to meet changing consumer tastes. These changes include splitting vacant anchor spaces into smaller stores to bring in additional retailers and entertainment, incorporating more food and beverage, and bringing in interactive learning centers for kids. The SVP of Business Development will discuss these changes, as well where GGP is experimenting with online brands, makers, pop ups, experiences and environments.
JLL, a commercial real estate services firm with $6.8 billion in annual revenue, advises brands entering foreign markets on topics including site selection and lease terms, as well as the “retail programming” landlords are engineering to add freshness to their centers. We’ll hear from the Chairman of the firm’s Global Retail Leasing Board, who will share his perspective on the attributes shared by the most innovative properties around the world. He will also discuss the nuances in shopper behavior that determine what features will make a property successful in one market but which may not resonate in another.
Australia-based Westfield Corporation is reinventing several of the flagship properties in its $32 billion portfolio to adapt to changing consumer tastes. The EVP of Leasing, who is responsible for the company’s major development projects, will discuss the changes Westfield is making to its tenant mix, as well as the new technologies and amenities it’s integrating into its properties. His recent projects include the $1 billion makeover of Century City in Los Angeles and Westfield World Trade Center.
The Rise of the Niche BrandView Description
The Rise of the Niche Brand
A new type of brand has emerged: Today’s shoppers are embracing products across different categories that redefine traditional categories and better meet consumers’ needs. These fast-growing brands are winning over shoppers who are looking beyond incumbents to brands that reflect their unique preferences and values. Traditional retailers are taking notice of this trend, sometimes partnering with or acquiring these newer brands. In this session, we’ll hear from three venture capital-backed startups:
Launched in 2016, Allbirds’ eco-friendly wool shoes use premium natural materials instead of traditional petroleum-based synthetics. The certified B-Corp, which has raised $27 million in funding, works exclusively with wool that meets the strictest sustainable farming and animal welfare standards. The Co-Founder and Co-CEO will share how Allbirds has built quality experiences for consumers and established itself as a rising consumer brand by appealing to shoppers’ desire for products that are sustainable and better for the environment.
Sphero pioneered the connected play category in 2010 when it created an app-enabled robotic ball. Since then, the direct-to-consumer startup has raised $107 million in funding and carved out a niche in the fast-growing connected toy category. The company’s innovation has grabbed the attention of consumers and multi-brand retailers alike, and its products are now sold at Target, Best Buy and other third-party stores. The CEO will share how Sphero’s unique technology-driven products and licensing deals with the Marvel, Pixar and Star Wars franchises helped the creator of the BB-8 droid grow its business.
Two-year-old Ollie is a direct-to-consumer startup that serves a niche customer in the $28 billion pet food industry. The startup, which has raised $17 million in funding, is tapping into consumers’ desire for fresh, natural food for every member of the family—including pets. Ollie tailors its recipes to each dog’s needs, recommends the perfect portion for its size and breed, and uses only real ingredients like ground turkey and kale. The Co-Founder and CEO will discuss how Ollie has built a niche brand that meets its customers’ quality standards.
New Ecommerce StartupsView Description
New Ecommerce Startups
New types of venture-backed startups are disrupting the grocery and CPG industries. Some of these startups are focused on creating new consumer brands and often control everything from product sourcing to sales and distribution, enabling consumers to buy high-quality products at better prices. Others are creating new consumer value propositions by offering more convenient shopping options such on-demand access to everyday items. In this session, leading ecommerce startups will share their approaches to innovation:
Four-year-old goPuff is disrupting the convenience store industry with its on-demand convenience store delivery service that fills orders for everything from snacks and beverages to alcohol and household essentials in 30 minutes, 24/7. The startup, a millennial favorite known for its cheeky product descriptions and social media content, houses its inventory in centrally located warehouses and fills orders via a network of independent drivers. The Co-Founder and Co-CEO will share how goPuff, which has raised over $8 million in funding, is leveraging technology and an efficient supply chain to scale its business and consistently deliver orders in a tight timeframe.
As consumers seek out products beyond those made by large CPG companies, direct-to-consumer startup Brandless is redefining what it means to be a brand. The online retailer, which has raised $50 million in funding, produces and sells everyday essentials including food, beauty and household products--all for $3 each. In addition to its simple, affordable pricing--made possible by its business model--Brandless designs all of its products and packaging with its token box, listing only the most important attributes for the consumer. We’ll hear from the Co-Founder and CEO of the company about the opportunity she sees in building a community around products that offer good value, convenience and transparency to consumers.
Founded in 2012, California-based Winc is making the wine industry more accessible to consumers who are interested in discovering new flavors but who don’t want to shell out big bucks or spend hours on research. Because the startup makes and packages most of its wines—which are sold directly to members of its online club—Winc is able to offer quality products at a better value. The company also leverages customer data, collected via questionnaires and product ratings, to recommend wines to members and determine which varieties to produce in the future. We’ll hear from the Co-Founder and CEO about how Winc, which has raised $31 million in funding, is disrupting the legacy wine industry to create a better experience for consumers.
Startups Revolutionizing the Retail Industry: Business IntelligenceView Description
Startups Revolutionizing the Retail Industry: Business Intelligence
This session will feature presentations from cutting-edge technology companies whose solutions are helping brands and retailers gather actionable business intelligence. An executive from each company will explain the potential that data and analytics have to transform retailers’ businesses, and demonstrate how his or her technology can help retailers collect and analyze data as well as act on insights.
Nextail’s AI Platform, Which Brings the Agility of Fast-Fashion to the Retail Industry, Comes to the U.S.
Fast-fashion retailers have overhauled the traditional supply chain, challenging other industry players to act with the same agility. Nextail's AI and cognitive analytics platform automates and optimizes buying, initial allocation, replenishment, and store stock rebalancing, allowing retailers to act more nimbly while reducing operational costs. In this presentation, Spain-based Nextail will announce the opening of its U.S. office and the appointment of its new country manager. The company will also outline the new solutions it’s working on to power online retail with advanced insights from the physical world.
42 Technologies Releases Natural Language Bot
Retailers and brands spend hours every day manually compiling reports to answer simple questions. Growing volumes of data and complicated systems make data inaccessible to most many at these organizations, who have to resort to dated spreadsheets. In this presentation, 42 Technologies will outline how its fully integrated big data platform consolidates, cleans and visualizes all of brands’ and retailers’ data sources in one central database. The company will also introduce “Batman”, its new business analytics tool that searches sales, inventory, ERP, CRM, and web traffic data to find relevant explanations to any question.
Qordoba Announces New Product for Measuring the Emotional Content of Text
Effective online marketing appeals to emotions, yet today, most ecommerce sites read like an encyclopedia. Qordoba, whose platform allows brands and retailers to produce locally relevant content in shoppers’ native languages at scale, will discuss the future of emotion in ecommerce. The company will also announce a new product for managing and measuring the emotional content of text.
ThirdChannel Introduces Real-Time Video and Image Feeds
Brands often lack visibility into the retail environments where their products are sold, causing them to misallocate resources and miss sales opportunities. ThirdChannel’s platform integrates real-time data from associates in stores with POS, inventory, traffic and other data points. It uses this information to assign an optimization score to each location, generate action plans and measure the subsequent lift in sales in real-time. In this presentation, ThirdChannel will outline how it helps brands with strategic planning by informing them of the sales potential for each store so they can better allocate resources. ThirdChannel will also introduce real-time video and image feeds to show brands and retailers what is or should be happening with their products in stores.
Innovation from Israel: Startups Driving the Next Generation of EcommerceView Description
Innovation from Israel: Startups Driving the Next Generation of Ecommerce
Israel's startup ecosystem is known as a powerhouse in areas such as adtech, fintech and cybersecurity, but today close to 350 ecommerce startups exist in the country, putting it on the map as a key innovation hub for the retail and ecommerce industries. These startups are tackling everything from AI-based search, marketing, personalization and analytics to warehouse robotics, IoT and a variety of new technologies targeted at the fashion industry. This session will highlight four Israeli startups at different stages of maturity:
Yotpo, an integrated solution for customer content marketing, uses AI and machine learning to help brands leverage user-generated content throughout the buyer journey to increase trust, social proof, and sales. The company has raised over $100 million in funding since it was founded in Tel Aviv in 2011, opening additional offices in New York, Salt Lake City, and London. In this session, the Co-Founder and CEO of Yotpo will discuss tapping into the tech talent in Israel, how he navigated intercontinental challenges without sacrificing speed to market, and what he sees as the next successful wave of Israeli startups.
Optimove, which has raised $20 million in growth capital, provides a personalized relationship marketing technology. The software brings together web analytics data and behavioral data with machine learning and AI algorithms to predict customers’ future behavior at all stages of the customer lifecycle. This enables marketers to optimize the specific promotion and channel based on the consumer’s likelihood to respond. Optimove was founded in Tel Aviv in 2009 and subsequently expanded operations to London and New York. The Founder and CEO of Optimove will highlight how he’s leveraged the unique technology and business talent in Israel to build this fast-growing company and what new technology innovations in Israel he considers the most revolutionary.
Syte provides visual artificial intelligence that understands what shoppers are looking for. Consumers can take a photo and upload any image to get a selection of similar and matching items—they can then discover new products, compare items and shop any that are of interest. Syte was founded in 2015 in Tel Aviv and raised a total of $8 million in funding. In this session, the Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer will present her take on starting a business in Israel, why the country has become such a powerhouse in machine learning and artificial intelligence and the unique aspects of building a business in the field of visual search.
AR, VR and Advances in Product VisualizationView Description
AR, VR and Advances in Product Visualization
Augmented reality (AR) has moved into the mainstream, with apparel, beauty, home decor and furniture brands emerging as the earliest adopters of the technology. Meanwhile, virtual reality (VR) use cases are quickly materializing in retail—often these use cases revolve around retail store simulation for internal planning purposes rather than customer-facing, immersive VR worlds. Online product visualization is also becoming more sophisticated, with new technologies emerging that enable consumers to see 3D product images from different angles and change features in real time. In this session, we’ll hear from one CPG company, one online retailer and one technology giant:
The Hershey Company owns more than 80 brands and is the second-largest snacks company in the U.S. The CPG giant is now broadening its focus from the snack aisle to the entire store and exploring what the future of grocery shopping will look like. At Hershey's Global Customer Innovation Center, a concept store enables consumers to test virtual shopping in a physical store. The company is also using VR internally to see how shoppers would respond to various merchandising strategies and promotions. The Senior Director of Retail Evolution will discuss the role these technologies will play in transitioning grocery shopping from a chore into an experience, as well as how VR can help brands optimize their in-store presence.
A pioneer in the online home goods category, 15-year-old Wayfair generates $4.3 billion in revenue. The company, which went public in 2014, has also been a frontrunner in developing technologies that improve product visualization so that shoppers can picture what products will look like in their homes—in 2016, Wayfair was one of the first retailers to create an app for Google’s Tango. In this session, the Head of the Wayfair Next R&D lab will share how Wayfair is integrating AR and VR technologies into its offerings. He’ll also discuss what the future holds for these technologies across Wayfair’s portfolio of ecommerce sites and the industry as a whole.
