A weekly podcast with the latest e-commerce news and events. In episode 290 we recap all the key trends and news from the ShopTalk 2022 tradeshow.
ShopTalk held it’s first in-person show since 2019, May 27-30th in Las Vegas. The show made the move from the Venetian to the Mandalay Bay. Nearly 10,000 attendees joined more than 600 exhibitors at this years show. Making ShopTalk one of the first industry events to truly feel like it did prior to the pandemic, and living up to the billing as the retail industries reunion. Shoptalk has truly established itself as the preeminent digital commerce event in the US.
In this episode Jason and Scot recap all the major keynotes, trends, and themes from the show. If you wren’t able to attend, this show will catch you up. If you did attend, they episode will help you write that event recap you owe the rest of your team!
Episode 290 of the Jason & Scot show was recorded on Thursday April 8, 2022.
[0:23] Welcome to the Jason and Scot show this is episode 290 being recorded on Thursday April 7th 2022 I’m your host Jason retailgeek Goldberg and as usual I’m here with your co-host
[0:38] Hey Jason and welcome back Jason Scott show listeners
well tonight we are excited to talk about shoptalk Jason you went for the show I was not able to make it this year unfortunately but you went and you are going to report on all the happenings and I’m excited to hear how it went.
[0:57] I know I feel like listeners should know that your April Fool’s joke is you told me you were there and I kept waiting like at the Starbucks to meet you and you never showed.
[1:06] Not true not true I was a good co-host and I let you know with plenty of time I wouldn’t be able to make it.
[1:12] I am teasing but I do think shoptalk overlapped April Fool’s this year.
[1:17] It was her a lot of shenanigans.
[1:19] There there was not any there was some usual trade show Shenanigans but I’m not sure I would say there was any April Fool’s related Shenanigans but it was a good show you missed a good one.
[1:31] Before we dive in what was the Starbuck situation.
[1:33] So the Starbuck situation I would give it a B+ so it’s a
for people for a long time treat your followers shoptalk started out at the Aria as a small show and then it outgrew the Aria and they moved to the Venetian which
it was nice because the Venetian does have on-prem Starbucks but the Venetian is a,
kind of very big and they did it there for a number of years and then they right before the pandemic they announced they were moving it to Mandalay Bay and so this was the first one in Mandalay Bay
and Mandalay Bay is good because it has.
To Starbucks one in the casino area and one on the way to the convention center so so ordinarily I would give that a plus
but they one of the Starbucks is still closed from the pandemic it hasn’t reopened and the one on the way to the convention center normally takes mobile orders which is awesome,
for the convention they turned up they turned off mobile orders every day of the convention.
[2:41] I don’t need it.
[2:43] I stayed very well caffeinated and in my new world where I drink iced coffee from Starbucks branded iced coffee from the grocery store I got to augment my stops at the Starbucks by having a couple,
jugs of Starbucks iced coffee in my room as well so no one should be worried about me.
[3:01] That you can say in your backpack or strapped to your head like I have one of those beer hats.
[3:06] Exactly and I showed up at a couple morning meetings with like to Starbucks and it’s always this great debate like should I go hide in a closet somewhere and finish one so that the people in this meeting won’t know that I was double-fisting it or should I just embrace my,
my problem and I embraced it.
[3:22] Everyone listens to the podcast Selena it’s a well-known thing no one judges you for your Starbucks.
[3:35] We live all coffee we’re pretty agnostic on the coffee.
We’ll call what were the so that’s the Starbucks what about the this whole thing called retail and e-commerce.
[3:50] Yeah so before we jump into all the the topics and going ons it’s a I would just say like I think there,
I don’t know what’s the official or The Unofficial theme but they called the retails reunions and I feel like it was pretty apt this is the first big show,
that to me felt like it did before the pandemic they had 10,000 attendees which.
If it’s off from from 2019 it’s only slightly like maybe they had 12,000 attendees in 2019 so,
10 felt like a big show they had a 650 exhibitors.
It felt pretty normal which was awesome and one of the best things about shoptalk normally is the networking and catching up with friends and I feel like that was in full effect and,
extra fulfilling this year because you know I just got to see a bunch of people that I enjoy spending time with that I hadn’t gone to Sea in a couple of years.
[4:52] Prickle yeah so it’s kind of a I like this post covid lifestyle where it just feels like nothing happened it uh it’s a it’s a joy.
[5:00] Yeah yeah I feel like the biggest Debbie Downer for me is everyone I was excited to see was like mostly just asking me about you.
[5:07] All right sir I’m through through Outlet cool what did any.
[5:15] Throw out because maybe I’ll throw a contrary position at the end but I would say the overall mood at the show was also interesting to me it felt very optimistic like people were upbeat people were.
Kind of like enthusiastic about the year ahead and you know I don’t know it was it was a good vibe.
[5:36] Yes I was tracking a lot of the social media and it was interesting a long this so you had shoptalk which is like you know it was like one
one track if you will and all the positive things there but at the same time and there was like some some
chaos in e-commerce land where we had the single click checkout thing called Fast kind of falling apart we had,
lot of the rapid delivery companies,
go puff is not one of them but you know them better not be a gorill
a and like three or four of them kind of imploded kind of right during shoptalk so there is kind of envisioned you guys like yeah this 15-minute deliveries the future while right outside the conference center it was kind of falling apart.
