2017 Final Agenda

Introduction

Shoptalk’s 2017 agenda is fresh, groundbreaking and unmatched. The evolution of how consumers discover, shop and buy is our uncompromised standard in shaping the narrative. The agenda includes more than 300 senior-level speakers, 16 insightful tracks and over 100 carefully curated sessions in a variety of formats, all covering the ongoing disruption of retail and ecommerce.

Our agenda doesn’t rely on buzzwords just because they might be generating lots of hype or media attention. We focus instead on the most important trends, technologies and business models--each presented in context so that you gain an appreciation of the medium- and long-term direction of the industry while also taking away short-term practical tactics and understandings of today’s realities.

Approximately half of our speakers are executives from retailers, brands and direct-to-consumer startups--you benefit from unparalleled insights directly from those on the front lines of defining consumer engagement. Our agenda also includes senior-level representatives from leading technology and Internet companies, prolific venture capital firms and influential media and analysts. The venture capital-backed startups on our agenda have collectively raised more than $7.5 billion to disrupt retail and ecommerce while the publicly traded retailers and brands have a combined market capitalization of over $1.5 trillion.

More than 60% of our speakers are C-level executives and almost 30% are women. Speakers are from throughout the US as well as a dozen countries and are nearly evenly split between startups and established organizations.

The 2017 agenda includes a discussion of the most critical technologies that are currently impacting retail and ecommerce or are poised to fundamentally alter the industry going forward. Here’s a breakdown of some of the key technologies covered, and just a few examples of places you’ll find them discussed on our agenda:

  1. Artificial Intelligence (AI). A dedicated session on AI will provide four examples of how AI is being applied in different areas of retail--from improving image and video recognition to enabling more personalized experiences and superior search results. In other sessions, you’ll hear how AI is being used to create a new era of conversational commerce--both via chatbots and voice-activated assistants--and how it’s changing the face of personalization. AI will also be a key topic in all areas related to measurement and analytics, both online and in-store.

  2. Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR and VR). In addition to a session dedicated to this topic that will feature three AR and VR use cases for retailers, in other sessions you’ll hear retailers like Lowe’s discuss their innovations in VR and tech companies like Modsy discuss how they’re creating personalized experiences using AR technology. Our discussion of interactive store technologies will include the AR and VR options retailers are evaluating.

  3. Customer Service and Loyalty. Our session on customer service will feature three companies offering different types of customer service solutions. Our agenda will also cover this topic on the conversational commerce session as we look at how chatbots are being used for customer service. On the topic of loyalty, you’ll hear how three early-stage companies are tackling this issue during our conversation on loyal communities and in a Deep DIve on building successful loyalty programs, we’ll hear from the leaders of well-known loyalty programs and from both large and small retailers taking different approaches to loyalty.

  4. Fulfillment and Logistics. Our track keynotes will feature the President and CEO of Samsclub.com and the CEO of Postmates who will each discuss the latest innovations in in-store pickup options and on-demand delivery methods including sidewalk robots. A session on the evolution of the last mile will feature leaders from retailers who have sophisticated fulfillment systems, with a focus on grocery retailers who face some of the most complex challenges in this area. You’ll also hear about returns in a dedicated session that will feature three technology providers streamlining this pain point for retailers by building networks of stores, kiosks and other locations where returns can be dropped off and by reinventing how returns are processed and recycled.

  5. Store Technologies. Two of our track keynotes, the CIO of Rite-Aid and the COO of Crate & Barrel, will discuss how they are rethinking technologies to help run stores more efficiently and to engage customers. In a session on interactive store technologies, a retailer, an agency and a technology solution provider will discuss how the store is evolving and which consumer-facing technologies are having the biggest impact on driving sales and building loyalty. New solutions that help retailers and brands better understand shopper behavior will be discussed on our session on measuring store shoppers.

  6. IoT and Sensors. A session on commerce through connected devices will look at how device manufacturers like Samsung see new opportunities in the explosion of smart devices and how technology providers like Intel are streamlining stores through a growing number of connected touchpoints. Several of our retailer keynote speakers will also touch on the explosion of new devices and the growing ‘connected commerce’ opportunity for their companies to sell through multiple platforms.

  7. Marketing Technologies. Three CMOs from both venture-backed startups and traditional retailers featured on a future of marketing session will discuss the marketing technologies that are helping them succeed in their roles. Marketing through social platforms will look at how leading brands are experimenting with new social channels; it also includes a look at how leading social platforms are evolving and the technologies they are developing to enable brands to better use their platforms. Our agenda will also include a look at some of the new technologies and experiences retailers are investing in to build their brands, from pop-up stores to social media influencers.

  8. Marketplaces. The Head of Amazon Marketplace will discuss the growing opportunities for brands on this ecommerce giant’s marketplace. Additionally, the President of Alibaba will discuss the Internet titan’s rise to power and the options for foreign brands to reach Chinese shoppers. In an evolving marketplaces session, two early-stage marketplaces and one established player will discuss how the marketplace business model is evolving and how new technologies are enabling them to create increasingly valuable consumer offerings. A Deep Dive on selling on marketplaces examines the options for brands and retailers to sell through different marketplaces and the underlying technologies necessary to succeed.

  9. Measurement and Analytics. A session on optimizing the retail value chain through analytics will feature some of the most innovative startups using data to understand and predict shopper preferences. You’ll also hear about innovations in measuring store shoppers with three innovative solution providers that are analyzing data on shoppers at physical stores through technologies such as wifi, satellites and interactive displays. A session on merchandising strategies will discuss how merchants are making smarter decisions by creating a more data-centric buying process.

  10. Mobile Technologies. Sessions on mobile commerce and mobile marketing will look at how brands are thinking about their mobile experiences and the technologies they find most effective in building and optimizing these offerings. Mobile-centric business models will look at some of the retailers and the technology providers building the next generation of mobile commerce. And while we call out mobile as the exclusive focus of these few sessions, mobile has become such a core part of every retailer and brand’s digital strategy that a discussion of mobile is now infused in virtually every conversation across the Shoptalk agenda.

The Shoptalk Team