eTail Round Two: Our Favorite Sessions in Review

eTail Round Two: Our Favorite Sessions in Review

For years, eTail has brought together the leaders of retail and technology. This year, we had the opportunity to hear the perspectives of some of the biggest names in retail, including CarMax, J. Jill, Chico’s, and Foot Locker.

The topics included the latest in consumer-facing technology, training your workforce, and leveraging mountains of data to bring value to your customers and your company. We attended so that we could listen in on a retailer’s perspective of eCommerce and technology in general. As a mobile development company, Shockoe believes that mobile is an undeniable value-add to retailers. At this point, it’s necessary to stay in the game. As one can imagine, mobile is not going anywhere anytime soon. We’ve touched on best practices for your retail inventory management app, but we wanted more.

eTail was a great place to hear about what has been successful, and what has not, in the world of retail told by the people on the front lines. Set in Boston, Massachusetts, we were able to experience valuable wisdom and insight, all while eating lobster rolls. Here are our top 5 highlights from the conference: 

 Top 5 Reasons We Enjoyed eTail

  1. Great networking with our peers:
    • We had an opportunity to meet hundreds of representatives in companies and organizations that are improving the experience of customers and employees alike.
  2. We got to witness Bryce Harper launch a two-run shot over the Green Monster in Fenway. While it led to a Red Sox defeat, which we don’t like, it was still impressive.
    • 2a. The Shockoe presentation on Digital Marketing and the Customer Journey
  3. Brian Beitler (Chief Marketing & Brand Development Officer) from J. Jill spoke on the value of starting a conversation with your customers, not simply telling them a story.
    • We especially enjoyed this discussion because we believe mobile can play an enormous role in connections. Connecting consumers to companies, other consumers, and personalized experiences that are relevant to them.
  4. Walmart’s Senior Director of Digital Operations, Brock McKeel, described how Walmart is leveraging VR in its training program.
    • At Shockoe, we’ve been helping companies utilize VR/AR in their business processes, so it was helpful and encouraging to hear that Walmart has been thinking along the same lines. Walmart has rolled out a VR training platform to better prepare its employees for high stress, fast-paced situations that could decrease customer satisfaction.
  5. The lobster rolls.

In Closing 

eTail East was a discussion on organizational flexibility, innovation, how we can use data to drive the customer experience, and how a positive customer experience plus convenience equals a win. We thoroughly enjoyed hearing about retail from those immersed in it, making connections with individuals and companies that solve the same problems that we do, and sharing about the wins we have been able to create with our clients. The journey doesn’t stop here. Introducing both mobile and emerging tech into your retail strategy will ultimately lead to higher customer satisfaction and, in turn, customer loyalty. 

Want to Know More? 

Download our Whitepaper on how retailers can bridge the gap between their online & brick and mortar experiences.

Troy Rich

Troy Rich

Strategic Mobile Consultant

Troy was born and raised in Richmond, VA and graduated from the prestigious Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He has a passion for developing and maintaining relationships and discovering how Shockoe can drive positive change. When not at the office, Troy can be found watching a Liverpool FC match in the local pub, dining at the closest Chick-fil-a, or learning how to play a new musical instrument (currently the banjo).

eTail East: Transforming Retail. Together

eTail East: Transforming Retail. Together

We’re heading back to Boston! From August 19 – August 22, Shockoe will be attending and speaking at eTail East in Boston, Massachusetts. 

About eTail

eTail is where the top minds in retail meet, collaborate and learn about what’s disrupting the industry today and what’ll change tomorrow. Shockoe’s COO, Alejandro Otañez, will speak from his seven-years experience at IBM, on how digital technology investments can be implemented and measured for success and impact. 

Why we’re attending

Having all the technological expertise in the world means nothing if you don’t understand your customers. Mobile phones and digital technology are the ultimate culprits of the way things operate today, making tough tasks easy. The two together fundamentally unify the entire experience.

We believe that every company operates in a way that is as unique as its offerings. Every technology solution should be as well. Our team of strategists, consultants, designers, and developers work to embrace existing processes, question inefficiencies and deliver custom digital mobile tools that can improve the overall quality of your customer experience.  

If being out-of-the-box has felt like forcing a square peg into a round hole, we get it. Come to talk to us — we’ll help you create a custom technology solution that will help you truly fulfill your customers wants and needs.

