FierceRetail at 2014 is the retail industry's premier event focused on digital retail. From the online experience to the growing importance of mobile platforms, the industry is meeting in Seattle to brainstorm, network and explore new technology and programs to improve the digital experience. 

FierceRetail is live at the show, so be sure to check back here for all of the biggest news, and follow @FierceRetail for up-to-the-minute updates on events. 

Online retailing to account for $120B by 2018
By Jacqueline Renfrow, September 30, 2014

It seems there is no slowing the growth of digital retailing, as e-commerce is expected to account for $120 billion of the retail industry's revenue by 2018.'s annual Summit kicked off this morning by touting the growth of digital retailing and giving homage to the pioneers that continue to innovate in the industry.

Vicki Cantrell, executive director,, and senior VP, communities, National Retail Federation, welcomed the crowd of more than 5,000 attendees by announcing that online retail sales will total $300 billion by the end of the year, due in large part to the innovative retailers, manufacturers, technology partners and other industry players who push products to the next level. Full story

REI uses smartphone apps to engage shoppers
By Laura Heller, September 30, 2014

REI may be known for its enormous stores that recreate the outdoor experience inside, but the retailer is remaking itself in the digital era, building out digital flagships and mobile apps that aim to further engage its customer base of outdoor enthusiasts.

"We believe our digital assets represent our 21st century flagship experience," CEO Jerry Stritzke said during Tuesday's opening keynote at "We are making a next generation change, to be there for our customers whenever and wherever they need us."

The 76-year-old retailer was early to online retail, launching its website in 1997. But that site has not kept pace with how shoppers use the Web today and the retailer is in the midst of a complete remodel of its online presence. Online sales make up roughly 25 percent of the outfitters total revenue. Full story

The physical store is not dead, just changing
By Jacqueline Renfrow, October 1, 2014

Executives from companies such as Target and eBay were quick to say that the brick-and-mortar was anything but dead to the room full of digital retailers at yesterday morning's Summit.

In the breakout session titled, "Do you need the physical store?" Healy Cypher, head of retail innovation, eBay, opened by listing some staggering facts about the progress of digital. He noted that smartphone consumers are going on their devices on average 150 times a day and that every day more iPhones are sold than babies born in the world.

But that doesn't change the fact that the in-store experience is still an integral part of most retail transactions. Digital and physical are now working together to create an optimal shopping experience. As many as 72 percent of consumers are showrooming, or researching on phones while in a physical store, and 78 percent are webrooming, looking at the store online before entering the brick-and-mortar location. Full story

Analyzing online and offline data, together and separately
By Jacqueline Renfrow, October 1, 2014

Retailers spoke of the challenges that marketing for both online and offline stores can pose when a company is given one marketing budget for both channels at yesterday's Summit.

The afternoon session, titled "Attributing Success: Incremental Gains through Applying Cross-Channel Analyses," focused largely on how different ways of looking at collected data can affect how a company attributes success to different retail channels.

David Abbott, senior director, online marketing, The Home Depot, was quick to jump in and say that his company carefully analyzes data from online sales but, while they are important, they still only account for about 4 percent of revenue. Full story

On the Hot Seat: REI's Brad Brown

REI's Senior VP of Digital Retail, Brad Brown, is overseeing a complete overhaul of the outdoor outfitter's digital presence. FierceRetail sat down with Brown following his opening keynote to learn more about how REI plans to revolutionize its site, connect with shoppers and the lessons learned along the way. Full story


Creating a seamless omnichannel experience
By Jacqueline Renfrow, October 2, 2014

John Stelzer, worldwide industry leader, retail smarter commerce, IBM, led a panel of retail executives that offered an inside look into what omnichannel means for today's brands.

Painting the picture of two omnichannel players were Tony Brown, executive VP, e-commerce and omnichannel, Zumiez, and Ratnakar Lavu, executive VP, digital innovation, Kohl's.

Stelzer opened the discussion with some data showing how quickly the consumer mindset is changing. In a poll taken two years ago, 85 percent of consumers believed it was important for a retailer to be seamless across channels, and 81 percent expected their shopping experience with a brand to be consistent every time. Today, those numbers are up with 92 percent of consumers thinking seamlessness is important and 82 percent wanting consistency every time. Full story

Today's consumer craves trust, speed and visibility
By Jacqueline Renfrow, October 2, 2014

Kelly Mooney, the CEO of Resource, sat down for a chat with Kit Yarrow, PhD, consumer psychologist at Golden Gate University, to discuss the psychology behind today's shopper at an afternoon session of the Summit.

In Yarrow's recent book, "Decoding the New Consumer Mind: How and Why We Shop and Buy," she set out to uncover why there seemed to be a disconnect between what retailers are offering and what consumers want to buy.

What Yarrow found is that today's consumer, living in a fast-paced technological world, responds differently to marketing cues than the shopper of 10 years ago. And what stood out is the emotional factor behind their purchase decisions, which largely plays into the issue of trust. Full story

CEO of Fanatics, Rue La La speaks on PayPal's eBay split, Alibaba and same-day shipping
By Jacqueline Renfrow, October 3, 2014

In a morning keynote session of the Summit, Sucharita Mulpuru, VP, principal analyst, Forrester Research sat down to a fireside chat with Michael Rubin, founder and CEO, Kynetic, on "Capitalizing on the Digital Transformation of Commerce." The only thing more impressive than the dynamic presence and of the executive in charge of three popular e-commerce businesses, Fanatics, Rue La La and ShopRunner, is the story behind how he got there.

Rubin's entrepreneurial spirit started young: He opened a ski tuning shop in his basement at the age of 12. He eventually turned his small business into a global network of e-commerce solutions known as GSI Commerce. Therefore, Rubin was well equipped to talk to the room of retailers about some of the changes and challenges facing e-commerce today. Full story