Sep 19 2016

5 Sessions to Look Forward to at Retail Summit 2016

The sessions at this year’s Digital Summit are so compelling that we’re having a hard time deciding which to attend (because after all, attending one session means missing another). While the keynotes have their obvious draw, a number of highly sought-after speakers are making their way onstage next week as well. To help you plan to get the most out of the event, five of our team members–all experts on ecommerce–agreed to share the sessions they are looking forward to the most and why. Check it out below and let us know if you agree.

Embracing Imperfection: When Good Enough is the Perfect Solution

Who’s looking forward to this: Chris Guerra, CMO

Everyone in the industry talks about “MVP” or minimally viable product, but few turn it into action for their business. For most mid-market brands and retailers, it takes more than one single individual to turn this methodology into a reality and it usually gets road blocked selling it up the totem pole. I’m looking forward to this session since it is coming from a CIO’s perspective. I’m sure there will be some useful tactics for launching projects, but I’m hoping it also provides some strategic guidance on how to create a culture of embracing imperfection. I’m also curious to see how ThinkGeek defines “the perfect solution.” Is there a specific metric and when is that defined? The more examples the better!

Creating a Category: How Drizly Transformed the Adult Beverage Industry—One Cocktail at a Time

Who’s looking forward to this: Emily Wilhoit, Sr. Business Development Manager of Implementations

We’ve encountered a few alcohol retailers here at Blue Acorn (I’m talking about clients—not just our favorite local beer distributor!) and we know that the rules and regulations can be tricky. From verifying the shopper’s age to shipping rules and delivery options, each state has complex rules and regulations that must be considered when selling alcohol online. I’m interested to hear how Nick Rellas, co- founder and CEO of Drizly, navigated the legal waters to create an online liquor store that is not only efficient but has an awesome user experience.

Craft beer and prohibition-era cocktails are more popular than ever, and Drizly has managed to capture the online market by offering unique content sprinkled throughout the site—something that the big box liquor stores lack. For me, seeing a colorful cocktail with an easy recipe listed entices me to try something new rather than stick with my go-to vodka and tonic. When I walk in my local liquor store, there are usually large, promotional signs for specific brands, but never relevant recipes or ideas.

But since Drizly is only doing business in about half of the 50 states, I hope Nick will share the impediments to opening in all 50 states. Cheers to that!

Lands’ End—Elevating an Iconic Company Into a Meaningful Global Lifestyle Brand

Who’s looking forward to this: Scott Plumb, Sr. Business Development Manager of Optimization

For years, Lands’ End has been one of the most well-respected brands within North America. With the growing and evolving retail industry we live in today, I’m excited to hear how Lands’ End will stay true to its core values as a leader in the industry, and how it plans to master the online experience for its customer base.

When it comes to personalizing the on-site shopping experience, Lands’ End has the ability to incorporate its unique history as a brand across all their channels. I look forward to seeing how Becky Gebhardt and the team at Lands’ End will incorporate this rich history to create a story during the customer’s onsite journey. With this approach, I’m confident they are building a stronger relationship with their loyal customers and will attract a new generation of Lands’ End shoppers.

How is Mobile Changing the Omnichannel Shopper Experience? A Facebook Perspective

Who’s looking forward to this: Bethany Kelley, PR and Communications Manager

As a social media junkie, I won’t be missing this session held by Maz Sharafi, Facebook’s product marketing director. Data tells us that each year, more and more conversions are taking place on mobile devices, leading marketers to rethink strategies and consider new commerce channels, including Facebook. The session promises to highlight the company’s product vision for future omnichannel marketing and to discuss how marketers can evolve their strategy in a mobile-first era. I’m looking forward to the glimpse into Facebook’s plan, and an actual list of tips and tricks on how to refine a Facebook retail strategy to win mobile customers.


Who’s looking forward to this: Kevin Eichelberger, Founder and CEO

For the past several years,omnichannel has been the buzzword that has dominated the conversation at conferences. Companies large and small aspire to be omnichannel, yet few can truly say that they are. By incorporating omnichannel into their DNA, startups that are entering the market today arguably have a leg up on this aspiration vs. market incumbents. That’s because larger, established organizations need to change out their systems, organizational structure, and approach, which is a slow, expensive undertaking. As a 25 year old company with more than 800 brick and mortar locations in the United States, Ulta has had to face those challenges head on. I’m excited to learn how leveraging the strengths of both its physical and digital presences gave ULTA an advantage in the change to achieving… omnichannel.

See you there

Don’t forget to stop by booth 7073 to visit with Blue Acorn and see what we can do for your team. We’ll be giving away a few special prizes to those that drop in.

Matthew Rickerby

Head of Marketing

Matt began his career in ecommerce at Blue Acorn over five years ago. His areas of expertise include persona development, account-based marketing, and content marketing. He has co-written speaking sessions for Bronto Summit, DIG South, GIANT, and Revolve, and received multiple awards for videography, blogging, and copywriting.

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