FierceRetail at 2015

  is the retail industry's premier event focused on digital retail. From location-based services and omnichannel initiatives to the growing importance of data, the industry is meeting in Philadelphia to brainstorm, network and explore new technology 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 on Twitter for up-to-the-minute coverage of events. 

QVC's digital journey: From the TV screen to all screens
By Laura Heller, October 6, 2015

QVC was among the earliest online retailers, launching its first shopping website in 1996. Nearly 20 years later, what began as a television shopping channel is now a multi-channel, multi-platform powerhouse with $9 billion in annual sales and a growing multi-channel operation.

"Digital has certainly transformed our business at QVC in ways I don't think we could have imagined just a few years ago," said Mike George, president and CEO.

But while QVC has successfully piloted different platforms and been early to try out new technology—it even experimented with SMS in the pre-smartphone years—today it is more focused on the customer than the device, at creating a cohesive experience that's less device-centric and more customer-centric, George told attendees during the morning keynote at the 2015 Digital Summit. Read full story

How technology is changing everything
By Allison Moon, October 6, 2015

Think differently and expect the impossible. That was the underlying message at the Digital Summit 2015 keynote session on exponential organizations.

The top 25 retailers in 2009 have lost 2 percent of their concentrated share of the market. But this time, it's not coming from consolidation.

"It's not the big guys getting bigger, it's the smaller guys eating into the share," said Kasey Lobaugh, principal and chief retail innovation officer at Deloitte, at the Digital Summit 2015.

The competition in retail is not solely clicks versus bricks. Instead, technology is driving competition in all directions, Lobaugh said. Read full story

Lilly Pulitzer: The challenges and opportunity of mobile
By Laura Heller, October 6, 2015

Technology is solving many problems for retailers by providing real-time information and the ability to quickly push through changes both on the website and to stores. But it's also true that retail has many problems looking for a solution.

One of the greatest challenges, according to Michelle Kelly, president of Lilly Pulitzer, is keeping up with consumers. Technology today moves fast, and retailers are moving quickly along with it. Unfortunately, shoppers are moving faster, particularly when it comes to mobile adoption.

When Lilly Pulitzer released an app, the results were fairly predictable as traffic and sales spiked. And just as quickly, the predictable behavior gave way to some less predictable activity. Read full story

Digital drives in-store by getting local and personal
By Allison Moon, October 6, 2015

Using digital channels to drive traffic in-store means not only getting personal with shoppers, but also structuring the corporate organization to live and breathe omnichannel.

"Customers don't see us as e-commerce and stores, they see us as Walgreens," said David Sturrus, director of digital marketing and strategy at Walgreens, at a 2015 Digital Summit breakout session. As a result, Walgreens has merged digital marketing and traditional marketing into a single, omnichannel-focused team while many companies are still keeping these teams separate.

So who is doing omnichannel right? Read full story

Mobile and data are key to omnichannel
By Allison Moon, October 6, 2015

PHILADELPHIA—When thinking how to strategize for omnichannel, Abercrombie and Fitch, Walgreens and Fanatics all put mobile first, but for varying reasons. With mobile in the mix, these retailers also have the opportunity and challenge of dealing with much more data.

Mobile first for Abercrombie was a natural choice based on its customer base: teenagers. This group who used hang out at the mall, are now spending most of their time on digital devices.

For Walgreens, the mobile app may not have been the most obvious go-to strategy. However, according to Deepika Pandey, global VP of digital marketing, media and customer experience at Walgreens, mobile was a priority for Walgreens from the beginning—and the strategy has paid off.

Walgreens' multichannel customers spend three to six times more than store-only customers, although the omnichannel strategy overall is driven by stores, according to Pandey. Read full story

Content is king, but so is the customer
By Allison Moon, October 7, 2015

PHILADELPHIA—Content is becoming king in several different industries, and retail is no exception. If used correctly, content can drive customer engagement, shopper satisfaction and, perhaps most importantly, sales.

"There's a delicate line between content and commerce," said Matt Wishnow, founder and CEO at Clearhead, at the Digital Summit 2015.

Content is the secret to GoPro's success, according to Meghan Litchfield, head of global e-commerce for GoPro. The company is constantly tying the product to the content, and telling the product's story as it relates to the customer. 

For Lowe's, content is a bit of a different story. Just a couple years ago, product information on Lowe's website was the second most frequent customer complaint, according to Richard Chapman, Lowe's senior content development manager. Read full story