[6:17] There was some version of that there was you know Uber instacart and doordash all talking about instant delivery well a lot of the,
the tenuous VC funded ones were,
we’re announcing their their shutdowns and for sure they’re there was I mentioned 650 exhibitors I think about 620 of them were payment providers.
Or buy now pay later surfaces and what like if you walked around the show you’d think that was the biggest thing ever and and yeah / your point like you know one fast runner fast as a payment provider
was kind of spinning down and laying everyone off while this while the show is going on so not a lot of talk about that at the show.
[7:05] Yeah weird will call I’m excited to hear your take on things let’s let’s jump in.
[7:10] Awesome so I kind of am dividing tonight’s talk into two sections the main Keynotes and kind of what my highlights were from the Keynotes and then,
some of the main trends that I sort of picked up on from the show so they will start with the key notes
and all the big media companies you know had a keynote So So Meta was there not with maybe the most senior met a person like that like shoptalk tends to get big names for the Keynotes
and The Meta was like a track keynote from Benjy Shalimar who’s like the VP of Commerce which you know big roll it
meta but it wasn’t like they had Sheryl Sandberg or someone,
they had Alan Siegen from Google who’s like the president of America’s Partnerships and they he talked about Google and YouTube,
and you know from those platforms,
meta was like super bullish on social commerce as you would expect but they were highlighting that like hey the biggest growth area at Facebook in the short term is Commerce,
and he specifically called that stuff you talked about all the time that like there’s a huge amount of untapped buying intent and Facebook groups,
and Facebook Marketplace and then they’re very bullish on the live streaming via reels in Instagram.
[8:40] This guy’s a genius.
[8:41] Yeah so he was he was pitching that and you know he didn’t.
Again people don’t tend to break news at this show but you got the impression that there was going to be some some new product launches in the in the near future that we’re Commerce related you definitely don’t get the impression that that,
Netta is exclusively focusing on VR and moving away from Commerce,
and then very similarly Google was like Hey Commerce is where it’s at,
you know they always have fun data to share that you know they always share some Trends about like,
search and you know one of the interesting things is they were saying was that while there’s a lot of evidence that people are returning to stores as the pandemic abates,
that it’s not at the expense of digital it’s in addition to digital so they were.
They now have a lot of geolocation data in the Google ecosystem and so they were talking about how like fifty-four percent of shoppers.
[9:40] Have been to five different shopping channels in the last two days so in-store and online and they’re they’re super bullish on YouTube as a Commerce platform so they’re they’re both talking about,
lot of new shoppable video formats and shoppable video ads and YouTube is a live streaming platform for influencers.
In you know increasingly they have so many add products on Google that it can be hard to figure out where to put your money and what to invest in and so they have kind of one new,
new ad product they seemed to be leaning into pretty heavily which is called performance Max and the idea is you just close your eyes and give Google its money your money and Google figures out the best places to put up for you.
[10:26] It sounds a little suspicious I’m going to get Sr some machine learning in there that just going to magically spend my money for.
[10:33] It’s got like a bunch of real time optimization and and you know the obviously like you should be cynical about those things I’m a little dubious but I would say that a lot of these.
Real-time allocation and bidding systems like you know they do tend to work pretty well like they do tend to outperform humans that are trying to make make you know decisions based on.
Historically wrong stuff and opinions.
[11:01] Yeah the we’ve been experimenting with some of the stuff that spiffy and you used to do
narrow match and Broad match experiment and then as you as you do some of these under the hood as we watch what they’re doing at least you have some visibility it’s not like a black box you know it actually seems to be doing a
pretty good job and it takes a lot of manual work out of what some of the best practices that you would do so so I like to poke fun but I do think there’s definitely a there there.
[11:28] Yeah ya know I tend tend to agree and prove your point like you can put all the parameters you want and so you can run a test and see how it works and kind of,
increment into you know a bigger chunk of your budget,
but then we had like one real retailer on the main stage which was Catholic a who’s a CEO of Sam’s and she was pretty interesting she was talking
because you don’t normally think of Club as being a super digitally engaged category and you know digital being super important to club like the,
the most famous club retailer in the world is Costco who I would argue is why quite famously a digital Luddite,
and Kathy was talking a lot about how important omnichannel was for Sam’s and how like successful scan and go has been and that like.
That that specific particularly with younger Shoppers with Millennials that there’s that there’s a preference to scan and go over you know traditional checkout and the scan and go customers,
shop more frequently and spend more so they’re they’re the best customers and that Sam’s Club is even running ads promoting,
the scan and go functionality and that was interesting to me because.
[12:51] Walmart has kind of tested and moved away from scan and go a couple times I feel like they’re kind of leaning back into it at the moment,
but it seems like it’s and it’s club like they’re pretty convinced it’s a no-brainer that it’s a net positive so so just walk out.
Type technology you know sort of more proof that customers appreciate.
[13:14] Nursing J W for the win.
[13:16] Exactly and then the Big 3 key notes as far as I was concerned that were most interesting where all the the.
I’ll call them local Commerce is what they want to be called now or we might traditionally called them rapid Commerce but so it’s the.
CEO of instacart Fiji Simo,
the president of doordash Chris Payne and then the CEO of uber dhara and I can never pronounce his last name but but so that would,
he begets as far as I was concerned and those are you know three interesting companies in our industry right now and.
