And, It Hasn’t Even Happened Yet!
The event is called Shoptalk and about 2,000 industry executives, including more than 150 CEOs, have already signed up. Of the registered attendees, over 25 percent are C-level executives and another 30 percent are EVPs, SVPs and VPs. About 100 more people are buying tickets every week, and with five weeks to go before the event kicks off on May 15, Shoptalk will soon run out of tickets due to space limitations. People need to register soon, since prices are going up on Friday.
Jerry Storch, CEO of Hudson’s Bay Company, Uri Minkoff, CEO of Rebecca Minkoff, Steve Lowy, CEO of Westfield, Ron Johnson, CEO of Enjoy, Brian Lee, CEO of The Honest Company, and Tim Kendall, President of Pinterest, are just some of the stars on Shoptalk’s 300-person speaker lineup. CNBC’s Courtney Reagan will be conducting interviews on the main stage. Many Wall Street equity analysts including those from Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley will be there. Tech publication, Re/code, is co-locating an invite-only commerce event. Lionel Richie will be talking about his new home collection with Dottie Mattison, CEO of Gracious Home. Wyclef will perform during an evening event sponsored by Google. The list of reasons to attend is mind blowing.
How and why did Shoptalk get so important so fast? Because what it promises to deliver, is desperately needed.
I’ve been ranting, forever it seems, that we are in the middle of the biggest and most profound transformation in the history of retailing, being driven by the disruptive dynamics of the most powerful consumers in history, facilitated by technology and the Internet. It’s also being driven by globalization, essentially the powerful connection of the entire planet. So not only is this a time of opportunity for businesses to fundamentally transform their strategies and business models to serve this newly empowered consumer, it’s an absolute necessity. Those who do not change will disappear.
The struggle is to figure out how. And, in my opinion, as I see this inaugural event shaping up, Shoptalk is going to provide tons of answers. It is the first major conference on such a massive level that brings together thought leaders from both the old and new worlds of retailing and contiguous industries. That’s why teams of executives from Home Depot, Kohl’s, Nike, Macy’s, Nordstrom, and even Anheuser-Busch, and others, have already signed up.
Shoptalk got big, fast, because it’s the brainchild of the founders of Money20/20—the world’s largest consumer payments events with over 15,000 attendees annually. So this team knows how to quickly build world-class events that attract industry leaders, disruptive startups, Wall Street analysts, influential media, deep-pocketed investors and many others.
What Does Shoptalk Promise to Deliver?
Shoptalk promises to deliver answers on how retailers must develop new strategies and integrated business models to better engage and connect with 21st Century consumers who have unlimited and instantaneous access to whatever their hearts desire, 24/7. And that includes a never-ending number of new products and services.
However, while huge capital investments will be required to transform businesses to be able to serve and win the newly empowered consumer’s wallet, including the creation of engaging and entertaining experiences, retailers are paradoxically needing to become more efficient and productive, all while competitive pricing pressures are “lowering all ships,” so to speak.
How do you deal with this chaos of change?
I believe the breadth and depth of knowledge and thought leaders that Shoptalk has assembled will address all of these issues and more.
Shoptalk breaks down the old world silos and creates a new path that explores all of the ways consumers discover, shop and buy any product, service or experience, and how retailers can transform and connect with their new demands.
Take a look at Shoptalk’s agenda and it’s unlike anything else we’ve come across. Here are three major takeaways on the formal learning opportunities at Shoptalk:
1/ The agenda presents the most comprehensive discussion of retail, ecommerce and other critical aspects of commerce we’ve seen. It touches on the core of what’s important to retailers today, for example, topics that include In-Store Mobile Engagement, Virtual and Augmented Reality, The Future of Artificial Intelligence in Retail, Innovations in Offline Data Capture and Retail Formats of the Future.
