2015 Conference Agenda

Successful Strategies for B2C, B2B -- and Everything in Between

Online retail is booming. Brands are selling direct to consumers (B2C) and looking to leverage digital to sell wholesale (B2B). Commercial buyers are also consumers.  All consumers are finding your brands and products through multiple channels.  Ensuring your e-commerce strategy aligns both B2B and B2C efforts is critical to effectively managing your direct-to-consumer relationships, channel complexity and digital marketing for your brands. Roundtable discussions will provide you with the opportunity to discuss ideas and strategies with non-competitive peers, while sessions will cover pertinent topics that directly affect your business. IRCE Focus: Brands & B2B will tackle these issues and more over two and half days with expert advice, case studies and real-life examples of brands and manufacturers that are successfully building their businesses.

IRCE Focus: Brands & B2B is brought to you by IRCE with agenda production in conjunction with FitForCommerce, an e-commerce consulting company.

Schedule of Events

Sunday, May 18 | 12:00 PM – 4:30 PM, Opening Reception from 4:00 PM - 6:30 PM
Monday, May 19 | 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM, Cocktail Reception from 4:00 PM – 6:30 PM
Tuesday, May 20 | 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM, Exhibit Hall closes at 2:30 PM

 

Show Registration Hours:

Saturday, May 17 | 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM

Sunday, May 18 | 8:00 AM - 6:30 PM

Monday, May 19 | 8:00 AM - 6:30 PM

Tuesday, May 20 | 8:00 AM - 3:00 PM
 

Pre-Conference Workshops - March 16

Kick off your week with two pre-conference workshops offered on Monday, March 16. Mobile focuses on the challenges and solutions to designing mobile sites and apps that will engage shoppers while giving them the experience they expect. SEO will help attendees tighten up the nuts and bolts of search engine optimization by revisiting the basic elements of SEO as well as reviewing some of the newest developments in search engines themselves both domestically and internationally.

Sessions by Track

Monday, March 16, 2015 - 8:45am to 9:45am

Copywriting for E-Commerce Sites–Short, Sweet, SEO-Savvy

Jeff McRitchie - Vice President, Marketing - MyBinding.com

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By now, most consumers' reading habits have been altered by the web, acclimating to the shorter attention span that the web fosters. And the requirements of SEO further define what makes for effective web copywriting. Marketers who don’t adapt web copy to both developments will lose sales. This session will examine the trends and concepts behind web copywriting and provide a fast-paced examination of real-world examples – from product pages to category pages – of effective and not-so-effective copy. The session will wrap up with live reviews on attendees’ written content.

Monday, March 16, 2015 - 9:45am to 10:30am

Bouncing Back from Google’s Penalties – You Can Recover

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Every month, Google initiates 400,000 “manual actions” that put web sites on notice for spam practices. As a result, sites are penalized with lower rankings in search. There is a path to recovery but only about 5% of webmasters take it, or they react too hastily and ruin their chance to restore healthy search rankings. In this session, you will learn how to identify web site offenses such as weak content, keyword stuffing and bad or unnatural links. Our speakers will offer corrective measures you can take and advice on what to do when needed changes are out of your control so that your appeal to Google is successful and your site becomes findable again.

Monday, March 16, 2015 - 10:30am to 10:45am

Break

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Monday, March 16, 2015 - 10:45am to 11:30am

Mobile SEO’s Mystifying Mandates, and Who’s Doing It Right

Brian Klais - Chief Executive Officer - Pure Oxygen Labs

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Mobile SEO operates by a different playbook than its desktop counterpart and mastering the rules for successful mobile search is no longer a nice-to-have. Today’s phones and tablets offer less physical real estate, slow mobile web speeds may leave impatient searchers wanting more, and Google has complicated matters by changing the guidelines for how mobile web pages are ranked. In this session, Brian Klais will reveal Internet Retailer-exclusive research outlining which companies in the 2015 Internet Retailer Mobile 500 are compliant with Google’s rules and mobile SEO best practices. Attendees will also learn the essential steps to make sure their mobile or responsive design sites are in a position to attract more mobile visitors.