The proof is in the pudding

We’ve worked in several facets of the retail industry— learn more about our work here

If you’re interested in learning more or will also be attending eTail, we’d love to speak with you! Click the link below & we’ll make it happen.

Future Stores: How Emerging Tech Keeps Retail Competitive

Future Stores: How Emerging Tech Keeps Retail Competitive

Retailers must be tired of hearing about what emerging technologies can do for them, as it’s what consulting firms and other companies have told them for years. However, from the emergence of AR features in mobile apps to target buyers for furniture and home decor to the visualization of those items in their own home, it is clear that emerging technologies are finding their proverbial home in the retail space. Beyond AR/VR capabilities in mobile apps, Future Stores, Seattle helped shine a light on expanding retail technologies to automated checkout, open source hardware, and common architecture patterns within core operating systems. How these options in emerging tech can be uniquely leveraged for retail can be found right here.

Augmented reality and virtual reality

In late 2017- early 2018, an initial round of AR features in mobile apps targeted buyers for furniture and home decor, to visualize furniture and items in their own home environment. There are signs that AR and VR will be leveraged in stores and could figure prominently in omnichannel shopping and store operations.

  • Augmented Reality, Walmart Labs developed an AR-based product comparison scanner for its mobile app that allows users in-store to scan entire shelf section to compare products detail, rather than having to scan a barcode to look up product one at a time. This feature helps have a better visual search to become more useful and valuable to shoppers and retailers.
  • Virtual Reality, Macy’s provides shoppers with a VR headset to help them design their own room settings by visualizing and moving around 3D images of different furniture items, increasing furniture sales and diminishing returns.

AR and VR are still in the early adoption phase, but we’re starting to see adoption with retailers who are experimenting with how to leverage the technologies to obtain a return on their investments.

Automated checkout & Cashier-less stores

We’ve all heard about Amazon Go and its cashier-less convenience stores, but what about other technology companies inspiring automated checkout, as well as other forms of expedited self-checkout and mobile checkout? Not all size and type of retailers have been considered viable candidates for automated checkout. Having slow lines cost potential sales in retailers. By lowering wait time in lines, customers are more likely to purchase items, which would help both the shopper’s experience and the retailer’s profit.

Open Source software

Open source is exactly what it sounds like: a source code that anyone can modify, enhance, and inspect. The major benefit here is that programmers can manipulate and change how pieces of software, programs, or application work. Using open source allows programmers to improve that program by adding features or fixing parts that don’t always work correctly. It also grants permission to use the software for any purpose they wish. Open source licenses promote collaboration and sharing because they permit other people to make modifications to source code and incorporate those changes into their own projects, as long as they let others do the same when they share their work. There are 3 main reasons why people prefer open source software:

  • Control– They can examine the code and make sure it’s not doing anything they don’t want it to do, and they can eliminate aspect they don’t want/need.
  • Training– It helps programmers learn. Since its publicly accessible, they can easily study it as they learn to make better software and share their mistakes with other programmers.
  • Stability– users relying on that software for critical tasks can be sure their tools won’t disappear or fall into disrepair

Common Architecture

Enterprise architecture defines how the organization will meet future business problems. It’s important to begin building stability into your organization by having enterprise architecture. The architecture features multiple layers of perception to form a complete and common view of information, guidance, and direction. Together, these benefits form guardrails for the organizational solution, by adding guides and constraints to those solutions. Shifting from silo-based systems, managed business values, and measuring outcomes will drive your organization away from system silos toward integrated enterprise ecosystems. Choosing the right architecture is crucial and may affect the enterprise architectural domain: Strategy, Business, data, application, infrastructure, and security. Common architecture inherently streamlines communications between different teams within your organization.

Want to know more?

Download our whitepaper on how retailers can bridge the gap between their online & brick and mortar experiences.

Gustavo Romero

Gustavo Romero

Gustavo for the past two years has been helping Shockoe expand their client portfolio. As an account executive, he nurtures relationships from introduction to engagement by bringing the right resources at appropriate times. He previously worked for 5
years as a lawyer focused on intellectual property and trademark and ties this to sales approaches at Shockoe. He is focused on growing Shockoe’s client portfolio by providing emerging technology solutions to both enterprise and customer end users.

