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IRCE 2017 Preview: Themes & Sessions You Won’t Want to Miss

From June 6-9, over 10,000 retail leaders are expected to attend the Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition (IRCE), being held at the McCormick Place West in Chicago, Illinois. IRCE is an annual opportunity for online retailers to come together to share ideas and to discuss strategies for engaging and converting customer audiences. This year, Olapic is very excited to be once again sponsoring the event, as well as speaking alongside one of our innovative clients, Timberland, in a session entitled “Listen Up: Consumers Know More About Your Brand Than You Do.”

With over 130 unique sessions available on the conference agenda, it can be overwhelming for attendees to plan their schedules. Certainly, the list of potential topics is immense, so in order to help, we have put together a few key themes that appear to have drawn focus at IRCE 2017.

Creating Better Omnichannel Experiences

Modern retail leaders are trying to identify ways to create better, more consistent omnichannel experiences. As new channels emerge, and consumer demand increases for personalized messaging, this challenge becomes far more difficult for brands. At IRCE, several sessions are being featured with an “omnichannel” approach in mind. Here are a couple that you may want to consider as you plan your personal agenda:

How Sephora Uses Mobile to Deliver Experiential RetailWednesday, June 07, 2017: 8:30 AM – 9:00 AM

Mary Beth Laughton, Senior Vice President, Digital at Sephora, will lead this session on Wednesday. In it, she will share how the cosmetics retailer has leaned into growth in mobile engagement, and connected the digital and in-store environment by looking not just at mobile commerce but at opportunities to deliver more in-depth information at all customer touchpoints.

Mobile, Performance + Wearables: Under Armour takes ‘Customer Connection’ to a Whole New LevelThursday, June 08, 2017: 8:15 AM – 8:45 AM

Kicking off Thursday’s content, this session may already be on your radar, led by George Hanson, Vice President, North America E-Commerce and Brand House Stores for Under Armour. During the presentation, Hanson will share details on Under Armour’s Connected Fitness initiative, including how the brand is revolutionizing the customer experience using mobile apps like the UA Record app and connected clothing like Athlete Recovery Sleepwear, which absorbs the energy of body heat and reflects it back to the wearer’s skin to speed recovery and promote better sleep—all trackable through the app.

How Consumers Are Transforming Retail

Another key focus at IRCE is the changing role of the customer, which is no longer simply a target for sales, but rather a key collaborator in creating brand messaging, positioning, and product development. Many sessions (including ours!) will explore this idea, and uncover ways for brands to better involve their customers in their marketing strategies. Here are a couple we would like to highlight:

Listen Up: Consumers Know More About Your Brand Than You DoThursday, June 08, 2017: 1:15 PM – 1:45 PM

Of course, we are most anticipating this session, where our own SVP of Customer Success, Justin Picciano, will join Frank Hwang, Senior Manager, Digital Marketing, Paid Media for Timberland to discuss how brands can glean insights from their digital audiences. Specifically, Hwang will share how Timberland caters its messaging at each step in the customer journey based on content cues taken from customers’ own behaviors.

Tech-Savvy Consumers Are Transforming RetailWednesday, June 07, 2017: 10:30 AM – 11:00 AM

In this session, led by Gian Fulgoni, Co-Founder and CEO of ComScore, Inc, and Louis DeJianne, Director, Retail Marketing at UPS, the pair will reveal the results of a comprehensive consumer survey. The research explores the direction of online and in-store retail as informed by changing trends in consumer behaviors.

Using Data to Inform Engagement Strategies

In any modern conversation regarding retail and e-commerce, “data” is a central focus, and with good reason. Today’s brands have access to a seemingly neverending set of data, which is simultaneously exciting and overwhelming. For retail leaders, the ability to turn this data into actionable information is critical to success. At IRCE 2017, several sessions focus on sharing strategies for getting more out of e-commerce datasets. Here are a couple we think are noteworthy:

More Than Analytics—How Data Science Drives Personalization, Profit and Innovation – Wednesday, June 07, 2017: 11:00 AM – 11:30 AM

Mike Zhang, Vice President, E-Commerce, Digital Marketing, Innovation at Lands’ End leads this session, where he will share how data science can enable real-time personalization for retailers and their customers. Attendees will learn how to begin anticipating shoppers’ intentions through intelligent analytics.

Be a Revolutionary: Adapting Lifecycle Messages to Changing Consumer BehaviorThursday, June 08, 2017: 1:45 PM – 2:15 PM

How are you utilizing data to help inform messaging that will resonate with various audiences?  In this session, Greg Zakowicz, Senior Commerce Marketing Analyst at Bronto will be joined by Patrick Gill, CEO at eCommerce Outdoors, to discuss the changing dynamics of lifecycle messaging. Retailers will walk away with tips for turning data into messaging that will better engage and convert important customer segments, and will benefit from shared knowledge that the speakers have accumulated in their own testing efforts.

This is just a small sample of the high-quality content available at IRCE 2017, so of course, please also review the full schedule to identify sessions that are most applicable to your industry and unique business challenges. And if you’ll be at the event, please consider checking out our session, and stop by booth #1634 to learn how we are helping e-commerce brands increase conversions and create more authentic touchpoints with their customers. See you there!