The Buzz at Shoptalk 2018: Experiential Retailing via Digital

March 26, 2018 Maria Gianotti

The Buzz at Shoptalk 2018: Experiential Retailing via Digital

Last week, Vibes was soaking up the…well…vibes at Shoptalk in Las Vegas. We were the proud digital wallet ticket sponsor at this event, the world’s largest conference for retail and commerce innovation. Every person who walked through the door used our technology to show and scan their mobile wallet ticket! Pretty cool!

Shoptalk 2018 mobile wallet

We wanted to share some takeaways we gleaned from the event.

Technology is Great, But Customers are Still #1

In the last few years, a lot of focus has been put on how technology can improve processes and save money for retailers. But that has come with a downside: it has become more challenging to focus on the customer experience. Human interaction.

While the conference focused on technology, much was said about reconnecting with customers. All the technology in the world is useless if you can’t make them happy.

At Vibes, we strive to put the customer at the center of every solution we help clients with. If they’re creating digital coupons or text campaigns, they need to be relevant to their audience.

Technology Will No Longer Be Ignored

It’s not been that common that retailers embraced technology in the past few years. Many of our clients are industry leaders who haven’t been afraid to dip their toes into the unknown waters. But that’s changing. With the ubiquity of chatbots, mobile marketing, and apps for the backend of retail, there’s simply no excuse to shy away from what ultimately makes a retailer more competitive.

Artificial Intelligence is About to Explode

While we’ve been hearing more and more about AI in recent years, it was definitely one of the focuses at ShopTalk. From voice assistants to chatbots and so much more, the applications for artificial intelligence — particularly for the retail trade — are only just being discovered and applied. It’s a lot to look forward to.

From a marketing perspective, AI can help in bridging the gap between digital and in-store experiences, which is a huge issue for many retailers, especially as more ecommerce brands open physical retail locations.

Personalization Must Be a Key Differentiator

Another hot topic at the event was personalization, a subject we’re well familiar with here at Vibes. Because Amazon is such a behemoth, it can be difficult to compete…which is why personalization is so important.

Amazon may have billions invested in technology that can recommend products to shoppers, but at the end of the day, it’s an impersonal experience. Other retailers have huge opportunity to leverage customer data to provide a truly personalized shopping and marketing experience.

What Vibes Was Up To

As a sponsor at Shoptalk, we had a booth where attendees could talk to us about mobile marketing solutions. We also launched a fun campaign: to promote our #DropYourWallet efforts — to get retailers to be done with paper offers and loyalty cards in favor of digital ones — we dropped 100 wallets throughout the event with a card inside telling them to take the wallet to our booth to win a prize.

#DropYourWallet

It was a delight to see someone walk up with a wallet, a bit confused! But from there, we were able to have some fantastic conversations about the versatility of mobile wallet, beyond being a payment platform.

We gave away a Breville Espresso Machine to one lucky winner that won the #DropYourWallet drawing and we also gave away an Apple iWatch Series 3 through a separate raffle. 😃

Additionally, our VP of Product Marketing, Dave Panek, gave a tech talk about how to leverage mobile wallet and automatic loyalty enrollment. For many retailers, this information was really eye-opening. You can view his tech talk on our Twitter page.

Vibes VP of Product Marketing @MarketingPanek @shoptalk talking about the latest within #MobileWallet https://t.co/SBpUQMGLWV

— Vibes (@Vibes) March 20, 2018

 

All in all, Shoptalk was a smashing success. It’s exciting to see how technology is changing the landscape of the retail industry, and to be a part of that evolution.

 

About the Author

Maria Gianotti

Maria Gianotti is the Director of Demand Generation at Vibes. She's passionate about growth marketing and educating other marketers on the tremendous potential of mobile. Currently, Maria serves on the Board of Directors of the American Marketing Association's San Francisco Chapter as 2019 President-Elect.

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