In early June, the entire Internet Retailer staff spent four days with the more than 9,700 e-commerce executives who attended the 2013 Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition in Chicago.
In early June, the entire Internet Retailer staff spent four days with the more than 9,700 e-commerce executives who attended the 2013 Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition in Chicago. As reporters, we love these sorts of gatherings because we get to pick the brains of people who have first-hand experience with the issues and challenges we write about in this magazine and on InternetRetailer.com. I know I came away from the event with a notebook full of ideas and contacts.
While everyone at IRCE was there to learn more about online retailing, many of the executives we spoke to came to the event seeking solutions to specific challenges they faced. They sought out conference sessions that spoke to their particular issues and walked the Exhibit Hall floor to find vendors that might be a resource. Executives also spoke with each other, and the casual conversations that sprung up in-between sessions or at lunch proved fruitful.
It's always remarkable to feel the energy generated when a group of strangers find common ground. At lunch at IRCE, I was seated at a table with representatives from four web retailers, all in varying roles, from marketing to information technology. The subject that heated everyone up was Amazon. Everyone had a story to tell: how they work with the giant e-retailer, how they are trying to fight it, the frustration it causes and why Amazon can't be ignored. It was an engaging conversation, and everyone walked away knowing a little more than when they sat down. Strangers turned into colleagues.
In this issue we strived to deliver you the best insights that emerged from show in its entirety, including these conversations. The story starting on page 10 covers the main takeaways that emerged from conference sessions. Then throughout the issue are stories that cover developments pertaining to specific issues e-commerce executives were at the show to tackle, such as expanding internationally (page 59), search marketing (page 80) and mobile commerce (page 64).
Whether you attended IRCE or not, I hope you find the information gathered here helpful in solving your e-commerce challenges.
Allison Enright, Editor