IRCE is an event that anyone in the eCommerce industry does not want to miss. Maropost was lucky enough to be back this year for the 3rd time. The event was held at McCormick Place West in Chicago for the final time (we heard that the 2019 conference was going to be at a new undisclosed location for an even better 2019 conference).
Each year IRCE gets better and better, it’s a world-class conference, showcasing the best in the industry and best-of-breed partners of the multichannel retailing industry. This year the event drew in 10,000 eCommerce professionals, with more than 130 speaking sessions and workshops, and 300 vendors. To say this event is a big deal is an understatement. IRCE is possibly the most influential ecommerce event to happen annually.
We, at Maropost, attended a few sessions at IRCE, and we wanted to share some of the key takeaways that the sessions emphasized. Here are our 3 favourite takeaways:
1) Cross-channel/Offline and Online
IRCE 2018 kicked off in Chicago with a keynote from one of Warby Parker’s co-founders, David Gilboa. While the conference may be called Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibit, Gilboa’s keynote foreshadowed a consistent trend across the various speakers over the week – the focus on cross-channel, offline and online experiences are going to help brands win. The goal for retailers should be to provide an omni-channel experience to customers.
An omni-channel experience is a seamless approach to marketing, selling, and serving customers no matter how or where the customer reaches out from. The customer experience will be the same no matter if the customer shops offline or online.
Optimizing both offline and online sales results in meeting the needs of more customers, meaning more sales for you. We may live in a world where shopping online is favoured by most, but there is still a large percentage of people who prefer shopping at a physical store, and those people need to be considered as potential customers.
2) Email is far from dead
Even though technology is continuously evolving, it seems the use of emails will not be going extinct any time soon. E-mail is the bedrock of many marketing programs because it works. In this session, an online retailer, considered to be among the best in the business at email marketing, shared their strategies for success, including how they: get email signups, craft clickable email subject lines, nurture customer relationships and get high-value conversions through email.
Paul Fredrick Menstyle, a private label menswear brand, wanted to grow revenue by nurturing the loyalty of its existing customers—and made a bet that a personalized email program was the channel to drive the best results. The retailer developed a multi-layered and innovative email program involving the use of triggered messaging, such as welcome messaging and browse recovery messaging, as well as personalization techniques like recommendations. High open and click rates show the traction of the campaign and the significantly higher average order value and revenue per email generated to make this a success story worthy of your attention.
The speaker shared how they crafted their ongoing campaigns and showed merchants how they could apply similar techniques to increase brand loyalty. Creating a successful email marketing campaign is not a one-time thing, and it might not be successful right off the bat, it requires a lot of trial and errors to see what is sufficient for your customers.
During David Gilboa, presentation he stated “customers today are savvy and don’t want to hear the same old jargon from companies. They want something unique. They want something different. They want value.”
This is achieved through product differentiation and personalization, and to understand how to do this you have to understand your customer, and what they want and need. Mariah Chase says listening to customers and analyzing data have led to decisions it otherwise might not have made. Chase says the decision to launch her swimwear line this year was based entirely on customer data.
Online retailers sit on mountain of marketing and sales data, but it can be confusing and overwhelming to process and apply with confidence. The sessions dove into something we at Maropost believe strongly about – that retailers should be leveraging software to automate connecting the dots so they can take actions that will drive better results, such as better mobile app engagement, decreased cart abandonment, or content personalization.
Online retailers, including some of Maropost’s key eCommerce clients are demonstrating how they’ve transformed their data into actionable insight, automated engagement, and in turn bottom line results.
Overall, IRCE was filled with insights, unique strategies, and excellent relationship building. If you’re planning on attending next year, make sure to come by the Maropost booth – it’s always a good time!