Last week, Chicago played host to the 2017 ShopperTrak Retail Summit, which provided retail leaders with 3 days of cutting-edge ideas, meaningful insights, and actionable solutions to everyday problems — all while working together to envision a future of retail that adapts to the preferences of contemporary shoppers.
Here are a few of the best moments and top takeaways from the Summit:
Registration and Welcome Reception
Yesterday’s Gone, Surviving in Your Store Today
After a welcoming speech from Bjoern Petersen, President of Tyco Retail Solutions, Bob Phibbs opened the show by proclaiming, “We don’t have the luxury of a negative thought,” to a roomful of more than 100 captivated retailers. Phibbs’ interactive presentation stressed the importance of positive thinking in creating impactful, innovative changes to retail strategy when attempting to drive shoppers into the store.
General Session: Realizing the Omni-Channel Vision
This session’s highlight was Peter Longo’s detailed exploration of the origins and evolution of modern American retail. Longo, former President of Logistics and Operations at Macy’s, called out three distinct pieces of advice for retailers who are leading the industry into the 21st century: 1.) Strive to avoid the commodification of products; 2) Remember that the store is the retailer’s most potent asset; 3.) Invest in ecommerce while accepting that it drives consumption.
The time between general sessions and lunch marked the first of two opportunities for Summit attendees to view demos of existing ShopperTrak and TrueVUE solutions, andprovided space for retailers, SMEs, and product managers to ask questions and candidly discuss and question future technological endeavors.
Concurrent Session #1
After breaking for lunch, attendees broke in to smaller groups to participate in any one of a number of retailer-led concurrent session that aimed to “meet retailers where they’re at,” in terms of leveraging traffic data. While one group discussed Traffic 101 with Lucky Brand retailers, for example, another group discussed using advanced analytics to segment stores by peer groups with folks from DTLR.
Concurrent Session #2
After breaking for afternoon coffee, ShopperTrak Retail Summit attendees again divided for the second round of breakout sessions, this time focusing on either planning for the holidays with Perry Ellis or analyzing Macy’s results with RFID implementation.
As the evening rolled around, the group headed out for a night on the town that began with cocktails and dinner at the historic Walnut Room on the 8th floor of Chicago’s historic Marshall Fields’ building (now owned by Macy’s). Drinks, dinner, and dessert delighted all before heading to one of Chicago’s most beloved rooftop bars, Raised, to continue conversations over late-night drinks and truly stunning views of the city.
On Friday morning, everyone gathered in the main hall to hear from keynote speaker, Neely Tamminga of Distill Advisory, as she unveiled, for the first time, her deeply researched insights that explain and contextualize projected levels of consumer spending as the Millennial generation moves into its peak years of consumption. Tamminga’s presentation spurred a lively Q&A session during which retailers shared stories and plotted ways to capture the ever-elusive Millennial dollar.
Customer Experience and Unified Commerce
In the final gathering of the ShopperTrak Retail Summit, Hunter Harrison of Boston Retail Partners reviewed the results of BRP’s 2017 Customer Experience/Unified Commerce study. Among other things, Harrison highlighted the increasingly important role of social media to a successful omnichannel retailing strategy.
Closing Remarks and Departure
As the conference came to a close around noon on Friday, ShopperTrak’s GM, Americas, Bill McCarthy, issued a big “thank you” to all attendees and speakers, called out key moments from the conference, and encouraged everyone to look for ShopperTrak at upcoming events throughout the year.
Hope to see you again at ShopperTrak Retail Summit 2018, next year!