Google’s technology powers AR applications for major retailers from Gap to Pottery Barn. Google is now focused on further developing these capabilities as the opportunity continues to grow rapidly over the next several years. During this session, Director of Global Partnerships for Google’s VR/AR efforts will highlight how leading retailers are taking advantage of Google's immersive computing platforms, like ARCore, and offer a look at what's coming next.
The Retailer Perspective: Adapting to Changing Consumer PreferencesView Description
The Retailer Perspective: Adapting to Changing Consumer Preferences
Shoppers today are spending in new ways, leading some retailers to flourish while others fail. In addition to the migration to ecommerce, consumers are favoring experiences over physical goods, younger consumers are flocking to urban areas over suburban ones and shoppers continue to seek out value. Despite these challenges, which contributed to a record number of store closings in 2017, there are signs the industry is experiencing somewhat of a resurgence. On the heels of the best holiday season in years, we’ll hear from three retailers who are successfully navigating these changes in consumer behavior about their strategies and outlook for the industry:
Sur La Table is a 45-year-old kitchen and culinary retailer with 135 stores and industry-leading ecommerce capabilities. As more spending shifts online, Sur La Table is using its physical store footprint to connect, entertain and build lasting relationships with customers. That includes hosting interactive cooking classes in half its locations. The CEO will share how these types of experiential, personalized experiences are helping Sur La Table build brand loyalty amid changes in consumer preferences and turn its stores into assets.
Nordstrom is considered an industry leader in customer service and personalized shopping experiences both online and in stores. The President of Nordstrom.com will speak about the initiatives that have helped the retailer maintain a loyal customer base while also attracting new shoppers.
Levi’s products are sold across 110 countries at more than 50,000 locations including owned and operated stores, department stores and other multi-brand retail chains. Yet as consumers shop in a more interconnected commerce environment and are looking for distinctive brand experiences, Levi’s direct-to-consumer businesses have become more critical—now accounting for nearly a third of the brand’s $4.6 billion in revenue. The EVP and President of Global Retail will discuss how Levi Strauss & Co. is adapting to this change in customer preferences and focusing on delivering both a unique and consistent experience no matter how their fans choose to shop.
The Growth of Private LabelView Description
The Growth of Private Label
Private label brands are becoming increasingly popular with price-sensitive consumers. The cultivation of these brands presents retailers with several opportunities, including (1) providing them with exclusive merchandise that’s less susceptible to price matching, (2) reducing the costs associated with acquiring products from a third party, thereby enabling lower prices and (3) giving them greater control over products, from manufacturing to distribution. In this session, we’ll hear from one established retailer, one ecommerce company and one global manufacturer:
Industry titan Macy’s has been producing private-label goods since the 1800s. More than 150 years later, the $26 billion department store is still recognized as a leader in the space. The company’s 15 private brands cater to a range of consumer tastes spanning multiple categories. Their value proposition makes them an important driver of Macy’s sales, accounting for a full 20% of the company’s annual revenue. Macy’s General Business Manager of Ready To Wear will share how the company builds private-label brands and distinguishes between the brands, catering product to specific customer lifestyle segments using data and moving decisions closer to the customer reducing development time.
Germany-based Zalando is one of Europe’s biggest ecommerce success stories. Founded in 2008, this online fashion retailer’s revenues reached over €3.6 billion. The company sells almost 2,000 different international brands to customers in 15 different European countries. Launched in 2010, the company’s private label, zLabels, now operates 17 different brands. In this session, we’ll hear from Zalando’s SVP of Private Label/CEO of zLabels who will discuss how the company determines which new private-label brands to launch and how Zalando balances its own private-label collection with those of its thousands of brand partners.
Founded in 1975, Israel-based Delta Galil is the global manufacturer behind many of the industry’s branded and private label goods. The company, which generates $1.4 billion in revenue, owns a stable of brands like 7 for All Mankind and Splendid; it also has licensing agreements with fashion labels like Calvin Klein and Lacoste. We’ll hear from the Head of Ecommerce about the company’s process for designing, manufacturing and delivering private label goods—including Amazon’s private brand for intimate apparel. He’ll also discuss his role in managing the Amazon relationship for more than a dozen of Delta Galil’s apparel brands and licensed businesses.
Next Generation LoyaltyView Description
Next Generation Loyalty
Consumers have myriad choices when it comes to grocery shopping, including new food and beverage options from online retailers, drugstores and dollar stores. Brands and retailers must therefore go beyond traditional loyalty programs and weekly deals to keep customers coming back. They need to offer personalized recommendations and savings, and reward continued engagement. In this session, innovative retailers will share the strategies they are using to create and maintain a loyal customer base.
METRO AG is a Germany-based international food wholesale and retail company with operations in 35 countries and more than 150,000 employees worldwide. Its portfolio of retail brands attracts a large group of customers. METRO Cash & Carry also has a robust loyalty program with multiple features tailored to its professional customer base. In this session, the Global Director of Data, CRM and Data-Driven Marketing will share his experience moving the company from more traditional paper-based to digital and personalized marketing that is more effective at keeping existing shoppers coming back. He will also discuss how emerging technologies such as big data and AI are shaping the future of marketing organizations.
Founded in 1927, 7‑Eleven is a convenience store chain operating, franchising and licensing more than 56,600 stores in 18 countries, of which nearly 10,500 are in North America. 7Rewards is 7-Eleven’s mobile customer loyalty app that earns users a free beverage for every six cups purchased—it has been expanded recently to enable customers to earn rewards points for hundreds of other product purchases. Customers can also message the 7-Eleven Bot on Facebook Messenger to receive a digital loyalty card, locate a store or sign up for the program. In this session, the Senior Director of Digital Product Management for CRM and Loyalty will discuss how the company integrates itself into the customer journey and redefines convenience through digital channels.
Founded in 1946, Wakefern is a retailer-owned cooperative comprised of 50 member companies who independently own and operate 344 retail supermarkets under the brands ShopRite, Price Rite, The Fresh Grocer, Readington Farms and Dearborn Market. The company had $16.3 billion in sales in 2017. In this session, the Chief Information Officer will discuss how Wakefern is creating an integrated customer engagement program that provides a consistent experience across channels while optimizing each touchpoint.
Startups Revolutionizing the Retail Industry: Operational ExcellenceView Description
Startups Revolutionizing the Retail Industry: Operational Excellence
This session will feature presentations from cutting-edge technology companies whose solutions are helping brands and retailers improve their operations. An executive from each company will explain the various operational challenges that brands and retailers face, and demonstrate how his or her technology can help them optimize various parts of their businesses, from inventory management to supply chain and delivery.
CommonSense Robotics Debuts Technology that Enables Online Grocery Order Fulfillment in One Hour
Consumers today demand immediate fulfillment, resulting in online grocers losing to the convenience of restaurants and other takeout services that deliver food quickly. To help them compete on speed, CommonSense Robotics is building automated fulfillment centers inside cities which, using AI and advanced robotics, power on-demand delivery for grocers. In this presentation, CommonSense Robotics will outline for the first time how its facilities and systems enable delivery of fresh grocery produce at a sustainable margin in one hour or less.
Vue.ai, Whose End-to-End Catalog Management System Powers a Leading Marketplace, Announces New Product
Catalog management has always been an area of concern for marketplaces, with multiple sellers using different product descriptions and tags, leading to inconsistency and poor product discovery. Product images derived from user-generated content can be low in quality, making it extremely difficult to decipher product attributes. Adding to that is the complexity of manually updating, managing and cleaning the catalog. Vue.ai's AI-powered catalog management system, trained using thousands of images to identify the visual attributes, saves marketplaces significant time and resources while ensuring accuracy. In this presentation, Vue.ai will outline how Zilingo, a leading Southeast Asian marketplace, is using Vue.ai to manage its catalog, automate titles and descriptions, and optimize search engine results. Vue.ai will also announce a new product.
Scandit Introduces AR Scanning Feature that Provides Bricks-and-Mortar Shoppers with Detailed Product Information
Retailers are increasingly adopting new store technologies that enrich the customer experience. Scandit, a Switzerland-based mobile data capture platform provider, has created a new search and find capability that uses AR to provide shoppers with highly specific product information while they’re in store. In this presentation, Scandit will demonstrate how this technology is helping shoppers make informed decisions by allowing them to scan an entire shelf to highlight preferences like gluten-free items with AR feedback, or pull up product ratings.
B2B Ecommerce Platform NuORDER Announces New Online Trade Show
Behind the B2C ecommerce revolution, an even bigger sea change in B2B commerce is already underway. The rapid shift from paper to digital is enabling brands and retailers to better collaborate, compete and win. NuORDER, whose B2B ecommerce platform has transacted over $5 billion, will show how it helps brands and retailers discover, connect and transact online. NuORDER will also announce the launch of an online trade show that connects its network of 350,000 global retailers with 1,000 brands.
Tuesday — March 20, 2018
Shifting Ecommerce Trends and Technologies
Track Room 1
The Next Generation of Search: AI, Visual and MoreView Description
The Next Generation of Search: AI, Visual and More
Consumers are searching for and discovering products in new ways and through new channels. Emerging technologies like AI are enhancing all types of search, including visual and voice-based search—consumers now have a variety of new ways to locate the products they want to buy. In this session, we'll hear from three leading technology companies:
Clarifai, a four-year-old artificial intelligence startup that uses sophisticated machine learning to classify images and videos, has raised $40 million in funding. The company works with retailers and marketplaces to improve product recommendations and image tagging for search engine optimization, among other applications. Clarifai's tools work on both the web and on smartphones, removing the need for internet connectivity and improving the speed of real-world image recognition. The founder & CEO will discuss how AI-as-a-service can help retailers and brands improve visual search and customer recommendations.
Twiggle, a three-year-old startup that uses artificial intelligence to pioneer “knowledge-based” search, has raised $35 million in funding. Twiggle's technology delivers understanding in search where plain-text search alone may not. Twiggle’s technology uses natural language processing and machine learning to convert search queries and product listings into structured, semantic representations. It then maps these representations to its proprietary ontology built to represent the world of consumer products. The Co-Founder and CEO will share insights on how Twiggle helps some of the world's biggest retailers create an online search experience that mimics how a human store clerk would behave - whether customers are typing on a laptop or speaking to a digital assistant.
Algolia, a five-year-old French startup now headquartered in San Francisco, has raised $74 million in funding. Its platform is specifically designed for speed, relevance and performance as it generates accurate, real-time results from search bars on brands' and retailers' websites starting from a consumer's first keystroke using advanced language processing and custom database tools. The company is taking on search giants through innovations like delivering fast, live and accurate results on mobile in low or no connectivity areas. Hear the Co-Founder and CEO talk about how consumers’ search behavior is changing and how Algolia helps its 4,200+ customers optimize for speed, relevance and design in search.
