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CommerceNext 2019 was a huge success! We saw an incredible 122% increase in attendees since 2018 with over 900 retailers, vendors, and speakers, and an exceptional Net Promoter Score among conferences. We’re working hard to kick off planning for 2020; in the meantime, we’d like to share what the media had to say about this year’s ecommerce conference. Catch up on what you missed and refresh on the sessions you saw this summer, and stay tuned for announcements about CommerceNext 2020 coming next month!
INC.- The Top 5 ecommerce Conferences for 2019 and 2020
Inc. Magazine named CommerceNext one of the top five ecommerce conferences of 2019 and 2020.With speakers that include some of the leaders at the most recognizable names in direct to consumer brands and traditional retailers, Inc. included CommerceNext as a keystone event for anyone in the retail and ecommerce industry .
Read more about CommerceNext and the rest of Inc.’s top five here.
MARTECH ADVISOR- CommerceNext Announces 2019 Winners for Retail and ecommerce Industry Awards
Martech Advisor recapped our CommerceNexty’s winners from this year’s ecommerce conference. The CommerceNexty’s are peer-reviewed awards that honor individuals who exemplify the best marketing performances among retail and ecommerce professionals. The award winners have some great case studies for customer acquisition strategies. This year’s group included executives from Bonobos, HelloFresh, Lamps Plus, Outer, Poshmark, Sephora and Warby Parker.
Learn more about this year’s CommerceNexty honorees here.
DMN- Unified Views: CommerceNext 2019
DMN emphasized the shared challenges and opportunities among traditional retailers and direct to consumer brands. Between brick-and-mortar stories and digital direct to consumer expansion, brands and speakers shared a unified emphasis on creating the right digital strategies and channels for the specific audience to create a single-storied path for the consumer to follow. Overarchingly, the sessions emphasized the personalization of customer experience.
Read more about themes and threads of CommerceNext 2019 on DMN here.
Marketplace- podcast: “Where does returned merchandise go?
Marketplace inspects the traction of subscription clothing services as a solution for product return and client feedback in the retail space. One such retailer, Rent the Runway (RTR), spoke at CommerceNext about the value of partnering with brands and designers. They noted that the client feedback collected by RTR creates an advantageous partnership for the designers themselves. By partnering with clothing rental services like RTR, designers and department stores gain valuable data and feedback, and in turn, RTR and their customers gain access to an enormous repertoire of trend and designer pieces.
Listen to Veronika Sonsev, Co-Founder of CommerceNext talk more about sustainable fashion and the rental model on Marketplace here. You can catch Maureen Sullivan of Rent the Runway’s full session here.
eMarketer- Purple’s CEO on D2C Brands, Mattresses in Boxes and Why They’re Considering a Physical Location
During CommerceNext 2019, eMarketer sat down with Joe Megibow, CEO of Purple, to chat about Purple’s strategy for customer acquisition as a direct to consumer brand. Megibow touched on the past and present of the company, as his team directs its attention towards a story-centric marketing strategy. As a direct to consumer brand, Purple uses its unique storytelling angle as a method to engage with and educate its customer base through these online channels. “The promise of D2C is really what drives consumers to the channel…It’s a very customer-centric channel—or the intent is for it to be customer-centric—which means less friction, easier ways to buy, and essentially building something that’s servicing how the newer consumer wants to engage with brands.”
CO- Telling the Purple Story, from Viral Videos to Data-Targeted Ads
CO from the US Chamber of Commerce offered their perspective on Megibow’s keynote from this year’s ecommerce conference. The story highlighted Purple’s shift from massively viral content as their main marketing strategy to targeting a highly targeted, smaller audience. These efforts maintain the ever-present thread of storytelling as part of the Purple brand. In diversifying their audience for content, Megibow highlights the question: “How do we tell the right stories to the right people?” His answer rests in allowing their customer base to continue the narrative thread, targeting a diverse group of micro-influencers (for instance, the female head of house) to continue the thread of storytelling through their unique experience with Purple as a direct to consumer brand.
CO- Customer Loyalty: What’s Love Got to Do With It? A Lot
CO sat in on our panel on loyalty and retention at CommerceNext 2019 with Sunil Kaki of Thrive Market, Allegra Stanley Krishnan of Sephora, Liesel Walsh of Party City, and Lewis Gersh of PebblePost. The panelists discussed the value of customer experience and what value, if any, can a brand place behind acquisition experiences. The panelists agreed that the most valuable long-term loyalty strategy is earned rather than bought. Krishnan said concisely: “No one has ever come up to me when they find out I work for Sephora and said ‘I got this amazing 20% off coupon.’”
