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Straight Talk from ShopTalk: 11 thought leaders give insight on where commerce is heading.

Straight Talk from ShopTalk: 11 thought leaders give insight on where commerce is heading.

by Jay Myers

4 months ago

In this episode of Own Your Commerce, our host Jay hits the floor at Shoptalk, one of the largest commerce conferences in North America, to speak with 11 of the industry's best thought leaders, influencers and trendsetters. Join us as we uncover the top trends in commerce with insights from Brian Walker, Brian Anderson, Chris George, Darin Lynch, David Schripsema, John Roman, Kelly Goetsch, Richard Gillbert, Rick Watson, Rick Kenney and Thomas Mulreid. From the future of e-commerce to the latest technologies driving retail, this episode offers valuable insights and strategies that will inspire you to own your commerce. Tune in to discover what these experts have to say about the state of commerce today and where it's headed tomorrow.

Transcript from video:

counter I've had with anyone
welcome to the own your Commerce podcast
where leading experts Brands and
innovators reveal strategies for
e-commerce growth I'm your host Jay
Myers and this show is brought to you by
bold Commerce
hey everyone and welcome to a very
special episode of own your Commerce a
little over a month ago we were at shop
talk and I went there with the goal of
hitting the floor and finding 10 of the
I want to say the best thought leaders
influencers trendsetters in in the space
of Commerce so so first of all if you're
not familiar with shop talk it is
probably the largest Commerce conference
I don't know if in the world for sure
for sure in North America
um it is it's in Vegas every year if you
have never gone definitely it is the one
to go to that's kind of how it's
referred to as it's just an amazing
event there is amazing speakers the
exhibition floor is probably the size of
the five football more than five
football fields is massive so anyways
but most most importantly it's where all
the best thought leaders in Commerce
gather so I took this opportunity to
find and have and pick 10 that I wanted
to ask the exact same questions to to
get all their perspectives on Trends in
Commerce you know what are they most
excited about where do they think
Commerce is going where don't they think
it's going what do they think is not
going to age well that maybe brands are
working on now so I talked to these 10
different thought leaders ask them all
the same question and in this episode
we're going to give you highlights from
each one of those questions so you'll
hear different perspectives of all the
questions and I I find it very
interesting to hear the different
perspectives and so we'll we'll play
three or four answers for each question
so some of the voices you're going to
hear in this episode are Rick Watson who
a lot of you probably know he's quite
popular on on LinkedIn if you don't
follow him you definitely should he's
the CEO at rmw Commerce but also just a
legendary thought leader and commerce
influencer and we have Darren Lynch he's
the founder and CEO at Iris Titan which
he founded I think 22 years ago so he's
been around forever we have Kelly getch
he is the chief strategy officer at
Commerce tools he's also the co-founder
of the mock Alliance I have Brian Walker
he's the CEO sorry Brian Walker Chief
strategy officer at Bloom reach I have
Brian Anderson Two Brians who is the CEO
at nacelle I have David sripsima who is
a director of strategic Partnerships at
assemble I have Richard Gilbert director
of strategic Partnerships at PayPal John
Roman founder and CEO at battlebox
Rick's Rick Kenny managing director at
leading lights Chris George co-founder
and chair of sub Summit and Thomas mull
read who is head of sales at orium so 10
amazing people all people that I respect
a ton and I will make sure I put all of
their bios in our in our show notes and
links to where you can follow them on
social media because if you're looking
for 10 great people to follow these are
definitely 10 that I would recommend
okay so let's get started uh we're gonna
start with our our first question which
is I wanted to ask everyone what is the
single biggest Commerce Trend that you
are most bullish on or most excited
about for the next two to three years so
now what are you most excited about you
know 30 years from now but next two to
three year Horizon so uh for this we're
going to hear from four people over here
from Richard Gilbert from PayPal Darren
Lynch from Irish Titan Rick Watson and
Rick Kenney uh so let's hear what they
had to say about what they think the
single biggest e-commerce Trend that
they are most bullish on here we go
one thing I have to say is that the
energy at shop talk is just amazing I
was here last year got out of covid and
the merchants are really highly engaged
yeah and so I've been very very excited
about that just in terms of just the
level of Engagement with Merchants
um with respect to like you know the
next two or three years I'm really
excited about on the channel
um in particular I happen to really like
