The Talk at Shoptalk 2018: How to Beat Amazon

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Hearing words of wisdom, hope, reality, and a bit of denial, Shoptalk was the epicenter for retail and ecommerce innovation in NYC from March 18th through the 21st. We sent all three CommerceNext co-founders to this retailer roundup where Veronika Sonsev talked to several leaders who took the stage to get their hot takes. The biggest discussion point this year? All the strategic trends helping retailers and ecommerce shops compete with Amazon in 2018.

Trend #1: Personalization isn’t going away — rather, it’s just getting warmed up.
Who to Watch: Macys.com and Nike are meeting this challenge head on, with new programs and apps bringing coaches, convenience and cleverness to ecommerce experiences.

Trend #2: The progress of loyalty programs.
Who to Watch: Ulta with its tried and true points program has shown success quarter after quarter and proves it’s been doing loyalty right from the start. Nike’s program is finding new life with its integration of early access to products and expert advice.

Trend #3: Authenticity is hard to cultivate, but can be invaluable in building a brand.
Who to Watch: Brandless,
as reported by Veronika in Forbes previously, is a new player in CPG who’s coming for the big guys with its big guns molded from authentic customer relationships. Glossier found success in a sea of competition through a similar strategy of engaging with customers early, listening and incorporating feedback, and garnering mutual respect and loyalty through it all.

Trend #4: In-store experiences will fizzle, fold or innovate. Retailers are choosing the latter.
Who to Watch: M. Gemi and Nordstrom aren’t afraid of being the first to stray from the traditional pack. Offering inventory-less stores where you shop, try-on and ship to your home, these in-store experiences focus on personal engagement and beauty services.

Trend #5: Customers have a proclivity for exclusivity.
Who to Watch: Macy’s and Walmart are tapping into the basic customer desire to have something no one else has. With Amazon providing a platform to find almost every brand and product you could want, there’s little need to look elsewhere. But these established players are bowing down to Amazon quite yet — instead, they’re creating new lines that keep customers on their sites and loyal to their brands.

Dig deeper into each of these trends in Veronika’s full article as originally published in Forbes.

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