[13:57] You know at least two of them maybe all three of them you don’t necessarily first think of as Commerce.
Or if you do you think of them exclusively is kind of food Commerce and they all were kind of talking about their General Commerce Place so so it instacart,
it’s all about becoming the platform for local Commerce right and so exactly kind of like.
[14:19] GSI pivoted from being a turnkey sol
ution to being a platform that retailers used instacart is launching all these white label Standalone services so carrot ads and.
Carrot fulfillment and they’re opening their own rapid Commerce distribution centers that you can stage your products in and,
and you know offer 15 minute or 30 minute delivery windows,
so that you know it’s kind of interesting instacart was really trying to sell their their stuff as services and and white labeled services and not just for food so across all of Commerce,
the same with doordash doordash seemed to be talking about hey we’re we’re all general merchandise,
were you know doubling down on using.
Fulfilling orders from stores helping stores either use us as their own last mile service and even helping.
[15:28] Create inventory locations for retailers that are closer to Consumers and Chris Payne talked a lot about,
these delivery promises and it was interesting he was like.
You know we can all do 15-minute delivery but there definitely is not a path to doing 15-minute profitably and there’s a lot of operational challenges and he was kind of arguing,
that he felt like 30 minutes was The Sweet Spot that that like he thought it was totally viable the offer,
in a peeling assortment of items for 30-minute deliver and meat delivery in major Metro areas and that that was going to be the focus of doordash.
And then Uber,
same thing like you know right now ubereats makes as much or more than then Uber rides,
and if you’ve been watching TV you may have seen they have a national ad campaign right now which is pretty funny called Uber not eats and it’s you know promoting all the non edible stuff that you can get delivered from.
From from Uber and and that like they wanted their kind of phrase for themselves was we want to be the local business operating system so all the stuff.
That a business needs to do kind of local Last Mile does that get you all fired.
[16:49] Chris Payne was that a it does Chris Payne was a team I know him from her.
He always has he was at like MSN and then eBay he’s been all over the place he said he’s kind of a he started I think it was a CTO for a while but I think he’s now more operational.
[17:09] Yeah I mean he was good and you know it was interesting to hear from all of them I do think all of these like startups that are you know.
You know I think there is a significant infrastructure disadvantage when when kind of uber doordash and instacart are all weaning into your space.
[17:28] Yeah it’s hard to hard to compete with them on one side and Amazon on the other it’s a bit of a crunch.
[17:36] Yeah and it kind of my big takeaway from the these these key notes in aggregate is,
the swim lanes are off by each of these companies might have been born in a slightly different category of the gig economy of you will,
and they you know they each had kind of their home market and they all have decided that the growth opportunity is to expand into each other’s market so I think these three companies,
feel increasingly like direct competitors to each other.
Um so that was kind of my Keynotes and then and I did not get to attend every single key note it was a pretty busy show and I was over programmed,
but so then I did attend as many other sessions as I could and here kind of the big themes from my perspective and you tell me of any of these resonate with you.
[18:26] There are a lot of sessions about buy now pay later and like it was very optimistically covered,
in these sessions and Mackenzie did a session where they were sharing some consumer research that you know more than sixty percent of consumers plan to use it I thought all the,
the buzz around being PL was interesting because,
in my world it almost feels like like that that trend has already peaked and is starting to decline.
[19:00] So you know part of a lot of retailers adopted be in PL they originally World on their website now the ruling it out in point-of-sale and a little known fact,
it’s more expensive for most retailers than a traditional credit card transaction and the argument was,
that it would bring incremental customers and higher value customers,
um and like that hasn’t been universally true amongst my clients that have tested it,
and the kind of the world has changed a little since these Services first rolled out now these services are all showing up on credit reports which,
for a while they weren’t and so that was a reason a consumer might have chosen to use this versus traditional credit card was if you know,
they already had a spotty Credit Report or didn’t want to risk getting a spotty credit report and there’s a lot of talk about like default rates starting to really creep up on these things so I kind of wonder.
[19:57] How durable they’re going to be in the long-term especially if you know the economy keeps being challenging for a little while.
[20:05] Yeah and one of The Shining examples was Peloton which is kind of Hit the skids pretty hard and I think they were like half of a firm’s volume or some some crazy number you know of one of the.
[20:19] Meaning a lot of protons where bye.
[20:21] That’s got a great ahead.
[20:22] Installment plan yeah okay.
[20:25] Yeah like something like 80% of peloton’s had an affirm plan and so but also I think it was by far our firms biggest Merchant.
I’ve read you know like a very material percentage of a firm’s,
what do you guys call it transaction payment volume through those bmps I don’t know whatever the metric is of the transaction volume flowing through I think I think Peloton was a big one and it’s there in a world of hurt so I wonder if that’s creating some pressure on the industry to.
[20:50] Yeah at the very least I don’t think the world needs as many as we have right now so I would expect at the very least that we’re going to see some consolidation in that space and it,
you know it certainly has a place in the ecosystem but there was a while when I was like oh my God the Magic Bullet to every Commerce problem is buy now pay later.
[21:11] Yeah there is was there any good consumer Behavior though that you believed or was it all felt like the the buy now pay later guys had just funded it that consumers love it.
[21:26] Yeah well yet I mean I don’t think the Mackenzie research was funded by by a particular company but you know it was this stated preference survey from customers and you know how much I love.