Instagram shopping and I just I find
it's just amazing how the Technologies
are really molding together with
headless uh with the with the ability to
be able to shop social and bring it back
to the site and I think there's more
Innovation that can happen there and and
more streamlining yeah it might be a
thing in a in a five years we don't even
think it's just shopping every
everywhere right like exactly it just
happens I think Commerce anywhere a
focus on the customer and a return to
Basics are the three themes that I'm
excited for over the next few years this
Commerce anywhere I'll probably talk
about that depending on where our
conversation goes in multiple ways but I
think that the technology and the best
practices have evolved to the point
um customers are expecting to be able to
buy on their phones on their desktops
via voice
um all of that sort of uh inner points
of interaction yeah so that Commerce
anywhere that enables all of that I
think is going to be really cool whether
it's voice or social or whatever it
might be so I think Commerce anywhere is
is something that I think excites me I
do think that we're finally at a point
with the technology where we can create
better experiences for the customers
with way we offer checkout or the way we
can actually personalize and segment now
because that was talked about forever
yeah and finally there's some element of
reality to it that was a buzzword about
seven years ago right yeah right they
kept not really happening not really
happening and now now it is starting to
take shape yeah and then I think that
you and I've both been in the space for
a while the last few years there was a
real frenzy it was a frothy time in the
e-commerce space yeah and I think
there's a bit of a return to Basics with
good strong business fundamentals for
those of us in the space yeah I think
there's a return to Basics with focusing
on uh Merchants focusing on their own
profitability yeah and their own best
practices you know maybe not on as much
risk in their supply chain some of those
sorts of things I think that's good for
the industry too yeah I think for the
next two to three years I think just the
whole idea that your infrastructure can
involve in pieces over time so depending
on who you're with it's talking about
like the mock idea where you have Micro
services for different parts of your
architecture or uh you know various
components a lot of it depends on where
you're starting from yeah and what your
needs are yeah and so like how does that
fit into your your goals for your brand
for your customers
um so that how you you can then decide
like how do I evolve my infrastructure
right yeah this is like cliche alert so
um it is the generative AI use cases and
it's it's not the broad brush it's going
to take over the world today yeah but
those little focused cases of where I
can inject things to make the PDP page a
little bit better and easier to create
how it can change the journey maybe
based on segmentation and more fast and
efficient way yeah those little pocket
cases along the way are really
interesting right now and they're
pragmatically it's it's a change against
what we've seen is very aspirational
metaverse and just massive changes yeah
it's just changing and improving the way
we've done things before so efficiency
play it's here it is here so this is
your your bullish this isn't going to
come back to haunt you next year I'm
going to play this video and say Rick
look at you fool this this is I think so
this is here
what's going to come back to haunt all
of us if it really happens
a separate conversation yes uh this is
whenever we can take a bite out of the
amount of time we spend creating and
developing good things happen when we
look at the very discreet use cases and
how they can apply to the business right
now it is it is massively applicable
today that's not to say that the entire
common experience has been changed
overnight yeah if we can reduce cost and
how quickly we can get a product into
the catalog and online that's going to
be a pretty big one
okay now I want to flip that around and
hear what uh what is something that
people are least excited for something
that they think isn't going to age well
and and I always say like what are
Brands spending time or money on right
now that is wasted it's a wasted effort
um so the three we're gonna hear from on
on this is is David tripsema from
assemble John Roman from battlebox and
Chris George from subsummit let's hear
what they had to say about things that
they don't think is going to age well
I think there's
it's a really cool concept but I think
companies end their time right now
trying to have a presence in the
metaverse before they understand where
their customers are it's a problem yeah
right so I think the companies who go
hey you know what all of my customers
are in Roblox they're all in fortnite
that's the metaverse it's not Horizon
worlds or whatever meta is trying to
build yeah it's actually where your
customers are spending time online right
and so I think that like Roblox and
fortnite are the metaverse right now
millions of people are attending live
