Top 9 Sessions to See at Shoptalk 2018

Shoptalk 2018 is right around the corner, which means it’s nearly time to pack your bags for The Venetian in Las Vegas.

But before you join 7,500 other attendees at the world’s largest conference for retail and ecommerce innovation, you have a few things you should plan first.

Shoptalk is really all about learning, as the website clearly advertises: “Go Back to School at Shoptalk!” Since you want to spend as much time as possible learning the latest trends and new technologies in B2C business, you have to figure out what sessions will be most valuable for your B2C business.

But out of all the sessions, which should you prioritize?

We want to make your life easy as B2C marketer and so we combed through every session for the absolute best. Here are the sessions you can’t miss if you’re a B2C marketer — whether focused on consumer behaviors, the rapid evolution of ecommerce, the growth of omnichannel, or the importance of customer experience.

Monday: March 19, 2018

1. Chatbots and the Future of Messaging in Retail

9:00 – 9:40 AM
Japjit Tulsi, VP, Engineering, eBay
Stefanos Loukakos, Head of Messenger Business, Facebook
Zephrin Lasker, Head of Ecommerce, Rakuten Viber
Tim Chang, Partner, Mayfield Fund

Messaging apps are the newest way B2C brands are better serving their customers. Top brands are using chatbots to do everything from fielding customer service requests, to giving updates on shipping. And with new AI-powered chatbots that respond in real-time, it’s easier than ever to offer your customers a great chatbot experience and drive growth.

2. Delighting Customers Through Personal Interactions

9:45AM – 10:25AM
Helen Vaid, Chief Customer Officer, Pizza Hut
Mary Beth Laughton, EVP, Omni-Retail, Sephora
Melissa Gonzalez, Founder & CEO, The Lionesque Group & Field-Test
Rebecca Kaden, General Partner, Union Square Ventures

Personalization is no longer optional for today’s buyers. Consumers expect retailers to create personalized shopping experiences both in-store and online. Learn how two very different brands — Pizza Hut and Sephora — have approached this challenge and delighted their customers with unique buying experiences.

3. Optimizing the Brand Experience for Ecommerce

3:45PM – 4:25PM
Jeff Jarrett, VP, Global Head of eCommerce, Mondelez International
Oskar Kaszubski, VP of eCommerce Acceleration, Kellogg
Guilherme Lebelson, VP of Global eCommerce, AB InBev
Tim Laseter, Managing Director in Advisory, PricewaterhouseCoopers Advisory LLC

Ecommerce isn’t just for niche brands. Big brands like Kellogg and AB InBev are also making the shift to ecommerce. But in order to succeed, they have to change how they do business with better shipping, optimized ecommerce sites, and a strong brand presence online. Learn how your brand can also make the shift from in-store to digital commerce.

4. Omnichannel and Seamless Customer Experiences

4:30PM – 5:10PM
Rafeh Masood, Chief Digital Officer, BJ’s Wholesale Club
Eric Messerschmidt, SVP Strategic Marketing, CRM, and Loyalty, Ulta Beauty
Allison Peterson, President, Ecommerce, Best Buy
Brendan Witcher, VP and Principal Analyst, Forrester Research

As we’ve found, omnichannel is still all hype and no execution in the world of B2C business. Brands are continuing to struggle to manage the buyer’s experience across multiple channels, coordinating sales, advertising, pricing, and more. In this session, you’ll hear how executives from three big retailers are handling this challenge and serving their buyers seamlessly across channels.

5. The Rise of the Niche Brand

4:30PM – 5:10PM
Joey Zwillinger, Co-Founder & Co-CEO, Allbirds
Paul Berberian, CEO, Sphero
Alexandre Douzet, Co-Founder & CEO, Ollie
Eric Liaw, General Partner, IVP

There’s a new kind of company succeeding in today’s internet-driven world: niche brands. These small companies offer a specific type of product that serves a small niche audience. But the advantage is, those small audiences are hyper-passionate about these products. Learn how three fast-growing brands have been able to win over shoppers.

Tuesday: March 20, 2018

6. Physical Retail Concepts from Digitally Native Brands

9:00AM – 9:40AM
Ben Fischman, Founder & CEO, M.Gemi
Ethan Song, Co-Founder & CEO, Frank and Oak
Jen Rubio, Co-founder & Chief Brand Officer, Away
Ian Friedman, Co-Head, Goldman Sachs Investment Partners

As traditional retailers venture online, online-only businesses are simultaneously realizing the need to have physical stores in order to succeed. Top digital-native brands are opening stores, popup locations, and showrooms to help buyers try out products in person and increase engagement. Learn how each of these direct-to-consumer companies has made the shift to in-person purchases.

7. Building a Billion Dollar Company

3:45PM – 4:25PM
Larry Cheng, Managing Partner, Volition Capital
Adam Goldenberg, Co-CEO, TechStyle Fashion Group
Kelly Stickel, Founder & CEO, Remodista

There are more and more direct-to-consumer brands emerging every day, but which ones will truly stand out and succeed? Learn how brands like Chewy, JustFab, and Fabletics built an innovative business model that drives revenue. In this session, you’ll hear from the lead investor and the founder of two different companies that are now valued at more than $1 billion.

8. AI in Marketing: Predictive and Beyond

4:30PM – 5:10PM
Guido Campello, CEO – Creative Director, Cosabella
Vikram Sharma, Director & Head of Product, Flipkart
Amber Stepper, VP, Brand Marketing, Evenflo
Hilary Milnes, Senior Reporter, Glossy

AI is transforming the world of ecommerce marketing, and you can’t be left behind. Learn how AI can drive marketing automation and other manual processes like ad buys. Hear directly from top brands about how they’re using AI to save time, optimize processes, and drive real revenue.

9. Building Engaged Communities

5:15PM – 5:55PM
Edward Griffith, Founder, LoveCrafts
Mara McCune, VP, Brand, e.l.f. Beauty
Jennifer Foyle, Global Brand President – Aerie/American Eagle Outfitters
Greg Bettinelli, Partner, Upfront Venture

Building a deep and personal connection with your consumers is tough, but if you can create a community of your buyers, you can really benefit. Learn how these three companies were able to build a true community of active buyers around a common interest to drive revenue.

This session guide does not include the keynotes since we assume you’ll attend all of those as well. But hopefully, this will help you choose between all of the incredible content at Shoptalk 2018. With the right focus, we hope you’ll come away from the show with a renewed focus and lots of great ideas to help your B2C business thrive.

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