Stated preference service from from consumers.
[21:44] Side note 99% of all alcoholic say they can stop drinking whenever they want if you want to do a survey.
[21:53] Absolutely and everyone says they’ll spend more money for something environmental friendly than they never do.
[21:58] And a hundred percent of people are of above average intelligence.
[22:03] Yes and handsome.
[22:05] Which doesn’t yet turn out to work out so.
Another big talking point at the show was everybody’s favorite word to hate is omni-channel like there were a ton of omni-channel sessions there’s a lot of interesting talk about,
people returning to stores like there is mixed messages about the rate of digital adoption declining and I would say.
[22:34] The rate of acceleration is declining but like digital is not die
sel is not shrinking in any like absolute basis.
A lot more of these omnichannel amenities and so this was like that was a lot of the Sam’s Club talk was about that Dave gilboa who’s the one of the cofounders of Warby Parker
he was talking a lot about Omni Channel and the role of the stores in their business model
and how they’ve kind of gone back to Virtual try on like the I don’t know people know that the original plan for Warby Parker was,
that you could use your phone to try glasses on and.
The technology wasn’t quite there when they launched the company and people didn’t like it very much so they end up having to do all these,
tried for five pair for free as an emergency stop Gap but now they feel like with the lidar and the latest iPhones they feel like the virtual try and experience is working better than the,
the tripe are model and so they’re starting to see a lot of uptick in that but people still want to come into the store to buy the glasses so kind of talking about,
Omni channel for the win.
[23:45] That’s not harmonized.
[23:48] Yeah no only 44 what’s his name Steve Dennis.
[23:56] Dennis yeah.
[23:57] Sorry I missed her bifurcation is how I think of them but.
Data is always a buzzword at this show which again I like data as much as the next person but I’m not sure like as a tactic that it’s a standalone thing but a lot of people wanted to provide case studies about how they were,
you know leveraging data in new ways and particularly omni-channel data so John strain who’s the chief digital officer Gap was talking about,
all the new initiatives that Gap is doing for first-party data and he was arguing that like you know with the two doing personalization with first-party data like they were saying.
[24:41] Did that,
they were able to acquire customers that were like 40 percent more likely to be new file customers as opposed to Labs customers and it had a 30 percent higher order value than,
then kind of their their pre data-driven customer acquisition tactics.
The Steve Miller who’s the head of digital at Dick’s Sporting Goods he was talking about a lot of.
Sort of the data collection techniques that they were using and how they were getting way you know better outcomes out of personalization they had a kind of cool example I like.
Dick’s Sporting Good launched an app called I think it’s called Game Changer and what it is is it’s an app for your phone to keep score at a baseball game and by keep score do you know what I mean like track all the stats.
People for a long time have Branagh book and like.
[25:37] Book yeah.
[25:38] Manuel keep score the game so they created this app they give it away for free but what it does is it now like get wet them get 27 million.
Like weekly Baseball fans like in their ecosystem that they then get to Market you know they have first-party data on and get to Market to so it’s kind of like when.
Um Under Armour bought MyFitnessPal for example like kind of interesting places where retailers are,
are like building or buying these digital utilities that aren’t necessarily directly related to Commerce so I just to get closer to customers that they can then Market.
[26:21] Yeah that is color all Trojan Horse strategy.
[26:24] Exactly and then Julie Bornstein who’s the founder of the yes,
I think a past guest on the show she was kind of talking about her first party data and she was throwing out red meat to all the Consultants that are selling personalization so here’s going to be the money quote that you’re going to see in every brochure you get for the next year,
our first party day I driven first-party data experiences drove a 75% increase in annual spend a hundred percent annual order frequency and 125 percent better retention rate.
So sounds great sounds like they got some improvement that move the needle for them I’m excited for them,
here’s going to be the thing when you see all these personalization vendors that are now pitching that to you like.
Personalization isn’t like a binary thing it’s not like you don’t have it and then you do have it and these are the results you expect when you do have it right like everybody’s doing personalization to some extent and like how much,
Improvement in results you’re going to get is going to be directly related to how bad your experience was before and how far you improve it.
[27:33] Yeah yeah could so it could be just started with really bad bad numbers and then didn’t kind of.
[27:40] Exactly so I wouldn’t I mean I wouldn’t be like putting too much stock in these like benchmarks are case studies as like
predictive in any way of what an individual user will get but like of course if you can get more customer data and use it to have more relevant experiences that’s going to be you know benefit.
[27:57] Now one thing I’m noticing is previous shoptalk sweat with this whole panel format this is sounding much more like individual speaker was that that kind of change of the format.
[28:08] Not necessarily so they kind of have a few formats so they have like they have the key notes which is almost always,
an interview that presenter an interviewer and that that was still true so then they have
track key notes and attract keynote is usually in individual speaker or an individual speaker
followed by an interview and then they have these panel formats and so in some cases,
I’m cherry picking what I thought was interesting from one speaker and a panel of three but in a bunch of cases these were track Keynotes.
[28:47] Got it.
[28:49] And we’ll get to the very best track keynote in a minute which you know was obviously mine.