concerts in fortnite right there's
massive marketing sponsorship
activations happening there by Smart
Companies who understand who their
customers are and where they're spending
time and so I think that this notion of
people saying I need a presence in the
metaverse I need to have nfts in the
marketplace without understanding who
their customer is and what they want
like it's a bit it's a bit early that's
a problem it's a bit early and even then
like it will always be early yeah until
they find out oh our customers now live
there yeah our customers are now
spending time there and not all brands
will have customers who do that right
right there's gonna be Brands who should
never be in the metaverse yeah so I
think that yeah that'll be the trend
that kind of Teeters out until it takes
off but there's almost no brand that
probably couldn't realize the benefits
of AI in some in some in some way
absolutely yeah so I don't know if it's
necessarily not going to age well but
obviously the big thing everyone's
talking about is AI right but at this is
the AI boom right now especially for
e-commerce yeah and I think
there can everybody can't win right and
there's all these companies that are
either embracing it hard on the B2B side
or they're these brand new startups yeah
and the reality is like you've got to be
careful with which Partners you choose
to integrate into your systems because
the reality is a lot of them won't be
around they're going to fail yeah and
there's only be so many winners so I
think it's just it's almost a be careful
and choose your AI Partners very
carefully it's early it's too it's early
sometimes being second to something is
better than right let someone else learn
from it and then embrace
you know it's a tough question you know
because I I don't know that I know 100
but I think what's happening is too many
brands are trying like blanket marketing
strategies versus trying to get like
really granular with who they're
targeting yeah initially I was gonna say
like I think taxi is going to get played
out because people tax might be the next
meal and they're gonna hit their inbox
so much it doesn't seemed to happen yet
it doesn't seem to happen yet I think
people are being smart about it but it
could get bad yeah and then you're gonna
have more regulation around it which is
then going to like really hurt text
messaging yeah but I don't want to tell
Brandon to focus on yeah yeah so I think
you know making sure that you're not
just blanket marketing yeah yeah being
really identifying who the customer
profile is and doubling down on it
because there's so much competition on
it yeah there's so many different
Avenues in the market and so you've got
to be really diverse on how you know
yeah okay so for this next question at
shop talk this year one of the biggest
Trends and and buzzes around the floor
was composable Commerce
um five years ago or just a few years
ago you would have never heard the term
uh this year it was everywhere and so I
wanted to make sure to get some thoughts
on that so uh the next question I asked
was what they think will be the main
benefits of Brands adopting composable
Commerce or headless Commerce now and
what that means is owning every
component of their e-commerce stack so
composable Commerce for those listening
is where you you pick your order
management software your content
management software your product
um where you're where you're you know
you do your content I might have said
that already but every different
component that makes up your Commerce
experience versus just going with a
all-in-one package which is a real Trend
right now and so my question was what do
we think will be the main positive
effects for Brands who adopt composable
Commerce Now versus ones that that don't
and what will be third advantage in the
next two to three years so uh for this
one you're going to hear from Thomas
mull read uh Brian Walker from Bloom
reach and Rick Watson let's hear what
they had to say
I think speed
um the use case that we always go back
to is like in three years from now is
your business model more or less complex
than it is now spoiler it's nevertheless
so if you want to keep moving fast and
you don't want to get bogged down I
think composable Commerce is one of the
best strategies to introduce more speed
maybe today but also continue to build
on that speed over time and it's about
building features it's about shifting
your your strategies for your customer
and your Market needs but it's also just
you don't have as much pain because
you're building a technology strategy
around your business model instead of
having to fit it into the box that
you're going for yeah
I mean the reality is uh agility and
um you know and really connected to the
topic we just spoke about for example
do you want to be kind of stuck and
unable to test something like a
generative conversational Converse
or you know do you want to be able to
kind of lean in and test that relatively
easily and cost efficiently yeah
um you know getting to that point can be
onerous for some but I would recommend
that businesses really just think about
