Impressions from Shoptalk 2018

by | Mar 20, 2018

I’m attending ShopTalk 2018 this week. It’s my (and Reliant’s) first time at this show and its been very interesting. ShopTalk is a relatively new technology conference for retail and this is just its third year. It has grown very fast and is probably one of the most important retail IT events on the calendar. This year’s show has more than 8,000 attendees, representing close to 1,000 retailers and brands in the online and brick & mortar ecosystem. There are over 400 sponsoring vendors and technology suppliers with both a large exhibit space, scheduled one-on-one meetings, and at least 350 talks and presentations.

ShopTalk’s focus is on innovation and challenges in retail – both online and brick & mortar. The premise of the show is that we exiting a period of disruptive change and entering into what they call the “New Normal:”

With what seems to be a new retail bankruptcy announcement every week, there’s no doubt that something disruptive has been happening.   What I’m not so sure on is whether we are in the New Normal or not.  It is clear to me that digital transformation is changing shopping behavior and creating a new competitive landscape where retailers who don’t evolve will see their markets disrupted.  What ShopTalk has highlighted for me is how aware many market participants are aware of this disruption and the extent retailers are willing to go to transform to meet these challenges.

The energy of the show is inspiring.  Some of the technologies being showcased and discussed are really impressive.  The conversations we’ve been fortunate to have are both really engaging and intense.  It’s especially fitting for the Reliant team to be here because our platform is foundational to the type of transformation that traditional retail is looking to achieve.  This show has been all about how new experiences and engagement can be delivered to retail customers; and Reliant is all about providing a platform for making this possible.

What were some of your impressions?