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Shoptalk US 2023 – Insights From the Experts

From the role of the consumer to the part digital commerce has to play in shaping the industry, here are Ingenuity's key takeaways from Shoptalk US 2023, including insights from Levi’s, Ulta Beauty, Randa and more. 

April 06, 2023

4 mins read

Catz Thompson

The Ingenuity team were excited to venture across the pond to attend and exhibit at this year’s Shoptalk US event in Las Vegas. Throughout the event we heard from retail industry experts on the key trends, tactics and opportunities shaping the industry today, from employing ‘spacial commerce’ through to redefining what it means to be ‘retail ready’ in line with current consumer buying behaviors and preferences. 

Here we outline some of the top takeaways from Shoptalk US 2023. 

Consumer-centric commerce  

As brands increasingly value customer retention and look to improve customer lifetime value, the consumer is being brought to the heart of brand strategy and decision making, with brands shaping everything from new product development to entire go-to-market strategies around today’s consumer preferences and behaviors. 

Convenience was a hot topic, with Kimberly Tobman, CEO of The Bouqs Company, highlighting the significance of convenience in the context of fulfilment in consumers’ purchasing decisions; she defined ‘convenience’ as “meeting the consumers’ needs, not necessarily by being the fastest but by delivering to the customer in the most efficient way”. Whilst not disregarding the potential impact of operational capabilities such as next-day-delivery, this perspective encapsulates how brands also need to consider a broader definition of convenience to encompass the likes of delivery costs and the consumer’s experience with a brand from first click to final mile.  

Convenience was also considered through the lens of cost and the question of whether brands facing increased supply chain costs should risk creating potential inconvenience to the consumer by in turn increasing product prices. Whilst this is a question only brands can answer, Colgate, for example, were highlighted in choosing not to do so after developing a mono material toothpaste tube that was more expensive but sustainable, choosing instead to absorb these costs to meet the expectations of its customers – sustainable products at the price point they’re used to. 

The role of digital commerce in retail

Digital commerce was raised by many brands in attendance including Ulta Beauty, Lowe’sRanda and Levi’s, and for each was highlighted as playing a key role in the business’s retail ecosystem. Digital commerce opens many doors for ambitious brands, with two key benefits prevalent throughout discussions: 

1. Digital commerce as an extension of in-store experiences 

For Ulta Beauty and Lowe’s, digital commerce is acting as a vital extension of the consumer experience in their physical stores. For the US beauty retail giant, physical stores have helped to build a loyal customer base, and investing in digital commerce enables Ulta consumers to continue that experience online. With consumers who spend in-store likely to spend 2.5X more online, according to the brand, Ulta are leveraging the opportunity digital commerce offers brands to experiment on loyalty programs, virtual try-on functionalities, app experiences and more to continue the offline brand experience in the digital world.  

Lowe’s are equally extending the in-store experience online, seeking to empower consumers to shop for home improvements products online by leveraging ‘spacial commerce’ through digital channels – helping customers understand measurements and quantities needed without needing to travel in-store. 

2. The power of data unlocked through digital commerce

Both Randa Apparel & Accessories and Levi’s each highlighted the significance and benefits of data gained through digital commerce. David Katz, EVP and CMO of Randa, noted direct-to-consumer (DTC) as critical to obtain data and understand buying behaviors of consumers to fuel future product and brand innovation. Equally for Levi’s, with an ambition to have ecommerce contribution up to 15% in the next decade, digital commerce is pivotal for the clothing brand’s understanding and control of the consumer experience and data, particularly in creating an engaging experience for younger generations

Redefining what is means to be ‘retail-ready'

One theme rang true across Shoptalk US 2023 and that was that brands are reassessing what it means for them to be ‘retail ready’. No longer are household names relying on legacy brand equity and channels; there is an air of innovation running through the industry with strategic and financial decisions being considered and designed for a future in which the consumer journey spans across physical and digital touchpoints. 

For brands seeking to capitalize on the digital commerce opportunity or elevate their existing approach to online channels, Ingenuity offers a complete commerce solution that simplifies digital commerce into a single provider. Whether seeking a full solution covering technology, operations and digital delivery of your brand, or wanting to optimize a select section of your current offering, Ingenuity’s composable solution had been built to maximize growth potential at scale. 

To discover how Ingenuity could support your brand as it has for the like of Mondelez, ELEMIS, Coca-Cola and more, get in touch today.



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