Coming from Boston, MA, Karim is Commercial Director at BookingBug. Now based in the UK, he often travels between offices to catch up with the BookingBug team and his other favorite team, The Patriots

5 Must-See Talks at Shoptalk '18


It's Shoptalk time.

With less than two weeks to go before “the world's largest conference for retail & ecommerce”, we’re beginning to prep our agendas. This year’s show features as many as 6 tracks in one day, so it’ll get a little crazy if you’re not prepared. In fact, the agenda lists 100+ speaking sessions and keynotes, not to mention startup tech talks, parties, remarks and receptions. Topics range from working with startups to new developments in mobile and omnichannel strategies to Direct-to-Consumer wunderkinds.

Need a quick guide to some of the must-see sessions? Look no further. Here are our 5 must-see sessions at Shoptalk 18:

Retailer-Startup Relationships


Track Room 1
Sunday, March 18
2:45PM - 3:25PM

Ruth Crowley, VP, Customer Experience Design, Lowe's
Maggie Winter, Co-Founder & CEO, AYR
Kevin Lavelle, Founder & CEO, Mizzen+Main
Ben Sun, Co-Founder & General Partner, Primary Venture Partners (Moderator)

Retailers and startups no longer exist in different worlds. Today many established retailers are partnering with or acquiring direct-to-consumer and technology startups. Additionally, a growing number of retailers now sell products from smaller, early-stage brands.

Retail Insights from Research Organizations


Track Room 3
Monday, March 19
9:00AM - 9:40AM

Steve Koenig, Senior Director, Market Research, Consumer Technology Association
Marshal Cohen, Chief Industry Advisor, Retail, The NPD Group
Yaniv Corem, VP of R&D, Innovation & Experimentation, Fung Academy

This session will feature presentations by three leading research firms. Each one will highlight new, original research based on the firm's area of expertise and will provide fresh perspectives that help retailers and brands better understand changing consumer behavior and other major industry trends:

Technology Innovation Invigorating the In-Store Experience—CTA
The Future of Private Label in Retail—NPD Group
Lessons from Startups: A New Source of Insights for Retail—Fung Academy

Want some research to prep you for the show? We recently finished surveying 2,000 shoppers in the US and UK about their retail prefrences & behaviors. Download the insights here. retail_research_omnichannel

Delighting Customers Through Personal Interactions


Track Room 4
Monday, March 19
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

Today’s online shopping experiences are more personalized than ever, and consumers now expect retailers to understand their preferences and buying habits. Increasingly, these expectations are crossing into physical stores as forward-thinking retailers adopt new clienteling and customer service technologies, and empower their associates to build meaningful connections with shoppers through personalized experiences.

Innovative Experiential Retail


Track Room 2
Monday, March 18
3:45PM - 4:25PM

Nicole Srock.Stanley, Founder & CEO, dan pearlman
Savannah Sachs, UK Managing Director, Birchbox

Leading retailers are creating new physical environments that enable consumers to experience their products in more immersive and memorable ways. Some are creating experiences where customers can interact with their products in a one-on-one setting; others are enabling shoppers to explore and experiment through services, exhibitions or social gatherings.

Omnichannel and Seamless Customer Experiences


Track Room 2
Monday, March 18
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, Principal Analyst, Forrester Research (Interviewer)

Few retailers have a truly seamless omnichannel customer experience—they must still manage myriad issues including prices, products and promotions across every consumer touchpoint. Retailers are also seeking competitive advantages with initiatives such as infinite shelf capabilities and click and collect, popular consumer offerings that require high levels of inventory visibility.

When you have 15 minutes between all of the networking and learning, come make a pit stop at The Store of the Future Discovery Zone booth #SF35. We’ll be waiting with smiles on our faces and fidget spinners in our hands.

Good luck at the show!