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The question on my mind was a simple one. “Were retailers ready to meet in person?” As a marketer of a Commerce Platform, I needed to assess whether events were going to be a viable method of meeting customers and prospects. I was hopeful, given the fact that a recent customer event we held in Nashville had been well attended.

The answer is yes. We had to submit our vaccination records but for 3 days in Vegas, it felt like things were returning to what we remember. ShopTalk claimed 10,000 attendees but I know that vendors probably outnumbered the retailers. However, the conversations were very good. Companies are positive about the future; they were looking for ways to grow their revenues. The topics that came up frequently were retailers expanding to new business models like B2B or B2B2C; Going after new geos and how to do this while managing the total cost of ownership; Using marketplaces in a variety of ways to enhance the experience, expanding the assortment, driving growth.

I have been to ShopTalk before and one aspect that I really enjoy are the sessions. I really enjoyed the conversation between an old friend from Forrester, Brendan Witcher and Cara Sylvester, EVP, Chief Marketing & Digital Officer from Target on creating a cohesive shopping experience. Another fascinating session was with the CEO of Uber, Dara Khosrowshahi, Delivering the Future of On-Demand Retail. It’s really interesting how Uber Eats is connecting buyers and local businesses, while reducing operational costs on the way to becoming profitable.

ShopTalk lived up to its name – it definitely was the ‘Big Reunion’. I am looking forward to the next third-party event and hoping for more engagement with customers. Join HCL Commerce at B2B Envision in Chicago June 6-8, ShopTalk Europe in London June 6-8, B2B Connect in San Diego, June 26-28.


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