Spring is here and that means June and IRCE in Chicago are right around the corner! Seasoned conference attendees know that the prep work before the conference begins can make a huge impact. Part of that prep work includes diving into the agenda and sorting out which sessions you want to attend. That can be a lot of work, so we went ahead and did it for you. Continue reading for our top picks for sessions at IRCE 2018 relevant to Amazon sellers.
If you’re a first time conference goer, check out these pro tips we wrote for Prosper earlier this year. While some of it is specific to Vegas, the bulk of the advice applies to all conferences and trade shows. It’s important to know what to expect. And to study up ahead of time so you can make the most of the show.
IRCE is not an Amazon specific conference, and the agenda is full of many great sessions and workshops covering many aspects of selling online. But, Amazon holds the lion’s share of eCommerce sales. And, because that’s our area of expertise, we wanted to highlight sessions specific to Amazon that we recommend you attend.
Do note that sessions on the 5th and 8th can be attended for an additional charge.
The Amazon Track
This workshop is a full day’s event taking place on June 5th, 2018 from 8:45am to 4:45pm. And if you’re going to add on a workshop day to your IRCE experience, this is it. It’s no surprise we recommend attending the full day of sessions in this track if your main focus is Amazon. Each session is catered to the Amazon marketplace and experts from around the globe provide tips for optimizing your business.
Amazon Track Runner Up
This session competes with the Amazon track. But it’s worth an honorable mention if you need a side track from the main workshop.
Growing Your Sales on Amazon
Tuesday, June 5, 2018. 1:00 – 1:45PM
Track: New Recruit Bootcamp
This session brags it covers it all. Think of it as Amazon 101. The IRCE agenda reads: “Attendees will learn how this process works from start to end. It will round up at a 101-course level what retailers should do to get started or to further expand their presence on Amazon. Newcomers and those recently established on Amazon will gain greater understanding of how to work effectively within the Amazon ecosystem to drive sales and profits.”
And this is just the first day of IRCE 2018! Let’s move on to the June 6th sessions.
Sneak Peek into Shoppers’ Shifting Preferences at Every Touchpoint
Wednesday, June 06, 2018. 11:00 – 11:30 AM
Track: Omnichannel Leadership
While this session isn’t Amazon specific, we think it will provide a lot of valuable insight for Amazon sellers regarding diversifying their markets and how to capitalize on shoppers’ perceptions to increase sales and profits. The agenda states: “This session will provide a sneak peek into findings from the 2018 “Future of Retail” study that surveyed consumers about their evolving shopping behavior, how they incorporate new technology such as voice-driven devices and how all this shapes expectations of the shopping experience online and in stores. E-retailers serious about catering to tomorrow’s savvy shopper will come away with new ways to personalize interactions and remove friction across all channels to set themselves apart from competitors”. This is a great session for Amazon sellers looking to expand or understand their customers on a deeper level.
How to Launch a New Brand on Amazon in 6 Months
Wednesday, June 06, 2018 1:45 – 2:15 PM
Track: Fashion: Try It On!
As mentioned above, Amazon holds the lion’s share of eCommerce sales. And that doesn’t look like a fact to be changed anytime soon. Because of this, many new brands seek to start their business on Amazon. In hopes of quick sales and customer reviews that will help build their brand and give it some authority. “In this session, you’ll hear insights from two fashion brand startups that got momentum going not with deep pockets but with thoughtful strategies to leverage the Amazon platform. Attendees will come away with tactics to combine the power of Alibaba, Amazon and the sharing economy to launch new brands with unprecedented pace and minimum investment.”
Global Opportunities: Where to Go and How to Do It, Now
Wednesday, June 06, 2018. 1:45 – 2:15 PM
Amazon and the eCommerce industry are taking the globe by storm and fulfillment center. One key way to grow your business, diversify your marketplaces, and make more money is to expand your products or brand globally. The session brief says: “Selling internationally online, when done well, can be lucrative. In this session, experts will provide a SWOT-based (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) assessment to North American e-retailers according to the opportunity different markets present, looking at the size of the market, its e-retail interest, existing competitors in the market and the barriers to entry. The session will provide a basis for e-retailers to evaluate their global options, identify what they want to get out of selling internationally—true brand expansion or simply moving volume—and advise on methods to address the market, such as through market-specific e-commerce sites or through participation in established online marketplaces”. Going global may seem like a lot of work, and it is, but the rewards pay out in the end.
Mobile Marketing: Key Strategies for Driving Growth
Wednesday, June 06, 2018. 4:15 – 4:45 PM
Track:Fashion: Try It On!
Mobile is all the rage. And if all of your retail efforts aren’t optimized for it, you’re likely missing out in big ways. The session guide states “Black Friday 2017 was the first $2 billion mobile shopping day ever in the US, and the trend continues to grow. In this session, our speakers from Snapchat and Hollister will discuss how to design mobile-first marketing strategies that drive measurable growth across points of sale.” Don’t miss this star-studded session that will help you get with the times.
Bye-bye, Buy Box: A Merchandising Strategy Gets a Boost by Going Private-label
Thursday, June 07, 2018. 10:30 – 11:00 AM
We here at SellerEngine love the Amazon Private Label business model. So much so that we outfitted our tool, Sellery, with Custom Private Label features. Needless to say, this session stood out to us. If you’re selling Private Label or thinking about it, catch this one for sure. “When it comes to selling on marketplaces – now representing close to half of all online sales globally – having the same UPC code as 20 other sellers doesn’t work. One way to stand out is to promote what other sellers don’t have — products that are exclusive to your site. In this session, learn what one retailer did to reboot its merchandising strategy to emphasize the private-label exclusive goods sold only on its own site, and how refocusing merchandising improved results and reduced its reliance on marketplaces such as Amazon”. This one is a top recommendation from us and seems very much in line with industry direction at this time.