[28:56] No bias there.
so a lot of talk about the best and most cost-effective ways to acquire customers so you know there was a ton of sessions talking about live streaming and kind of the,
the kind of at this point I’ll call it the kind of predictable tripe that like oh my gosh you live streaming is huge in China and may or may not be coming to the u.s. but you should be testing it like you know Google obviously had a big keynote talking primarily about live streaming
a ton of practitioners were talking in particular about like their experience on Tik-Tok and successful live streaming
HSN was obviously talking about their success and then there were some,
shop shops is a live streaming platform that you know gave an interesting case study and then,
I would say there’s always a couple of vendors that like emerge I don’t know if they’re necessarily the best or not but like kind of win the show for share of voice
and so every time someone’s talking about live Commerce the vendor that they were talking about partnering with was firework which is a enabler of live streaming,
Commerce and so it felt to me like they they did a good job showing up in all these conversations are you bullish on live streaming.
[30:17] I am but it’s because you have trained me that it’s so big in China and then you know it’s one of those things,
a lot of the stuff in China we thought would be good kind of come across as not like chat Commerce and why bow and all that so but it’s one where you know I see these influencers and I think it will catch on because we’ve got,
the Kardashians and if they ever did a l
ive stream or something like that it would be huge we just need we need like that spark and kind of a unique American take on it,
probably from a Content perspective not underlying technology but it all has to come together.
[30:52] Yeah so I don’t like we may need a an updated deep dive on live streaming in China because it’s actually,
it’s evolving super rapidly like there was this interesting phenomenon at first where all the live streaming was happening on retail platforms so it was like,
kind of influencers that got made famous by Ali Baba and j.d. on their platform so think of it as people were consuming live streaming on Walmart.com not on tick tock,
and then the government kind of crack down on some of these influencers who apparently weren’t paying taxes,
and and it kind of shifted the live streaming to the social platform so no like now Dao Yuan which is Tick-Tock in China is.
The destination for live-streaming so it’s just been interesting,
but one wave live streaming I really like and I think coach was talking a lot about in their their track he noted the show,
is sales associates as in as micro influencers and doing live streaming either from the store or after hours which.
[31:55] Yeah we’ll have to get caught up on them.
[31:58] It’s a related Trend that got a lot of Buzz this show as another way of acquiring customers as micro influencers that’s another one that I’m kind of bullish on and there were some good case studies there,
so Jill Ramsey is the CEO of AKA Brands was talking about like micro influencers being their most successful new customer acquisition strategy there are a bunch of apparel brands,
um one that I hadn’t thought of that I feel like I need to get updated on more,
Alyssa Walt is the chief business officer for Burton Snowboards so you know all the snowboarding accessories,
and she was talking about they were having huge success using NCAA athletes as influencers,
and of course if you’re not following it closely that used to be illegal for or not illegal but like it was a gainst the NCA term so you lose your college eligibility of you made any money as a,
influence our sponsor and now their college athletes are all permission to.
To endorse products and make money and so it’s kind of open this new,
new channel if you have a product that’s appropriate to be.
[33:13] Advocated by college athlete so that seemed interesting that they were a fast mover there,
and then I mentioned coach was definitely leaning into influencers and particularly using sales associates as influencers.
[33:29] Cool aunt heard the NCAA thing yielding some some fruit so that’s interesting to hear.
[33:35] Yeah I’ve seen some funny like local case studies where do I go up a car dealership hired some NCAA athletes and as you could imagine,
like some of them are awful and some of them are awesome.
So I just like some of the like the quality of the deliveries have been pretty funny and uneven.
[33:55] So another big talking point that kind of it was not the topic of a lot of sessions but it got mentioned in a lot of sessions including mine was the emergence of retail media networks and I would say that was,
something that came up at a lot in hallway conversations more so than in like content on the stage.
But everybody and their brother you know now has a retail media Network and they you know they’re all doubling down and one thing they’re all doing is expanding,
Beyond digital search so you know more different ad platforms on their websites but increasingly a lot of.
Media opportunities in stores so you and I were talking about some of these offline like you know you know in-store displays and things like that,
and then also a bunch of these retail media networks are offering dsps and letting you buy ads on Google or Facebook using,
first-party targeting from the retailer so you know you think about the depreciation of cookies in your ability to buy your own look-alike audience on Facebook,
you know you can still pay Walmart to buy look like audiences on Facebook for you and that can be pretty successful.
[35:14] So we already talked about the payment Trends another big Trend that came up a lot we kind of covered it in the,
the Keynotes was the rapid Commerce being a big thing and then what I wanted to put on your radar screen.
When the came up an awful lot a few times in sessions and then a lot in the hallway is everyone is metaverse curious.
[35:41] Yeah yeah I read one of the summary as was everyone’s talking about metaverse but no one thinks they’ll actually be an e-commerce down there so I don’t know we’re people thinking there’s actually going to be some Commerce happening or they were just.
What is this wise.
[35:56] So I don’t know that’s a good question I tried to ask probing questions and like the vast majority of people you talk to don’t actually understand what they even meet like there’s a lot of confluent,
compilation of terms right like web 3 metaverse,
um blockchains cryptocurrencies and so it’s it’s you know you’re talking to someone about the metaverse and then they’re telling you why they invested in Bitcoin and you go well like those are related but they’re not the same thing.
[36:28] Yeah it’s like 13.
