From The Editor | March 23, 2017

ShopTalk 2017: IoT And AI Dominate


By Erin Harris, editor-in-chief


It shouldn’t surprise you to hear that ShopTalk 2017 was a hit. I walked away from the show more informed on the future of retail than I was when I walked in. I suspect there are quite a few meetings and conversations taking place as retail execs share what they learned with their teams. In a nutshell, the content was top notch. Here are some of the sessions I attended and what I learned:

Skip The App

Julie Ask, VP, Principal Analyst at Forrester led a data-driven discussion about mobile commerce trends. Jose Nino, VP of E-Commerce, Digital at Perry Ellis, Rob Schmults, SVP E-Commerce & CRM at Talbots, and Doug Straton, VP Digital, E-Commerce, and Data at Unilever North America answered Ask’s questions about whether mobile has been an effective sales channel given that Forrester states consumers have spent $60 billion from mobile phones in 2016 alone. She asked the panelists if retailers need an app considering that, according to Forrester, users have 200 mobile moments per day, and retailers take up just 5% of those moments.

The resounding response was no. Nino advised that unless you’re a big box brand or a big CPG company that can afford the capital expenditure, skip the app and invest in improving your own mobile site. Optimize for mobile and focus on responsive web design.