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A bustling IRCE Exhibit Hall in 2014.

A bustling IRCE Exhibit Hall in 2014.

Internet Retailer Conference + Exhibit (IRCE) kicks off today with close to 10,000 people in attendance to learn and share best practices in online retail. To prepare for my time at the conference, I did my research on some of the most talked about trends in e-commerce today.

What I found was a wide range of opinions and best practices in the space. With so much online retail experience in one room, I will be interviewing IRCE attendees to see how some of the top brands are integrating these 3 big trends into their e-commerce marketing strategy.

I’ll be attending sessions and asking attendees the big questions outlined in this blog post. Stayed tuned for Part II, where I’ll compile my findings. Stop by Optimizely at booth 765 if you’re at IRCE to discuss the trends and  questions below.


While not a new topic in the online marketing world, what it means to deliver personalized experiences is not a formula that is clearly defined. What is clear, is that personalization is in high demand for both consumers and brands. A study done by eConsultancy found that 62% of online retailers are reporting doing some form of personalization.

Personalization, however, is a very broad term in marketing that can apply to anything from email content to website search results and everything in between. Every experience a shopper has with a brand is an opportunity to deliver a personalized experience.

Not only is every step in the funnel an opportunity to personalize, there are also an endless amount of data points to look at when deciding what experience to deliver a consumer.

Today, personalization is prevalent online, but mostly limited to the top trafficked experiences such as the Facebook newsfeed, Netflix recommendations, Amazon’s homepage, retargeted advertisements, email campaigns.

The major UK travel app Secret Escapes tested personalizing travel deals based on the PPC acquisition keyword for a given user. Showing users deals tailored to locations they had searched for increased purchases by 210%.

Companies who don’t have the in-house resources to personalize like a Netflix or Amazon can take many different approaches to segmenting their audience and delivering personalized content. With dozens of services offering personalization of every type, we will be curious to hear how the top online retailers at IRCE are thinking about personalization.

Questions for IRCE Attendees:

  • Which part of your site are you personalizing today? Which part of your site are you not personalizing today? Why?
  • How are you defining your different customer segments today? How would you define them in an ideal world?


Video content is becoming increasingly more important to the online retail world. So much so that there is an entire track devoted to video at IRCE 2015. One session on the top of my list at IRCE is called “Video Testing: What Should You Test—Or, Rather, What Shouldn’t You Test?” This is not surprising based on a Kleiner Perkins study that found in 2014, 64% of all internet traffic globally is video consumption. This number is expected to grow to 69% by 2017.

Like we saw with personalization, however, there are many different ways to use video to sell online, some more effective than others. Video can be used to increase traffic and brand awareness via social shares, to display product details on sites or even to better display lifestyle images.

Online retailer Zagg decided to test out one of these methods. An A/B test ran on Zagg.com found that product images actually beat out product detail videos when measuring revenue per visitor.

On the contrary, Dollar Shave Club received widespread attention for the success of its 2012 marketing video which launched the brand to gain over 300,000 subscribers and 16mm views to date.

Questions for IRCE Attendees:

  • How are you currently using video for e-commerce marketing? How do you hope to be using video?
  • Do you have a video marketing manager in house?
  • What’s your favorite example of video marketing?

User Generated Content

In a world of crowdsourcing and the shared economy, the popularity of user generated content is growing at an expedited pace. In fact, user-generated reviews and feedback are increasing 140% year-over-year according to Kleiner Perkins.

When used effectively, combining content and commerce can help with brand awareness, SEO and ultimately conversions in a big way. Users who engage with the user review portion of a product page are 3 times more likely to buy a product.

Questions for IRCE Attendees:

  • What role do reviews play on your site?
  • Have you run any experiments on reviews that increased conversions?

Be a Part of the Conversation!

If you’re at IRCE please stop by Optimizely at booth 765 in the exhibitors hall. If you aren’t able to stop by leave us a comment or even a tweet me at @CateSeago.

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