Our Top Takeaways From IRCE 2018

It’s hard to believe that we have officially wrapped up trade show season for the year! Last week, a team of springbots attended IRCE in the Windy City where we had the opportunity to sit in on some of the great content sessions hosted by industry experts. Check out our top takeaways from the sessions at IRCE 2018 below!

Tips for Building Omnichannel Teams, Technology and Goals

Alex Lirtsman, Co-founder and Chief Strategist of Ready Set Rocket and Matt Butlein, Chief Vision Officer of Nuts.com, gave us their advice for building omnichannel teams, technology and goals.

  1. Ensure Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) ladder up to your company’s objectives
  2. Find friends in different departments to build cross-functional teams to ensure you are not working in silos
  3. Be realistic about hiring. Don’t look for “unicorns,” but instead, hire more than one person who specializes in the different skills your team requires
  4. Invest in Marketing Product Managers
  5. Create a process to prioritize investments
  6. Use the data you have to create responsive experiences

Interested in learning more? You can see Lirtsman and Butlein’s full presentation here.

Sneak Peek into Shoppers’ Shifting Preferences at Every Touchpoint

Erin Jordan, Lead, Retail Technology Practice at Walker Sands Communications presented on how consumers preferences have drastically changed over the past five years and gave us a glimpse into the future. Check out the highlights from her session and some impressive stats on consumer shopping preferences:

  • Over the past five years, these have taken over retail:

    • The rise of mobile
    • Virtual Reality (VR)
    • Drones for delivery
    • The rise of Voice (Amazon Alexa and Google Home)
  • With that, retail is continually evolving:

    • Ever-connected consumer
    • Changing political landscape
    • Rising concerns over consumer data
    • Amazon expanded dominance
    • Shifting in-store experience
  • The future of retail is beyond retail

    • 40 percent say next day shipping would make them more likely to shop online
    • 65 percent of consumers said the election impacted their shopping behavior in some way (compared to 40 percent last year)
    • 25 percent have purchased a product from Amazon because it would deliver faster
  • Jordan’s top 5 points to take home:

    • Data privacy is important
    • Create a lifestyle (engrained across channels)
    • Don’t ditch your store’s physical presence, change it!
    • Improve optimizations in the supply chain

Jordan also released The Future of Retail 2018 whitepaper from Walker Sands Communications while attending IRCE. Click here to read more!

Connecting With Gen Z

Rachel Tipograph, CEO of MikMak.tv and Tiffany Zhong, CEO and Co-founder of ZebraIQ hosted one of the most exciting sessions of the week, presenting on how to connect with Generation Z and common myths about Generation Z.

  • Generation Z has $600B in spending power and is the fastest growing and the most diverse generation
  • Myth: Generation Z is “lazy” / Fact: Generation Z is the “side hustle” Generation
  • Myth: Generation Z is Self(i.e.)-centered / Fact: Social media and “selfies” are a part of their social validation, and they enjoy promoting products on their channels – so brands should leverage this with “selfie” social media campaigns and contests
  • New mindset of Generation Z: Aesthetic First. If your product is “Instagram worthy” you’re golden. For example, Iceland was never the most popular vacation destination, but today, young people are flocking there to take incredible photos of the beautiful scenery.

Ten Cheap Ways to Acquire Customers and Spread the Word About Your Brand

Taylor Offer, CEO and co-founder of FEAT socks, is an expert in viral campaigns that spread the word about his brand of socks. Check out his top ten pieces of advice for acquiring new customers and spreading awareness of your brand without breaking the bank:

  1. Be an early adopter on any and every social media site
  2. Personalized sales experience – customize email preferences based on products the customer selected
  3. Launch a super niche product line to enhance organic search
  4. Crowd Sourcing – customers can play a role in product development
  5. Re-loop marketing – reposting an influencer’s post will lead to higher engagement as they will be more likely to promote your brand
  6. Homegrown ambassador marketing program – create a loyalty program that incentivizes customers to share your promotions
  7. Turn existing customers into marketers – give them a unique code to share and reward them when their code is used to make a transaction
  8. Partner with other brands or industry influencers
  9. Social media contests and giveaways
  10. Become a source of expertise and information – blogging, interviewing experts, panel discussions, etc.

After giving us his top ten inexpensive tips to acquire customers and spread the word on your brand, he dived deeper into the different methods of acquiring customers:

Ways to acquire:

  1. Social hacking

    1. Following and unfollowing (follow all Facebook friends in one click through Instagram)
    2. Like their photos and share their posts
    3. Comments (witty/funny/interesting)
  2. Word Of Mouth (WOM)

    1. Encouraging tagging on social – “tag a friend you’d do this with” generates exposure to people who have never heard of your brand or don’t follow you
  3. Use your customers to get more customers

    1. As discussed earlier, rewards for referring friends will help your customers become brand advocates
  4. Influencers

    1. Give them content! They are always looking for new content, so this helps them throw in new and interesting pieces.
    2. Example: Aly Raisman FEAT socks – Aly gets a percentage of the profits, requiring no money up front for the partnership. It’s better to do back-end splits with influencers because they are incentivized to post the product to ensure they will get paid.
    3. Gifting – send your products to top influencers that your audience follows to increase brand exposure.
  5. Viral campaigns

    • Example:

Did you attend IRCE this year? What were your favorite content sessions? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter @Springbot using the hashtag #IRCE18.

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