5 takeaways from IRCE 2017

The eureQa team had a great time at the Internet Retailer Conference and Expo (IRCE) this year. Like many companies in our space we spend much of our time in the office, heads down working to refine our product and generate leads, so it was nice to get out and be amongst others who have a passion for eCommerce.

Going into the show we knew there would be a ton of interesting products and companies to check out. We were not disappointed.  While there were some many things to talk about, here are the top 5 takeaways for us from IRCE 2017:

The Platform Wars

eCommerce should just be called “Commerce” at this point, we’re seeing more retailers start online and then build brick and mortar locations as a sign of their viability. The big (and not so big) players in this space know this. We saw incredible displays from CloudCraze,  Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce, BigCommerce and more (shoutout to the small but mighty “freewebstore.com” team here, they were excellent neighbors and had a great foosball table). These providers understand how important is to have a platform that is customizable, robust, easy to use and most importantly can scale. When Shopify is making it snow in Chicago in June, you know these platforms are working hard to bring eyeballs to their products.

Warehouse Automation Tools

You don’t need to sell the eureQa team on the benefits of automation, we preach it every day. However, seeing these tools in action, as shelves zipped around grabbing a specific part, keeping track of stock in what felt like nanoseconds is the type of in person experience we dream off.

Commerce Focused Agencies

Digital agencies know the importance of specialization. Just as you have agencies focusing on App development, SEO and Animation we’re seeing the rise of the Commerce agency. Some of these hitch their wagons to a specific eCommerce platform that is either open source or proprietary, while others are more platform agnostic. They all clearly have the same goal: Converting visitors to paying customers. Seeing this granular focus on site architecture, customer engagement and CX was a wonderful thing.

Curalate’s Image Recognition and Suggestion Engine:

Maybe it’s the Philly connection, maybe it’s that they had their booth 2 spots down from ours but kudos to the new image based suggestion engine from Curalate. The ability to upsell based on the image itself, not just other shoppers history, or tracking is the type of advancement we wanted to see at the show, Curalate did not disappoint.

Fidget Spinners

No list about what you saw at IRCE would be complete without a shout out to the most dominant cultural trend of 2017 (Salt Bae who?) the Fidget Spinner. Watching people go from mocking these toys to mindlessly spinning them as they walked the convention floor was just incredible. I brought home 7 different types which pleased my kids to no end.

IRCE 2017 was a great time, not to get emotional, but when the lights went down at the end of the show and the exhibitors all clapped at the same time it was hard not to get swept up in the shared purpose of us all. eCommerce isn’t the future, it is now, it represents the crossroads of what makes America great. Manufacturers and developers working to build something memorable and enjoyable.  Operations, fulfilment and shipping all working together to brighten someone’s day. All these people, and more were in one giant room and for 3 days the purpose was clear: “Put the customer first and success will follow.” We at eureQa are proud to be part of this and can’t wait to see what the future brings.