The Evolution of the Retail Store
Track Room 2
Physical Retail Concepts from Digitally Native BrandsView Description
Physical Retail Concepts from Digitally Native Brands
Ecommerce businesses of all sizes are moving away from an online-only approach and embracing physical stores, popup locations and showrooms to enable consumers to engage with their products in person. Each takes a different approach to physical retail locations, with some making a limited selection of products available for purchase while others forego inventory altogether in favor of services like tailoring or fitting. In this session, we'll hear from leaders of three direct-to-consumer startups:
Three-year-old M.Gemi opened its first physical store in 2016 so that shoppers could try on the brand’s handcrafted Italian shoes--previously available exclusively on its website--and experience the brand firsthand. Now with two permanent shops and a traveling vintage gelato truck that’s been retrofitted for customers to try on shoes, the direct-to-consumer startup is using these locations as data troves where it can learn more about what items shoppers want and develop new products based on the data it collects. The Founder and CEO will discuss how M.Gemi, which has raised $47 million in funding, is using technology to create an engaging in-store experience and also to optimize its design and supply chain.
Six-year-old Frank And Oak, which has raised $40 million in funding, started out as an online-only men’s apparel retailer. Since its founding, the Canada-based company has opened more than a dozen physical stores, expanded its offering into womenswear, and launched its first locations fully dedicated to women. The Co-Founder and CEO will share what he’s learned about using these locations to drive sales.
Away is a direct-to-consumer startup that designs and produces fashionable luggage at an affordable price. The company, which has raised $31 million in funding, has opened four permanent brick-and-mortar locations meant to immerse shoppers into the world of travel. The Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer will talk about how the company is incorporating travel-themed books, sleep masks, and other items into its stores to not only facilitate travel, but to establish the two-year-old company as a travel authority.
Marketing Strategies and Technologies
Track Room 3
Experiential MarketingView Description
Many of today's leading marketers are moving beyond standard marketing tactics to embrace new types of customer engagement. Marketing executives are finding creative ways to raise awareness of their brands and engage shoppers by launching new offerings that range from popup shops to social media contests and games. In this session, we’ll hear from one startup, one tech giant and one established retailer:
Zola has raised over $40 million for its all-in-one registry and wedding planning website that caters to the modern bride. To build on the experience it has created online, the four-year-old company has also launched a series of popup shops that replicate an engaged couple’s home for customers to envision products in a real-life setting. Zola has also put its popup shops on wheels, sending a decked-out vintage camper to cities across the US—couples can register for items and record their own love stories in the camper. The Founder and CEO will share how Zola is using these popup shops to create memorable experiences for its customers.
Google Zoo is a creative think tank that sits inside Google. The team at Google Zoo is tasked with finding innovative ways for brands and agencies to leverage Google’s technologies to create new experiences for shoppers. The Head of Creative and New Experiences at Google Zoo will share some of the ways major global brands are tapping into Google's broad range of capabilities in strategic, creative, and intelligent ways to interact with both shoppers and advertisers.
JOANN Stores, the country’s leading fabric and craft specialty retailer, has inspired the creative spirit in its customers for 75 years. The retailer hosts events across its network of 850 stores where customers can learn skills like sewing and cake decorating, gather for a Girl Scouts meeting or birthday party, or meet local makers at handmade pop-up shops. JOANN recently doubled down on this strategy through its acquisition of Creativebug, a six-year-old company that has created more than 1,000 educational crafting videos. The VP of Marketing and Business Development will discuss all the ways JOANN is using experiential marketing tactics to drive engagement with customers.
Innovation in China
Track Room 4
Overview of Retail and Ecommerce Innovation in ChinaView Description
Overview of Retail and Ecommerce Innovation in China
China's $800 billion ecommerce market has surpassed that of every other country by a wide margin; the country's $5 trillion retail market also now ranks as the world's largest. Given that much of this growth has come in the past 15 years, both online and traditional retailers in China have been able to invest in the latest technologies without the burden of decades-old legacy systems. At the same time, consumers in China have developed a high bar when it comes to shopping experiences. This perfect storm of different factors has led China to be at the forefront of retail and ecommerce innovation. Join us as two experts tee up our conversation of China with an overview of some of the most exciting trends and technologies coming out of the country today:
In this session, Managing Partner at GGV Capital Hans Tung will provide an overview of the startup ecosystem in China and the areas where Chinese entrepreneurs are at the forefront of the global conversation. He was one of the earliest investors in Xiaomi, a world-renowned smartphone manufacturer and one of the three most highly valued startups in the world—since then, he has also backed several additional Xiaomi IoT ecosystem companies. Additionally, his investments include a number of well-known Chinese startups such as Musical.ly (a video social network app), Little Red Book (a social ecommerce app) and BingoBox (cashierless convenience stores). He is a top VC on the Forbes Midas list.
The CEO and Founder of Coresight Research will provide insights into some of the most exciting developments in retail and ecommerce in China today, including cutting-edge technology and business model advances in areas such as checkout, payments, delivery, logistics, IoT and robotics. As one of the preeminent authorities on global retail trends with a strong focus on China, she’ll highlight how companies like Alibaba, Tencent and JD.com are constantly innovating and why it’s critical for U.S. and European companies to keep an eye on these revolutionary new initiatives in China.
Grocerytalk: Adapting to Shifting Consumer Demands
Track Room 5
Track Keynote: Executive Perspectives on Catering to the New ConsumerView Description
Track Keynote: Executive Perspectives on Catering to the New Consumer
Consumers today expect the products they consume to be good for their bodies and not harmful to the planet. They also expect a lot more convenience and choice from their shopping experience. These shifts in consumer expectations have compelled grocery retailers and CPG brands to completely reevaluate their business strategies and product portfolios. In this session, senior executives from a leading grocery retailer and a global CPG brand will share how they optimized the customer experience, their product mixes and operations to stay competitive. They will also discuss how they address operational challenges and how they prioritize initiatives and measure success:
Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of home care, personal care and food & refreshment products with over 400 brands including Dove, Knorr, Hellmann’s, Lipton and Ben & Jerry’s. The company reaches 2.5 billion consumers in more than 190 countries. In this session, the President of Customer Development at Unilever North America will discuss how the company is responding to changes in the market by 1) building brands that align with new consumer preferences, and 2) providing greater access to information on current product composition and sustainability. She will also share how the company is transforming the manufacturing and sourcing of their products to reduce their environmental footprint and enhance the livelihoods of people across the value chain.
With revenues of $59 billion, Albertsons is one of the largest food and drug retailers in the United States. The company operates stores across 35 states under 19 brands including Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, and Shaw's. In the last few years, the company has made significant investments in the customer experience including in ecommerce, digital and social media channels. In this session, the SVP of Digital and Ecommerce will share how the company is addressing 1) the growing importance of digital channels in customers’ purchase journey and 2) customer expectations of convenient delivery and pickup options. He will also discuss the role that grocers can play in the digital food eco system.
Track Keynote: Leaders at Global Brands on the Future of EcommerceView Description
Track Keynote: Leaders at Global Brands on the Future of Ecommerce
Ecommerce remains a growing and powerful channel for brands. Wholesale relationships with online retailers often represent the lion's share of brands' digital sales—at the same time, direct offerings help brands deepen customer relationships, better plan demand and understand consumer online shopping behavior. Ecommerce leaders must ensure their offerings resonate with different types of shoppers and constantly assess which technologies are key to exceptional customer experiences. In this session, we'll hear from leaders at two major global consumer brands:
The EVP & President of Global Ecommerce at Levi’s will highlight how he’s helped build and run the global digital empire of this 164-year-old brand. He’ll also discuss a range of groundbreaking digital initiatives at the company such as the new Levi’s bot—available on the brand’s website and on Facebook Messenger—which asks consumers questions about how they like their jeans to fit then provides results that match.
100+ year-old Samsonite is a global travel bags, luggage, and accessories company—in addition to Samsonite, it owns brands including Tumi, Hartmann, High Sierra and American Tourister. The Chief Ecommerce Officer will discuss how he has taken a variety of approaches to winning over shoppers in different parts of the globe, the technologies he’s most excited about and how he sees ecommerce and his role changing going forward.
Agency Perspectives on New Store DesignView Description
Agency Perspectives on New Store Design
The retail experience hasn't changed fundamentally in decades, but today retailers are aiming to differentiate themselves through groundbreaking new products, layouts and store formats. Agencies are at the forefront of these innovations, reimagining the retail experience to meet emerging consumer demands. This session will feature presentations from leading design agencies and organizations with some of the most engaging retail experiences around the world:
Big Red Rooster is a JLL-owned brand experience and retail design agency that provides a variety of services including environmental design, visual merchandising, packaging design, marketing communications and digital design and development for leading retailers and consumer brands. The SVP and Managing Director at Big Red Rooster will highlight some of the most exciting concepts emerging from the work the firm has done for brands such as Adidas, Under Armour, Foot Locker and Jack Daniel's. She’ll also discuss how the firm worked with retailers Bezel, Day + Night and Shine at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas to create individual stores with a rock and roll vibe paired with authentic shopping experiences.
Portland Design is a London-based branding, retail strategy, and design consultancy that employs architects and designers with specialist expertise in branding, commercial master planning, communication graphics, retail design, food and beverage design and signage and wayfinding. The firm’s clients include British Land, St. Pancras International, Diageo and CNN. In this session, the Director of Environments will present on the most innovative international trends in store and restaurant design and highlight initiatives such as the New Luxury concept in Terminal 2 of London’s Heathrow Airport or the new street food-style food and beverage area at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport.
Eight Inc. is a global experience design firm with eight studios across three continents. The firm designs branded exhibitions, retail stores and interactive experiences and is well known for its work with Apple, having created the original concept behind the Apple Store. It has also designed numerous other commercial physical and digital experiences such as smart banking branches for Citigroup which incorporate technologies like touch-screen planning tables that eliminate the need for paper brochures. We'll hear from the Chief Communications Officer & Executive Principal about Eight Inc.’s work with clients like Apple, Tesla and Coach. He will also share his vision for the future of retail store design as consumers demand more inspiring, engaging environments.
The C-Suite on the Future of MarketingView Description
The C-Suite on the Future of Marketing
Executives at the forefront of marketing innovation are finding their jobs more complex than ever. While most executives now have substantial consumer data at their disposal and the ability to target customers in real time, they are also dealing with a high degree of media fragmentation and intense competition for customer attention. In this session, we’ll hear from one established retailer, one startup and one brand:
Direct-to-consumer startup UNTUCKit turned the idea that men could look good wearing an untucked shirt into a recognizable brand. The six-year-old company, which has raised $30 million in funding, started off advertising its products on low-cost platforms like sports radio shows where men couldn’t even see the product. Now, having run a stream of TV commercials, opened 25 brick-and-mortar stores, and launched both women's and children's lines, the company is known as a marketing leader among direct-to-consumer startups. The Co-Founder and CEO will share the techniques and technologies UNTUCKit used to build its brand from scratch, as well as the changes he sees for the future of brand marketing.
