Robots Invaded Annual Summit 2013

Posted by Lisa Roberts at 4:16 pm in Merchandising, What’s New at Edgecase
Robots at Shop Annual Summit 2013

The first day back from the Annual Summit is always one part catch-up and one part reflection on what we learned and what’s next. While reflecting, I found a smile on my face thinking of the responses we got to the primary giveaway at our booth – an army of small vintage wind-up robots. The retail community apparently really loves robots and many went home with new ones to add to their collection!

Discovery is human.

What is even more exciting is the response we got when we explained why we were giving away the pint-sized play things. Our motto for the show – “Don’t treat your shoppers like robots. Treat them like humans.” By this we mean, let shoppers navigate your product selection and discover the right product for them, using their own unique thought process and language. It comes down to creating an extremely differentiated and personalized experience, which if you were listening at the Annual Summit, is still a large and growing need.

So, how do you let shoppers express their preferences and needs using the language that resonates most with them? Well, it starts with taking a much more in-depth look at how different shoppers might think about each aspect of a product. It simply takes more product data, and data that was carefully curated and constructed for real people.

Merchandising as rich as the human language.

We played a game at our booth with attendees to exhibit this point. We put a dress on display and asked people to tell us the words they would want to use if they were shopping for it. We displayed results alongside the attributes that shoppers would typically be given online. The results are below and prove our point beyond a doubt – 63 unique attributes versus the 3-6 you would normally be given.

blog-dress-imageWhat’s most interesting are the nuanced terms people used, including:

  • Style – summer, vintage, hipster, fun, 1950’s style, Audrey Hepburn-esque
  • Type – sun dress, wrap dress, bridal shower, garden party, surplus-wrap, outdoor event
  • Waist – fitted, empire, synched, wrap, a-line
  • Fit – loose, comfortable, fitted
  • Pattern – dots…so many ways to talk about dots…polka dot, multi-colored, rainbow dots, print, colorful, artsy




Read more about our approach to humanizing merchandising in our whitepaper, Adaptive Commerce: The New Era of Humanized Discovery.

lisa roberts

Lisa Roberts is a 15-year Ecommerce vet who’s worked with technology innovators, including Edgecase, who are building real solutions for hard retailer problems. Her experience working inside a retailer, agency-side and vendor-side give her a unique perspective on how to innovate at the pace of consumer evolution while remaining focused on delivering proven results.

Follow Lisa Roberts on Twitter @lisadoesaustin

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