You’ve probably heard that in just a few days, thousands of retailers from around the world will convene in New York City for Retail’s BIG Show. And as the digital and physical retail worlds continue to converge in innovative ways, it’s only fitting that Shop.org has an even bigger presence at this year’s event.
Within this wide-reaching convention, there’s plenty of content and events that are relevant and valuable to digital retailers like you. For me, it comes down to the people, places and the topics discussed at Shop.org’s First Look that will drive retail in 2013 and beyond.
It will be hard to miss the star-studded line-up of retailers and speakers at Retail’s BIG Show this year. Here’s my short list of executives and innovative thinkers that I’ll be looking out for:
- Best-selling Socialnomics author Eric Qualman will explore which retailers are best-in-class when it comes to leveraging new technologies and analytics to meet customers’ changing expectations. Qualman will be joined by IBM’s Juli Puleri who will discuss the evolution of the “Chief Executive Customer.”
- Executives from one of the industry’s most forward-thinking brands and solution providers – Warby Parker, STORY, Zaarly and Square – will be on the Retail’s BIG Show Fast Track on Wednesday. This fast-paced and high-impact session will share their business success stories of how they’ve uniquely revolutionized the industry, both online and off.
- Executives from a handful of powerful brands such as Gap, Walmart, Wa-Wa and the Dunkin Brands will share an overview of their early experiences with the merchant customer exchange (MCX), and how each plans to provide a world-class mobile shopping experience for their customers.
A wise person once said, “it’s not about where we’ve been, but where we’re about to go.” And the places that digital retail is taking the industry – and the world – are without a doubt mesmerizing. At Retail’s BIG Show, here are a few places where you can catch a glimpse and meet with those driving us toward that exciting future.
- The much talked-about “Great Convergence” is coming closer each day, and executives from Belk, Deloitte, and Sony will discuss how this concept is quickly becoming a reality – and serves as a critical juncture for the future of omnichannel retailing.
- The enormous EXPO will be packed with more than 450 exhibitors, and it’s a must-see if you’re at the BIG Show looking for the latest gadgets, gizmos and solutions for your business.
- As always, the networking opportunities are abound. There are breakfasts, luncheons and happy hours spread across the week. New York is also the site for the first stop for our popular regional dinner series. We’re booked solid next week, but have no fear – we’ve got plenty of dinners spanning across America throughout the year.
Fittingly on the heels of our best of recap for 2012, the Shop.org community has 10 sessions planned for a “first look” at what’s next in 2013. A few of my personal favorites include:
- Forrester’s Sucharita Mulpuru will recap the year that was and look ahead at the outlook for digital retail in 2013.
- Brooks Brothers’ Executive Vice President for Direct and Omnichannel will explain how the timeless brand is evolving into the omnichannel realm, and share how their extending their longstanding customer-driven reputation in the digital space.
- New this year to Shop.org is the release of our organizational structure study. A panel of retailers will join Shop.org Executive Director Vicki Cantrell to recap the results of how retailers responded to questions of where digital fits into their overall company structure.
If you can’t be one of the thousands making the trip to New York, NRF will have a live-streaming of three keynotes to watch from the comfort of your home or office. Take your pick (or watch them all) to listen to a senior executive from Mango on Sunday; watch CEOs from Starbucks, The Container Store and Whole Foods Market speak on Monday; and the Walmart U.S. CEO on Tuesday.