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Shoptalk 2018: 10 Can’t Miss Sessions for Ecommerce Marketers

Retail Shoptalk

Shoptalk 2018, taking place March 18-21 in Las Vegas, recently announced its full agenda and — surprise, surprise — it’s chock full of sessions led by C-level execs from both retail giants and fast-growing startups, covering topics such as the future of marketing, the customer journey, artificial intelligence, digital payments, and more.

While Shoptalk’s sessions will give CMOs and their teams much to think about, discuss and put into action, with 300 speakers across 100 sessions it’s not easy to pick your spots.

Fear not. We’ve winnowed down the list to the 10 most relevant Shoptalk sessions for ecommerce marketers.

March 18

Retail and Ecommerce Disruption in Europe

Track 3: The State of Global Retail and Ecommerce
2:45PM – 3:25PM

Exciting retail innovation is happening all over Europe, from groundbreaking luxury retail in the UK, successful ecommerce startups in Germany, disruptive fashion from France and global clothing retailers from Spain.

This session will feature thoughts and insights from:

Max Wittrock, Co-Founder, mymuesli
Michael Truluck, CEO, La Redoute International, La Redoute
Roger Graells, MANGO Global Online Sales Director, MANGO

Suggested question to ask: What effect will GDPR have on how European ecommerce retailers access and use consumers’ personal data?

Grocery Leaders on the Future of the Industry

Track 5: Grocerytalk: Overview
3:30PM – 4:10PM

Evolving technologies, business models, and consumer behaviors are all having a major impact on the way grocery retailers market and deliver products.

This session features senior executives from two leading grocery retailers discussing new store formats, offerings, and technologies:

Amin Maredia, Chief Executive Officer, Sprouts Farmers Market
Yael Cosset, Chief Digital Officer, The Kroger Co.

Suggested question to ask panel: What is the next game-changing event in the grocery industry? It could be a company, a technology and/or an acquisition.

March 19

Mobile Experiences in the Customer Journey

Track 4: Engaging Customer Experiences
9:00AM – 9:40AM

For restaurants and retailers, mobile is an essential part of their digital strategies, from discovery to transaction. But true innovators are not content with typical use cases, and are launching interactive offerings like AR (augmented reality) and seamless order-ahead features.

This session features insights from an established retailer, a fast-casual restaurant chain and a startup:

Mark Berinato, VP, Digital Experience, Panera Bread
Gihad Jawhar, VP, Digital Development, Lowe’s
Manish Chandra, Founder & CEO, Poshmark

Suggested question to ask: What emerging mobile technologies are retailers not taking enough advantage of right now?

AR, VR and Advances in Product Visualization

Track 2: Shopping Experiences of the Future
5:15PM – 5:55PM

Augmented reality has gone mainstream with apparel, beauty, home decor and furniture brands as the earliest adopters. Meanwhile, virtual reality (VR) use cases are quickly materializing in retail, as is online product visualization that enables consumers to see 3D product images from different angles.

This session features commentary from a CPG company, an online retailer and a technology giant:

Brian Kavanagh, Senior Director, Retail Evolution, The Hershey Company
Mike Festa, Director, Wayfair Next, Wayfair
Adrienne McCallister, Director of Global AR/VR Partnerships, Google

Suggested question to ask: Can you provide an example of exceptional use of AR and/or VR in online shopping, and an example of it being used poorly/ineffectively?

March 20

Experiential Marketing

Track 3: Marketing Strategies and Technologies
9:00AM – 9:40AM

Leading marketers are leapfrogging typical marketing tactics to embrace creative ways to raise awareness of their brands and engage shoppers, with some examples including pop-up shops, social media contests, and games.

This session features a startup, a tech giant and an established retailer:

Shan-Lyn Ma, Founder & CEO, Zola
Rudi Anggono, Head of Creative + New Experiences, Google Zoo, Google
Steve Miller, VP, Marketing & Business Development, JOANN Stores

Suggested question to ask: What’s a marketing strategy that seemed totally outrageous to you at first but ended up being very effective?

The C-Suite on the Future of Marketing

Track 3: Marketing Strategies and Technologies
9:45AM – 10:25AM

Executives at the forefront of marketing innovation are finding their jobs more complex than ever. While most executives now have substantial consumer data at their disposal and the ability to target customers in real time, they are also dealing with media fragmentation and intense competition for customer attention.

This session features a discussion between an established retailer, a startup and a brand:

Aaron Sanandres, Co-Founder & CEO, UNTUCKit
JuE Wong, Global CEO, Moroccanoil
Milton Pappas, Chief Marketing Officer, Hudson’s Bay Company

Suggested question to ask: What advice do you have for CMOs facing increasing pressure to directly generate sales and improve ROI?

Creating a Global Digital Brand

Track 3: Marketing Strategies and Technologies
3:45PM – 4:25PM

Digital advertising and ecommerce are the growth engines of marketing and retail, with companies turning to digital means to build brand awareness, educate consumers about products, and convert shoppers into buyers.

This session features insights from the world’s largest social network and one of the world’s largest PC manufacturers:

Ajit Sivadasan, VP/GM Global eCommerce, Lenovo
Martin Barthel, Global Head of eCommerce & Retail Strategy, Facebook

Suggested question to ask: What are your thoughts on effective programmatic advertising and retargeting? Any best practices and real-life examples you can share?

AI in Marketing: Predictive and Beyond

Track 3: Marketing Strategies and Technologies
4:30PM – 5:10PM

AI-based predictive marketing solutions make targeting and personalization far more precise, while AI-based marketing automation performs manual tasks like media buying at lightning speed. Find out how marketers are using these technologies to reduce costs and improve campaign efficiency.

This session features thoughts and predictions from retailers and solution providers:

Guido Campello, CEO – Creative Director, Cosabella
Vikram Sharma, Product Head for Merchandising, Advertising and Digital Marketing, Flipkart
Amber Stepper, VP, Marketing, Evenflo

Suggested question to ask: How you are using AI to target users more precisely? Have you seen revenue gains by using AI for retargeting?

March 21

Hiring and Attracting Digital Talent

Track 1: Deep Dive: Leading the Digital Transformation
11:05AM – 11:45AM

Startups and established companies both struggle with how to hire the right digital talent with high-demand tech skills. The challenges lie in how to identify candidates that meet a company’s criteria and how to keep them engaged to retain them long-term.

This session features advice from a brand, retailer and a recruiter:

Richard Ambler, Head of Business Development, JLP Ventures, John Lewis Partnership
Jose Nino, VP of E-Commerce, Marketing, Perry Ellis International
Kathy Vrabeck, Senior Client Partner, Korn Ferry

Suggested question to ask: The need for data analytics in digital advertising is on the rise, but it’s also a fairly new field. Can you share tips on finding and retaining data scientists?

Creating Brands for New Generations: Reaching Gen Z and Millennials

Track 4: Deep Dive: New Market Opportunities
11:50AM – 12:30PM

Brands that have successfully captured the hearts and minds of millennial and Gen Z consumers have done so by tapping into their zeitgeist. And they’ve done so by deploying the right tools and media.

This session features comments from one startup, one agency and one established brand:

Ryan Babenzien, Founder & CEO, Greats
Daniel Landver, CEO, Digital Brand Products
Julie Gerola, VP & GM for Digital Marketing & Operations, Marvel Entertainment

Suggested question to ask: What brands have successfully targeted both Gen Z and millenials and what advertising strategies did they employ?

Interested in meeting up with us at Shoptalk? Get in touch

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