4 Essential Opportunities for Retailers at Shoptalk 2019
Shoptalk has been growing by leaps and bounds since it started in Las Vegas just five years ago. Shoptalk 2019 will no doubt be an innovative, impactful, and inspiring conference with vital takeaways and new opportunities for retailers. We’ve selected the top 4 opportunities retailers should take advantage of at this year’s conference.
Opportunity # 1: Networking
With Shoptalk in Vegas you know there’s going to be some FUN involved. On Monday, March 4, retailers are treated to the invitation-only Retailers & Brands Networking Dinners at some of Las Vegas’ top restaurants. And there’s something new for 2019, a pub crawl at the Venetian’s best venues that’s called Shophop. On Tuesday, March 5, 2019, retail and brand attendees will join a small group of presenting sponsors to taste and experience the best libations and dining that Vegas has to offer.
Opportunity #2: Leveraging Data
Gathering, analyzing, and harnessing customer data has been a hot topic for several years at retail conferences, and in 2019 the stakes are even higher. Amazon is forcing retailers to adapt and find a niche – in-store experiences and engagement that present shoppers with the right product at the right time. This year, Gap, Inc. CEO Art Peck will share how big data gives Gap advantages over its competitors: “We’ve really been building back-end big data analytic capabilities now for a couple of years, and data is a huge asset for us,” Peck said in a recent interview with “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer. “It’s surprising to me that more people in our space aren’t talking about it.” Gap leverages consumer data to channel its advertising dollars effectively and to pinpoint and market in a personalized way to the customers who are deeply engaged with Gap brands across channels. Peck notes that the difference between a casual customer and a highly engaged one is at least 10 times the value, and data helps the brands identify these target customers and advertise to them in a personalized way.
Keynote speaker Erik Nordstrom will offer insights into how Nordstrom is using customer data in new ways, including sharing it with other retailers, to obtain that elusive 360-degree view of the customer. “Being that place of discovery — which means curation, means personalization, means having a differentiated product offer, things that you cannot find everywhere — those things are very much in contrast to the sweet spot of what Amazon’s model is,” noted Erik Nordstrom.
Along those lines, GNC, a flexEngage customer has been leveraging its purchase data to increase engagement with its best customers and drive conversions directly from its transactional touchpoints including receipts, packing slips, and e-commerce notifications. As a result, GNC is reporting a 10x bump in membership for their paid loyalty program and 10% conversion to their Auto Subscribe & Save program.
And finally, Walmart Media Group (WMG) provides another fascinating example of an omnichannel retailer using leveraging purchase data from 140M weekly in-store along with its online purchase data to sell ads on its own platform to other brands. WMG Vice President Stefanie Jay will share how the retailer’s advertising platform uses purchase intent data and purchase history data to connect marketing activities to buyer journeys. Her goal is to take brands closer to the customer by integrating data with advertising in a way that enhances the buyer’s purchase experience.
Opportunity #3: The Latest in Social
Social media is ever-changing, with new platforms offering opportunities for retailers to connect with their customers. Edward Park, SVP of Retail and Digital at fashion brand Guess, will share the results of their partnership with TikTok, a short-form mobile video platform. Guess was the first retailer to use a promoted hashtag challenge on TikTok. Their September 2018 campaign targeted millennials and Generation Z, directing them to the #InMyDenim challenge and encouraged them to post videos with the hashtag.
Stories are the hottest thing in social media advertising for 2019, and Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat all offer retailers opportunities to share their message in this in-the-moment, personal format. Jeff Miller, global head of Business Marketing at Snapchat will offer best practices for story ads. These ads require focus and clarity since they are only viewed for a moment in the customer’s feed.
Ben Silbermann, Co-Founder & CEO, Pinterest will speak in his Shoptalk 2019 keynote about the new ways Pinterest enables retailers to sell through the discovery platform. 84% of Pinterest users use Pinterest when they’re trying to decide what to buy, and how retailers can make it easier for them to make the leap from browsing to checkout. In 2018, Pinterest improved its buyable pins to make them more dynamic, including up-to-date stock info and pricing. These Product Pins are free to retailers, and can be easily activated by providing Pinterest with a product feed or by adding markup tags on the product pages of the retailer’s website. According to Pinterest: “In the past quarter since we started testing these shopping features, clicks on products to retail sites have increased by 40%.”
Opportunity #4: Follow the Leaders
Hudson Bay Company (HBC) is the holding company that owns Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor, among other retailers. In the past year, they brought in CVS veteran Helena Foulkes, the first female CEO to lead the company. Foulkes will reveal in her keynote how she is transforming the historic retailer. Foulkes is bridging data and personalization to optimize the fashion assortment, and it’s paying off, with same-store sales at Saks Fifth Avenue up 7.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018.
Meet with flexEngage at Shoptalk
After years of attending Shoptalk as flexReceipts, our company has changed its name to flexEngage to signify our new, expanded capabilities. With flexEngage retailers can now more easily leverage their purchase data to personalize every transactional touchpoint, turning receipts, packings slips, e-commerce notifications, etc. into powerful marketing channels that drive loyalty, bounce back and revenue.