By: Violet Co-Founder and CEO Brandon Schulz
I had the good fortune to attend Shop Talk this year. I saw some great presentations, had some really interesting conversations, and most of all got to spend several days going deep on what I love most: building the future of e-commerce.
Here are four quick takeaways:
1. The momentum is back.
After a global pandemic that crammed a decade’s worth of e-commerce growth into a mere eighteen months, you could feel the energy and excitement buzzing at the conference. There’s a sense that this is the moment for some real leaps and bounds in innovation, and everyone was there to get in on the action. And there seems to be increasing excitement and awareness about the infrastructure that will light up this future.
2. Even distribution of innovation
In prior years, conferences like Shop Talk would mainly feature the same set of players: ERP companies like Oracle and SAP, or big players like JDA and Microsoft , e-commerce platform giants like Magento, and then a whole lot of start-ups no one has ever really heard of. But this year, there was a real mix of newcomers, more mature rising players, as well as some of the industry’s stalwarts. It was a real diverse mixed that spoke to and saw mixing up the landscape and generated a lot of new energy.
3. Hype aside, the metaverse is coming.
In the lobby, I overheard someone remark to a friend, “I hadn’t even heard of Roblox until today! They’re selling things?!?!”
Fortunately, based on the other conversations and presentations at the conference, that kind of ignorance of mixed reality-driven commerce is on its way out. While Meta has come under public scrutiny in recent months for an underwhelming start to 2022, they stole the show at the conference with a sharp, illustrative, and beautifully produced mini-doc on the potential of the metaverse. It succinctly and effectively got the point across that the metaverse economy is already burgeoning, and the future will be made by those who take it seriously.
Every retailer when asked about the metaverse...
5. What a crew!
Perhaps the best part of ShopTalk was spending time with a generation of retail and commerce entrepreneurs who are both seasoned and forward thinking. Along with some fresh momentum, this year’s gathering teamed with investors and entrepreneurs alike with a shared vision for the future of commerce: more democratized, distributed, and open. Even if we’re from different companies, there was a palpable sense that we’re in this together. Can’t wait to see what this next year brings!