Shoptalk 2024 Recap: Key Takeaways and Trends in Retail Innovation

4 May 2024
Posted by Crownpeak
Retail trends from Black Friday weekend

So you missed Shoptalk 2024 in Las Vegas? Hopefully there is a little part of you that is feeling smug for not having the sin city syndrome or an elongated Las Vegas hangover but if there is any element of FOMO creeping in, we thought we would pull together some of our key takeaways from the event to keep you in the know. In fact, if you are feeling FOMO, you might want to replace that with FOBO, but more on that later!

Shoptalk 2024 was big, bold and full of some amazing exhibitors and speaker sessions. Crownpeak was there in force to help brands understand how to communicate with customers across every channel with a focus on content management, digital accessibility and product discovery and recommendations. There were many hot topics from the event but we have tried to summarize some of the key messages…

AI and Personalization:

Artificial Intelligence (AI) continues to revolutionize the retail landscape, enhancing customer experiences to optimize sales. Many were talking about the rise of AI but it is well and truly here. From personalized recommendations to predictive analytics, retailers are leveraging AI-powered tools to understand consumer behavior and deliver tailored shopping experiences.

This also led to conversations about the impact that AI could have on the retail workforce, with many beginning to experience FOBO or the Fear Of Being Obsolete. Our conclusion however was that AI is being embedded into many tools, Crownpeak included, so it's not about making your workforce obsolete but about how we can embrace the role of technology in augmenting human capabilities, upskilling employees for new roles and fostering a culture of innovation within retail.

It is apparent that the rate of AI development is far exceeding just one vendor's ability to build out an AI competency. There seems to be a conflict between the open market developing new AI capabilities at speed vs vendors claiming to be a leader in AI but within the closed walls of their own capabilities. There is no ‘silver bullet’ algorithm that does everything, and we need to be mindful of vendor claims especially as the market is fast moving into a state whereby openness and the ability to manage, blend, and A/B test multiple algorithms to best optimize the result of any given use case seems the most realistic vs being locked into a walled garden of just one vendor.

Omnichannel integration and Digital Transformation:

The lines between online and offline shopping experiences continue to blur, the expectation of a seamless experience across the two is now deemed standard. There were many concepts explored at Shoptalk such as buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS – not the catchiest acronym!) along with other experiential retail concepts including Augmented Reality and a continued push for store based interactions being emulated online through experiences like shop the look. Digital Transformation is clearly rapid with retail and is a key element of omnichannel integration. There was a feeling that retailers are really embracing innovative technologies to not only enhance agility but to also streamline operations. Composable ‘Marketecture’ is more important than ever to allow brands to stay agile and keep competitive in the ever changing retail landscape.


It was nice to see a continued focus on DEI at shoptalk. Women in Retail had a prominent stand position and equity felt intertwined through most talks and presentations, although there is clearly still a lot more we can do. Retailers are clearly thinking the same with many conversations about inclusivity and accessibility ensuring that content and online experiences are delivered in the right way and available to all.


Sustainability was once again a big topic. Consumers are becoming more and more conscientious around sustainability and aligning their buying behaviors to suit, meaning that retailers are increasingly prioritizing eco-friendly practices. This was recognized through discussions on sustainable sourcing, packaging alternatives and the introduction of initiatives to reduce the carbon footprint across the supply chain. There is a role for digital innovation here too with technology helping to ensure consumers are able to find the right product overlayed with recommendations to enhance their decision leading to less returns and a reduction in the ‘buy to browse’ behavior of ‘serial returners’.

Social Commerce:

One message that landed loud and clear at Shoptalk was the shift in marketing budget towards social commerce. Influencer marketing is showing increasing returns compared to more traditional advertising strategies and the availability of deeper data and analytics to accompany social commerce make it easier to quantify.

In conclusion, we loved our time at Shoptalk 2024, it provided a fantastic platform to learn and explore new strategies and trends within retail. We made lots of fabulous new connections looking to explore ways in which Crownpeak can help to reduce costs, increase sales and improve experiences plus we got to spend time with so many great brands who we are fortunate to call customers.

Even though Shoptalk already feels like a distant memory, it’s not too late to connect with our team. If you want to learn more about how we help brands stay ahead of the market, need some tips on what slot machines to play in Vegas (the answer is none) or need some help in overcoming your latest wave of FOBO, we are here for you.


Accelerate time to market by empowering your marketers with an easy-to-use interface. Your team can create engaging experiences through content across all channels with an intuitive WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) authoring – a no-code, easy-to-understand interface with drag-and-drop capabilities.