retailX report: Real-time responsiveness, supply chain and headless commerce


Some of our team members traveled this week to the retailX show in Chicago – mixing & mingling, conducting meetings, and attending keynotes and panels from brands like Betabrand, Janie and Jack and Under Armour, and retailers like Target, Ulta Beauty and Lowe’s.

We quickly observed that what is top of mind for us these days is certainly on the minds of other leaders in the industry as well. Specifically, we heard the need for real-time responsiveness to market conditions, the never-ending complications of the supply chain, and what brands are thinking about headless commerce. 

See below for the 3 takeaways from the show so far:

#1 Real-time responsiveness

If there is one lesson brands and retailers learned this year, it’s the speed at which consumer demands can change. In “The DTC Pandemic Pivot: Responding to New Consumer Needs and Demands,” the founder and CEO of Touchland – which produces high-quality hand sanitizers in scents like blue sandalwood and frosted mint – noted that startups and small businesses get hit particularly hard by volatility in demand. They need more than one backup plan to be able to meet consumer demand, and they need to see a complete view of their business in one place, across all marketplaces, in the right-time to make good calls.


#2 Supply chain

To demonstrate some of the complexities that can occur in the supply chain, and show what they believe is its future, packaging company WestRock put together an interactive display that visitors to their booth could walk through. Supply chain innovation is something we are passionate about too, specifically helping brands to integrate demand forecasting with all other elements of their ecommerce operations such as the inclusion of marketing campaign performance data.


#3 Headless commerce 

There is a lot to explore when it comes to headless commerce, yet what it comes down to are the principles of empowering our teams and improving customer experiences. These two outcomes should serve as as a guiding light when evaluating emerging technologies to support a brand’s ecommerce growth needs.In an early afternoon panel, we heard from Retail Remix podcast host Alicia Esposito, as well as Scott Saeger, CIO of GNC and Ryan Bartley, CPO and co-founder of Fabric, a headless commerce platform. The big message: Don’t sleep on headless commerce.



That’s wrap from Day 1 of retailX! If you’re there right now and want to learn more about Tradeswell, you still can. Book a meeting with one of us now.

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