Home Customer Journey eTail West 2018 Digs into the Digital Shopper, AI, & Maintaining the Human Element

eTail West 2018 Digs into the Digital Shopper, AI, & Maintaining the Human Element

by Chelsea Barone
eTail West 2018

This week, retail professional from around the world came to attend eTail West 2018 in Palm Springs, CA. From February 26 – March 1, the top minds in retail gathered to network, collaborate, and learn about what’s disrupting the industry today and what changes the future holds.

It’s already been an important year for retailers and we’re anxious to see what innovation is on the horizon. From the unveiling of the Amazon Go store to NRF 2018, the retail world holds a lot of promise this year.

To celebrate the conclusion of an encouraging and productive event, the Retail Technology Insider team gathered some of their favorite Tweet takeaways from eTail West 2018. Here’s what attendees were eager to share:

The convergence of digital and physical assets continues to shape the retail industry and was a major focus at eTail West 2018. Understanding the value of each approach both separately and together is critical for a retailer looking to survive. That’s right…not a retailer looking to go above and beyond, a retailer simply trying to compete.  It’s clear that Neiman Marcus, Target, and Gap Inc. understand that mentality.

A prominent point of discussion in several industries, not just retail, has become the importance of maintaining a human element. This has become an especially hot topic with the continued use of new technologies, automation solutions, and general diminishing of human interactions. eTail West 2018 attendee Allyson Ayers really said it best: “It’s not about the store of the future. It’s about the customer of the future.”

Retailers need to be leveraging this wealth of technology to better understand the customer’s perspective, not just about how to more rapidly disseminate or gather information. Ensuring that the human element is a cornerstone of any retail strategy seems like a no brainer, but it’s easy to lose sight of it with all this shiny technology in the way. Just remember: WWHD? (What would humans do?)

And, of course, at eTail West 2018 there was talk of everyone’s favorite technology: AI. It is not just a distant concept that future retailers will have to deal with. It’s a practice that any retailer worth their salt has to lean into right now. Just as Mike Mack at Fract. His sentiment is that, “If you don’t have AI in your plan in the next three years, you’re going to be out of business.”

To stay updated on the latest trends and best practices in retail technology, follow us on Twitter and subscribe to our newsletter. If you’re interested in learning more about applying technology to better understand the full perspective of your customer, check out Employing a Single Customer Viewfrom Pitney Bowes.

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