There’s no better place to connect with remote co-workers, peers, and like-minded folks than ShopTalk. ShopTalk gathers brand, retail, and technology leaders from around the world to learn, collaborate, and create the future of shopping.
Team Tradeswell attended ShopTalk, and we got the scoop on the most eye-opening insights, trends, and strategies shared at the event.
Retail Trends Investors are Watching
A panel of investors shared how omnichannel is shaping shopping experiences, the effects of rising customer acquisition costs, and the metaverse possibilities.
The Rise of Omnichannel Experiences
With stores reopened, shoppers are making their return to brick and mortar, but it may not look the same as pre-pandemic. Brands and retailers are investing in tools and strategies that connect online and physical shopping channels. Buy online, pick up in-store is likely here to stay, but we’ll also see tools that make in-store shopping more efficient and enable sales associates to capture customer data.
Rising Acquisition Costs
Apple’s iOS privacy changes and increased competition have caused the consumer acquisition cost (CAC) to rise. As a result, brands are exploring new (and old) ways to capture customer attention: TikTok, QR codes, billboards, and direct mail.
Of course, you can’t talk about the future of retail without mentioning the metaverse. Investors believe that the metaverse infrastructure isn’t there yet, but it has the potential to be huge. Just ask your kids that have been living in these online gaming environments for years.
In a separate ShopTalk session, PacSun President, Brieane Olson, shared how they opened a metaverse experience on Roblox that included a marketplace of real and fantasy items.
“The consumer is really looking for that sense of imagination, creativity, and the ability to transform their identity.” - Brieane Olson, President, PacSun.
The Power of Community in Building Customer Connections
When you use a community for more than sharing product information and upcoming promotions, you can build a brand with longevity. Olaplex CEO, JuE Wong, shared key learnings from building a community that fosters customer engagement while capturing insights that can fuel business decisions.
Wong’s tips for building a community:
- Define your brand’s superpower - this will guide what you share in the community.
- Identify where you’ll engage with customers in a way that’s authentic. Some brands use Slack or Discord, others use Facebook or Instagram.
- Create a space that allows customers to connect with one other.
- Learn: Speak directly to your customers, ask questions, and pay attention to what they say to you and other members.
- Don’t try to be everything to everyone - it won’t work.
The Future of On-Demand Retail
When it comes to local delivery, Uber wants to “out-Amazon Amazon.” Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber, announced a new partnership with bp that will give customers access to convenience store goods through Uber.
“We are going to build that local operating system for everyday life.” - Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO, Uber
More than 3,000 bp store locations will be available on the Uber East app—allowing users to order food, groceries, and everyday essentials and get them delivered directly to their doorstep.
Driving Scale and Making an Impact
Dave Gilboa, Co-Founder and Co-CEO at Warby Parker, shared how he’s scaling Warby Parker’s business while making a positive impact. What started as a digitally native brand has expanded into a DTC company with 160 physical stores.
Leveraging the latest in ecommerce technology, Warby Parker solves two critical customer problems with virtual try-ons and eye tests:
- Finding glasses that fit and look good
- Getting an updated prescription
As the digital marketing space has grown more competitive and costly, Warby Parker has turned to more traditional advertising avenues. The brand has invested in billboards and direct mail to attract and convert customers.
How Digital Marketing is Reshaping Commerce
Allan Thygesen, President, Americas & Global Partners at Google, discussed how the transition to privacy-first advertising opens opportunities for brands to explore first-party data, build genuine customer loyalty, and innovate in retail media.
This week, Google released a slew of new shopping tools, including an enhanced conversion measurement tool, a price insights tool, and shipping and return overview pages. Additionally, the company is rolling out visual search—starting with apparel.
These new features will allow brands to deliver frictionless, personalized shopping journeys before the customer even lands on their sites.
Supply Chain Revolution
Many companies are still feeling the pains of the supply chain, but one brand plans to take it head-on. American Eagle is transforming its supply chain operations following its acquisition of logistics companies AireTerra and Quiet Logistics. “There’s a supply chain revolution, and we want to lead it,” said American Eagle COO, Michael Rempell.