On December 9, The Bold Italic, General Assembly, and Whisk co-hosted Tech Panel: E-Commerce, a candid discussion of the world of online retail and other services sponsored by Getty Images. Since The Bold Italic has its own online shop, we were especially curious to hear what speakers would say. The night started with a networking happy hour where guests had an opportunity to connect with like-minded (and especially well-dressed) individuals. Light nosh was also available for purchase from Rice Paper Scissors.
The panel included Greta Caruso, Founding Member of Good Eggs; Guy Gal, VP of Business Development and guy with awesome name at Joyus; Pascal Levy-Garboua, Co-founder and CEO of Six Doors; and Tracy Sun, Co-founder and VP of Merchandising at Poshmark. Finally, Director at Zappos Labs, Will Young moderated the crap out of this thing.
Here were the three takeaways we thought were the most interesting and insightful:
Doing discovery right is hard, but worthwhile.
Identifying the interesting can be a challenge, but retailers who do it well stand to win over customers' respect and disposable income. Huzzah! The panelists were asked whether or not they thought a mass retailer will ever be able to crack this nut. Panelists responded that it might be possible due to these businesses' immense resources, but that the scale of their operations may actually be a hinderance to their efforts.
Local is more than just a trend.
Shopping local or even just knowing more about what's available to you locally does a lot of great things. It can make local communities stronger and it also tends to create opportunities for people to educate themselves about the stories behind the things they buy and make better choices. If you're interested in supporting a local economy, Six Doors is an app that hand delivers unique local gifts and Good Eggs is a fantastic way to order fresh local groceries.
Not everyone shops the same way.
Tracy Sun noted that many men shop with a specific purpose, searching for exactly what they want, while very few women do. She said that women tend to take a much more meandering route to shopping, seeing it as more of a hobby than a challenge to be completed. The panelists also recognized that a lot of shopping is emotion based. It's about how a product or a website makes us feel.
If you missed the panel, shame on you! Kidding. You can watch the panel below.