Despite competing in a crowded category, Moroccanoil, a pioneer of oil infused beauty, has grown into a recognizable, iconic brand in less than decade. Now sold in over 65 countries, the brand continues to invest in building its brand by increasing its presence online and through social media channels. That includes a YouTube campaign inspired by its female founder, through which fellow women leaders shared their stories. The CEO will share the marketing strategies that are proving most successful in winning over customers for Moroccanoil, as well as how she plans to build on the brand’s momentum to drive future growth. She’ll also discuss how the brand is using data and technology to break through to customers in a fragmented media environment.
Founded in 1670, Hudson’s Bay Company is the oldest company in North America. Today, the company’s retail portfolio of over 480 stores includes formats ranging from luxury and off-price fashion to department stores. HBC’s brands include Hudson’s Bay, Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord & Taylor, and Germany’s Galeria Kaufhof. In 2017, HBC created its Marketing Center of Excellence (COE) which centralizes the group’s North American marketing development efforts including an in-house agency and marketing strategy across individual brands. We’ll hear the company’s Chief Marketing Officer describe how the company using its COE to drive marketing innovation across the group, and early learnings from this initiative.
Retail and Ecommerce Innovation in China: Spotlight on AlibabaView Description
Retail and Ecommerce Innovation in China: Spotlight on Alibaba
Innovation in China arguably happens at a faster pace and on a larger scale than anywhere else in the world. With over 700 million Internet users and 1.4 billion mobile phone users, China serves as a testbed for digital innovation unlike any other. In this session, join us to hear how the titan of ecommerce in China is transforming not just online sales but traditional retail, as well:
Founded in 1999, China-based Alibaba now ranks as the largest retailer online and mobile commerce company in the world by GMV: Last year $547 billion in GMV was sold through the company’s Taobao Marketplace and Tmall platforms, the two dominant players in C2C and B2C ecommerce in China. The company is well established as a global leader in retail innovation, operating a wide range of other businesses in areas from cross-border ecommerce (Tmall Global) to wholesale commerce (Alibaba.com) to cloud computing, digital media and entertainment and more. The company has major investments and partnerships in other areas such as payments (Ant Financial, owner of Alipay) and ecommerce logistics (Cainiao). In this session, we’ll hear from the President of Alipay North America and the VP/GM of North America at Alibaba as they discuss why brands and retailers should look to China to see what the future of retail looks like, how Alibaba and Ant Financial are helping Western brands succeed in the China market, and what opportunities exist to capture the Chinese tourism market.
Innovations in Stores and Supply Chain: Blockchain, IoT and BeyondView Description
Innovations in Stores and Supply Chain: Blockchain, IoT and Beyond
Advances in technology are allowing retailers to create more transparent and sustainable supply chains. New technologies are also enabling greater operational efficiencies both in the supply chain and in stores, resulting in lower stock-outs and misplaced items. In this session, executives from leading retailers and startups will discuss how they are using emerging technologies to respond to customer expectations for transparency and reduction in waste and environmental impact. They will also discuss how they ensure the supply chain supports a great in-store customer experience:
Walmart sells an estimated $200 billion worth of groceries in the U.S. each year, making it the largest food retailer in the country. Given the scale of the company, it is critical for Walmart to have the systems in place to quickly trace products from farm to stores in order to maintain high food safety standards and reduce the cost of recalls. The company’s customers are also increasingly demanding more information on the origin of products they consume. In this session, VP of Food Safety and Health will share how the company is testing technologies such as blockchain in order to accurately and efficiently track the journey of food from farm to store.
BrightFarms operates greenhouses outside of city centers in order to meet the growing demand for local produce. The farms utilize natural light and hydroponic systems that use less energy, land, and water than conventional agriculture. The company has raised $55 million in equity and is now working with supermarket chains like Kroger, Ahold Delhaize and Walmart. In this session, the CEO will discuss how technology innovations have allowed the company to operate greenhouses that provide grocery stores with a more sustainable, consistent and cost-effective produce supply chain.
Eric Broussard, VP of International Marketplaces and Retail, Amazon
Daniel Alegre, President, Retail & Shopping, Google
Seth Goldman, Executive Chairman, Beyond Meat & Co-Founder & TeaEO Emeritus, Honest Tea, Beyond Meat and Honest Tea
Shifting Ecommerce Trends and Technologies
Track Room 1
Track Keynote: Building a Billion-Dollar Ecommerce CompanyView Description
Track Keynote: Building a Billion-Dollar Ecommerce Company
As a slew of direct-to-consumer businesses emerge, it’s becoming more difficult to identify the next billion-dollar brand. Often, the most successful companies are those that have disrupted a legacy industry by pioneering an innovative business model or reengineering a product—and have a truly visionary founder. In this session, hear from the lead investor and the founder of two different companies with funding rounds valuing the company at $1 billion or more:
Volition Capital was one of the Series A investors in Chewy.com, an innovative online pet food and supplies retailer. Founded in 2011, Chewy.com subsequently grew to over $1 billion in revenue. The company differentiates itself by providing high quality pet products that are delivered quickly, and by offering exceptional customer service. In 2017, retailer PetSmart acquired Chewy.com for $3.35 billion, making it the largest ecommerce acquisition in history. In this session, the lead investor in Chewy.com from Volition Capital will discuss the rise of this pet products blockbuster and how it went from launch to multi-billion dollar acquisition in just a few years.
TechStyle, formerly known as JustFab Inc, has raised $290 million since its founding in 2010. The fast-growing company’s fashion brands include Fabletics, JustFab, ShoeDazzle and FabKids. TechStyle operates a membership commerce model that boasts five million VIP members. Its brands are available in the US, Canada, the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Sweden, Australia, Denmark and the Netherlands. In this session, the Co-Founder and Co-CEO will discuss how he built the company from the ground up and how he’s used technology to create a sophisticated platform that can predict consumers’ preferences and create personalized offerings. He’ll also discuss how he’s built a billion-dollar brand while keeping almost all advertising in-house.
The Evolution of the Retail Store
Track Room 2
Technologies Optimizing the Store ExperienceView Description
Technologies Optimizing the Store Experience
A wide variety of groundbreaking technologies are providing retailers with insights into all aspects of store operations, as well as into consumer browsing and buying behavior. Retailers now have access to real-time consumer shopping data from many sources, ranging from beacons to video monitors and satellites. At the same time, retailers are rolling out new consumer-facing technologies in their stores, ranging from interactive displays, indoor location tracking and robotic store associates to virtual dressing rooms, smart shelves, magic mirrors, augmented reality and more. In this session, we'll hear from a leading retailer and two technology companies:
Germany’s MediaMarktSaturn Retail Group is Europe’s leading consumer electronics retailer, with 1,050 stores and ecommerce capabilities in 15 countries driving its $27 billion in sales. The company has integrated technologies such as PAUL, a robotic store associate that helps customers find products and pricing information; indoor navigation based on visible light communication technology to help shoppers navigate through stores; and a recently launched virtual shop that allows customers to experience products in VR. We’ll hear from the Chief Innovation Officer as he discusses his vision for the future of the store and what these pilots have shown about changing customer behavior.
From The Netherlands, 125-year-old Philips Lighting provides data-enabled LED lighting systems that connect with customers’ smartphones to give retailers accurate in-store location data. This data can be used to help customers navigate through stores, to deliver targeted, location-based, promotions and to provide retailers with detailed analytics to better optimize store and product layouts. The Managing Director of Indoor Location Services will share how this technology has helped retailers engage with customers and optimize their stores.
Intel Corporation is one of the technology leaders when it comes to the internet of things (IoT). In retail, Intel is focused on helping retailers and brands build a connected store, from interactive signs that offer personalized ads and promotions to RFID and smart shelves which track inventory to ensure customers can always find what they’re looking for. We’ll hear from the company’s VP, Internet of Things Group & GM, Retail Solutions Division as he shares insights on how technology is advancing the in-store retail experience and how retailers can use the vast amounts of data being generated by IoT to improve the shopping experience.
Marketing Strategies and Technologies
Track Room 3
Track Keynote: Creating a Global Digital BrandView Description
Track Keynote: Creating A Global Digital Brand
Digital advertising and ecommerce are the growth engines of marketing and retail, with companies increasingly turning to digital channels to build brand awareness, educate consumers about products and services and convert shoppers into buyers. In this session, we’ll hear from two digital leaders: One from the world’s largest social network and the other from one of the world's largest global personal computer manufacturers:
Lenovo is a $43 billion brand of personal computers and other electronics based in China and the U.S. We’ll hear from the VP and GM of Global Ecommerce at Lenovo who manages the global team and is responsible for digital marketing and ecommerce at the company. In his talk on Measurable Creativity: Can Data Make Us More Creative?, he'll discuss how data and measurement are disrupting the market and how businesses engage customers. And with Lenovo.com operating in 80+ countries and reaching one billion people each year, he’ll also discuss how he’s built his team to support a digital organization of this size and highlight how the company has used extensive data and deep consumer insights to market and sell to consumers in all areas of the globe.
In this session, the Global Head of eCommerce & Retail Strategy at Facebook will highlight some of the most effective campaigns to date and discuss how retailers are increasingly using the platform to build their brand and to create new purchase intent and consideration. He’ll present recent advances in Facebook’s options for retailers and brands such as enhanced video capabilities to showcase products, and the ability to target consumers based on households rather than just individually.
Martin Barthel, Global Head of eCommerce & Retail Strategy, Facebook
Advances in Payments and Checkout
Track Room 4
Track Keynote: Global Perspectives on PaymentsView Description
Track Keynote: Global Perspectives on Payments
Physical and digital commerce are converging, changing how consumers pay. As a result, payments companies are innovating to offer frictionless experiences across multiple devices and channels while maintaining high levels of security. These companies are also helping brands and retailers navigate different payment preferences around the globe. In this session, two separate speakers will address this topic:
Adyen was founded in 2006 as an early disruptor in payments. The company counts some of the world's largest retailers and brands among its 4,500+ merchants leveraging its single omnichannel platform which provides payments and analytics services. We’ll hear from Adyen’s Co-Founder and CEO about the future of unified commerce and how retailers are using digital commerce technologies to improve shoppers' journeys.
Amazon Pay enables shoppers to check-in and check-out using information already stored in their Amazon accounts. Amazon Pay is extending this experience from third-party websites to in-store physical experiences as well as voice payments through Alexa skills, helping retailers connect with customers in multiple ways. In this session, the VP and Head of Amazon Pay will discuss how commerce is evolving globally and the role he sees Amazon playing in the payments space.
