The engaging themes (scientific data point of most attendees and most number of mobile phones aimed at speakers and slides) at Shoptalk Las Vegas this past week were: accelerated change, AI, AR & VR-assisted experiences, influencer marketing, and the role of IRL store associates. Our summary: Shopping should be fun & social (literally and via mobile). Buying should be easy. Corporate silos need to make way for the pure fluidity of IRL —> Digital that consumers move through on their self-guided journeys to conversion and potentially, loyalty. Caution Inhibits Innovation. Hone a physical retail competency that creates moments worth lingering for. The mobile screen is your new window display. Change the metabolic rate of your company (esp. senior leaders) Make Influencer and digital activations part of the product development process – not so late in the game. We call it the new marketing supply chain. From Erik Nordstrom to Barney’s and Crate & Barrel executives, there was a light shone on the changing role of physical stores and the store associates inside. There was recognition that physical stores are a convenient (or at least can be) place to manage returns and for in-store pickup that puts CX front and center. Recognizing that means looking at the ways associates are trained and incented because this is a critical moment for consumers and can engender real loyalty. Additionally, it means (in our opinion) looking at attribution differently – for example, Nordstrom shared that 50% of their store visits begin online. We’re struck by the efficacy of a high-concept custom box/bag kit to help bridge the shopping & buying divide. Like retailers and brands, we are leaning into smart packaging to make these experiences even more interesting for the consumers and to reveal new first-party data. Vivabox works with CPG, Beauty, Mass, Specialty, Club, and Drug and in every category, the right trial, education, loyalty, and influencer box respects the privileged role of being in someone’s hands and home. Now that’s a brand experience worth sharing, talking about, and remembering.