[36:30] Yeah but so there are a couple case studies from some gaming companies that we’re doing some in-game Commerce again Mackenzie like kind of had some consumed like part of their presentation had all these like,
evolving consumer Trends and they again there’s a stated preference for take it with a huge grain of salt
um but they ask customers how many hours a day they expected to spend in the meadow verse five years from now and the average answer was 4 hours a day,
and for for Jen’s he’s the average our answer was nine hours a day.
[37:03] You know every pretty much every waking hour or sleeping hour will be the members.
[37:09] Yeah and,
you know I’ll tell you about my evolving opinion The Meta verse in a minute but you know a really interesting question is what it like is like are we in the meta verse right now like like a zoom call the metaverse is.
But Facebook messenger chat the med over like you know the there’s a lot of gray area in definitions.
[37:36] And so if you can’t like if all my time on Twitter is in the meadow verse then I might be close to that average now.
[37:44] Yeah yeah I don’t know I don’t think that counts.
[37:49] And so I will highlight like I di think we have a metaverse Commerce Deep dive in in our near future,
everybody wants to learn about it and understand it like I’ve been doing some kind of meta verse 101 Commerce conversations with a bunch of clients,
and like at the very least if you’re going to be an early mover and do some piloting like there are a bunch of easy to make tragic mistakes to make early on that you should.
You should be aware of and so it just you know it might be an interesting topic for us to do a deep dive on.
[38:25] Yeah we’ll put it on the list.
[38:27] Yeah and I got corralled by everybody’s favorite venture capitalist Andreessen Horowitz and they’re wildly boyish on the members.
[38:36] Which which one of the folks steamer.
[38:40] So they now have like a whole team,
dedicate like that and you probably know them better than I do but you know they’re trying to have this spin of providing all these services to entrepreneurs so they have like a lot of kind of.
Share real sources and so you know the pitch to me is like,
you know man if you have any client projects like we can play matchmaker and help introduce you to the right you don’t companies in our portfolio and stuff like that so the these were not like Investment Partners these were all operating partners.
There were trying to accelerate business for their portfolio companies that were pitching me.
[39:25] I knew they had crypto Focus I didn’t know they had a team thinking about the meadow verse that sinners.
[39:29] They do have a crypto focus and I’m saying metaverse but I’ll tell you what they really have their their their in addition their trip to focus they have a web 3 Focus.
[39:38] Okay they’re kind of loving it all together.
[39:39] Um yeah which there is an important distinction between metaverse and web 3 which would be fun to talk about it we do a deep dive.
[39:47] Yeah alright good teaser.
lot of talk I mentioned this already but there was a lot of talk about the return of stores which is funny because you know I wasn’t where stores went away,
but maybe the buzz of the stores went away and you know now like stores are coming pretty well against their soft pandemic numbers and digital is comping,
not as well against their Mega pandemic numbers and so,
there’s a way in which you look at it and go oh man you know store growth is unusually high and digital growth is unusually low.
[40:22] I think that’s kind of a misunderstanding of the data a little bit in a lot of cases but that was,
a big hallway conversation and then the conversation that I didn’t hear that really surprised me I mentioned the mood was really kind of Rosie,
I have to be honest all my one-on-ones with clients leading up to the show have not been Rosy like there’s a,
awful lot of concern amongst the folks I work with about what everybody’s calling the macros and you know by that they mean,
like inflation persistent supply chain problems you know consistent persistent like economic instability like housing supplies and cost-of-living going up like all these,
these kind of Doom and Gloom Financial measures and then you throw you know gas prices in war in Europe,
on top of all that and I’m talking to a bunch of people that are like really worried about the Financial Health and spending ability of their customer base and there was none of that at the show.
[41:24] Yeah yeah you know the consumer confidence numbers taken a precipitous fall which I always use is kind of my barometer and I’m I am also worried about the macros.
[41:36] Yeah I mean you know I get these wrong all the time but there was a time early in the pandemic when,
when you know my narrative was like
the pandemics probably going to cause a recession and it’s probably going to end with a period of like crazy accelerated spending similar to The Roaring 20s and the irony is,
the opposite kind of happened like the pandemic like drove a two-year period of crazy spending and it feels like it’s now ending in her session.
[42:07] Yeah yeah it’s kind of kind of backwards from what we all thought.
[42:11] Yeah I hope that’s not how it all plays out but.
[42:14] Shown up in the numbers like you know the numbers that you talked about the retail numbers the but so it’s either not happening or its early indications and we haven’t seen it yet that’s just kind of the big concern.
[42:25] Yeah yeah no and I will tell you like if and it’s going to come up here pretty soon I think another week.
Last March was a mega month for retail and so the comps this March.
Are copying against are really hard number and you know a lot of people feel that like the macros like really started to show up in the consumer numbers this March and so if,
like there’s a chance that like the comps are going to be really ugly this March it’s going to be a interesting month to watch.
[43:02] All right we’ll keep an eye out.
[43:03] Yeah I did say the last best session best session for last,
I did a track keynote talking about achieving digital profitability right and I so I was the one Doom and Gloom session I’m like hey there is a bunch of macro concern over out there like obviously there was a bunch of extra digital,
um activity and now the challenge we all have to face as we got to figure out how to bring more profit to our digital business and so I did a whole,
track keynote talking about,
um opportunities to improve the profitability and then I had a guest Jerome Griffith who’s the CEO of lands and like I did a,
like a 15-minute presentation and then we did like a 20-minute fireside chat talking about the best strategies to make money in this climate.
