Retail's 4D Future

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Retail's 4D Future

By Nicole Giannopoulos - 11/05/2013
The seventh annual RIS News Cross-Channel Retail Executive Summit, “4-D Retailing: Roadmap to Seamless Shopping,” drew attendees to the September 25-27 event in Dallas, TX. Attendees heard from industry experts, analysts and other retail executives about tactics and processes that will help achieve a seamless cross-channel experience.  

The RIS event features broad-based integration of channels, providing a focus on the content needed to understand the processes and technologies needed for cross-channel effectiveness. CCRES is the only event that provides this perspective in an intimate environment optimal for learning and networking.

The event kicked off with a high-energy presentation from Karen Etzkorn of HSNi, identifying the retailer’s mission that has successfully translated into executable actions. “Boundary-less retail is devoid of artificial barriers and is driven by innovation and collaboration,” said Etzkorn of an overriding philosophy that is carried out through “the three Cs – content, community and commerce.” The visual presentation emphasized a powerful commitment to innovation, which clearly sets HSNi apart from other retailers and is a key driver of its success.

Vanessa Fox, author of “Marketing in the Age of Google,” delved into how retailers can harness the full power of digital media to acquire customers. Fox discussed methods retailers can use to optimize their businesses through cutting-edge, customer-centric data techniques.

Other key sessions throughout the event covered topics from big data to the four-dimensional store, to personalization and 360-degree mobile engagement, to customer satisfaction and the store of the future.

Friday was off to a running start as RIS editor-in-chief Joe Skorupa hit the stage with EKN’s research director Gaurav Pant for a breakfast keynote presentation of the seventh annual RIS/EKN Cross-Channel Retail Tech Trends Study. According to the report, spending on cross-channel initiatives will be the biggest item on tech budgets by 2016. “Retailers must redefine stores as an omnichannel hub for delivering deeper and more personalized customer experiences,” says Pant.

Explaining how to perfect a ship-from-store solution, James Connell, VP of e-commerce and marketing for Roots Canada presented “Omnichannel Inventory and Culture”. During the fully-developed case study, Connell shared insights from the retailer’s two year pilot-to-rollout journey, which integrates the consumer-facing webstore into the in-store environment. For Roots Canada, “the omnichannel journey began with employee education and culture – without them the technology is useless,” says Connell.

Many retailers often encounter similar issues, such as giving customers what they really want and how to get rid of that inventory. Wild Things, LLC is no different, notes CEO Edward Schmults, but what is different is the retailer’s business model to respond to these issues. At Wild Things customers can create personalized products, choosing colors, fabrics, materials, trims and design features. This allows the retailer to charge a higher cost per unit, but it doesn’t carry finished goods, lowering inventory risk and the need to discount.  According to Schmults, “customers will pay a 25% price premium for ordering custom-made products.”

The next major RIS event will be Rock & Roll Retail 2014, taking place January 13 at the Hard Rock CafÉ, New York, NY. Please visit for more information.

A) Vanessa Fox, author of “Marketing in the Age of Google”, delivers the opening day General Session; B) James Connell, VP e-commerce and marketing for Roots Canada presents the day two General Session; C) Gaurav Pant, research director for EKN and Joe Skorupa, RIS News’ group editor-in-chief, present the Seventh Annual Cross-Channel Retail Tech Trends Study; D) Showing off 3-D glasses after their session are Edward Durbin, director retail solutions for AirWatch, John Pruban, president & CEO of tekservePOS, Ed DeMartino, vice president of IT for the Dress Barn, and Luke Stutler, cloud networking sales executive for Cisco; E) Herman Nell, former CIO for Petco kicks off CCRES 2013 as its honorary chairperson; F) Ed Schmults, CEO of Wild Things LLC delivers the Closing Keynote; G) Karen Etzkorn, EVP and CIO of HSNi delivers the Opening Keynote; H) Ed Durbin, John Pruban, Ed Demartino and others enjoy networking at the opening cocktail reception.