this is a program of transformation over
many years don't try to boil the ocean
don't try to do it all at once but
really start moving in that direction so
that in in a relatively short period of
24 months you're in a position where you
have greater agility and flexibility and
can benefit from some of the cost
efficiencies basically running all these
multiple channels we're already in an
environment right where you've got many
many different channels you're trying to
manage yeah you can do it in a
consistent way and and also then start
to think about serving the customer in a
in a contextual consistent way across
those yeah um so I'd say flexibility
agility to trial as well as efficiency
gains on the other side yeah and uh
frankly this is the direction right so
it's either start now or start later
yeah pay the piper now pay the piper
later but I would not recommend you try
to do some big transformational oil the
ocean Big Bang project I'm just saying
this is an incremental strategy and
you're probably already uh you know
composable yeah and you're probably
already using a lot of apis from
different solution providers you're
already down this path yeah there may
there will be some bigger steps along
the way
um but those are the advantages and it
can be hard to quantify yeah but the
reality is um you know you don't want to
be uh the one who who's inflexible uh or
or too slow right to Market
okay now the next question
um is a bit of a selfish question
because we're going to focus on checkout
a little bit maybe selfish because we're
uh we are a checkout company but not
selfish in the sense that everyone
listening here should also care deeply
about checkout because uh over half of
your customers are lost at checkout and
it's definitely an area that needs more
attention so
um focusing in on checkout I wanted to
ask everyone what are some exciting
things that headless and and composable
checkout you know essentially decoupling
checkout from your platform what are
some exciting things that can offer
brands in terms of increasing Revenue
selling more places and so you know we
think of checkout normally as online you
add to cart you go to checkout but when
you think about decoupling that you
start to think about how voice can plan
to check out SMS in-store kiosk QR codes
there's the sky's the limit so I wanted
to ask everyone what their thoughts were
on what they were excited uh of headless
d decoupled composable checkout what
that allows Brands to do so this we're
going to hear from Kelly getch CSO at
Commerce tools Darren Lynch from Iris
Titan and David tripsema from assemble
let's hear what they had to say my
response to that bubbles up to that
theme of Commerce anywhere yeah that I
mentioned yeah you know because when you
have the Headless
um environment to your at your disposal
then you can do in theory anyway right a
voice activated checkout yeah and I
think that I don't know how pervasive
voice is going to become but that is an
absolutely untapped market right
nobody's really solved it yet uh but
that Commerce anywhere customers want to
to buy in ways that are convenient for
them right
um way back when uh one of my early
projects before even starting Irish
Titan was a real extensive retail CRM
project and for Wilson's other and one
of the things that was being bandied
about in the CRM space way back then was
that CRM was about doing business the
way your customers want you to that's
what I feel headless allows it's what
this Commerce anywhere I think speaks to
so I think it's pretty
um compelling if I'm a merchant and I
have customers who might be shopping at
kiosk if I have kiosks out and about or
tablets yeah right yeah and just
decoupling that to facilitate the
checkout yeah I think you want to you
want you want to take that transaction
you want to convert that opportunity
whenever you can yeah those facilitates
happen and it's uh I said it earlier
today it's it's the kiss at the end of
the date and it has to be done perfectly
our the rest is the rest is useless
right and I think with your focus on
um that really um lends itself to that
um uh opportunity yeah right because
that's that's the the that's where it
gets decoupled
I would say the ability to buy something
from anywhere you know and I was doing a
panel earlier today NBC Universal for
example they're doing in app and in
within their peacock app
where you can buy and see a product
feature you can buy it on the screen I
mean finally right finally I mean it's
I've since since Netflix came out and
they didn't have commercials it's the
ultimate product placement like the
technology is there it is to pause it
see the products that are in it I I'm
just so surprised that it hasn't
happened sooner well they even take it a
step further if you want to get really
creepy about it where they can digitally
change the shoes or clothing that
somebody's wearing oh really so if
Nike's trying to reach you yeah yeah
yeah and they know that you're open to
the version of a program that you watch
might feature all making shoes
throughout the program crazy that's
interesting okay within the link to buy
the shoes in the program