Innovations in Delivery, Pickup and Logistics
Track Room 5
Innovations in Next- and Same-Day DeliveryView Description
Innovations in Next- and Same-Day Delivery
As today’s consumers expect a greater degree of convenience and a range of delivery options, last-mile fulfillment continues to be one of the most rapidly evolving aspects of the retail supply chain. In this session, leading retailers and startups will discuss their ongoing investments in technology, people and partnerships to improve last-mile infrastructure:
Founded in 2012, Instacart has raised almost $875 million in funding and is one of the best-known startups in the grocery space. The company delivers groceries and everyday essentials to consumers from a variety of national and regional retailers including Albertsons, Kroger, Costco, Wegmans, Publix and CVS. In this session, the Chief Business Officer will share how the company’s technology and business model has evolved to expand beyond large metropolitan areas. He will also discuss how grocery retailers can leverage third-party solutions in addition to--or in place of--building out their own delivery operations.
Peapod launched its online grocery delivery service in 1989, putting it on the map as one of the first ecommerce companies. The company was acquired by Royal Ahold in 2000 and is now the largest online grocery delivery store in the U.S. Peapod has operations in 24 markets and delivers from its Chicago-area warehouse, as well as from Ahold Delhaize "warerooms" for such brands as Stop & Shop and Giant Foods. In this session, the Co-Founder and CTO will share how the company is investing in user experience, supply chain and infrastructure technologies in order to remain competitive as online grocery shopping becomes more widespread. He will also discuss some of the company’s latest initiatives such as the text-to-order tool.
Founded in 2012 and with $43 million in funding, The Bouqs is an online flower delivery service which delivers responsibly sourced flowers through a vertically integrated supply chain: flowers are cut on the day they are ordered and are shipped from one of the company's partner farms. In this session, the Founder and CEO will share the how the company is able to deliver flowers from the farm to the customer within a day and the unique challenges that must be overcome due to the perishable nature of the product.
VC Perspectives on Ecommerce Trends and TechnologiesView Description
VC Perspectives on Ecommerce Trends and Technologies
Join us to hear from some of today's leading venture capital investors as they highlight which ecommerce trends and technologies excite them most, from new direct-to-consumer business models to evolving technologies like AI, robotics, AR/VR and IoT. Our panelists will address the changes they anticipate in how consumers discover, shop and buy and discuss how they identify the businesses that will define the next generation of commerce, both in stores and online:
Founded in 1972, Sequoia Capital partners at every stage with founders. The firm has invested in over 250 companies including Airbnb, Apple, Dropbox, Google, PayPal, Stripe, YouTube, Instagram, Yahoo! and WhatsApp. In aggregate, Sequoia-backed companies account for more than 20% of NASDAQ’s total value. Sequoia manages multiple investment funds including funds specific to India, Israel and China. We’ll hear from partner Alfred Lin, who is on the board of Houzz, Airbnb, DoorDash, Dia&Co, and Zipline, among others.
Bessemer Venture Partners (BVP) is an American global venture capital firm founded in 1911 that operates offices across the U.S. as well as in Israel and India. The firm invests in companies at all stages and has $4.5 billion under management. The session will feature Partner Kent Bennett who focuses on consumer product and service companies as well as companies building consumer-facing vertical software. Kent’s investments include Blue Apron, MealPal, Winc, Toast and Renoviso.
Cowboy Ventures is a seed-stage focused fund that backs founders who are building products that re-imagine work and personal life in large and growing markets. Cowboy’s investments include Dollar Shave Club, Brandless, Memebox, Brava and NuORDER. Founder and Partner Aileen Lee, who coined the term “unicorn” in a TechCrunch article back in 2013, will discuss the founding of her company and how she sees venture capital investments shifting.
Lightspeed Venture Partners is an early stage venture capital firm focused on accelerating disruptive innovations and trends in the Consumer and Enterprise sectors. Over the past two decades, the Lightspeed team has backed hundreds of entrepreneurs and helped build more than 300 companies globally, including Snap, Stitch Fix, GIPHY, Nest, AppDynamics, and GrubHub. The Firm currently manages over $4 billion of committed capital and invests in the U.S. and internationally, with investment professionals and advisors in Silicon Valley, Israel, India and China. Partner Jeremy Liew, who appears on the Forbes 2017 Midas List of the Top 100 VCs, has invested in a wide range of companies in the retail and ecommerce space including The Honest Company, Bonobos, Affirm, and Rothy’s.
Changing Store Counts, Formats and FootprintsView Description
Changing Store Counts, Formats and Footprints
Retailers today are experimenting with a variety of new store formats ranging from smaller footprints to popup stores--many are also reducing the total number of stores. In this session we’ll hear from two traditional retailers and one startup:
Nordstrom’s measured approach to physical store expansion has left it well positioned to serve the needs of today’s shoppers, both online and in the store. With more than 350 locations across the U.S. and Canada, the fashion retailer is evolving with customers and adopting technologies that enhance and support their shopping experience. In October, the $15 billion retailer introduced a neighborhood service hub called Nordstrom Local where customers can meet with personal stylists, pick up or return orders, get alterations done and more. The SVP of Customer Experience will discuss how Nordstrom Local and the company’s other services are helping to meet customer demands for speed and convenience as physical store formats evolve.
Four-year-old Appear Here has raised over $21 million for its online marketplace that connects entrepreneurs, brands and retailers with landlords, making it easier for them to find and open shops. The startup, which has offices in London, Paris and New York, recently signed a deal with Simon Property Group, the largest shopping mall operator in the U.S., through which it will match Simon with a rotating selection of established and emerging brands. The company’s Founder and CEO will discuss how popup shops have evolved over the past decade to help landlords fill space and allow them to draw repeat traffic. He’ll also share how retailers large and small are using these temporary locations to pilot new products, store concepts and layouts to engage shoppers.
With more than 2,300 locations in 33 countries worldwide, Sephora stores are renowned for their open-sell environments that encourage customers to test and play with its beauty products--stores are also known for the hands-on assistance that associates deliver. The LVMH-owned company recently pioneered a new store concept, Sephora Studio, which is half the size of a typical Sephora shop and designed to foster a more personal relationship with customers. The SVP of Omni Experiences & Innovation will discuss the technologies making this smaller store concept possible, including digital service screens and mobile POS devices that eliminate the need for cash registers.
AI in Marketing: Predictive and BeyondView Description
AI in Marketing: Predictive and Beyond
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are transforming marketing in a variety of ways. AI-based predictive marketing solutions are making targeting and personalization far more precise; at the same time, AI-based marketing automation technologies are performing time-consuming, manual tasks like media buying and optimization at a much faster speed than humans. Through the use of these technologies, marketers are reducing costs and improving the efficiency of campaigns. In this session, we’ll hear how these advances are reshaping marketing strategies and organizations:
Founded in 1983, Cosabella is a family-owned lingerie brand with design headquarters in Miami and production headquarters in Italy. Now run by the second generation of the family, Cosabella has had to reinvent its marketing strategy in order to appeal to a younger demographic. In this session, the CEO and Creative Director will discuss how AI-based marketing automation has helped the company optimize its ad spend and increase revenue. He will also share how he runs a sophisticated marketing program with minimal staff by automating decision-making in areas such as identifying targets and keywords, allocating budgets between channels, identifying fraud, bidding on advertising and executing buys.
Launched in 2007, Flipkart is now India’s largest ecommerce marketplace with 100 million registered customers and 8 million shipments a month. The company has been a pioneer in myriad ways--the company has overcome numerous logistical challenges to provide quick deliveries to all shoppers in a country where over two-thirds of the population lives in rural areas (by contrast, the rural figure in the US is under 20%). The company is also investing hundreds of millions of dollars in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to support both its backend operations and its customer-facing offerings. At Shoptalk, the Product Head for Merchandising, Advertising and Digital Marketing will discuss how Flipkart is using AI to reach India’s mobile-centric digital shoppers and to retain its leading position in an increasingly competitive Indian ecommerce market.
Evenflo started manufacturing products related to baby feeding in 1920. Today the company’s product portfolio includes car seats, travel systems, safety gates, infant carriers and more. Evenflo has estimated revenues of $300 milion with a growing percentge coming through online wholesale. The company has shifted its marketing strategy from selling primarily through store sales associates to directly targeting first-time parents at key times in their buying cycle. In this session, the VP of Marketing will discuss how she is laying the groundwork for Evenflo to adopt AI-based tools that can help the company 1) precisely understand each individual customer’s journey and 2) increase the effectiveness of its marketing campaigns.
Track Keynote: Next Generation CheckoutView Description
Track Keynote: Next Generation Checkout
Despite the importance of checkout in the shopping journey, the in-store checkout process hasn’t fundamentally changed in decades—at the same time, online checkout processes remain clunky, particularly on retailers’ mobile sites. In this session we’ll hear from one established retailer and one startup:
China is quickly emerging as a leader in cashierless checkout. BingoBox, a startup that’s developed fully automated convenience stores, is helping to drive that innovation. After launching a trial location in its home province of Guangdong in August 2016, BingoBox opened its first store in Shanghai in June 2017. The company now has $95 million in funding and 300 stores across China, with plans for international expansion. The technology works as follows: Shoppers enter a BingoBox store by scanning a QR code on their mobile device--once inside, they place the items they want to purchase on a checkout counter that uses image recognition and machine learning to automatically add up the purchase. Finally, shoppers pay via their Alipay or WeChat account. The Founder and CEO will discuss the technology that’s powering BingoBox stores as well as the company’s rapid expansion plans.
Sam’s Club is a pioneer in eliminating the time-consuming checkout process. The wholesale warehouse club, a $57 billion division of Walmart, debuted its Scan & Go mobile app in 2015 and finished rolling out the technology to all of its U.S. locations the following year. Members use the app by logging into their accounts and scanning the barcodes of products as they add them to their carts. From there, they click a button to pay using the credentials they’ve saved within the app, allowing them to skip the checkout aisle. The CEO of Samsclub.com will discuss how the 34-year-old company is reinventing checkout— he will also identify opportunities for the industry to streamline the checkout process online and in stores.
Track Keynote: New Pickup OptionsView Description
Track Keynote: New Pickup Options
Pickup has rapidly become a popular delivery alternative for shoppers and retailers alike, providing customers with the option to order products online and collect them shortly thereafter. The most forward-thinking retailers continue to push ahead with innovation in this area, exploring options that range from curbside and drive-through collection to automated pickup towers. Join us to hear from an executive at the world's largest retailer who is experimenting with and rolling out these services at scale:
Walmart is investing in planned pickup options in order to meet changing customer expectations. The company offers curbside grocery collection at more than 1,000 locations, and has plans to add 1,000 more this year. It also expects to have self-serve pickup towers for non-grocery items in 500 locations by the end of the year. In this session, the EVP of Central Operations at Walmart US will share his experience implementing these initiatives and highlight some of the operational and technology challenges he’s encountered—he will also discuss how the company leverages learnings from pilots as they scale different groundbreaking initiatives.
Mark Ibbotson, EVP, Central Operations, Walmart US, Walmart Inc.
