From the Floor of Shoptalk: Top Buzzworthy Retail Trends for 2019

Now that everyone has recovered from the spectacle of Shoptalk complete with fire dancers, 8,000 attendees, 300 presentations, and a blowout performance from Shaggy, the industry is left contemplating what was discussed and reflecting on trends from the show.  We think three key topics emerged that will significantly shape retail strategies this year:

Artificial intelligence is impacting every step of the customer journey

AI has been fast on the rise and this year it has arrived in a broad array of solutions that touch every point of the retail experience. According to attendees, this includes marketing, manufacturing, merchandising, CRM, shipping, logistics and more. AI is enabling companies to harness the vast volume of data they are collecting and turn it into actionable information that can streamline processes and make smart connections that manual methods could never surface.

Visual commerce through search and product discovery is critical

The Pinterest keynote was one of the most talked about sessions. Not just because of the impending IPO, but because the company’s vision is becoming clear: facilitate visual search to enable commerce. Visual search, image recognition, and computer vision were all technologies discussed as ways to help customers find what they are looking for and aid in product discovery. The platform is looking to create the wonderment of product discovery when you walk through a store for the first time.

At Stylitics we know the value of visual commerce and the power of product discovery.  When a variety of outfits are styled and presented to the customer, it significantly streamlines the discovery path while sparking inspiration. This spark of inspiration leads to higher UPTs, AOV, and customer satisfaction.

Voice commerce is a thing, potentially a big thing

Perhaps the most unexpected discussion of the show was around voice-enable commerce.  Undoubtedly, you have asked Alexa, Siri or Google for a variety of information from the weather, to recipes, news or to tell you a bad joke. Google’s director of business development, Michael Haswell, was on-hand to share where the company sees potential in this new channel and threw out some impressive stats stating that 44 percent of smart speaker owners already order grocery or household items once a week. That is both surprising and fascinating. With more and more voice-enabled devices tied to robust marketplaces and payment structures, commerce is a logical next step.

This year’s Shoptalk delivered on its promise of providing world-class programming and attendees. Stylitics was there a sponsor and spoke about marketing in a mobile-first world. We will be sharing more on all of these topics and more!

Photo credit: Clark Street Mercantile on Unsplash