2/ The speaker lineup itself is nothing short of mind blowing. Shoptalk has created an agenda that includes over 300 speakers—leaders from venture capital-backed companies as well as established retailers, brands and Internet companies:
Established retailers and brands are represented from the C-suite and President, EVP, SVP and VP levels, including Abercrombie & Fitch, Amazon, Ashley Stewart, Banana Republic, Belk, Best Buy, Cole Haan, Crocs, Elizabeth Arden, EXPRESS, Foot Locker, Guess, Home Depot, House of Fraser, Hudson’s Bay Company, HSN, Kohl’s, Lenovo, Macy’s, Michael Kors, Mondelez, Newegg, Restoration Hardware, Sephora, Sunglass Hut, Target, Ulta Beauty, Under Armour, VF Corp, Walmart, Westfield and many others. This is a senior crowd, not the usual manager and director levels that populate the standard industry agendas.
CEOs of disruptive direct-to-consumer startups that have collectively raised more than $7.5 billion in venture funding—many individually in the tens and hundreds of millions—will be speaking, as well. These are companies that you seldom see at retail or ecommerce events, and certainly not at this scale. Some of the speaking companies represented at the CEO level include: 4moms, Adore Me, American Giant, Birchbox, The Black Tux, Boxed Wholesale, Casper, Chloe + Isabel, Cotopaxi, Curbside, Dollar Shave Club, Dot & Bo, ENJOY, Greats, Hello Alfred, Hollar, The Honest Company, Jet.com, Laurel & Wolf, Parachute, Plated, Poshmark, Postmates, Rocksbox, Shift, Stitch Fix, Sols, Stowaway Cosmetics, Tradesy and more.
Internet companies that are key to commerce including the heads of business and product are speaking from players like Airbnb, Amazon Prime Now, Android Pay, eBay, Facebook Messenger, Google Express, Google Shopping, Pinterest, Twitter and Yelp.
CEOs and senior executives of retail and ecommerce tech companies that enable much of retail and ecommerce today and those that are pioneering future solutions are speaking from the likes of Adobe, BloomReach, Button, ChatID, Curalate, Deliv, DynamicAction, Estimote, HookLogic, LISNR, Magento Commerce, Memomi, ModiFace, Narvar, Oak Labs, Olo, Oracle, Optimizely, Persado, PhraseTech, Placemeter, RetailNext, Sailthru, Sentient Technologies, Slyce, StellaService, Symphony Commerce, Trendalytics, True Fit and Waze.
The speaker lineup also includes the heads of consumer and retail investing from prolific venture capital firms such as Accel, Bain Capital Ventures, Commerce Ventures, Forerunner Ventures, Fung Capital, Lerer Hippeau Ventures and Lightspeed Venture Partners.
3/ Shoptalk emphasizes — and we think it’s groundbreaking — that there’s absolutely no “pay-to-play” on their agenda. No vendor will drive the discussion through sponsorship dollars or by offering to bring a client with them. This is very unusual in an industry where the normal practice is to facilitate vendor-retailer pitches. We like the fact that Shoptalk has elevated the dialogue to the critical topics of the day without external influence. If you’re a retailer subsidized by sponsors to attend an event, you get what you pay for—but you already know that.
Of course, beyond the formal agenda, there are lots of opportunities to learn informally while broadening your network as well as visiting with your existing peer group.
Shoptalk set expectations very high in September when it came out of the gate claiming that it would help reshape the dialogue in retail and ecommerce—something we think is needed but exceptionally hard to accomplish. Based on the world-class metrics the event has attained and our review of the agenda, we believe Shoptalk is well on its way to delivering the new narrative they’ve promised.
Shoptalk will be held at the Aria in Las Vegas on May 15-18, and is currently tracking to sell out. The links to learn more about Shoptalk are:
Final Agenda: https://shoptalk.com/agenda.php
300+ Speakers: https://shoptalk.com/speakers.php?w=&o=c
And here’s the link to register: https://shoptalk.com/tickets.php. We recommend you grab one of the last remaining tickets before they sell out. Ticket prices increase on Friday, April 15.
The Robin Report will be at Shoptalk, and we hope to see you there.