Ovative/Group’s Diana Rehnberg attended the Internet Retailer Conference in Chicago this past week and learned about the most recent news and trends in online commerce. The lines between the in-store and online retail experience are blurring as Walmart.com president Joel Anderson explained in his keynote address about integrated sales. Anderson presented “Sweet Sixteen,” a video yet to publically released, about how Wal-Mart’s developing digital technology gives customers more control of their shopping experience than ever before. From an interactive web menu to a mobile shopping app that recognizes the user once in store, the presentation explained how multiple platforms can be used to customize the interaction between customer and store.
Integration was also key to trends in the digital vendor market. Web commerce platforms have begun to offer more tools across all channels. Now, many software providers bundle content management, analytics, and promotional applications in addition to their primary function. Still, the question remains whether each extra feature is as sophisticated as the companies who specialize in that role.
“As the client, you want to know where the vendors bundling these extra aspects are spending their money as a company,” Diana said. “Are they improving everything or just investing in one function? It’s still early on to tell, but something to watch.”
Another interesting app highlighted at the conference, Revel Touch, provides a new way to shop via tablet. The company calls their technology “touch shopping” as their app platform allows customers to buy online in an interactive, immersive fashion. Revel Touch looks similar to Pinterest, a good fit for initial client Anthropology, as the app allows customers to browse based on a variety of flexible categories, create custom outfits, and shop via store-created blogs. Check out both Revel Touch and the Internet Retailer Conference websites for more information.