Now that Shoptalk 2024 has come to an end, we can reflect on nights at the blackjack table, the electric Ludacris concert, and the compelling conversations that drew us to Vegas in the first place. 

Heading into the week, attendees anticipated conversations surrounding hot topics like AI and retail media. While they were certainly spoken about, there were larger themes and takeaways that prevailed:

📦 Amazon’s low key (read: absence) at Shoptalk was glaring. At Shoptalk, our President Sarah Engel shared with Modern Retail’s Cale Guthrie Weissman, “I am hearing less about Amazon’s products and services this year. I’m almost hearing about them more as an entertainment [player] — the realities of what is possible [as] we continue to head toward cookie deprecation.”

🤖The conversation on AI has shifted from concern over the impact it will have on people’s jobs to its use for personalization in ecommerce with companies like Google and ThredUp announcing AI-driven shopping tools. There are also AI tools brands can use to learn more about their customers and find opportunities to connect.

📺 Retailers that attended were focused on the importance of building a brand that matters, relying heavily on social channels to glean insights into their audiences in order to create or participate in cultural moments to fuel fandom. The leading brands today are revisiting how they strike the balance between their long tail brand building efforts paired with performance-driven efforts in ongoing campaign activations. 

🤝 Brand trust and loyalty is more important than ever. Brands must shift from targeting everyone to understanding who their customers are and what they expect.

👂 Brands must be constantly listening to keep up with consumers, especially Gen Z and Gen Alpha. This includes listening to their store employees. Brand leaders are beginning to understand that innovation is present at all levels of and functions of an organization.

📈 Brands have access to a breadth customer data and must begin using it to their advantage. Personalization is key in connecting with the modern consumer.

📱 More than ever, consumers are making purchases through social platforms. Brands must be there, with a seamless checkout experience, to capture purchases when intent is the highest.

👗 Trends are cycling through quickly, especially among Gen Z and Gen Alpha consumers. If brands don’t act quickly, they can easily miss the moment. There is a renewed focus on supporting fast-er fashion to produce and offer on-trend products customers are seeking.

We are looking forward to bringing these insights back to New York and Dallas to continue the conversation. If you missed us in Vegas, we will be at Shoptalk Europe and Groceryshop later this year! 

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