More than 600 companies exhibited at and sponsored this year’s Shoptalk conference in Las Vegas, where more than 10,000 attendees converged, bringing together an unprecedented number of eCommerce professionals, retailers, and ad tech companies who are reshaping how consumers discover, shop, and buy products online.
In this post, we’ve pulled together some key takeaways from the event around current trends in retail media, social commerce, and the ever-growing need to consolidate data and improve retail capabilities.
Social commerce is an eCommerce practice where shoppers are making a product purchase from a third-party company within the native social media experience, and right now it’s a booming trend for brands everywhere who want to expand their reach and overall sales revenue. Browsing and comparing products on Instagram, and then making the purchase through the Instagram platform itself instead of going to the company’s website to make the purchase is a good example of social commerce.
But brand leaders are still trying to figure out where to bucket social commerce in their organization. Many brands and ad tech companies are still in the test and learn phase, discovering new ways to build brand awareness, reach new shoppers, and earn additional sales.
At this year’s conference, many attendees were excited about the following hot new trends in social commerce to drive their growth:
- Amazon Live – According to a panel on livestreaming with speakers Deborah Weinswig, Bridget Dolan, and Steve Vranes, there’s no magic formula necessarily. It’s all about understanding where your shoppers are, partnering with creators, and truly testing and trying out new methods to gain reach and further your sales.
- “TikTok made me buy it” – In 2021, TikTok became the most visited site beating out Google in a record-breaking year for traffic. And last year, the most popular website became the latest social media app to adopt in-app shopping. Users have already watched countless influencers rave about their favorite products, from everyday household items to cosmetics, clothing and more.
- Instagram – Although social commerce on one of the world’s most popular social media apps has boomed in the past year, there was a consensus at Shoptalk that people are still testing out the platform to see where and how their best investment can be made.
- Meta – The metaverse is certainly on to something, but big brands don’t know what to do about it yet or how to activate it. “The metaverse opportunity is huge – but it might not be coming for us tomorrow. While virtual goods are performing well in virtual worlds, physical retail hasn’t caught on…yet” said Andrea Leigh, founder & CEO at Allume Group.
How Do You Define Social Commerce? What was interesting is that when asked this question, some conference attendees explained that social commerce is only when the conversion happens in the social experience (e.g., you never leave Instagram). Meanwhile, others considered it anywhere the response happens from a social experience.
What we know is that social commerce is here to stay as omnichannel marketing continues to mature, as it’s becoming a more prevalent part throughout the path-to-purchase for online shoppers and newer, younger audiences.
Retail media is a force to be reckoned with and one that cannot be ignored. Brands want to win in omnichannel and need sophisticated targeting tools to reach shoppers on-site and off-site. Last Monday, Pacvue announced that it is among the first three approved advertising partners working with Kroger to buy product listing ads on Kroger eCommerce sites.
And what better way to kick off such an amazing milestone than a co-hosted partnership announcement party with Kroger Precision Marketing on Monday the 28th at the Chandelier Lounge at the Cosmopolitan! Pacvue couldn’t be prouder than to be one of the first inaugural platforms with access to the API.
As last year’s Shoptalk conference showcased a lot of retailer expansion developments, sentiments from this year’s event revolved more around an obvious desire for unified retail media and consolidation in the industry. Just walking around the exhibit hall, it was evident that so many different vendors are trying to solve the problem of data coming in from different sources, and then of course, what to do with all that data. There was also a real sense of excitement about retailers such as Amazon providing them with more access to data. But the focus remains on bringing more data points together and advancing retail media capabilities and optimization.