What We Learned: eTail West, Shoptalk, and Adobe Summit

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February and March have been full of ecommerce industry events from eTail West in picturesque Palm Springs Desert to the behemoth that is Shoptalk in Las Vegas followed by Adobe Summit also calling Vegas home the following week.

With all of these incredibly important events happening so close to one another, it’s only fair that we consolidate our takeaways from each show into one recap. So what does the future of ecommerce and retail look like leaving Q1 conference season? Let’s dive in!


The Retail World is Automating

Coming out of NRF, we talked a lot about the way AI is completely transforming the way we look at retail and ecommerce as a whole. This is no different after eTail West and Shoptalk.

AI-powered recommendations in marketing is the next “need-to-have” feature every brand will adopt in 2024 if it’s not already present on their store right now. Our partners at Bloomreach have been championing this via their Engagement platform. This level of personalized ecommerce journey mixed with zero-party data led marketing is going to create a 1 of 1 experience for every customer.

AI is also progressing quickly in the Customer Support space as new GPT driven chatbots are becoming the norm for most brands. By integrating data from their PIM and ERP, brands can give real-time updates on inventory, product details, and orders without the need for a live rep. This cuts down on overall support response times and frees up agents to tackle larger customer issues. 


Are you building loyalty?

The days of buying new customers through Facebook and Instagram ads for pennies is over. The focus for many growing brands is shifting towards loyalty and retention. 

According to Accenture, 57% of customers say they spend more money at brands they are loyal to. While that stat seems like a completely obvious fact, many brands are not actively working to make their customers more loyal.Lisa Roath - Target | LinkedInLisa Roath, CMO at Target, discussed the revamp of their customer loyalty program, seeking to create consistent, personalized experiences across all channels. Members of Target’s loyalty programs spend 5X more compared to other shoppers.

Whether you are looking at creating a standard points-based loyalty program or going way ahead of the curve and starting a membership channel, it’s important that your brand is in tune with your customers' needs and use their feedback to drive all loyalty decisions. Accumulating points may not be the right solution for brands that have large orders every year or two compared to consumer packaged goods that are repurchased monthly. Really focus on what makes your customers’ shopping experience better and lean into it.


The Future is Now!

Gen Z is the most informed, empowered, and influential generation in history and in 2024, they make up 30% of the world’s population and control over $360B in disposable income. 

Brieane Olson, CEO of PACSUN, is implementing initiatives to connect with Gen Zers and provide a multi-channel, seamless shopping experience. This includes launching a gender-fluid line and seeking iterative feedback via social media, where most of their core buyers spend their time online. 

Sean David Nelson, the CEO and Founder of Lovesac touched on a very similar note during his presentation at eTail West. They have started partnering with content creators on TikTok and creating exclusive collabs with Gen Z brands to diversify their buyer person a and create an all new audience of loyal customers. Authenticity is key to this move and Lovesac feels that creating overly polished advertising is not their brand, so they rely heavily on User Generated Content for their marketing and promotional efforts. These efforts have allowed Lovesac to grow an average of 30% YoY since 2022. 

While the conference circuit is slowing down for a few months, it’s not the end of future trends in ecommerce. Guidance will be at B2B Online in Chicago and CommerceNext in New York City in the coming months. We welcome you to reach out and connect with us if you’re in attendance. 

Want to learn more about how Guidance can bring your brand into the future? Click the Contact Us button below and we will build a fully personalized plan for your store.

Written by Guidance
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