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Notes from Shoptalk 2016

· Conference

May 13th marked the 6-year anniversary for SUMO Heavy. On that same date, I attended the first (and not the last) Shoptalk Conference in Las Vegas. The conference was labeled as “The NextGen commerce event”, and it certainly lived up to its name. In attendance were industry leaders and startup from a diverse cross-section of the e-commerce space, with over 100 sessions, over 225 speakers and more than 125 CEOs in attendance.

The event began with singer Lionel Richie discussing the launch of Lionel’s new home collection. Yes, the same Lionel Richie who performed across the street that same night.

The middle of the Main Exhibit Hall was set up a “Main Street” for the exhibitors. This was different than the traditional “booth” set up. It was a more approachable, friendly way to interact with the exhibitor companies.

There was a big mixture of retailers in attendance, from the big players like Amazon, eBay and Best Buy to relative newcomers like Dollar Shave Club.

The bigger retailers discussed innovation, physical spaces, and competition. A great mix of old and new, all after the same goal.

And the most notable thing about the conference was this:

Amazon can no longer be ignored. Retailers need to get on board with marketplaces (or get out of the way).

The overall impression is that Shoptalk is an amazing conference that should be attended by all in the commerce space. We’ll be attending next year, for sure.

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