ShopTalk 2019 in Las Vegas

ShopTalk 2019 in Las Vegas

We are packing our bags and heading to Las Vegas! As we continue our campaign to connect more enterprise retailers with the right mobile strategy, we are excited to be able to meet with so many at Shoptalk; one of the premier retailing events to discuss everything from omnichannel mobile strategies to enterprise mobile apps.

Why Mobile at Shoptalk?

Shoptalk drives hundreds of retailers from around the world to discuss the latest in retail technologies. From technology hardware, points of sale, to ERP — mobile is becoming an increasingly critical consideration for B2C leaders, and a staple of everyday shopping. Our
mobile strategy team works from business consultancy to application deployment to deliver applications with measurable results — we can help drive your mobile brand loyalty strategy.

The Mobile keystone of Omni-channel Retail

According to a RetailDive survey, an increasing number of relying on their phones to drive the in-store experience. If the mobile tools are not up to snuff, the bottom line is you’re going to lose customers — that’s where we can help.
Retail success depends on mobile-centered brand loyalty
As consumers interactions continue to rise towards BOGUS shopping (buy online and pick up in store) and price comparing from mobile devices, brick and mortar stores are more on the hook than ever to have retail systems that can speak directly to consumers. From inventory updates to a mobile-first experience, Shockoe can help create a mobile roadmap that fits with your digital strategy and your business objectives

Want to know more about what we’re doing in Las Vegas at Shoptalk or book some time with us?

Node Summit 2016

Node Summit 2016

Last week I had the pleasure of attending Node Summit 2016 in San Francisco. I am eager to share some of the new cool technologies and concepts I learned about while I was there.

NodeSchool is a tool for learning node and javascript concepts. If you have node and npm installed, starting a lesson is as easy as installing a new node package; these lessons range from utilizing node tools, to the nuts and bolts of creating and publishing a node package.

The one hardware workshop at the conference proved to be perfect office hackathon fodder. is a platform for interacting with internet of things devices, and using node and their Photon microcontroller we were able to program a row of lights to act as a scoreboard for a game of tic-tac-toe. As someone who deals strictly with software, it was a welcome diversion to play around with breadboards and resistors for a few hours.

One of the most insightful and fun presentations I attended during my time at Node Summit was on security. This talk featured a lot of great examples of trying to hack into or disrupt a locally hosted web application. Of course, the main thrust wasn’t to teach people how to hack–though I can’t say I didn’t learn a thing or two–but to show how out-of-date node modules can bring security vulnerabilities to your codebase. The presentation concluded with a stern warning that actual hacking was illegal and an insight into a current company for those in need of a fix:”bugcrowd” a platform that lets companies pay bounties to hackers to break into their systems so that they can close any security gaps.

The main buzzword at the conference was micro-services. Every sponsor from NASA to Netflix gave talks on how they have transformed their entire systems over to use this architecture concept.

Micro-services are not specific to node, but node’s flexibility means that it lends itself well to the concept. The micro-service pattern refers to breaking out all of the functionality of your product into independent pieces, instead of housing them within a single unit–known as a “monolith”. This way, when you make changes to your app, you don’t have to redeploy your entire codebase. Instead you’re deploying just the parts of the app that were affected by changes. This works especially well in node because you to pull in only the modules you need for each individual micro-service, and there are tons of node modules out there designed with communication between micro-services in mind.

Looking back at the conference as a whole, I was inundated with the vastness of node itself. Every year for the past four years the numbers of new node users has doubled, and there are 300+ new modules published every day. This has inspired me to try them all out and bring cool new technologies back to Shockoe.

Titanium Conference 2013 – TiConf.US

Titanium Conference 2013 – TiConf.US

America’s first and premier community-run mobile development conference

Update: For a limited time, receive $70 off, when you register using code SHOCKOE70

Shockoe is a proud sponsor of the next mobile development conference primarily based around JavaScript and Appcelerator Titanium. It’s a community-run event featuring some of the best JavaScript and Titanium Mobile developers from the US and abroad.

Titanium Conference 2013 takes place between the 28th-29th of June 2013 – open to all regardless of your skill level. Come and meet us there, we would love to talk to you.