So I tried to channel my inner Scott as much as possible.
[43:56] What were some of the what are some of those strategies.
[44:00] Um I mean it’s it’s black and tackling stuff we kind of you know talked about you know typical framework of,
reducing cost getting more customers you know generating more revenue from each customer and then we kind of hit on,
our favorite tactics within each of those three buckets Jerome like you know by far feels that the,
the easiest best place to start is on the cost controls right and he’s in the apparel space historically the apparel space does a horrible job of demand forecasting.
[44:36] So they make the wrong stuff and they make too much stuff in that really hurts costs and you know just just fundamental costs of goods and and having good rigor around controlling,
manufacturing cost is his kind of home base but like the part of his.
[44:56] Feedback that was super interesting to me is lands in was a direct-to-consumer company so they were a company that was born as a catalog that sold 100% direct-to-consumer,
they got acquired by Sears so then they were exclusively available on the lands in catalog and in Sears stores,
and they were acquired by Sears I greatest years was starting to get distressed and turning into a fast Eddie Discounters and so suddenly lands in which hadn’t done any discounting was heavily discounted,
and then they got spun off from Sears and you know tried to recover their non discount price point and,
they expanded into a bunch of other channels so today you can buy lands and direct from their website which is still about 50 percent of their sales but they sell wholesale through Macy’s and Kohl’s,
which you know our discount channels and then they they also sell 1p on Amazon and so it was interesting he talked about wholesale and marketplaces being,
a very important and vibrant customer acquisition strategy for a direct-to-consumer company and so he felt like.
[46:07] Like the customers that he was meeting at Kohl’s were incremental to the customers he met directly and that like partnering with coals and Macy’s was,
way more cost-effective way to acquire customers then Facebook ads.
[46:20] Nursing and then I like the marketplace take that’s a that’s a good one.
[46:24] Yeah yeah yeah so he I mean he was kind
of like you got to be where the customer is control your costs,
and then you know there are things like if you are direct-to-consumer like you should launch a retail media Network and try to supplement your,
your Revenue with those kinds of tools and you know I did some stuff just on basic block and tackling and on mobile experiences that we all still get wrong and improving mobile conversion and stuff like that.
[46:54] The was there a standing ovation at the end of the session.
[46:59] There was there was because I said I was going to shut up now and that that generated incredible standing ovation.
[47:05] Did you do the whole Spiel of if you like this I’ve got 290 hours out there on the internet for you.
[47:11] I did but it’s 3:00 because even though we only have 290 shows the average one is longer than an hour.
[47:17] Nice yeah yeah good yeah some guy we interviewed somebody’s like I’ve listened to all your podcast is like I’m not really sure yet.
[47:28] Yeah although I will tell you I ran into a ton of people so many nice comments I’m so grateful like the thing I feel bad about when you miss a show is,
just so many random people like recognize our name on my badge and I had a Jason and Scot show badge,
and like we’re honest with Sinners and had great feedback and I was just found out talk to all these people and and it’s nice to hear that people appreciate what we do and if you don’t know the most common,
comment I get about the show is that oh yeah I listened at 1.25 speed or 1.5 speed while I’m at on my exercise bike.
And I want to say for the first time ever I met a guy who’s a regular listener to the show that said he listened at 2X and that I found I sounded kind of sleepy and tired in real life.
[48:18] This is in your holding two coffees did you have the thing where you’re speaking and someone recognizes your voice and they’re looking around like a weight had I’ve heard that voice before that happens to us it.
[48:32] It’s Starbucks every single time because but I mean hey I spent a lot of time standing in a Starbucks line and I spend a lot of time talking so a lot of people have the chance to hear my voice and go wait a minute you sound familiar.
[48:43] Did anyone make fun of your title that’s my favorite part.
[48:46] So yes but like in fairness there mostly people that are friends of yours or mine that just like on team Scott.
[48:55] Okay they’re just just carrying on the chief digital retail analytics customer Journey officer.
Nice cool did you guys did your company have a been big shindig was it a good show for you guys.
[49:11] It was it was it was also fun because I had a fair amount of co-workers their it was fun to spend time with them and we had a team dinner that was awesome.
The most purposes agencies wouldn’t necessarily exhibit but we own a company that helps
Implement a lot of retail media networks called Citrus ad and so they had a booth there so I it was fun to hang out with them a little bit their founder by the way we might have I try not to put pupusas people in our show very often but we might have to have him on because
he’s a two-time very successful entrepreneur he tricked us into buying his his most recent company.
He also is a former professional Australian Rules Football player like legit.
[49:58] Oh ah yeah that’s that weird football that they have yeah it’s kind of fatter and stubby or than our football.
[50:06] What version of football is not weird that okay yeah.
[50:08] Cool well yeah and we should talk about if pupal sis needs to acquire any car washes with you you and I can have that one offline.
[50:18] Yeah yeah for sure you I get as you can imagine that’s that’s most of the cycles that that I spend it purposes is pitching on us leaning into the car wash space.
[50:28] Cool did you get a chance to walk through the booths and the the show floor and see Annie was that well traffic to an any any kind of.
