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IRCE 2018: 10 Key Sessions for Ecommerce Marketers

Written by: Shane O'Neill, Director of Content

The 2018 Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition is fast-approaching (June 5-8 in Chicago). If you’re planning to attend, bring your ideas and questions because IRCE comes stocked with workshops, sessions led by industry experts, and an exhibit hall filled with cutting edge technologies on display.

You should also bring your business cards because IRCE is a networking goldmine with thousands of ecommerce industry peers in attendance.

To help you navigate a busy conference, we’ve narrowed down the various IRCE sessions to the top 10 most relevant for ecommerce marketers.

Tuesday, June 5

Be Nimble, Be Quick: Optimize Your Technology Organization and Operations in an Innovative, Digital-First World

Track: Ecommerce Technology
9:30AM – 10:15AM
Room: Skyline Ballroom E

Adjusting your brand’s technology to keep up with innovation is hard; adjusting your brand’s teams is just as hard and important. Retailers’ universal goal is to have a high-performing, agile, cross-functional team that can handle day-to-day operations and innovative growth. This session explores ways to instill that culture and create that team.

Featuring thoughts and insights from:

Bob McKinney, VP of Marketing, Omnichannel, Batteries Plus Bulbs
Zachary Blank, Chief Operating Officer, Paragon Sports

Growing Your Customer Base

Track: New Recruit Bootcamp
10:45 AM – 11:30 AM
Room: 184 ABC, First Floor

While still on active duty in 2009, Drill Sergeant Daniel Alarik decided to design t-shirts that showcased the country’s military pride. Today, Grunt Style is the largest military and patriotic lifestyle apparel brand in the U.S., relying entirely on its website for sales. This session will track how key shifts in the use of paid advertising, SEO, remarketing and a refocus on mobile drove results for Grunt Style, with lessons for all.

Featuring thoughts and insights from:

Daniel Alarik, CEO & Founder, Grunt Style
Steve Weiss, Founder & CEO, MuteSix

Wednesday, June 6

Is it More than Buzz? What Can AI Really Do for My Business?

Track: Strategies for Top Executives
1:15 PM – 1:45 PM
Room: Skyline Ballroom C

This session will take a pragmatic look at how artificial intelligence and machine learning can be applied to solve everyday business issues. It will include current AI business applications and customer-serving AI applications, and provide predictions on AI’s long-term implications for online retail.

Featuring thoughts and insights from:

Guido Campello, CEO, Cosabella
Vish Ganapathy, Managing Director and Global Retail Technology Lead, Accenture

Understand What Your Analytics are Telling You—and Take Action!

Track: Marketing: Proven Winners
1:15 PM – 1:45 PM
Room: Skyline Ballroom E

Online retailers sit on mountains of marketing and sales data, but it can be overwhelming to apply with confidence. In this session, attendees will learn how e-retailers can use software to automate connecting the dots for better paid search bidding strategies and product pricing.

Featuring thoughts and insights from:

Danny Gavin, VP of Marketing, Brian Gavin Diamonds
Eric Soelberg, VP of Customer Insights and Planning, L.L. Bean

Connecting with the Z Generation

Track: Marketing: Proven Winners
4:15 PM – 4:45 PM
Room: Skyline Ballroom E

Gen Z, today’s 22 and younger set, are quickly coming into their spending years, and it’s important to understand how they shop and respond to marketing. These always-on shoppers’ attention spans are also shorter than that of older generations, so marketers need to get to the point, and fast. This session will share examples of successful marketing campaigns targeted to Gen Zers.

Featuring thoughts and insights from:

Rachel Tipograph, CEO & Founder,
Tiffany Zhong, CEO & Founder, ZebraIQ

Thursday, June 7

Counter the Amazon Effect by Mastering Execution

Track: Managing Technology
1:15 PM – 1:45 PM
Room: Skyline Ballroom D

Amazon’s expanding footprint obliges everybody to step up or prepare to step off. This session features two retailers that re-examined processes, strategies and technology investments in preparation for what’s next (or what might come next) — to ensure they thrive in this changing landscape. Our speakers will outline why it’s more important to master execution of the essentials to keep shoppers coming back rather than react to Amazon’s latest chess move.

Featuring thoughts and insights from:

Edward Wong, SVP of Supply Chain and CIO, Smart & Final
Roe McFarlane, Chief Digital Product and Marketing Officer, Follett Higher Education Group

Optimizing Your Online Customer Experience for Sales

Track: Merchandising
1:45 PM – 2:15 PM
Room: Skyline Ballroom

This session digs into how understanding your customers’ reality motivates them to buy. We’ll learn how a retailer used behavioral principles to test and gather insights about which messaging, design, and positioning most resonated with its customers and how it used that data to increase online transactions significantly.

Featuring thoughts and insights from:

Chris Goward, Founder, CEO, WiderFunnel
Mike Moussa, Associate VP, E-Commerce, FGL Sports

The Branding Value and ROI of Pop-Up Stores for Online Retailers

Track: Brand Building
11:00 AM – 11:30 AM
Room: Skyline Ballroom

As paid search marketing costs rise, some online retailers are finding the exposure they can get in the real world with a store—even a temporary one—is worth the effort. In this session, “web mostly” e-retailers will detail their pop-up store experiments, the direct impact on sales and indirect impact on building relationships and promoting word-of-mouth referrals.

Featuring thoughts and insights from:

Allison Sommer, Director of Marketing, The RealReal
Fan Bi, CEO, Co-Founder, Blank Label

Friday, June 8

Leveraging Paid Search for Multichannel Success

Track: Search
11:15 AM – 11:45 AM
Room: 184 ABC

Paid search in 2018 is much more than good keyword targeting and relevant text ads. Smart online retailers are using paid search to build their brands across multiple channels, creating integrated campaigns to reach shoppers wherever they are in the purchase process. This session will cover how to leverage search for the perfect mix of Google Shopping, search, display, and YouTube.

Featuring thoughts and insights from:

Brett Curry, CEO, OMG Commerce
Steven Sashen, CEO, Xero Shoes

Amazon Business: Strategies for Co-opetition

Track: B2B
11:45 AM – 12:30 PM
Room: 183 A

The speakers in this session will discuss how they compete against Amazon Business with same-day delivery for purchases on their site, while also selling through Amazon marketplace. We’ll also hear what they’ve learned about selling though their own sites as well as on Amazon in terms of which products are most appropriate for each.

Brian Fricano, CEO, Sustainable Supply
Matt Clark, Global Head & VP, E-Commerce & Digital Marketing, Premier Farnell

Take a look at the complete agenda for this year’s IRCE.

Interested in meeting up at IRCE? Join Nanigans, Elite SEM, Snowflake, and your fellow retailers for Network Over the Net, a night of eats, drinks, and ping pong at AceBounce in downtown Chicago.

Click here to RSVP for the event.

This event is for merchants, retailers, and brands only.

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