Shoptalk 2020: Speakers and Sessions to Watch

[Originally published on the Dash Hudson blog.]

It’s almost that time again — Shoptalk is back for a fifth round and is slated to be bigger and better than ever. With the groundbreaking announcement that all of their speakers will be female, the conference has cemented itself as a must-do event for forward-thinking brands in the retail space. Amid our buzz and excitement to exhibit there this year, we took a deep dive into the Shoptalk 2020 agenda and hand picked the sessions you won’t want to miss.

From Authenticity to Gen Z: Our Top Session Topics

More than 8,000 retail professionals from the world’s most important brands head to Shoptalk for the latest in business models, retail trends, and innovative technologies. For retail marketers, it’s a prime opportunity to draw inspiration from innovative retailers and learn about industry-specific tactics to incorporate into your strategy. If you care about data, strategy, and creative problem solving, this is the place to be — and we’ll be right there with you (at booth 1329! 🙋‍♀).

At Dash Hudson, we’re not here for the status quo — we want to hear from the retail rebels moving in their own direction and changing the landscape as they do. Our list is curated with engagement, technology, and fresh perspectives in mind. So, when we’re not at our booth, these are the Shoptalk 2020 sessions we can’t wait to sink our teeth into:

New Marketing Platforms and Partnerships

Date: Sunday, March 22nd
Track: Innovations in Marketing
Speakers Include: Annie Katrina Lee, Head of Commerce Marketing at Twitch

Description: “Brands today have a variety of new marketing platforms available to them. Many large retailers have launched online advertising businesses that provide growing opportunities for brands to promote products on their sites. A new generation of social media and content companies offer innovative opportunities. Brands are also experimenting with emerging platforms ranging from voice assistants to augmented reality to direct consumers’ attention to their products. This session will explore the latest in marketing tactics and highlight the platforms and partnerships that brands are employing to win over consumers.”

Catering to Gen Z

Date: Monday, March 23rd
Track: The Future of Brands
Speakers Include: Shelley Haus, Chief Marketing Officer at Ulta Beauty

Description: “Consumers in every new generation seek brands that reflect their worldview and demand shopping experiences that cater to their unique needs. As the oldest members of Gen Z begin to enter the workforce and do their own shopping, brands and retailers alike are examining the characteristics of this generation. While some qualities that define Millennials, like diversity and a strong sensitivity to authenticity, are likely to characterize Gen Z as well, important differences around politics, economics and shopping behavior are also emerging. In this session, an industry expert will share her research on Gen Z consumers. The presentation will be followed by a conversation among executives at three youth-oriented companies who will discuss their understanding of this new generation of consumers, and how it will shape product and marketing decisions over the next few years.”

The Future of Social Commerce

Date: Monday, March 23rd
Track: Social Marketing and Commerce
Speakers Include: Brady Stewart, SVP, America’s Digital, Levi Strauss & Co.

Description: “Social commerce has taken off in markets like China, with platforms including WeChat and Pinduoduo expected to rake in more than $300 billion in sales tied to these efforts this year. While social commerce hasn’t yet gained the same level of traction in the US, recent offerings from Instagram, Pinterest and others promise to make it easier for shoppers to discover and purchase products on their platforms. At the same time, innovative startups have built businesses that are designed to seamlessly tie together content-driven commerce and community. In this session, brands and retailers will discuss early learnings from their latest social commerce initiatives, as well as their thoughts on the future of social buying.”

Case Studies in Personalized Marketing

Date: Tuesday, March 24th
Track: Personalization
Speakers Include: Daria Burke, Chief Marketing Officer, JustFab

Description: “Brands’ marketing strategies have always required a tradeoff between mass reach and a focus on specific audience segments. Digital marketing has changed the economics of reach versus precision, unlocking marketers’ ability to segment audiences more granularly. Succeeding at personalized marketing requires mastering the many available data sources, both to target messages effectively and to make the messages themselves relevant and engaging. This session will feature three brands that have adopted sophisticated approaches to creating messages for highly targeted audiences.”

Blending Physical and Digital Retail

Date: Tuesday, March 24th
Track: New Retail Experiences
Speakers Include: Lisa Greenwald, Chief Merchandising Officer at J.Crew

Description: “Many retailers offer omnichannel customer experiences, yet relatively few blend physical and digital channels seamlessly across their organizations. Ecommerce and retail store teams may interact more regularly, but it’s still rare to find businesses that have fully merged data streams across business units to create a true single view of the customer, for example. In this session, retail leaders will share how they have addressed internal omnichannel challenges and which approaches worked best on their journeys to become fully integrated organizations.”

Honorable Mentions

There’s always room for a schedule shake-up when attending a big event — especially one with such esteemed speakers and networking opportunities. If you get lost in good conversation and miss a planned session, consider adding our top five honorable mentions to the docket instead:

  • Keynote from Marie Gulin-Merle, Global VP of Ads Marketing at Google
  • Authenticity and Brand Connections with Aly Raisman, #AerieREAL Role Model & Gold Medal Gymnast and Stacey McCormick, SVP of Marketing, Aerie
  • Tactics for Leveraging Emerging Social Media Platforms Effectively with The Integer Group
  • Aligning the Organization to Measure the Right Digital KPIs and Outcomes
  • Incorporating Customer Feedback and Data with Winky Lux

However your personal agenda takes shape, come prepared to listen, learn, and lead your brand into the future. If you want to chat about something you heard, we’ll be at booth #1329. Take a break in our lounge area, get a live demo of the Dash Hudson software, or snap a pic for the ‘Gram at our photo station. We’ll see you there. 🙌

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