[50:38] Yeah it’s always it’s always hard to tell I do think shoptalk one of the things shoptalk does well is two things they try to have some events in the floor.
so so you know like the lunches and stuff you kind of have to walk through the tradeshow to get to the lunches so they try to artificially create some traffic but one thing I really appreciate about shoptalk is,
they have down time in the agenda when there’s no track or keynote content like they have like two hours a day and part of the reason is they have this
this function cut these out meet up so I can retailer can attend shop up shoptalk for free if they agree to take like five meetings with vendors and then these vendors pay for these meetings
and so they have to have a window to do those meetings in and so I appreciate that,
it creates a more natural opportunity for people to walk the show and discover vendors without feeling like you’re missing something.
[51:36] Crinkle how many retailers did you meet with.
[51:40] Yeah so I do always try to walk the show and I do try to stop and talk to some booths I got to be honest there’s a weird dynamic Scott and I feel like you would appreciate this but Walking the Floor makes me feel old because,
I walk the floor and,
here’s basically what goes on in my mind I don’t recognize the name of any of the vendors and then I agreed to sign for a second and then I figure out that there are vendor I know super well that’s changed their name three times.
And so it’s like I feel like the Wikipedia that’s like remembering oh yeah you used to be this and now you’re this and now you’re that and then I know I go oh and I know these 3 people that work there right now.
It is now the case that all the people I know that work at all these vendors are too old and Senior to be in the booth so.
I know I never run into any folks I know in the booth that’s always the the Next Generation.
[52:33] Yeah and then I’ll get excited that you’re a retailer and then you’re a podcaster and they’re like.
[52:39] Yeah and that’s my my unfulfilled young Lame Game I play with all of them is.
You know by and large they’re like so what do you do and I go I’m mostly just talk about this stuff all the time and there and they like think I’m lying when in fact that’s exactly what I said.
[52:55] The new about the 3:00.
[52:58] Yeah exactly.
And then in a couple cases it Dawns on them wait a minute you’re the Jason and Scot show and they like chase me down in the hallway and go you I listen to your podcast.
[53:08] Very cool.
[53:10] Then we go into those sleepy tired thing anyway but in the interest of bringing the average down I feel like I’ve covered all the show do you feel like you caught up on everything you missed by not being there.
[53:23] I do the one thing that I’ve heard chatter from the folks I talk to is this
continued pressure on Shopify you ever seen they announce their last quarter’s earnings Q4 their stock has been on a
precipitous slide that they haven’t seen since their IPO and like
2016 I think,
maybe 15 was that that come up at all or no.
[53:50] It didn’t come up a lot and I’m trying to remember like I actually don’t think they had a booth at the show which is interesting.
I could be wrong on that but I kind of don’t think they had had a big booth,
and yeah I mean you know obviously they’re totally lumped into this whole category of companies that did amazing in the beginning of the pandemic and then like you know seem like they acted like they would continue to,
to grow that pace and obviously couldn’t and then you know the their stock got punished for it.
[54:23] Yeah yeah and there’s been a lot of Wall Street notes out saying you know that I think what freaked everyone out is the fact they’re going to invest in infrastructure meaning warehouses and there’s a lot of Wall Street folks trying to say.
It’s not that bad it’s only a billion dollars but I remain skeptical that that’s going to be enough and then,
yep so we should just wondering if that was.
[54:48] Yeah I mean if anything I would say there are a lot more fulfillment companies that would be competing with a Shopify fulfillment Network and a lot more you like I’ll tell you where Shopify has a ton of competition at this show are like.
POS systems which is actually a meaningful part of shopify’s offering now and you know like kind of.
Solutions as a service besides the e-commerce site the payment systems and all of these things that you know Shopify does and I will say it’s kind of funny.
I still think like a lot of people try to describe themselves as the Shopify of X which.
Like doesn’t sound as good as it did a couple years ago and you still hear people trying to say like we’re the word be Parker of X and I’m like have you looked at worry Parker stuffers.
[55:37] Yeah how about how about some of our friends from The Headless Commerce industry was there a lot of a lot of Buzz there with the.
so those platforms were there in full strength Fazal and fabric had a big presence there you remember they raised some good money right before the show,
we had Kelly on from a Commerce tools you know a number of episodes ago and he talked about the mock Alliance and that mock Alliance,
has really gained a lot of traction like I’m seeing a lot more and more vendors emerging that are now members of the mock Alliance so it seems like.
You know that that’s not just a marketing thing that’s kind of like a legitimate Trade Organization for all these headless providers.
[56:27] Nursing was there like common badging throughout or something like that.
[56:31] Well yeah there’s a mock Alliance logo that was on a bunch of booths I they may have had events I wasn’t able to like attend any of their.
There are social events but yeah it seems like it’s getting traction I don’t know if this is a perfect show for that like.
There was an ERA when like everybody needed a platform you need to go to a show to meet vendors and find out about platforms like I kind of think the average attendee here has a platform today and so you know maybe there’s some that are thinking about switching.
But I have a feeling that those booths have gone a little bit more from customer acquisition to.
Customer relationship management and retention at the shows.
[57:11] Yeah yeah nursing will cope well we appreciate you going out and braving the wild environs of the Las Vegas hotel circuit and this the Starbucks to report back to us.
[57:25] It was my pleasure and if she’s listening definitely congratulations to Christina Gibson and the whole team at shoptalk I do think they put on a good show and it’s,
like I think it’s definitely set itself up as the preeminent kind of digital Commerce show in our industry now.
[57:59] Yeah and until next time happy Commercing.