Techweek Chicago Summit 2015 hosts a discussion panel of three stalwarts in the field of retail and fashion: Liz Kammell, co-founder and CEO, Zipfit; Tyler Spalding, Co-founder, Tastebud Technologies; and Nicole Staple, Co-CEO, Brideside. These industry experts share their thoughts on technology’s role in revolutionizing retail.

Both brick and mortar and online shopping are mainstays for now, but the future may bring about even more innovation when it comes to shopping experiences.

Some of our key takeaways from the conversation:

  1. Consumers Want Personalization which Retailers Have Yet to Deliver:
    Online shopping is gaining prominence due to the personalization angle attached to it. Personalization needs to be considered as the key component of retail innovation. Smart technologies like mobile apps can be used to study consumer traits and personalize shopping experiences.
  2. Consumers Share Personal Data to Enable Better Experiences:
    Retailers and brands possess a lot of data on their customers through texts and emails. Both Liz and Nicole feel smart usage of these data helps in understanding customer preferences and their browsing behavior. This can, thereby, allow modification of the product as a whole. Additionally, Tyler discusses the potential for data to help retailers zero in on their best customers.
  3. Brick and Mortar vs. Online Shopping:
    Both of them are critical in their own ways. However, opportunities in e-commerce are huge and it needs to be more innovative to survive in the long run. Same goes for retail as well, but how to bring retailers to the consumers is an important question which still remains unanswered.
  4. Retailers Still Struggle to Identify and Engage their Best Customers…Why?
    Proper usage of social media is not yet conducted for this purpose. Presence on Facebook and Pinterest, usage of Google Ad Words, and referrals are essential if one has to grow the consumer database and engage them effectively.

Below are some of the key points and moments from the conversation:

  • 0:10 – The panelists introduce themselves to the audience
  • 1:35 – Personalization of online shopping gets a human face with Nicole’s Brideside
  • 5:29 – Using technologies for apparel fit customized shopping experience
  • 6:42 – Smart technologies help in testing the products and encourages a balance of brick and mortar and online shopping experiences
  • 14:18 – The future of retail needs to be creative so that it can easily reach its consumers
  • 19:04 – Brick and mortar needs to be innovative and more consumer-facing
  • 24:16 – Content plays an important role in finding customers for retail and vice versa
  • 30:07 – Short discussion on emerging trends in wearable tech


 Co-founder and CEO, Zipfit
Co-founder, Tastebud Technologies
 Co-CEO, Brideside