Sonal Gandhi, VP, Content Strategy, Shoptalk (Emcee)
Innovations in the Warehouse: Robotics, AI and BeyondView Description
Innovations in the Warehouse: Robotics, AI and Beyond
The rapid growth of ecommerce is forcing retailers to secure more warehouse space and run their distribution centers more efficiently. As a result, a number of technology solutions have emerged to increase warehouse capacity and automation. Retailers are deploying robots guided by AI and computer vision in warehouses to increase the efficiency of the order fulfillment process; in addition, retailers and brands can now access spare warehouse capacity on-demand through new platforms. In this session, innovative warehouse technology providers will discuss how warehouse technology is evolving to boost efficiency and lower costs in the fulfillment process:
With $48 million in funding, Fetch Robotics develops and manufactures collaborative, autonomous mobile robots for warehouses. Collaborative robots are designed to operate alongside warehouse workers, helping guide workers toward items to be picked or to transport goods across a warehouse--the result is relatively inexpensive technology when compared with other warehouse automation systems. In this session, the CEO of Fetch Robotics will discuss how emerging robotics technologies are helping boost warehouse efficiency by combining automation with a human workforce. She will also share her vision of how robotics will shape the future of warehousing and logistics.
FLEXE is a network of over 800 warehouses connected by a common software platform. With FLEXE retailers can increase their eCommerce fulfillment capacity, on-demand, without having to invest in fixed warehouse infrastructure. In this session, the Co-Founder and CEO will discuss how new technology-based solutions are emerging to help retailers and brands test different markets and scale their operations more cost-effectively in response to demand fluctuations.
Advances in Personalization: AI and BeyondView Description
Advances in Personalization: AI and Beyond
Personalization is playing a much larger role in creating relevant and engaging experiences, as well as assisting in product discovery. AI-based solutions are now able to analyze multiple disparate data sets in real-time to precisely tailor the customer experience online. This session will feature three consumer brands that are taking advantage of new techniques and technologies to customize shopping experiences and enhance customer engagement:
Founded in 1995, eBay is one of the world's largest online marketplaces with over one billion active listings and 168 million active buyers. eBay has a diverse catalogue of items and a wide range of photos and product descriptions, which can make discovery a challenge. The company has been investing in technologies such as AI to surface the most relevant listings and generate superior search results. The company's image search, for example, is enabled by AI and machine learning—it allows customers to search for items using pictures instead of words. In this session, the Senior Director of Buyer Experience and Applied Research will share how the company is applying AI and machine learning to its vast repository of data across a wide range of products to optimize the customer experience.
Lyst is a global fashion search platform with 70 million shoppers and offers over 5 million fashion products from 12,000 designers and stores ranging from H&M to Saint Laurent. Lyst has a highly data-driven approach that helps customers find the products that fit their individual style. Using sophisticated image analysis tools, Lyst’s algorithms analyze both consumer behavior and the product catalog to showcase the most relevant items. In this session, the Co-Founder and CEO will share how the company crunches millions of data points every hour in order to generate personalized recommendations for users, thus providing them with an easier, more streamlined search experience.
Founded in 1923, The Walt Disney Company is a $55 billion multinational media and entertainment company that produces film and television entertainment through properties such as Disney Animation and Live Action, Marvel Studios, Pixar, Lucasfilm, ABC, and ESPN. The company’s businesses also includes parks and resorts, cruise lines, and consumer products. In this session, the VP of Marketing & Operations at Disney Studios will discuss his experience using consumer data and insights to create personalized, direct-to-consumer shopping experiences that maximize customer loyalty and lifetime value.
The Evolving Store WorkforceView Description
The Evolving Store Workforce
The role of stores is changing. Store inventory is increasingly being used to fulfill online orders—at the same time, stores are becoming more experiential as retailers add new services and features. Physical retail locations are also being infused with technologies that both improve customer experiences and streamline operations. The store workforce needs to adapt to these changes: Employees must now be flexible enough to pick up new skills and knowledgeable enough to cater to higher customer expectations. In this session, leading retailers will discuss how they are using new tools and strategies to train, schedule and incentivize the store workforce:
The Source is Canada’s largest consumer electronics retailer with more than 500 locations across the country. This over 40-year-old chain is transforming as it faces pressure from both big box retailers and ecommerce giants. As part of the transformation, the company has added new categories and must-have brands to its product assortment, and renovated its stores to provide customers with a more interactive, hands-on experience. In this session, the President will discuss the investment the company is making in its staff to create a better customer experience, including increasing the amount of annual training employees receive and more.
The Container Store has grown to be the leading specialty retailer of storage and organization products in the U.S. The company has built its brand on an employee-first culture by hiring highly productive people, paying them above the industry average and providing more than 200 hours of formal training. In this session, the EVP of Technology and Business Development will discuss how the company uses technology to empower its highly engaged and skilled workforce. He will also share how investments in real-time inventory visibility and efficient associate communication technologies have helped the company improve productivity and provide a better in-store customer experience.
Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, replaced its existing training program with Walmart Academy to teach associates customer service skills, “retail math” and how to use new in-store technologies developed speci cally for associates. In this session, the SVP of Store Operations will discuss the changing role of the store employees, including the shift toward customer service and away from operational tasks such as product searches in the stockroom. He will also share Walmart’s experience with technologies that are helping to automate tasks and allow store associates to become more productive.
Building Engaged CommunitiesView Description
Building Engaged Communities
Creating and sustaining a deep emotional connection between a brand and a consumer isn't easy, but those brands that succeed in building their own community benefit through having an active group of consumers who engage around a common interest or passion. In this session, we'll hear from one startup and two established brands that have excelled in establishing a loyal, engaged customer base:
Five-year-old LoveCrafts is a UK-based crafting hub that combines a social network, marketplace and ecommerce. The startup has raised $61 million to build a community where millions of members can find inspiration, get advice, buy supplies and share their creations. The platform allows members to follow other crafters and buy or submit designs for knitting and crocheting. It’s now building its network by expanding into new categories and growing internationally. The Founder and CEO will share how LoveCrafts is thriving by connecting a group of consumers with shared interests and pursuing community as a core business strategy.
14-year-old e.l.f. Beauty has created a community of “makeup enthusiasts” who love experimenting with the latest beauty products and techniques—these shoppers have been drawn to e.l.f.’s low-cost, first-to-mass products across eyes, lips, face, tools, and skin care. Much of e.l.f.’s success can be attributed to the authentic brand it has built by eschewing celebrity spokesmodels and traditional ads and instead featuring real customers on social platforms. The brand also incorporates shoppers’ feedback into its fast-cycle product innovations, offers new products on its own website and in e.l.f. stores, then deciding which products to roll out to its network of retail partners based on reviews and sales. The VP of Brand will talk about all the ways e.l.f. is building an engaged community of shoppers.
Eleven-year-old Aerie, a sister brand of American Eagle, offers intimates, apparel, activewear and swim collections, and has avoided the pitfalls that plagued many of its competitors in the teen apparel space. The label’s sales have grown consistently over the last four years, reaching more than 10 percent of its parent company’s $3.6 billion in revenue. Aerie banned the use of airbrushed models back in 2014 and continues to advocate for self-love, empowerment and body positivity among women. The Global Brand President will share how Aerie created a brand that encourages women of all shapes and sizes, as well as how it maintains an authentic voice that resonates with customers, including teens and their parents.
Track Keynote: Next Generation Checkout, Payments and the Store of the FutureView Description
Track Keynote: Next Generation Checkout, Payments and the Store of the Future
Physical retail locations are evolving into new experiences where consumers can discover, shop and buy in myriad new ways—today some of the most innovative in-store experiences are coming from digitally native brands rather than from traditional retailers. These new brands are creating powerful, tech-infused store experiences with seamless payment and checkout options to ensure shoppers complete their shopping journeys quickly and easily. In this session, we'll hear from one of Europe's best-known luxury ecommerce platforms on their new store concept:
Founded in 2007, Farfetch is an online fashion marketplace that sells products from over 700 boutiques and brands from around the world. In April 2017, Farfetch debuted its store of the future concept--a modular platform that aims to improve retail productivity by capturing customer data and enhancing interactions between shoppers and store associates. It incorporates technology such as an RFID-enabled clothing rack that detects which products customers are browsing, and a mobile payment system for easy checkouts. We’ll hear from the Managing Director for Farfetch Store of the Future as she discusses the new in-store technologies that Farfetch, along with its retail partners are most excited about, including next generation payments and cashierless checkouts.
Sandrine Deveaux, Managing Director for Farfetch Store of the Future, Farfetch
Startups Transforming Retail CheckoutView Description
Startups Transforming Retail Checkout
The near-ubiquity of mobile devices and the rise of connected commerce are driving substantial changes in how consumers pay for products and services. This session will cover key aspects of the evolution of payments, including the rise of cashierless checkout. We’ll hear from two emerging technology startups at the forefront of change:
Standard Cognition, a new artificial intelligence startup that removes the checkout process entirely, has raised $5 million in funding. Currently in beta, its technology identifies customers via the shopping app and uses machine vision to track what they’re carrying out of the store, automatically charging for those items and updating inventory information. The Co-Founder and CEO will share his insights on how the rapid improvements in video image recognition and AI can help small-format stores in particular provide more convenient checkout experiences.
Two-year-old MishiPay from the UK has raised $2 million in funding. Their app integrates into retailers’ existing systems and allows users to scan an item’s existing barcode and pay in-store via mobile, removing the need to checkout via a cashier, while RFID tags on each product help prevent theft. The company is working with major retailers globally, including from the UK, Europe and the US. We’ll hear from the Co-Founder and CEO who will discuss how MishiPay is bridging the gap between the online and offline checkout experience and provide early learnings from pilots, including one recently started with Germany's MediaMarktSaturn.
Track Keynote: Cutting-Edge Logistics and Delivery InnovationView Description
Track Keynote: Cutting-Edge Logistics and Delivery Innovation
Many groundbreaking developments in ecommerce logistics and delivery are happening outside the U.S. Retailers in China, Europe and elsewhere are pioneering some of the most exciting technologies, including innovative uses of robots, drones, new on-demand technologies and more. In this session we'll showcase two revolutionary companies pioneering new warehouse technologies, logistics models and delivery methods to lower costs, boost efficiencies and ultimately improve the customer experience:
JD.com, China’s largest retailer, is at the forefront of global logistics and delivery innovation. Robots in its new fully automated warehouse, for example, can pick at 5-6 times the speed of manual picking: Packages are loaded onto a network of automated machinery and transported by conveyor; image scanners check packages while a smart logistics system calculates where they should be dropped off. Packages are grouped into bins by region and picked up by driverless forklifts to be deposited on trucks for delivery. JD.com is also investing heavily in new last-mile technologies and revolutionizing same-day delivery—it is the only e-commerce company doing its own same-day delivery at scale. The company is building a network of air bases for drones. It’s also testing fully-automated, personless fulfillment centers, and uses autonomous vehicles for last-mile deliveries to some of its 266.3 million customers. Through its initiatives, JD.com has become the third largest Internet company in the world by revenue, and has a broader strategy to use its technology to enable transformation across many industries beyond retail. In this session, hear JD.com’s Head of JD-X Silicon Valley Research Center discuss these innovations and more at this retail industry leader.
