Shoptalk: The Retail Industry’s School, Curriculum & Faculty

Written by:



It’s hard to have missed the cascade of articles written about Shoptalk from its day-one entry into the retail ecosystem exactly two years ago. It came in with a bang and continues to create bigger bangs. You might even be thinking “enough already.” Sorry, not enough. I say that because I know what retail needs right now, and it is exactly what Shoptalk provides—an education in new innovations, solutions and opportunities.

So, I refer to Shoptalk as a “School,” which differentiates it from the over-abundance of same-old, same-old conferences, expos and trade shows. And its industry-defining speaker lineup is nothing short of the retail industry’s “Faculty.” Yet there are still thousands of people at retailers—you and many on your teams might be among them—who need to enroll in Shoptalk’s incredible educational experience. If you don’t, you risk falling behind the more than 8,000 individuals who will be there in March.

The industry is still just scratching the surface when it comes to understanding and implementing data analytics, personal and conversational commerce, machine learning and artificial intelligence, innovations in delivery and distribution logistics, augmented and virtual reality, new omnichannel models and the many more innovations launched daily in the new universe of technology and ecommerce retail.

This is the “Curriculum” pioneered by Shoptalk with its agenda that consists of over 100 sessions during four  jam-packed days.

This week, Shoptalk released its 2018 Curriculum and the first 80 of 400 speakers/Faculty. The event will be held on March 18-21, 2018 at the Venetian in Las Vegas and among those kicking off the event on Sunday evening are Macy’s CEO, Jeff Gennette. Of the more than 8,000 attendees, over 700 will be CEOs—most of whom actually attend the sessions (or “Classes”).

As with every year, Shoptalk has many surprises in store. For 2018, Shoptalk’s Faculty includes some of the most innovative companies and greatest minds not just from the U.S., but from across the world. As Zia Daniell Wigder, Shoptalk’s Chief Content Officer, said, “This international focus is critical given that retail and ecommerce are changing everywhere around the world and no single geographic region dominates in terms of innovation. To fully understand how these industries are evolving, a global lens is now essential.”

There is a reason why Shoptalk has become the largest learning and sharing “community” in the world in just two years. Emanating from the vision of Anil Aggarwal, (whom I initially called crazy), Shoptalk is desperately needed, particularly now in the middle of the chaotic transformation the industry is going through. Shoptalk brings together the best and brightest from around the world to share knowledge and learn from each other’s innovations, and the strengths and weaknesses of their business models. In fact, Shoptalk also provides a “Hosted Meetings Program,” which schedules curated one-on-one meetings for retailers and brands with established and emerging providers of technology and other solutions. More than 1,000 participants will enroll in this program in 2018, resulting in about 8,000 facilitated onsite meetings—yet another much-needed opportunity to learn.

Aggarwal says of his vision, “Our goal with Shoptalk, as you know, is to lead the industry during a period of immense upheaval and opportunity. We frame the dialogue, and we bring together the key people to speak to the trends, technologies, and business models. We called the importance of this before innovation was top of mind with everyone, and we’re working hard to break down outdated silos to help the industry evolve.”

So, back to why I believe the cascade of Shoptalk attention is not “enough already.” There are still literally thousands of people among the large and small legacy retailers and brands that need the Shoptalk learning experience.

And, by the way, the thing most retailers love to hear is that many qualify for free tickets and travel. This is yet another no-brainer conceptualized by Anil Aggarwal. The decision to attend Shoptalk couldn’t be any easier or more obvious.

So enough already. Find out if you qualify for a free ticket and travel, and go! Your business needs what can be learned at Shoptalk.

Shoptalk’s 2018 Curriculum is available here: and the Faculty to date can be viewed at

You can apply for a free ticket and travel at And if you prefer to buy your ticket, prices go up on Friday!

Shoptalk by the Numbers

  • 8,000+ attendees, including over 700 CEOs, are expected to join.
  • 1,000 retailers and brands will enroll in Shoptalk’s Hosted Meetings Program, resulting in approximately 8,000 onsite meetings for retailers and brands with established and emerging providers of technology and other solutions.
  • 400+ speakers from around the world.
  • 100+ main stage and track sessions with the world’s best lineup of speakers.



Scroll to Top
the Daily Report

Insights + Interviews right to your inbox.