5 Hot Retail Trends to Explore at the Retail Innovation Conference & Expo

Retail industry professionals know how vital it is for them to stay abreast of the latest consumer and societal trends. When your job is ultimately about pleasing the public with the products you offer, you’d better have a solid grasp of what’s important to customers today — and most of all how their expectations may change in the future.

The 2022 Retail Innovation Conference & Expo, coming up May 10-12 at Chicago’s McCormick Place, will provide attendees with the ability to do deep dives into five of today’s hottest retail trends:

  • Marketplaces’ expanding role(s), including their connections to retail media networks;
  • Social commerce and the accelerating creator economy;
  • Experiential retail tech, including AR, 3D imaging, NFTs and the metaverse;
  • Sustainability and ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) initiatives; and
  • Diversity, inclusion and company culture.

Click on the session titles below for details. View the full #RICE22 agenda here. Register for the event here.

Managing Marketplace Mania
Whether you’re looking to sell on increasingly popular marketplaces or you’re a retailer looking to establish (or expand) your own, #RICE2022 has multiple workshops and sessions to guide you, including:


Maximize Marketplace Revenue: Listings, Operations, Strategy and Optimization

Building the Next Billion Dollar Ad Platform: Lessons from Retail Media Giants

Maximizing Retail Media Networks

The New State of Marketplaces: Mass, Niche and International Growth Opportunities

Want to Excel at Marketplaces? It’s Time to Diversify

Maximizing Marketplace ROI: How to Create a Successful Flywheel Model

Social Commerce Strategies
Consumers are embracing shopping as a social activity, whether it literally occurs on a social platform or reflects their membership in a community of like-minded individuals. Retailers must learn to manage enhanced roles for influencers and creators and sharpen their personalization efforts with a focus on authenticity. Relevant sessions include:

Creating a Contagious Brand: How to Drive Word-of-Mouth and Influence in an Always-On World

Activating In-Store Communities with Events, Experiences and Inclusion

Championing Brand Authenticity and Transparency: What Does it Really Mean Today?

Taking a Hyper-Local Approach to Customer Experience

Community Commerce and the Explosion of Shoppable Content

The Future of Social Commerce: Embracing Content and Community to Drive Loyalty

Redefining Experiential Retail
Technology has brought new ways for consumers to interact with brands, retailers and each other as they seek to heighten their shopping experiences — from advances in 3D imagery and augmented reality (AR) to NFTs and the literally limitless opportunities offered by the metaverse. Key sessions include:

Ready Player Three: Commerce Enters the World of Gaming and eSports

How 3D is Impacting the Future of Ecommerce Engagement

NFT-Powered Communities: Just a Fad or Here to Stay?

How Coach Embraces Retail Transformation: From Physical to Immersive Experiences

Inside the Metaverse Movement: How to Embrace Convergence and Create Transcendent Brand Experiences

Metaverse, Beyond the Hype: Making the Business Case for Immersive Digital Environments and Communities

Experience Innovation from the High-Growth Cannabis Market

Making Sustainability Successful
It’s no longer “if” a retailer embraces sustainability and ESG principles, it’s “when.” Consumers, particularly younger ones, are factoring brands’ commitment to helping rather than hurting the planet into their buying decisions. The good news for retailers is that, as the saying goes, they can also do well by doing good. These sessions tell how:

Reframing Sustainability: How to Turn Lofty Long-Term Goals into Immediate Outcomes

Out with the New, In with the Old: Defining Success in Reuse and Resale

Farm-to-Table Tables: A New Model for Sustainability in Global Furnishings

Incorporating Sustainability to Deliver a Business ROI

A Resale Renaissance: How Marketplaces are Driving the Recommerce Boom

Diversity Drives Culture Imperatives
Serving an increasingly heterogenous population, both in the U.S. and globally, can’t be done effectively without retailers and brands making — and keeping — commitments to diversity and inclusion. That starts with your own employees and decision-makers but also extends to areas including marketing, sourcing and product assortments. Sessions addressing these urgent topics include:

Creating an Employee-First Workplace that Delivers Value and Flexibility

Next-Gen Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Sponsorship, Mentorship and More

Championing Brand Authenticity and Transparency: What Does it Really Mean Today?

From East to West: How Innovation in APAC is Creating New Western Opportunities

Roles and Skills Driving Next-Gen CPG Brands

View the full #RICE22 agenda here. Register for the event here.

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