By Sara Asic

IRCE, RetailX…RICE? Regardless of what we’re calling it this year - we were very excited to be back in Chicago, Illinois to attend the Retail Innovation Conference and Expo! Didn’t get a chance to attend this year? Don’t worry we’ve got you covered! Keep reading to learn more about key takeaways from three of our favorite sessions.

IRCE is a conference focused on connecting industry experts in sharing insights, trends, and learnings on how the digital and physical retail worlds work together to create amazing customer experiences. A couple of interesting themes we found as a common thread across sessions included:

  • Using customer data to drive personalization throughout the customer journey and user experience
  • 3D, NFTs, and the Metaverse’s impact on the future of eCommerce

Focusing on these themes, here are a few takeaways from our favorite sessions:

The New Normal: Top Tips on Using Data to Fuel Personalized Experiences

In building on personalized experiences for existing users, focus on contextualization. 

  • Based on previous behavior, brands can begin to expect what a customer will do next on their journey - also known as “next best actions”
  • For example, for a customer that has returned to view a specific product multiple times, consider showing a sticky quick add to cart functionality for that specific product the next time the customer visits the site

In creating personalized experience for brand new users, lean into the empty “personalized” space.

  • Start making recommendations (such as best sellers or new products) or offer quick quizzes to begin gathering data on how to drive the next best action.

Stop showing customers the exact same products they have already been shown or purchased.

  • With the nature of social media, customers have come to expect new and fresh content with every repeat visit to your site. Utilizing the knowledge of this behavior, focus on incorporating dynamic feed-like views in addition to traditional shopping.

How 3D is Impacting the Future of eCommerce Engagement

Investing in 3D product models adds credibility to both the brand and the site.

  • These 3D product experiences have proven to provide customers with greater confidence in their online purchase and lower the product return rate.

3D product models assist in laying the groundwork for fully digital products.

  • With the rise of completely digital influencers in the Metaverse, brands are beginning to reimagine their products to be fully digital in the Metaverse environments.

Metaverse, Beyond the Hype: Making the Business Case for Immersive Digital Environments and Communities

The Metaverse has created opportunities for fully immersive branded digital environments and communities.

  • These environments provide both brands an opportunity to create new immersive experiences for their customers to create, shop, and play, building further online community.

Brands need to ensure creative has first been planned prior to diving into the tech of the Metaverse.

  • To move beyond the hype, brands need to ensure they aren’t only focusing on and being driven by the tech component when building for the Metaverse, and that creative has been planned for.
  • Common challenges brands have seen when beginning down this path is:
    • Time and resources
    • Understanding and fluency of the terms and language used in this new technology

It’s safe to say we’re in an incredibly exciting time for eCommerce, and looking forward to learning more! We’re so excited to be back in attendance at in-person events, and hope to see you at an upcoming event soon.