that's that's gonna doesn't that hurt
your head it does it does and that's
going to be I'm gonna be talking to my
wife about Nike shoes and then I'm going
to see the actors wearing Nike shoes on
on that's where we're going yeah
I think it goes back to our earlier kind
of topic about the metaverse yep being
where your customers are without pulling
them out of that experience right right
so if I can have a checkout window if
I'm watching something yes and I'm like
I love that dress yeah give me the
option to hit buy that dress right now
um or buy that pair of pants right I
don't buy a whole lot of dresses
personally occasionally shopping for my
wife or whatever but if I see something
I'm like that's really cool yeah that
point I want to buy that being able to
pop that window up and saying check out
and I think that right now like it's a
weird experience on things like TV yeah
we've kind of seen it though with like
the the success of the bouncing QR code
Super Bowl ad right yeah people have
their second screens they're ready to
whip it out and go what is this and then
buy or take an action and so I think
having a checkout that is super super
flexible it's able to accommodate those
requests that doesn't require them that
I enter information so it works with
Apple pay Google pay shop pay stripe
link you name it all of those things and
it's can be exactly what I want where I
want it'll be huge that I couldn't agree
okay the next question is also on
checkout but just last one on checkout
is you know sometimes we hear that there
is an ideal checkout there's a perfect
checkout and
um that's one that's one approach and I
wanted to ask if they thought that a
one-size-fits-all checkout actually is
if there is one that is perfect for
everyone or does Who The Shopper is or
what they're buying or what device
they're on or where they're coming from
does that make a difference or is there
really one perfect checkout so let's
hear what some of them had to say we're
going to hear from Brian Brian Anderson
from nacelle uh Thomas mullread from
orium and Rick Watson from rmw Commerce
let's see what they had to say about
their thoughts on is there one perfect
yeah some of you might like I think on
the on the if you're a new new company
and you're just trying to find product
Market fit like do the simple thing you
know and maybe there's a one-size-fits
all or yeah you know a three size fits
all kind of thing yeah yeah kind of but
um I think as you get into the
Enterprise it's it's silly and foolish I
think you need a good set of apis and
you're going to want to build your own
thing because frankly uh if you're at
that size you've done something
different and special yeah and so the
idea that you're gonna try to use
something just out of the box and only
out of the box it seems like the
craziest thing yeah um because you're
gonna water down your differentiators
and what makes you special yeah so
instead you know use good apis get the
right infrastructure in place and and
then build the thing on top that that is
consistent with your brand and what
makes you great don't undermine that
it's it's hard to get to but it's nearly
possible I want to check out for me like
I'm Thomas I buy certain things I have
certain buying intent I like my way I
want to have my checkout I don't think
you could have a one-size-fits all for
your brand I think you have to shift it
for who's the person buying and how do
you build a checkout for them and that
could be somebody that's purchased from
you before so you understand the context
it could be somebody that's on their
phone it could be somebody that you know
needs to sign up to a subscription and a
loyalty plan and buy online and pick up
in store and three other things all on
the same flow yeah so being able to have
a specific checkout for the use case or
for the segment I think is really
important and the one size fits-all
strategy works if you think of it in a
generic statement but no two buying
Cycles are the same so why should two
checkouts be the same
okay so the last question I asked
everybody is
I wanted to know what the e-commerce
platform landscape looks like in five
years and I've been going to shop talk
for a while I can tell you the floor the
exhibition floor has changed a lot if
you went five years ago it was all
large platforms and agencies now it
seems like it's smaller I don't
necessarily say smaller but smaller in
the sense of what the solution is so
instead of a you know platform that
solves for everything it's there was you
know 12 different content management
companies there depending on if you're
doing B2B are you a beauty company are
you Electronics there's very different
ways that people want to do content and
different things that matter and so
there's different order management
companies and
just a lot more
um focused on what the exact problem is
they're solving that was something I
um this year versus five years ago I
wanted to ask everyone what they think
the the e-commerce platform landscape is
going to look like five years from now
you know coming to shop talk in five
years What's it gonna look like then so
