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Taming the Content Beast: A Day 1 Recap of Shoptalk

“Content is a big, hairy beast.” This according to Naseem Sayani, Group VP, Strategy for Huge. Her quote perfectly sums up day one of Shoptalk 2016, which was both fun and forward-thinking. Loads of people we talked to are excited by this new trade show, boasting huge brands and a notable selection of speakers from the retail and technology spaces.

But what else? Here are some of the key takeaways that our Olapic team captured at Shoptalk, day one:

  • Breaking down marketing silos: The biggest challenge for creating strong marketing content is breaking down the silos that exist between internal teams. In a session entitled, “The Future of Digital Advertising,” Donald Williams, Chief Digital Officer, Horizon Media, noted, “75% of agency time is spent coordinating across teams. We would have better advertising if we spent 75% of our time on creative work.”
  • The mobile economy has arrived: We aren’t heading to a mobile-first commerce economy. We’ve already reached it. Facebook, Instagram, Google, and Pinterest have all showed how they are making their platforms shoppable. At Shoptalk, much of the focus is on the “mobile experience,” and how buy buttons and other technology can get consumers to think about social platforms as shopping portals. In addition, Google Express announced new markets in Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas, building on existing partnerships with traditional brick-and-mortar retailers to execute.
  • Millennials aren’t going away: Of course, Millennials were also a big part of the conversation (Wouldn’t be a trade show otherwise, right?) However, it’s become a standard topic for good reason, because millennials, like mobile commerce, are happening now. They are taking on leadership roles, buying homes, starting families, and possess enormous spending potential as they are the now the largest demographic segment.

Additionally, there has been lots of discussion around the growing complexity of the consumer journey, especially in the retail sector. Jerry Storch, CEO of Hudson’s Bay Company, highlighted that there are now over 100 possible combinations of engagement just from the origin of purchase, to distribution, to fulfillment. For example, a user could purchase a product on a mobile/desktop/social/in-store and then either pick it up in store, schedule delivery from the brand, or schedule delivery from a third party. Understanding and maintaining control over the customer experience across so many varying and potential touchpoints will make any retailer’s head spin. Brands need to be ready to adapt to any possible scenario.

Finally, we were excited to see our clients, Crocs and Banana Republic, share the stage to discuss omnichannel success. While they agreed that consistent storytelling was a critical component of an omnichannel strategy, they cautioned that experiences should not be identical across varying customer touchpoints. For example, Banana Republic just rolled out two new fits of men’s shirts. On mobile devices consumers expect product specs and details, while in-store they can feel and experience the product so less description is needed. The story stays the same, but the execution changes based on the channel through which a consumer is engaging with the brand.Olapic

We’re anticipating another day of insightful presentations and conversations with retailers. If you’re at the event, be sure to stop by our booth (#1115) to talk with us about how earned content can help connect your omnichannel strategy and realize its full potential. In the spirit of the spring season we have built the only living booth at Shoptalk, and will be giving out brand new Olapic swag. And be sure to check back later for more takeaways from the event!

Image Source: Unsplash.com / By: Scott Webb

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