The Apparel Insider’s Guide to the Best of Shoptalk 2018

Fit Analytics at Shoptalk 2018 in Las Vegas

Just a few years into its existence, Shoptalk has firmly established a place for itself as one of the retail world’s flagship annual occasions and 2018 is already looking like a landmark event as the U.S. and European versions of the conference combine in Las Vegas for the first time.

With over 340 speakers taking the stage over an action-packed four days, a little upfront planning is the key to making the most of your time in Las Vegas. With that in mind, let’s dive into our day-to-day breakdown of the best on offer from an apparel e-commerce perspective.

Day 1 | Regional Disruption and the View from the Top of American Retail

Suitably enough for a Sunday, day one gets off to a relatively leisurely start with plenty of time for registering in the morning before business begins in earnest at the afternoon sessions.

Retail Disruption Talks at Shoptalk 2018
Retail disruption is on the agenda early doors at Shoptalk 2018.

As with the following days, proceedings are broken out into clearly defined tracks and two obvious points of interest immediately leap out for those working in fashion:

  1. Retail and e-commerce disruption: Back-to-back sessions on disruption in Latin America and in Europe in Track 3 offer an early opportunity to take the pulse of non-US markets.
  2. Top-tier retail revelations:┬áLater in the day, the focus switches back to the top of the American retail tree as CEOs start taking to the keynote stages. Highlights to look out for here are Brian Cornell of Target on Anytime, Anywhere and Jeff Gennette on Macy’s Transformation – The Path to Growth.

Day 2 | A Retail World in Flux

Day two gives us the first full set of sessions with a quite astonishing amount of presentations split out across six separate tracks.

Things are likely to be hectic out there on the floors so a pre-prepared plan of attack is essential. Here are the highlights for fashion folks:

  • Conversational commerce: 2018 is set to be the year of voice and anyone already pondering how best to get ahead of that curve in the context of online fashion will find plenty to mull over in the morning’s Conversational Commerce track.
  • Captivating keynotes: Adam Sussman will be bringing his experience as Nike’s Chief Digital Officer to the table in the pick of the morning’s keynotes. Later in the afternoon, Carolyn Everson of Facebook’s take on the new mobile storefront should be an illuminating one for apparel brands and retailers wondering what’s next in social.
  • The changing face of retail: The afternoon sessions center around challenges and opportunities facing brands and retailers as they seek to engage with increasingly demanding consumers. The Trends Shaping the Future of Retail and Adapting to Changing Consumer Preferences sessions look the pick of the bunch here.
Shoptalk 2018 Keynote Speakers
Shoptalk 2018 brings a range of top-notch keynote speakers to the table.

Day 3 | From Branding to Brick-and-Mortar

The pace shows no signs of slacking on day two with another full set of sessions and keynotes split out across five tracks. Here’s our take on what to tackle for Tuesday:

  • Big brand breakdowns: The morning’s Global Brands on the Future of E-Commerce session should tee up the rest of the day nicely with executive insights from the world of apparel courtesy of Marc Rosen of Levis. That’s followed closely by Joshua Schulman of Coach’s breakdown of The Power of the Brand.
  • The view from Mountain View: Though Amazon is the obvious 900-pound gorilla in the room at this year’s event, there’s no shortage of other big beasts in attendance. The afternoon keynote from Google President of Retail and Shopping Daniel Alegre looks particularly interesting in this regard.
  • Stores of the future: As talk of experiential retail continues to resonate around the world of apparel, the afternoon’s sessions on Technologies Optimizing the Store Experience and Changing Store Counts, Formats and Footprints should get you up to speed on what’s next for brick-and-mortar.
Shoptalk 2018 Overview
2018’s Shoptalk lineup is bigger and better than ever!

Day 4 | A Future-Focused Finish

Day four winds down early but there’s still plenty to take in before you leave Las Vegas. Here’s our take on how best to enjoy your final morning:

  • Past and future combine: Two of the morning keynotes offer a fascinating contrast in terms of perspective. eBay kick things off with a forward-looking take on How AI Will Change the Way We Shop and Sell┬ápresented by Jan Pedersen and Scott Cutler. That’s immediately followed by David Jaffe of Ascena’s breakdown of Legacy Retailers: Thriving in an Omnichannel World.
  • Next-generation insights: The remainder of the final morning is firmly future-focused across all tracks. Two sessions that particularly stand out are Organizing for the Future of Retail and Reaching Gen Z and Millennials.

We’re massively looking forward to this year’s Shoptalk event and hope to meet many current and future sizing partners onsite as we explore everything the conference has to offer.

If you’re in Las Vegas for the event and would like to discuss how solving sizing can help drive growth and protect margins for many years to come, then let’s get in touch!