Trends Live From eTail West 2018: Real Talk About The Struggles (and Opportunities) of Retail

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By Sarah Cascone

What happens when you bring the most forward-thinking minds in retail under the same roof?

You hear the truth — the good, the bad and the downright ugly (trust me, I heard it all) — about what’s going on in the industry.

More so than ever before, conversations about what’s happening in retail got real at this year’s at eTail West conference. We heard about the biggest threats to the industry, what’s at the top of everyone’s to do list and the struggles that digital marketers face every day at work.

Here’s what everyone on the floor at eTail had to say:


On the Personalization Imperative

What the heck is personalization anyway? It’s all everyone talks about, but no one seems to have an answer. And if we’re really being honest, retailers have been mocked for being terrible at personalization. It’s not your fault though. To date, personalization has been fraught with challenges, but you deserve better. Bluecore took the stage to share our thoughts on what it takes to turn the situation around. Here are some highlights:

On Rethinking Email Marketing

Email remains one of the most valuable marketing channels available. But it’s just that — a channel, NOT a strategy. To reap the full value that the email channel has to offer, it’s time to think bigger. And that includes thinking about emails (and messaging on other channels) as a stream of communications you send to customers, not one-off touchpoints. Fortunately, the buzz at eTail made it clear that change is brewing:

On the Role of Physical Retail

Remember when everyone said physical retail was dead? Well, it’s not. Everyday we’re re-learning the importance of physical retail, especially as we see just how much of an impact it can make on eCommerce. Here’s some of the best advice we heard about how to bridge the gap between the two:

On the Future of Martech

The martech explosion has wreaked havoc for too many marketers. It’s time to put an end to the madness. But how do you get smarter and more selective about technologies without closing yourself off to new solutions that will actually make a difference? Consider the following:

On the Amazon Effect

The Amazon Effect has retained its buzzword status for over a year now. As much as we’d like to say “enough already,” it’s run in the spotlight has been truly impressive. Afterall, who else could get everyone cheering for Walmart’s success? At Bluecore, we believe that despite Amazon’s dominance today, it won’t be the only winner. It seemed many of those at eTail agree:

On Jared Blank’s Sense of Humor

Okay, so maybe this one isn’t a hard hitting takeaway, but it is a good insider tip for those who frequent industry events, because Jared gets up on stage an awful lot. Plus, when people start complimenting your SVP of Marketing on his sense of humor, you have no choice but to share the news. Here were some of our favorites:

How Do Your Efforts Stack Up?

Now that eTail is over, how do your marketing efforts stack up to what others are doing? Find out what you can do to improve with our free email review. Click here to get started.

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