CommerceNext 2019 Preview: What Not to Miss


CommerceNext 2019 will convene in New York City for two days this summer: July 31st and August 1, 2019. Mid-year results are coming in, and retailers are comparing their 2019 forecasts with actual results. There is much cause for celebration, given than U.S. Retail sales have risen month-over-month, beating expectations for 5 months out of 6 this year. 

However, retail marketers must continue to grow, with consumer expectations, economic pressures, and changing trends acting as catalysts. CommerceNext is laser-focused on next-level customer acquisition and retention. Attendees will learn from marketers who are leading the way at Rent the Runway, Sephora, Tumi and more. The technology side will also be represented, as Facebook and Oracle clue retailers in to the changes and opportunities available within their platforms. The three retail marketing movements that we are most excited to learn more about at CommerceNext 2019 are: (1) Store as Laboratory, (2) Customer Experience and the Segment of One, and (3) Brands that Stand for Something. Here’s why:

#1: Store as Laboratory

Experience is key. Today’s shoppers place a large importance It’s always big news when an online retailer goes into physical retail, flipping the conversation about online versus bricks-and-mortar on its head. Warby Parker started this trend back in 2013, and the lines between digital and physical retail continue to blur as online retailers like Everlane, Away, and Casper open stores in prime retail locations. Brian Fesen, Mack Weldon’s head of marketing, will speak about how he integrates the company’s paid search and shopping campaigns online with the increased data that face-to-face customer interaction now provides. With the Mack Weldon Manhattan retail store as his laboratory, Fesen is using cutting-edge tools to test and learn from the brand’s activation in the physical world.

#2: Customer Experience and the Segment of One

Glossier is revolutionizing the way they treat their customers, reframing customer service as ‘customer experience’ and doing it well across all channels. Ali Weiss, Glossier SVP of Marketing, will keynote CommerceNext, sharing how Glossier turned from a blog into a beauty brand by staying focused on direct conversations between the brand and customers. That kind of personal interaction, at scale, can seem daunting to marketers. Weiss uses technology to hyper-focus on the complete customer experience, harnessing the deep data to optimize customer communications on an individual level. We keep hearing that “The Segment of One” is the direction retail is going, so we look forward to learning how Glossier implements it successfully.

#3: Brands that Stand for Something

Retail marketing has crossed the line from neutral and product-focused into social impact marketing, and today, brands that win are building tribes of people who share their values. Brands like Nike, REI and Ben and Jerry’s embrace the fact that some people won’t like what they’re doing, but they stand firmly behind their values. Tumi and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital have partnered together to make giving back a pillar of Tumi’s business model. Today’s customers want to feel a part of something good. We’ll learn from Tuni Chief Digital Officer Charlie Cole what “marketing for good” means, and how retail marketers can work with nonprofits in an authentic way that also drives sales and customer loyalty.  

Closing Night

CommerceNext wraps up on Thursday night with the CommerceNexty’s, where retailers and direct-to-consumer brands receive awards for their marketing achievements. Awards are given for (A) Marketing Innovation, (B) Best Use of Data in Marketing, (C) Most Effective Social Strategy, (D) Most Impactful Media Campaign, (E) Outstanding Cross-Channel Campaign and (F) Best Use of a New Channel. The finalists this year include JOANN, Sephora, Bonobos and Hello Fresh. It’ll be an amazing night of celebration and conversation to cap off this exciting conference.

Our team will be on-site at CommerceNext, and we look forward to connecting with innovative marketers from every segment of the industry. CLICK HERE to set up a meeting.