Focus on Customer, Innovation & Growth (IRCE 2015)

4 Min Read
Sasha Butkovich

The annual IRCE conference, held this year at the McCormick Place in Chicago, is always a great event for networking and thought leadership. IRCE 2015 didn’t disappoint. More than 10,000 industry insiders took to the buzzing Exhibit Hall filled with vendors (and giveaways!) as well as the informative sessions and keynote presentations. Conference attendees took home plenty of insights on strategy, solutions, and innovation for their businesses.

The Exhibit Hall was packed with excitement, featuring drawings, giveaways, food, games, and more! In the sessions and keynotes however, it was the thought leadership that had everyone talking. Many speakers focused their attention on the customer, which was the topic of the keynote address from Alexis Ohanian, founder and co-chair of Reddit. He pointed out that brands that aren’t consumer-centric will have trouble succeeding.

“Conversations on the Internet can spread really quickly, and brands that are prepared to be authentic can see a real difference from that,” Ohanian said. “And brands really have no choice because authenticity is the only thing that will work in the future.”

The keynote from President Jason Goldberger also emphasized the importance of being “customer obessed.” This was a lesson his company learned the hard way, after Target’s Lilly Pulitzer launch turned out disastrous when they failed to anticipate the huge impact of mobile shoppers during the release. Goldberger has turned this lesson into a “Say Yes” mentality, giving the customers what they want—even if it may hurt the bottom line.

Giving the customer what they want often means being willing to innovate and change. Innovation proved to be another key theme at IRCE, which was very evident in the keynote from James McQuivey, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research Inc. McQuivey said now that everyone jumps on board with new things, the days of early adopters are over. In this era of “hyperadoption,” as he calls it, consumers are beginning to embrace technologies that will provide retailers with an enormous amount of data—and they’re going to need a way to manage and use it. It’s imperative that retailers start to better utilize the data they already have, and prepare for a new level of connectedness with customers.

This emphasis on the customer, the importance of mobile and emerging technologies, and the push to innovate, were all echoed throughout many of the other sessions and speakers. For some additional impressions and takeaways directly from attendees, check out our social media overview below.

Were you at IRCE 2015? Share your thoughts in the comments and let us know what stood out to you from this year’s event.


Overheard at #IRCE15:

“Change is not a choice. It’s about survival.”                     —Christopher McCann, President, 1-800-Flowers (Heard at his Keynote Address “Always Innovating: How an Ecommerce Industry Leader Stays on Top)


Instagrams from #IRCE15:


“Spending the day at #mccormickplace in Chicago for #IRCE15 learning all about internet retailer trends!” -@carisadeegan


“Here’s @ustrendy founder Sam Sisakhti addressing the crowd during a session at the Small Retailers track at #IRCE15” -@internetretailer


“Brilliant keynote. #IRCE15 #reddit” -@melissafleck


“#ETTNPDP #IRCE15 Stop being channel obsessed, become Guest centric. Digital sales create more sales for in-store purchases. President” -@bryancharrison


Top Tweets from #IRCE15:

IRCEtweet4 IRCEtweet1IRCEtweet3IRCEtweet2IRCEtweet5IRCEtweet6



Sasha Butkovich is Marketing Copywriter at Corra, a New York and Los Angeles based digital agency creating unified commerce experiences for fashion, lifestyle and beauty. With a team of 100+ ecommerce strategy, design and technology professionals, Corra delivers rich shopping and buying experiences across all channels and devices. Corra is trusted by retailers of all sizes to implement and support Magento Enterprise, Demandware and hybris platforms.

Sasha Butkovich

Sasha Butkovich is Communications Marketing Manager at Corra. Managing the agency's communication, branding, PR and social strategies, Sasha focuses on developing engaging content for decision makers in the digital commerce industry. Sasha brings a background in copywriting and over five years in ecommerce marketing to her role at Corra.

Corra, a Publicis Sapient company, is the global commerce leader and SI helping brands and organizations grow by evaluating, building, and optimizing their digital commerce ecosystems. Our vast experience with composable and headless implementations speeds time-to-value and provides technical freedom to our clients. Our TotalCare managed services program provides gold-standard support, enhancements and ongoing commerce strategy. We are strategic thinkers, accomplished engineers, and award-winning experience designers. We believe outstanding customer experiences can’t exist without flawless technology, and that flawless technology is pointless without beautiful, human-centered design. Our clients are an integral part of our team. Together, we remove the obstacles that are limiting growth and discover new opportunities. We don’t rest until our clients achieve their full potential. Our clients’ KPIs are our KPIs. We have 20 years of experience in commerce technology, but we also know that customer expectations are constantly evolving. For this reason, we’ve built future-proof solutions and refined an agile execution process that helps our clients achieve more with less. As a Publicis Sapient company, Corra joins a global network spanning 20,000 people with 53 offices around the world enabling us to accelerate our clients’ businesses through designing and building the experiences and services their customers demand.

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