The fifth annual Retail Innovation Conference (#RIC19), May 6-8 in NYC, will be a motivational gold mine for retail executives who will be inspired by leading innovators and disruptors. They will have a chance to learn from retail executives at Wayfair, Orvis, Boscov’s, The Vitamin Shoppe, Rebecca Minkoff and other brands, along with industry experts such as Brian Solis, Deb Gabor, Brian Smith and Jeff Fromm.
The RIC keynotes will be presented by some of the industry’s top thinkers, who will help retailers navigate the latest developments in the industry:
- Brian Solis, Principal Analyst at Altimeter, will discuss the topic of “Digital Darwinism” — how the modern landscape is challenging traditional brands and ushering in a new breed of retailers. Solis will offer best practices to help retailers understand this new wave of retailing, spotlighting six key takeaways and success stories from brands including TUMI and Neiman Marcus.
- Jeff Fromm, President of FutureCast, will tackle the topic of connecting with next-generation consumers. This session will debunk some of the myths surrounding Gen Z, explain how savvy retailers gain their frequency of use and price elasticity advantages, and identify the three kinds of retailers he expects to be big winners in the future.
- Deb Gabor, CEO and Founder of Sol Marketing, will teach retailers how to inspire “irrational loyalty,” which she describes as a condition in which customers are so strongly bonded to a brand that they would feel they were cheating if they chose an alternative. Gabor will discuss the foundations of this relationship — as well as how branding is like sex.
- Kasey Lobaugh, Principal and Chief Retail Innovation Officer at Deloitte will be joined by a retailer panel to unveil insights on how shoppers are changing (if perhaps not in the way you think). This panel will be the culmination of a year-long study, correcting some strongly-held myths about demographics, spending and in-store shopping habits.
Track Sessions Offer A Focused Experience
This epic three-day event can be overwhelming, but getting the most out of this potential information overload is easy. Sessions are divided into four content tracks: Digital Strategies, Marketing/Customer Engagement, Omnichannel CX and Operational Planning, to help you easily determine which presentations will be most valuable to your business.
- Digital Strategies will include a panel on building a pragmatic roadmap for AI implementation and a presentation from Wayfair on how the retailer has been implementing AR in its shopping experience;
- Marketing/Customer Engagement will include a panel on the evolution of influencer-based social media in the age of micro-influencers, and how brands are using events to drive loyalty and engagement;
- Omnichannel CX will include a presentation on how GasBuddy And Audible's partnership fueled growth, and how a 360-degree experience can bring innovation to life; and
- Operational Planning will include a panel of financial analysts discussing how retailers can grow in an uncertain economy, plus a session on how retailers can develop an industry-leading business without compromising ethics.
This is just a sample of the topics that will be discussed at RIC; other sessions include two panels on women in leadership, and a presentation by Shinola about how the brand has developed a nontraditional loyalty strategy. Visit the web site for a regularly updated roster of speakers.
RIC Provides More Than Education
Thought-provoking presentations are a major part of the RIC experience, but they are far from the only attraction. The show is about fostering conversation and showing off all the latest trends in retail innovation, including those that don’t lend themselves to a single discussion.
Exclusive Store Tours at Hudson Yards will offer participants their first look at New York City’s latest high-tech shopping center. Attendees will receive guided tours from executives representing several retail brands, as well as a chance to experience the cutting-edge innovations that set Hudson Yards apart from traditional shopping centers.
In addition to meeting new people during track sessions, RIC features plenty of opportunities for retail executives to relax and forge new connections in a casual environment. The Networking Breakfast kicks off the show with a golden opportunity to meet new people, lunch breaks are set up to encourage interactions, and the nightly cocktail receptions will provide an excellent opportunity to chat about highlights from the day’s speakers.
RIC offers plenty of other highlights — including the Fun Run at Central Park, Innovation Zone at Convene and Innovator Award Winners to be announced throughout the event — so don’t forget to order your ticket soon, because early bird pricing ends on March 30! Register for RIC19 here.
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