Counter the Amazon Effect by Mastering Execution
Thursday, June 07, 2018. 1:15 – 1:45 PM
Track: Managing Technology
We all know that Amazon is an ever-changing landscape that at times, feels impossible to keep up with. What if you created a business strategy that kept you ahead, rather than playing catch-up with Amazon? This session may have the answers. “The $13.7 billion-dollar acquisition of Whole Foods by Amazon sent shock waves through the retail industry. Then came plans for a new fulfillment center and a second headquarters in North America. Amazon’s prowess and never-ending expanding footprint obliges everybody to step up or prepare to step off. This session features two retailers that re-examined processes, strategies and technology investments in preparation for what’s next (or what might come next) – to ensure they thrive in this changing landscape. Our speakers will outline their own technology transformations and reveal why it’s more important to master execution of the essentials to keep shoppers coming back, rather than merely react to Amazon’s latest chess move”.
10 Cheap Ways to Acquire Customers and Spread the Word about Your Brand
Thursday, June 07, 2018. 1:45 – 2:15 PM
Track: Brand Building
Speaking of Private Label, once you’ve got your brand started, how can you ensure it stands out against other sellers? How can you find a loyal customer base and gain brand authority? The guide says: “This presentation will address the “low-hanging fruit” and marketing opportunities still out there for retailers and small business owners. With the world of online retail becoming more saturated, it becomes harder to capture customers and even more important to keep them. At the same time, many marketing channels that were once free are drying up or becoming monetized, pricing out small business owners. Learn how to acquire customers using influencer marketing and social media and how personalization can drive results and positive word of mouth”. If you’re looking to grow brand visibility, this one’s for you.
Building Brand Credibility
Thursday, June 07, 2018. 3:15 – 3:45 PM
Track: Brand Building
As mentioned above, brand authority and building your brand is a must to any successful Private Label business. “This session will examine the techniques newer web-only retailers use to build credibility with consumers, addressing the critical point: How does a merchant convince someone who’s never heard of them before to buy? The session will look at a combination of marketing and branding initiatives as well as on-site merchandising and customer service techniques that compel consumers to make that first purchase”. If you brand it, will they buy it?
Marketing on Amazon
Thursday, June 07, 2018. 3:15 – 3:45 PM
The agenda summary says it all: “Marketing on Amazon is unlike marketing on any other platform and approaches that paid dividends last year may not perform the same for e-retailers this year. This session, featuring a former Amazon executive and a brand selling on Amazon will cover what you need to be doing – table stakes – and some advanced marketing tactics you may consider for 2018 and 2019.” This is another top recommendation. You’ll get expert advice from someone who knows Amazon and how to market your own brand. Who knows, maybe a nugget from this session will end up being priceless to your business.
Calling All Brands: Your Amazon Checklist to Drive Sales
Thursday, June 07, 2018. 4:15 – 4:45 PM
Looking for a leg up on navigating all the many options available to brand owners on Amazon? “With investments in programs like the Brand Registry, A+ Content, Amazon Marketing Services and Amazon Media Group, Amazon has committed to growing product assortment by catering to brands and manufacturers. Hear how Guthy-Renker, already wildly successful with traditional direct marketing, exploits Amazon programs to drive sales of its beauty and skincare products. While this session will focus on opportunities for brands and manufacturers, e-retailers will come away with a deeper understanding of how to exploit Amazon’s programs relevant to their businesses.” It’s always nice to find ways to buck the system. Just make sure you always follow Amazon’s policies. If not, our Services team is here to bail you out.
Optimizing for Conversion? It’s All About Science
Friday, June 08, 2018. 10:30 – 11:15 AM
Ready to step up your conversion game? This is the spot. “In optimizing e-commerce site pages for conversion, success depends in part on how, and from where, a visitor arrives at the site. For example, a shopper who comes to a site via Amazon‘s marketplace may respond to different nudges along the path to conversion than one who comes from a Google search. E-retailers win by figuring out shopper expectations attached to different paths. Testing offers the best guidance on optimizing pages for conversion. This session will address how to use A/B testing and post-test analysis to address different segments of visitors , to improve site design and increase sales”.
Amazon Business: Strategies for Coopetition
Friday, June 08, 2018. 11:45 – 12:30 PM
Track: B2B Workshop
“Everyone’s concerned about what Amazon Business is up to. This session will address how companies can both compete against it and work with it to grow sales. Our speakers will discuss how they compete against Amazon Business with same-day delivery for purchases on their site, while also selling through Amazon marketplace. We’ll also hear what they’ve learned regarding selling though their own sites as well as on Amazon about which products are most appropriate for each.”
That’s a wrap. See you at IRCE 2018!
Phew! What a list! We hope it’s helpful as you plan your IRCE conference experience with your business needs and goals in mind. Remember, we’ll be on the exhibitor floor at booth #1836. Stop by for a chat or schedule a one-on-one with an Amazon and SellerEngine expert. We’re looking forward to meeting you there.
Kate has been helping e-commerce sellers navigate and succeed in Amazon’s ever changing landscape for 7 years. From mom & pop stores to multi million dollar brands, she enjoys assisting online entrepreneurs in achieving their goals and breaking records for sales and growth. Kate seeks to share that collective industry knowledge and experience through her writing. In her free time she fronts an indie/pop band, travels the world, surfs, and reads all the books.