This is part two of our insights from Shoptalk. Part one about augmented reality and other technology was published 23 May.

Apart from technology, other important topics that lead to e-commerce success were also discussed.

Consumer empowerment

The cosmetics company Glossier was great on stage at Shoptalk. In their presentation, they talked about empowering consumers. They have built a community where consumers becomes ambassadors, help each other and give advice to one another. Glossier said that they put their customer first, then their products. The customers’ voices are the center of their business. They have built a community and included their customers in business development. They work with networks, linking with customers who can talk about their products. They talked a lot about how they create content to help customers make the best decisions before the purchase. For them, it is a must to build their community in order to create loyalty and trust, as this also strengthens the shopping experience. The foundation of their business is content, community and commerce.

Poshmark, a social selling marketplace for fashion, also emphasized the importance of empowering consumers. They have created a community where they connect buyers and sellers with each other. They have managed to get great engagement from their users, who open the app 7–9 times a day. Instead of talking about personalization, they claim that the app is personal. Personal in the sense that it gives individualized recommendations and advice for each unique consumer. Their aim is to reduce the friction of buying and to design a more personal shopping experience. However, they say that the future is about people and not the algorithms, and thus they are skeptical of data-driven algorithms.

Culture matters

team of employeesOne especially memorable presentation was held by the founder and CEO of Boxed. Boxed delivers bulk-sized packages in the US. They mentioned their staff several times during the presentation and praised them. They had good examples of how to listen to employees, and their approach is to let employees grow within the company. They are customer-centric as well as employee-centric. For example, Boxed started a college tuition fund for employees’ kids and have paid for staff’s weddings. They have also been named Best Place to Work in New York City.

Other companies also spoke about the importance of their employees. About the importance of creating a start-up feeling within the company and keeping the mentality of trying, fail and try again. Never giving up, keeping one’s curiosity, and always improving and innovating in order to solve customers’ problems.

In summary, Shoptalk covered a lot of topics! In addition to the above, it covered partnerships, importance of transparency, daring to invest, and the development in augmented and virtual reality, to only mention a few.

Hope you can make the time to attend Shoptalk next year, I would highly recommend it. And I hope you enjoyed reading about some of the topics.

Carin Blom, ecommerce expert and retail analyst at PostNord

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