Read more of CO’s coverage on this panel here.
WARC- How new payments tech can yield consumer insights
Kareem Gahed, CEO of luxury jewelry brand John Hardy discussed the value of payment service tech and his experience with Affirm. In helping customers to purchase their products in installments, John Hardy engages with what Gahed calls “accessible luxury.” In turn, the company can introduce a new demographic beyond their typically older, more affluent customer base. Affirm provides customers like John Hardy with the analytics to maintain these simultaneous demographics, reaching and educating a wider audience through customer acquisition aided by this new payment technology.
Read more about John Hardy’s experience with Payments Tech on CO here.
WARC- Direct mail delivers for thredUp
thredUp uses direct mail to target customers they consider “high-quality,” reconnecting with individuals to boost reorder sales. They target these efforts towards the most engaged customers, reinforcing this relationship instead of grasping for less engaged groups. thredUp’s team uses the rich data from direct mail campaigns to personalize the interaction and create a one-on-one experience for their customers, citing personalization as the true key this customer acquisition strategy .
You can read more about thredUp’s success with direct mail on WARC here.
Retail TouchPoints- Loyalty And Retention Secrets: Look For Customer Actions That Spell ‘Love’
Our loyalty panelists at CommerceNext 2019 discussed the value of love in customer retention. Retail TouchPoints outlined each panelist’s perspective on consumer love for a brand and its products, all hinging on the concept of earned loyalty over purchased. The group discussed the difference between love and loyalty of the product versus the carrier, and the strategies behind high-value action and incentives. Overall, their discussion touched on customer acquisition as well as retention, seeking the channels that entice new customers and maintain that interest and relationship long-term.
You can read more on this panel and their findings on Retail TouchPoints here.
Total Retail- thredUP, Chubbies Integrate Brand and Performance Marketing for Better Results
Tom Montgomery of Chubbies and Karen Clark of thredUp shared their strategies for brand and performance marketing at this years ecommerce conference, giving insight into their individualized plans based on the customer experience of the brand itself. Montgomery shared that his team’s goal is to build a deeply emotional brand, curating a feeling of the weekend through their products. thredUp focuses each effort on individualized goal per campaign and placing primacy on efficiency. The speakers shared their perspectives on internal versus external efforts, allocating budget for different marketing channels, and how to measure the success of a channel based on their goals.
You can read more on this discussion from CommerceNext 2019 on My Total Retail here.
Modern Retail- How Walmart is trying to win over fashion brands
Denise Incandela of Walmart shared her team’s intentions to expand their online and in-store clothing offerings beyond the typical investment in value. Walmart’s pivot towards a more trend-centric line is more than a simple shift in the products carried in-store; in the last year Walmart has targeted high-end fashion brands and designers for partnership including names like Calvin Klein and Betsy Johnson. Modern Retail covered Incandela’s talk from CommerceNext 2019, highlighting her goals of becoming a good brand partner, and establishing a platform for these brands to feel excited about being online. “Our goal is to position ourselves as a fashion destination.”
Read more about Walmart’s new editorial reach on Modern Retail here.
TotalRetail: 3 Customer Loyalty and Retention Takeaways From CommerceNext
This year’s panel on loyalty and retention asked the questions of customer love, bought versus earned loyalty, and how to keep these customers coming back for more. TotalRetail recapped the discussion in three main takeaways that help brands attract and retain these customers. First, a brand should pursue an emotional connection with their consumer, one that tells a story. Next, maintain an exclusive element of that relationship- keep them coming back for something they can’t get anywhere else. Finally, develop the right kind of incentives for the customers you’re looking to hold on to.
You can read more of TotalRetail’s coverage on loyalty, retention, and customer acquisition on their website here.
PR Week- DTC Brands Find Creative Ways to Connect
At this year’s ecommerce conference, many speakers discussed the value of personalizing the customer experience as a direct to consumer brand. The creative ways in which these brands engage with their digital (and, increasingly, physical) consumer base allows them to collect first-party data directly from their customers and observe their patterns of engagement. Brands experiment with concepts of storytelling and personalization in order to gain insight and retain these customers in a long-term retail relationship.
Learn more about emerging creativity in the DTC space on PR Week here.