• ANDREW STRAITMAN

SHOPTALK Recap—What Happens in Vegas...Can Drive Retail Growth

I’m a few weeks late, but finally able to catch my breath after a whirlwind Shoptalk 2018 at The Venetian in Las Vegas. This was our 2ndShoptalk experience, and yet again it was filled with long (but great!) days of productive conversations, bookended by evenings of team bonding and exploring Vegas’s culinary delights. But through it all, three things stuck out to our team:


1. The variety of service providers ready and able to help drive retail success is astounding. From end-to-end eCommerce platforms to companies that focus solely on capturing and analyzing customer reviews (and yes, packaging too!), there have never been more (or more effective) tools for retailers large and small to better serve their customers. Small guys can pretend to be big guys more easily, and barriers to entry are shrinking in the process.


2. This leveling of the playing field means that differentiation is even more important. The smallest startup can make itself seem much larger and mimic many of the strategies larger retailers have long used to maintain their market share. So proving (and reinforcing) differentiation is critical for retailers to build and keep loyal customer bases.


3. But how to do that? The name of the game is customer experience. Retailers need to ensure the experience their customers have reinforces what their brands supposedly represent, and truly surprises and delights. For eCommerce retailers in particular, the first physical interaction customers have with products is when it arrives in the mail. If the packaging the product arrives in doesn’t fit with the brand premise (it doesn’t feel high-end, it’s not recyclable or reusable, the colors or textures are inconsistent, etc.), the experience is immediately broken.


We’re realists…we know packaging is just one part of the equation when it comes to creating a compelling customer experience. But judging by the number of people who stopped by our booth to say “I just had to stop because your things are so PRETTY,” it’s a piece of the puzzle that retailers can’t afford to get wrong.


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