uh for this question you're going to
hear from Brian Walker from Bloom reach
Rick Kenney from leading lights and
Brian Anderson from nacelle let's hear
what they had to say
well Commerce platforms is one part of
the ecosystem right so I mean let's
recognize like it is really uh
remarkable to see how big the ecosystem
has gotten it shows like how important
this industry is to the overall economy
yeah it shows that there's room for
um I don't know how many exhibitors
there are here but it's it's remarkable
right it's remarkable and and maybe
that's yeah maybe we see a little bit of
a retrenchment given the overall
macroeconomic and venture capital and
market and so forth so perhaps you know
this might be a bit of a of an
inflection point but it's remarkable
right now you asked a question like what
do we see going forward I mean I already
mentioned uh generative AI I feel like
I'm playing buzzword bingo here a little
bit but the reality is
um that's going to have a major
transformational impact on this industry
yeah everyone's going to have to be
thinking about how to utilize or develop
solutions that are leveraging not not
just strategy with you that's just one
manifestation right but it's more the
underlying technology yeah uh within
their Solutions
um and then obviously you know I am a a
a mock Advocate I do think certainly
composable microservices right and and I
think over the next few years we'll see
orchestration and integration improved
between solution providers and I think
AI might help that AI very well may hope
that yeah that's exactly right and and
so we we've often seen this sort of
pendulum swing in this industry between
us to breed and Suites and so on but I
think now we're getting to the point
where you know the technology has
matured right SAS Solutions API first
ease of integration orchestration tools
other things that are making it easier
to blend and combine there are still
some use cases that are challenging when
you're when you're blending different
SAS solution providers and a best to
breed fashion together like
personalization which we feel like we
can uniquely solve for but the reality
is it will improve so I I see that
actually if anything that'll democratize
further we might see some consolidation
in this market of course that's natural
but I think sort of in a sense there's
we're kind of a in a different era yeah
of how easy it is to to do is connect
how easy it is to enable uh
integrational Point Solutions yeah
standardization around architectures
um that combined with generative I think
and perhaps even General AI yeah well
well you know probably transform this
industry in a pretty dramatic way
perhaps some of the most dramatic uh
changes we've seen in the last 15 years
yeah I think so too
one of the really interesting things
about just e-commerce in general this
start this show started as more of a
direct to Consumer type show it was
before we really said things like
digitally native and even d2c wasn't
something really said back then this is
2016 or so when chop talk really began
it was a time when uh retail was
starting to get hip to oh this digital
thing is real it's not just emerging
it's here I think shopdoc served that
really well what we're I think starting
to get into is all the other layers of
the experience of selling Goods in and
out here and so I think we see a lot
more of the digital shelf we see much
more in retail media networks we see
traditional e-commerce and direct to
Consumer selling we've seen marketplaces
here so we're seeing all those Solutions
it's not just a small pocket of solution
it's everything that's only going to
expand I wouldn't be surprised if we
started to see more non-retail trying to
figure out the retail side finserve is
not far behind on what they're doing
doing here there's a ton of parallels
travels not far behind yeah it's a ton
of parallels yeah those things will
start to converge yeah if it'll be
courageous for someone to come in if
they're not in the retail but if you're
looking for new business and you want to
try and find maybe a new channel
opportunity maybe you come in here and
try and do some of this yeah uh well I I
think there's less of these sort of like
um all-encompassing boxes
um I think it's it's more about okay
what vendors do you use again for
checkout for order management
um you know for for Content management
and one of the systems that's going to
bring all those together to create you
know the shopping experiences that you
want to craft and so I just think it
looks very different because I think
today's world is still dominated by
Legacy platforms that are built 2004
2005. you know the joke I always say is
like hey like were you walking around
with your blackberry buying a pair of
Jordans right you know it's like these
That's when these systems were built and
yeah gosh the world is is a very uh
distributed service oriented world now
so those models are out
well that's it for this show I hope you
enjoyed that I really enjoyed talking to
all these folks at shop talk if you
enjoyed some other answers you know
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