Shoptalk 2024: 3 key takeaways from Las Vegas


March 26, 2024

Brooke Cunningham, inriver CMO, shares her expert insights from the recent Shoptalk 2024 event.

Last week, I had the privilege of attending Shoptalk 2024 in Las Vegas—an annual convergence of retail executives, consumer brands, and tech vendors shaping the future of both physical and online commerce. The energy and hunger to learn about the latest innovations in retail were everywhere. I left conversations with inriver partners, customers, and prospects feeling more confident than ever about the power of Product Information Management (PIM) solutions like inriver to accelerate revenue growth for brands and retailers by harnessing their product data to deliver engaging customer experiences.  

The conference sessions spanned the heaviest-hitting topics in retail today—AI, brand trust, customer experience, and more. As I listened to brand leaders share their visions for the future, there were many apparent connections between these themes and the underlying role of product data. Below I share the three takeaways from my time at Shoptalk 2024. 

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1. Brands’ hunger to get smarter on harnessing AI has only increased 

As a marketing leader and digital transformation enthusiast, I am always looking to see the latest and greatest AI applications. Across the Shoptalk sponsor pavilion – a staggering 900 exhibitors – AI was the theme of the show. There were so many novel examples of how AI is empowering brands and retailers to cultivate richer customer engagements and accelerate time to market by cutting down the time to launch products and thus enhancing efficiency.  

At inriver, we’ve been early adopters of AI into our PIM platform. In 2023, inriver launched inriver Inspire which empowers marketing teams to create compelling product content at scale. It integrates the power of the ChatGPT generative AI tool with the valuable data held within the inriver PIM solution. Brands can produce the engaging content customers are looking for across all channels, markets, and geographies. AI will be a focal point of 2024 product releases as well, with exciting announcements coming in our April and May PIMpoint events in the US and Europe. 

the inriver team at Shoptalk 2024

2. Building brand trust is a C-suite conversation 

I’m passionate about brands standing for something and having a purpose. I believe that the way brands and retailers communicate this information is of utmost importance. The way this shows up in my world – product data. It’s the language of trust between a brand and a customer. 

At ShopTalk, I was able to spend time with Bhavya Desai, Chief Technology Officer for valued inriver customer, Visual Comfort & Co. Visual Comfort & Co. is a premier provider of designer lighting, with an impressively broad array of light fixtures including pendant lighting and chandeliers. We discussed the immense value of their volumes of product data and specifically, how digital buyers depend on product listings to bring an item to life.  

If the information is incorrect or insufficient, customers are left disappointed. This is particularly important to their ideal clients in the design community selecting lighting for large-scale developments. Visual Comfort’s ability to forge authentic relationships with its customers is reliant on accurate product information that tells a complete, compelling, and compliant story at every touchpoint. Brand trust spans every facet of how organizations conduct business, and I’m proud of the piece of that story inriver powers with PIM. 

3. Elevating customer experience with unified commerce 

This week, I also heard a lot about synchronizing retail channels to provide a unified, frictionless, and continuous shopping journey, no matter where online—or in-store—a buyer engages. 

This is another fundamental role that PIM plays, ensuring that the product information shoppers access is accurate and consistent across all channels: the same story, the same visuals, and the same specifications every time. Behind the scenes, PIM is powering the entire experience, delivering a unified and consistent brand identity at every touchpoint. The smoother the customer journey, the more likely we are to make that purchase and return to the same brand, with ever more confidence in the omnichannel ecosystem. 

Closing thoughts 

I was energized by my time at Shoptalk this year – it was a highly engaging display of technology at work to power brands and retailers around the globe. The content, conversations, and connections were a collective energy boost as we head into Q2 and the rest of 2024. 

Join me at PIMpoint 2024

The biggest PIM event in the world is back with two inspirational editions in Chicago (April 24-25) and Malmö (May 15-16)

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  • Brooke Cunningham

    Chief Marketing Officer

    As Chief Marketing Officer, Brooke is responsible for inriver's end-to-end marketing strategy.

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