Shoptalk is one of the world’s largest retail events. Held in Las Vegas every March, it brings together thousands of retail marketers and brands to talk shopping technology and trends.
For the most part, Shoptalk suffers from all the usual trade show terrors. Too many pay-to-play speaker slots, too few original ideas, and way too many branded keyrings.
That said, the mainstage speaker slots are ones to watch and do offer some gems of genuine insight. Among the vendors on display, you can also find some pretty smart tech brands, but you do have to search for them among the sea of sameness.
The Wildfire Labs team analysed over 10,000 social posts shared over the three days of Shoptalk 2022. Among all the usual ecommerce buzzwords, four retail tech trends have captured the imagination of the Twitterverse.
1. Human-centric commerce: A sort of catch all for customer experience, user experience and in-store design, human-centric commerce took the lead as a key discussion point in this year’s show. This focus on ‘humanity’ has in part been a positive reaction to the lockdowns of Covid-19, but also a kickback against the chatbot obsession of yesteryear. More a goal than a specific technology, human-centric commerce is what this year’s retail tech brands are striving for.
2. Micro fulfilment: After the supply chain chaos of 2020 and 2021, micro fulfilment has become the delivery strategy of choice for retailers in 2022. In short, micro fulfilment places small-scale warehouses in densely populated urban areas to improve delivery times and keep costs down. Tech brands that can aid, enhance, or enable micro fulfilment were very much the darlings of this year’s show.
3. Plus-sized fashion: With inclusivity becoming a cornerstone of every brand, the world of fashion is changing. Plus-size fashion is expanding with new technology helping to make clothing in a near infinite variety of shapes and sizes. The use of 3D avatars and virtual try-before-you-buy tech is also helping customers define their own sizing and work out the best fits for them. Despite all this, plus-size fashion remains controversial, with some arguing that brands should just ditch the term and focus on making clothes suitable for everyone.
4. The metaverse (obviously): With April 2022 seeing the first Metaverse Fashion Week, meta-tech is the golden child of retail right now. In reality, of course, most retailers have no idea what to do with the metaverse and most customers have never parted with a dime inside it (whatever “it” is). For now though, it’s a great buzzword for thought leadership, a cool concept for marketing, and an opportunity to look a bit futuristic as a brand.
As well as the above trends, the Labs team analysis uncovered a host of hashtags surrounding this year’s event. Here’s our handy snapshot.
On social chatter alone, virtual tailoring brand Bold Metrics won the day. Bold Metric’s #SizeChartsAreExtinct was one of the highest engaging brand hashtags from the event. Why the chatter? Well, it could be because of the strength of Bold Metric’s solution. Although it could also be because they brought a ride-on inflatable dinosaur to the event, supported with some roarsome dino puns on Twitter.
Proof that when it comes to shareability, sometimes a bit of silliness is best.
Looking for more retail tech news and trends? Check out our latest retail posts on the Wildfire blog. Alternatively, if you’re a retail or martech tech brand looking to spice up your own PR at trade shows and events, check out our agency creds.
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