August Home is a leading smart lock maker whose products allow consumers to control keyless entry into their home. Deliv is a last-mile logistics company whose platform crowdsources deliveries for 4,000+ retailers. The two recently began testing in-home deliveries with Walmart, enabling drivers to place customers’ orders directly in the homes of shoppers who signed up for the service. They recently expanded their partnership to bring in-home delivery to the masses. We’ll hear from the Co-Founder and CEO of August Home, which has raised $73 million in funding, and the Founder and CEO of Deliv, which has raised $40 million, about the technologies that make this service work. They'll also discuss how their partnership is meeting customer demands for fast, convenient and secure home delivery.
Wednesday — March 21, 2018
David Jaffe, Chairman & CEO, Ascena Retail Group, Inc.
Chieh Huang, CEO, Boxed
Deep Dive: Leading the Digital Transformation
Track Room 1
Organizing for the Future of RetailView Description
Organizing for the Future of Retail
Strategy and technology alone don't guarantee success: Companies must also ensure their businesses are organized to streamline everything from design and manufacturing to distribution and marketing. No single organizational model will work for every company, however—companies take a variety of different approaches to staffing their digital and innovation teams, for example. Join us to hear how different types of retailers and brands are thinking about organizing for the future:
The SVP of Digital at Gap Inc. will discuss how this $15 billion iconic company manages its digital channels and how his team works together with the stores division and other groups across the company. He’ll highlight how the company’s organizational structure ensures input from multiple divisions when it comes to building new offerings in areas such as mobile and in-store technologies—he’ll also discuss how the company’s incentive structures ensure all divisions support each other.
The Senior Director, HR Business Partner DTC EMEA at VF International will showcase how this $12 billion global company manages a wide range of brands from The North Face and Timberland to Vans, Wrangler and Nautica. He’ll discuss how the company is organized to ensure best practices are applied across different brands while also recognizing when each brand requires a unique approach in Europe as compared to other regions. He’ll also discuss how the company balances its robust direct business with its numerous wholesale partners, and how its digital leaders work together with their store counterparts.
Founded in 2013, ThirdLove is an innovative bra and underwear brand that has raised $30 million to help women find the perfect fit by combining the best in design and technology. The Co-Founder and Co-CEO will discuss the organizational decisions she’s made as she’s built a company from the ground up: Which positions she hired for first and how she decided on the optimal organizational structure as her company grew. As a digitally native brand, ThirdLove has a unique perspective on organizational trends in a new kind of retail company.
Deep Dive: Innovations in the Supply Chain
Track Room 2
Track Keynote: Startups Transforming Supply Chain and LogisticsView Description
Track Keynote: Startups Transforming Supply Chain and Logistics
Supply chain and logistics operations are complex—most consist of a large number of suppliers and solution providers and require extensive decision-making. As a result, managing and tracking inventory remains challenging for almost every brand and retailer. In this session, we'll hear from two well-funded, groundbreaking startups that are using technology to optimize these operations. The first provides a software-based solution that allows retailers to access capacity on air, ocean, truck, and rail carriers and to track inventory in real-time; the second focuses on reverse logistics and helps retailers process, manage, and sell returned and excess inventory:
Flexport is a tech-enabled freight forwarding and customs brokerage company that has raised over $200 million in funding. The company has a built a software platform to coordinate the complexity required to move freight across a diverse logistical network of trucks, container ships, cargo planes, trains, and warehouses—retailers traditionally managed this process by using phones, emails, fax machines, and paper. In this session, the CEO will discuss how new technologies are enabling greater visibility and control in the supply chain—he will also share how digitizing paperwork has helped speed up shipping, allowing retailers to keep less inventory in stock.
Optoro, which has raised over $100 million in funding, is an end-to-end reverse logistics solution that helps retailers process, manage, dispose, and sell their returned and excess inventory. Today a large portion of returned items never make it back to retailers’ shelves—3many end up with liquidators, wholesalers, and resellers, as well as in landfills. In this session, the CEO will discuss how reverse logistics companies such as Optoro are helping make returns less painful for retailers and reducing their environmental impact. These solutions use data to determine which channel is the most effective for each returned item and automate the routing process for returned products.
Deep Dive: AI in Retail
Track Room 3
Track Keynote: Understanding the AI RevolutionView Description
Track Keynote: Understanding the AI Revolution
AI is one of today's biggest buzzwords, with the technology poised to change everything about how we learn, shop, travel, remain healthy and more. Some believe it will lead the world to a more promising future while others remain terrified of its impact. In these track keynotes, two leaders in the AI space will provide an overview of AI and the ways in which it could revolutionize the entire world:
Having raised $174 million from investors since its founding 10 years ago, Sentient Technologies is one of the world’s best-funded AI startups. In addition to providing software that helps retailers deliver personalized online shopping experiences to their customers, as the primary inventor of the technology behind Apple’s Siri, Sentient’s Co-Founder and CEO is a well-known industry authority on the impact that widespread AI adoption will have in and outside of retail. He will share his perspectives on the long-term potential for AI as well as its limitations and potential impact on civilization.
Arun Sundararajan is a Professor of Business at New York University’s Stern School of Business. Widely recognized as a thought leader on the implications of AI on society, Arun has provided testimony about the digital economy to government agencies and regulators including the United States Congress, the European Parliament and the Federal Trade Commission. He is also a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Technology, Values and Policy. In this presentation, Arun will discuss his latest research on how digital technology will transform business, government and civil society, as well as how AI and robotics will influence the future of work.
Deep Dive: New Market Opportunities
Track Room 4
Meeting the Demands of Today's Health and Wellness-Conscious ConsumerView Description
Meeting the Demands of Today's Health and Wellness-Conscious Consumer
Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of their own health and wellness—today shoppers want to ensure the products they eat, drink, wear and use are safe and have a positive impact on their bodies. Additionally, consumers are seeking out activities that improve health and wellness and are flocking to new product categories that support these activities. This session will feature one established athletic wear brand, one meal delivery service and one consumer goods brand:
ASICS, a multibillion-dollar athletic wear company, has been a leader in the sporting goods industry for over six decades. In 2016, Runkeeper joined the ASICS team as a key piece of the brand’s strategy to improve the Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) experience. Since the acquisition, the Runkeeper team has evolved into ASICS Digital. The division is responsible for the development of Runkeeper and ASICS Studio, ASICS ecommerce platforms, and other digital services that inspire people to move, get fit and stay healthy. The GM at ASICS Digital will share how ASICS Digital is helping to transform the 69-year-old brand with digital solutions to meet the demands of today’s health and wellness-focused consumer.
Launched in 2015, Freshly is a subscription-based food company that delivers fully prepared, healthy meals to subscribers' doors. The company has raised $107 million to date, with CPG titan Nestle contributing as lead investor to the most recent $77M round of funding in June 2017. The CEO will share how Freshly’s nutrient rich, all-natural meals are capturing the attention of busy consumers seeking healthier meals.
Founded by actress Jessica Alba, The Honest Company has raised over $300 million in funding to bring safe and effective products into consumers’ homes. By tapping into shoppers’ demand for healthier baby and home products, the startup catapulted into an household name in just six years. The CEO will discuss how The Honest Company’s transparent, socially conscious brand promise has helped propel the business from its direct-to-consumer roots to get its products onto major retailers’ shelves, both digital and brick and mortar.
Hiring and Attracting Digital TalentView Description
Hiring and Attracting Digital Talent
Given the rapid changes in today's retail environment, one of the biggest challenges facing both startups and established organizations is how to attract and hire the right digital talent. This challenge is especially acute when businesses seek candidates with high-demand technology skills. In this session, hear brands, retailers and recruiters discuss how they identify candidates that meet their criteria, how they assess both skills and cultural fit and how they keep employees engaged in order to retain them long-term:
We'll hear from the Head of Business Development at JL Ventures, a division of renowned $5 billion British retailer John Lewis. He’ll discuss how his group works within the company overall, and how they recruit at all levels of the organization, from entry-level employees up to the most senior digital leaders. He’ll highlight how a 150+ year-old retailer is able to compete with new venture-backed startups to attract talent, and which digital skills he sees as being in greatest demand at the retailer in the future.
This session will feature the VP of E-Commerce and Marketing at Perry Ellis International, a global apparel, accessories and fragrances company that includes a broad portfolio of brands. He’ll discuss how he’s built his global digital team, and how he identifies candidates with the right digital skills to support his ecommerce and marketing teams. He’ll also talk about the talent he looks for in both the direct and wholesale parts of the business.
Korn Ferry is a global consulting firm focused on helping companies design their organization—from structure, roles and responsibilities through to how to compensate, develop and motivate employees. The firm’s work in helping organizations select and hire talent gives it a broad perspective on the skills that employers are looking for in a changing workforce. We’ll hear from one of the firm’s Senior Client Partners who has an extensive background in the CPG industry as well as years of experience in hiring for mobile, online, and ecommerce positions. She’ll discuss recent research on what digital talent skill sets are most sought after and how hiring managers need to evolve their thinking about how to hire sustainably in the digital age.
New Transportation TechnologiesView Description
New Transportation Technologies
Technology advances are poised to transform the movement of goods through the supply chain and into the hands of the customer, enabling companies to manage complex tasks such as picking the most efficient delivery routes and identifying excess cargo capacity. In this session, established transportation providers and startups will highlight the latest innovations in transportation logistics and discuss how new technologies are enabling greater efficiencies as well as reducing cost and environmental impact:
Founded in 2015, Convoy is transforming the trucking industry with an on-demand service for regional and local shipments. Convoy’s platform and mobile app connect brands or retailers with nearby trucking companies, helping retailers quickly identify transportation options. Convoy has raised over $80 million in funding; their client list includes large consumer-products companies like Anheuser-Busch InBev and Unilever. In this session, the CEO will share how new technology platforms and advanced data analytics are enabling smarter freight-matching and efficient routing in order to reduce the number of trucks traveling empty. He will also share how real-time visibility and improved ETA accuracy helps retailers and brands better plan inventory.
FedEx provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, ecommerce and business services. FedEx has annual revenues of $62 billion, and more than 400,000 team members delivering for customers in more than 220 countries and territories around the world. In this session, the President and CEO of FedEx Cross Border will share the company's latest innovations in the B2B and B2C global e-commerce space, including new solutions that emphasize speed, convenience and control for online retailers and end consumers.
Starship Technologies is building a fleet of last-mile, self-driving robots designed to deliver goods locally. The company was founded in 2014 by Skype co-founders Janus Friis and Ahti Heinla and has raised over $17 million in funding. Starship robots are a little under two feet tall, weigh less than 50 pounds and travel four miles per hour. These robots can carry items within a two-mile radius—the robots drive autonomously 99% of the time to make curbside deliveries from a local hub. In the session, the COO, will discuss how sidewalk robots are poised to transform the last mile and will share learnings from their recent pilots in the U.S. and Europe.
