5 Must Do's at IRCE 2016

06/02/2016 03:03 pm ET Updated Jun 02, 2017

It's that time of year again. IRCE is kicking off June 7 for a four day event at McCormick Place West in Chicago, IL. With eCommerce evolving faster than ever, this year is a can't miss for companies looking to build a strong strategy with the know-how to execute on it for eCommerce. The content for IRCE is curated by the team at Internet Retailer magazine, which is focused on all things eCommerce, so you can rest assured you are getting a conference full of industry experts, an exhibit hall filled with the latest and greatest solution providers, and a community made for networking with thousands of like-minded industry peers.

Working for a company that's known for helping brands in retail to design, build, and grow their names online, I'm excited to have the opportunity for Echidna to attend and listen to experts that live and breathe the industry daily. From 200+ speakers, 130+ conference sessions an nearly 600 vendors covering over 250,000 square feet-- putting together a schedule seems like a daunting task. It was a big undertaking, but I've narrowed it down to five must-attends.

1. Session: Taking the Re-Platforming Plunge: How One Retailer Made Sense of the Technology Options


Cherri Newbury, President and Co-Founder - DiscountCoffee.com
Thu, June 09, 2016 3:45 pm to 4:15 pm

In a world where homegrown systems are making an exit for more scalable, speedier, lower TOC cloud technologies, this is a can't miss. Making sense of the options and choosing the right vendor are daunting tasks that have paralyzed some e-commerce execs. But not Cherri Newbury, president and co-founder of DiscountCoffee.com. Her company has been through replatforming four times and knows very well that choosing the right vendor can take longer than implementing the technology. She will discuss how to manage finding a vendor, then implementing the technology. Among her topics will be: how to make sure the vendor you choose can actually do the work you want, how to understand the language of technology so you get what you think you're getting, how to create clear communications, how to make sure the vendor's staff can work with your staff, and more.

2. Mozu Booth #329

Mozu is the cloud commerce platform that simplifies enterprise commerce. Mozu drives top line revenue, optimizes the bottom line and keeps retailers on top of technology with SaaS updates. Top Internet Retailer brands like Bluefly, Jelly Belly, and Shindigz use Mozu as their eCommerce platform. Even better, the Echidna team created a Mozu accelerator to get brands traditional commerce project timeline lowered by up to 50%, allowing organizations to rapidly build and deploy fully functional, rich, responsive eCommerce experiences, while also streamlining future upgrades and ongoing enhancements and dramatically reducing total cost of ownership (TCO). Plus you get a free Mini Jambox and will be entered to win a DJI Phantom 3 Drone and Apple Watch just for setting up a demo and swinging by. Request an appointment here.

3. Session: How a 100-Year-Old Electrical Supply Company Became an E-Commerce Powerhouse


Michael Mayer, Director of E-Business Strategy & Commerce - Crescent Electric Supply Co.
Tue, June 07, 2016 9:00 am to 9:30 am

It is great to see so many B2B focused tracks this year. Mayer will discuss how Crescent Electric, a company with $1.2 billion in sales, is going through a major shift in how it goes to market. Michael will discuss how the company built the e-commerce team, created content, and addressed pricing, functionality and e-marketing. He will explain how the company overcame both internal roadblocks, such as commissions, salespersons' resistance and field education, and external roadblocks, such as communication to customers and coordinating customer's existing processes with e-commerce processes. He'll wrap up with how the company revised its strategy based on what it learned from its early efforts.

4. Meet 1:1 with an eCommerce Expert


Don't miss your opportunity to connect with one of our eCommerce experts to discuss any and all things about designing, building and growing your brand online. If you have questions on what the right eCommerce platform is for your brand, what a re-platform entails, improving site conversion through a strong User Experience or having us do a complimentary digital marketing assessment to understand what your competitors are doing and how to you improve your brands marketing online then this meeting would a great use of your time while at IRCE. You also get to take away a free Mini Jambox and are entered to win an Apple Watch, simply for meeting.

5. Session: Prescriptions for the Growing Pains of Mid-Market E-Retailers


Steve Elkins, President - WEBS America's Yarn Store
Darren Hill, Chief Executive Officer, Co-Founder - WebLinc
Gabrielle Gallo, Head of E-Commerce - The Sak Brand Group
Wed, June 08, 2016 1:15 pm to 1:45 pm

This session will bring together mid-market retailers in all phases of growth to share their experiences and lessons. Attendees will hear strategies for ramping-up an e-commerce team, meeting customer service needs, scaling marketing efforts and more. Attendees will gain a better understanding of the key performance indicators they should monitor to ensure they don't outgrow order management systems, warehousing or fulfillment, and that their platform can scale with growing traffic and catalog size.

What sessions are not-to-be-missed in your book? What vendors are on your list to visit and why?