Every year, thousands of e-retailers descend upon the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition in Chicago to learn from peers and stay ahead of the competition. It’s an opportunity to understand emerging trends, mingle with leaders in the space, and be inspired by the growth and innovation in the industry.
With dozens of speakers and break out sessions, we know it can be difficult to sift through the noise to pinpoint the biggest trends -- so we’ve distilled our experience into 5 takeaways from IRCE 2018.
Seamless experiences are needed to bridge the digital & physical divide
The CEO of digital first brand & eyeglass disruptor Warby Parker, Dave Gilboa led a keynote about the changing consumer and how the brand has gone from an ecommerce-only brand, to one that operates 75 brick & mortar stores in 8 years since the company was established. “We’re finding that 75% of people that buy something in our store have been to our website first,” Gliboa said. Warby Parker invested in technology to make the online and office experience as convenient as possible, a nod to their belief that when the product and brand are customer obsessed, consumers care about the brands rather than the sales channel.
Machine Learning fuels revenue growth
Implementing machine learning has made significant impact on big brands: Target saw revenue grow by 30%; Amazon saw a 55% increase in sales from personal recommendations, and USAA saw a 76% improvement in customer support contact and product offering. Anita Andrew of Magento believes machine learning and personalization are critical to success on the digital shelf.
Voice search dominance is imminent
Fifty percent of all searches will be voice searches by 2020, and that means brands must prepare for this shift now or be left behind on Amazon and Google search rankings. Consumers are increasingly using virtual assistants to research products--51% of adults (21-65 year olds) used voice to search products. This trend isn’t going away and means brands need to consider how their content influences search results, and is presented via Alexa and Google Home.
Get personal, or lose to Amazon
In his keynote session, Seth Godin spoke about how smaller brands won’t be able to compete on price with Amazon. Smaller bands must focus on their niche market places and connect with their consumers on a personal level. Hone in on the aspects of your product that elicit emotion - it will serve your brand well.
Command Center for Amazon
Last but not least, Salsify debuted Command Center for Amazon - our latest offering to accelerate performance on the digital shelf. Two members of our Product team, Topher Cyll and Rovaria Dasig, led a great session to showcase attendees how we are moving the flywheel in favor of brands. This helps your trade and brand teams identify the daily risks and opportunities across your product portfolio and defines the actions you take to win. With the combined power of our Command Center and Insights, your brand will be climbing up search rankings and growing sales in no time.