Top AI Use Cases in Retail: Understanding the Opportunity for Your BusinessView Description
Top AI Use Cases in Retail: Understanding the Opportunity for Your Business
A slew of AI technologies promise to solve various pain points across the retail value chain, from the supply chain to merchandising and marketing. The wide-ranging use cases of AI can be overwhelming for brands and retailers who struggle to understand where AI can have the biggest impact on their business. An AI expert will tee up our conversation by outlining the top use cases for artificial intelligence in retail. We’ll hear from a grocer and two direct-to-consumer startups about how they’re leveraging AI:
Earth Fare, a health and wellness supermarket with more than 40 locations in the Southeast and Midwest United States, is leveraging AI-based analytics to optimize its promotions. Specifically, the grocer is using AI to identify which products it should feature or discount to increase sales across the business without sacrificing margin. The CEO will discuss why Earth Fare invested in AI-based technology to tackle promotions, how it assessed the solutions available in the market and the impact this technology has had on the company’s business and workforce.
Founded in 2012, Tradesy is the largest peer-to-peer marketplace for luxury and designer women’s fashion, with over 6 million members. The company is leveraging AI technology to identify products from item photos uploaded by its sellers. This enables dynamic pricing suggestions for each item, as well improved authentication and trend curation. We’ll hear from the founder and CEO of Tradesy, which has raised over $80 million in funding, about how she evaluated the costs associated with rolling out this technology as well as the benefits for her business and customers.
Tophatter is a discovery-based shopping app that has customers compete for discounted products in 90-second auctions. The six-year-old startup uses artificial intelligence to sort through the millions of SKUs posted to its marketplace so that it can personalize each user’s feed with deals tailored to his or her specific interests. The Co-Founder and CEO of Tophatter, which has raised $35 million in funding and generated $300 million of GMV in 2017, will discuss how he is leveraging these real-time curated shopping experiences to boost engagement and help customers discover new items.
Reaching Shoppers Across International BordersView Description
Reaching Shoppers Across International Borders
As retailers look to diversify their revenues, global expansion has become a top priority. Selling internationally is not easy, however, given the differences in language, regulations, payment types and more. In this session, we'll hear two retailers and one logistics provider, all with broad international footprints:
Old Navy is one of the world’s largest apparel brands with over 1,000 stores across the US, Canada, Mexico and China, and an ecommerce reach far beyond. A part Gap Inc., Old Navy was founded in 1994 and became the first retailer to reach $1 billion in annual sales within four years of opening. In 2001, Old Navy began its international expansion with stores in Ontario, Canada; in 2014, the company opened stores in China; and most recently, Old Navy entered Mexico. We’ll hear from the company's VP and GM of International and Outlet, as she shares how she identifies, assesses, and develops new markets, while localizing and personalizing the Old Navy brand to succeed with international audiences.
Founded in 2012, Chiquelle is an online fashion retailer for women. From its inception in Sweden, the company has expanded across Europe to the U.S. and beyond, now shipping to 70 countries worldwide. Core to Chiquelle’s international success is social media, in particular Instagram. The company has leveraged the changing way in which consumers use social media—viewing live events rather than simply scrolling—to generate buzz around the world for its new products. The company’s Co-Founder and CEO will share his insights on how to build an international brand through social media and popup stores without having to raise external capital.
Initially founded as a private messenger and delivery service over 110 years ago, multinational logistics company UPS is the world’s largest package delivery company with a global network that spans over 220 countries. We’ll hear the company’s VP of Global Industry Segments discuss some of the retail logistics innovation coming out of Asia and the company's findings on online shopping behavior. He's also highlight how retailers can overcome the complexities of rising cross-border commerce by optimizing retail supply chains and improving the customer experience through better logistics.
Culture and LeadershipView Description
Culture and Leadership
Building on Sunday's conversation on Culture and Leadership, this session will provide an interactive look at how brands and retailers of all sizes ensure their cultures encourage innovation, empower employees and ultimately create environments where both people and profits thrive. We'll discuss what it takes to be a great leader at both startups and established companies and how the best executives mentor and train the next generation of leaders:
Founded in 2014, Dia&Co sells clothing and accessories via a try-on-at-home ecommerce subscription model to women who wear sizes 14 and up. Having raised $25 million in funding with a strong mission and vision, the Co-Founder and CEO will talk about how she built a company from the ground up and what it took to lead Dia&Co from an idea to a company of 400 employees and over one million customers. She’ll talk about how the culture she established is evolving as the company grows and how she ensures her original mission for the organization remains a core part of Dia&Co.
Orvis, founded in 1856, is a family-owned retailer specializing in high-end fly fishing, hunting, guided trips and outdoor lifestyle apparel. In this session, the company’s Customer Experience Officer will discuss how he and his team collaborate across the organization to create a great experience for shoppers. He’ll talk about the importance of Orvis’ culture and leadership, how the company stays true to its product innovation roots, while using customer experience prototyping to connect with today’s tech savvy shoppers.
The session will feature Modsy, a 3D home design startup that has raised almost $34 million in funding. The founder and CEO, started her first company immediately after finishing school—having joined the business world with virtually no management experience, she had to learn everything about leadership through trial and error. She’ll discuss what she’s learned about culture and leadership after founding and building two successful companies and serving as a venture capital investor at Google Ventures.
Politics and the Future of "Made in America"View Description
Politics and the Future of "Made in America"
Manufacturing in the U.S. is a key topic in today's political climate. However, while it can make quality control easier and reduce lead times, shifting to domestic manufacturing for U.S companies can be costly and disruptive to existing supply chains. In this session, senior executives from leading brands will discuss under which circumstances it makes sense to manufacture in the U.S. and how emerging technologies can make "Made in America" goods more competitive:
In contrast to apparel and other categories that rely heavily on overseas manufacturing, the $15 billion mattress industry skews largely toward American-made products. Purple, a direct-to-consumer mattress company with $200 million in revenues, has two large manufacturing facilities in Utah. In this session, the CEO will discuss why the mattress industry is in a unique position to produce all of its inventory for the U.S. market domestically, and why the company is investing in training local employees by partnering with high schools and training facilities.
Founded in 2011, Xcel Brands generates $475 million in retail sales and $33 million in royalty income under its brands by taking a fast-to-market approach to its merchandise. The brand management company, which owns labels like Isaac Mizrahi, Judith Ripka, H Halston and C. Wonder, uses a proprietary platform that incorporates data science, 3D design and product testing to create merchandise that aligns with customer expectations. From there, a fast to market supply chain allows Xcel to get merchandise onto the selling floor in as little as six weeks. But while bringing production to the U.S. would further reduce Xcel’s lead times, it faces challenges in doing so. The CEO will discuss those challenges as well as the technologies that could make Made in America a winning proposition for his brands.
ALEX AND ANI was established in 2004 in the same Rhode Island town in which the founder’s family had been manufacturing jewelry since 1966. The decision to manufacture in Rhode Island was born out of the desire to keep local craftsmanship and family legacy alive. In this session, the SVP of Brand and Creative will share how the company is able to compete with overseas producers through the quality of their products. She will also discuss the role ALEX AND ANI has played in the revival of jewelry manufacturing in the US and the challenges it has faced along the way.
How AI Will Impact the Retail Organization and WorkforceView Description
How AI Will Impact the Retail Organization and Workforce
AI is being widely used to optimize consumer-facing offerings, yet the technology is also set to have a substantial impact on company's internal operations. AI will affect retail leaders' hiring, staffing, organizational structures and processes as well as the responsibilities assigned to their current workforce. This session will feature one direct-to-consumer startup, one established retailer and one technology startup:
Stitch Fix is a six-year-old startup that combines artificial intelligence with its stylists’ knowledge to curate custom boxes of apparel, shoes and accessories for its subscribers. The company, which went public in 2017, uses data and proprietary algorithms to help solve merchandising challenges like demand forecasting, inventory optimization and design. The GM of women’s merchandise will highlight how Stitch Fix’s use of AI has impacted its merchandising teams’ responsibilities and will discuss the future of the merchandiser within the organization.
With 350 stores across the U.S., Destination XL Group is the largest retailer of men’s big and tall apparel. The company is investing in machine learning capabilities to make better use of its data, including selling more products at full price and ensuring it has the right amount of inventory in the right location. The company is also testing the use of AI-powered chatbots. The Chief Digital Officer/Chief Information Officer will discuss how using AI will impact retailers’ IT and digital organizations, as well as what skills will be required of the workforce as these new technologies are adopted.
Three-year-old technology startup Kindred.ai has raised $44 million from high-profile investors to bring artificial intelligence into the warehouse via its sorting robot. Designed to work alongside humans, Kindred’s robots leverage machine learning and imitation learning to quickly and accurately fill online orders. The Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer for the San Francisco-based startup will discuss how the implementation of its robots will change the role of the warehouse worker at retail organizations.
Creating Brands for New Generations: Reaching Gen Z and MillennialsView Description
Creating Brands for New Generations: Reaching Gen Z and Millennials
Members of each new generation seek brands that allow them to express themselves and reflect their worldview. Millennials and Gen Z are no different. Millennials in particular have proven a challenging demographic for marketers, as many of these consumers are averse to mainstream brands altogether. Brands that have successfully broken through to millennial and Gen Z consumers have done so by tapping into their zeitgeist—they have also been exceptionally skillful at deploying tools and media to reach these shoppers. In this session, we’ll hear from one startup, one agency and one established brand:
Founded in 2014, Greats quickly grew its direct-to-consumer sneaker business into a brand that’s beloved by millennials. The startup, which has raised $13 million in funding, "drops" new variations of its affordably priced luxury sneakers multiple times per month, helping it build buzz with younger customers who crave unique products. The company has also partnered with the likes of fashion designer Jason Wu and NFL star Marshawn Lynch on limited-edition sneakers which quickly sell out. The Founder and CEO will share how Greats is using these tactics—as well as leveraging social media—to connect with millennial and Gen Z shoppers.
Digital Brand Products is the consumer products division of Digital Brand Architects, the largest agency dedicated to managing the brands of social media influencers. DBP partners with manufacturers and retailers to develop influencer-driven brands, managing over 150 brands across fashion, beauty and home. Its recent projects include a partnership between Nordstrom and the author of Something Navy, a fashion and lifestyle blog. The CEO will discuss the growing popularity of influencer brands and how retailers can incorporate influencers’ products to reach today’s digitally native consumer.
78-year-old Marvel is a household name whose comics, superheroes and toys appeal to multiple generations. The media and entertainment company, acquired by Disney for $4 billion in 2009, is engaging younger consumers by rewarding them with exclusive content and products, as well as through interactive social campaigns. In one example, Marvel launched a chatbot that lets fans communicate with superheroes like Spider-Man. The VP and GM for Digital Marketing will share how Marvel has positioned itself to appeal to Millennial and Gen Z shoppers while not alienating older customers who have bought its products for decades.