Monday, March 16, 2015 - 11:30am to 12:15pm

Dynamic Web Pages and Google: Making the Right Connections

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Static web pages sit on your site, preformatted, until called up by a search query; dynamically served web pages don’t even exist until a search query triggers their automatic creation on the fly from your site’s content database. Going the dynamic route makes updating content easier – do it once, in the database — but dynamically served pages are more difficult for search engines to index and rank in returning search results. There are ways to make it easier for Google to connect with dynamically created pages through identifying common queries, and groupings of searches that don’t have traditional links but can be referenced through a variety of paid and unpaid methods. This session will address what retailers can do to ensure their dynamic pages connect with search queries on Google.

Monday, March 16, 2015 - 12:15pm to 1:15pm

Lunch

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Monday, March 16, 2015 - 1:15pm to 2:00pm

Globalizing Your Home Page for Search

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Shoppers come from everywhere. And all want to feel “at home” and welcome as though you were expecting them. Designing a home page to serve multiple countries and languages can be tricky but Google offers three scenarios to consider that both shoppers – and Google’s algorithms – will smile upon. In this session, a search expert will outline pros and cons of each approach to internationalizing home page design. Our e-retailer speaker will detail the choice a certain company made, and the results seen thus far.

Monday, March 16, 2015 - 2:00pm to 2:45pm

How Do Newer Online Retailers Work their Way onto the First Page of Google Search Results?

Michael Mothner - Founder & CEO - Wpromote

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It’s an ongoing challenge for retailers without the resources of an Amazon to rank high in search results, and the first page of Google search results is where it begins. What do the retailers who show up at the top of natural search results do to get there, and stay there? In this session, an e-retailer will share how it maintains a top position on key terms in Google search results. You’ll come away with new ideas on what you can do to improve your own rankings.

Monday, March 16, 2015 - 2:45pm to 3:00pm

Break

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Monday, March 16, 2015 - 3:00pm to 3:30pm

Design Basics for SEO

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Search engine optimization – creating your site so that its content is easily found and indexed by search engines and ranks high in search results – is a challenge even for the experienced e-retailer. It starts with an understanding of the basic activities that constitute SEO and how you can push those levers though your design choices to draw more traffic from natural search to your site. This session will cover the ground floor of SEO to get you on the right track and prepare you for the next level. It will also provide real life examples as a way to help retailers understand how to work great SEO into a design — and what to avoid to prevent being penalized by Google.

Monday, March 16, 2015 - 3:30pm to 4:15pm

Live SEO Reviews: Following the Rules to Rise High in Google Search

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The SEO Day will wrap up with live, on-the-spot reviews of SEO practices at sites volunteered from the floor. Our expert will analyze how well sites meet SEO best practices — or by how far they are falling short. Whether or not your site is chosen for revew, you’re sure to learn a lot by observing and analyzing what your competitors are doing.

Monday, March 16, 2015 - 8:45am to 9:00am

Welcome and Introduction: The Evolution of Mobile Design

Bill Siwicki - Managing Editor, Mobile - Internet Retailer

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The Mobile Design workshop will kick off with a summary of the latest design trends in mobile, with an emphasis on how to make mobile sites and apps conducive to closing sales. Internet Retailer’s head of mobile coverage will draw on original research from the Mobile 500 Guide to highlight trends in the evolution of site and app design.

Monday, March 16, 2015 - 9:00am to 9:45am

Which is the Tastiest Flavor of Responsive Design?

Michael Facemire - Principal Analyst - Forrester Research

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As responsive design continues to evolve from its “pure” roots to the varied “hybrid” approaches of today, retailers that want to go responsive are left to wonder which flavor of hybrid responsive design is best. Innovative developers and vendors are driving evolution. For example, mobile commerce vendors such as Moovweb and UniteU Technologies have devised unique ways to employ hybrid responsive design specifically to speed up mobile page loads while offering more robust mobile shopping experiences. Michael Facemire, a Forrester Research analyst and a site and app developer who specializes in mobile and responsive design, highlights a variety of hybrid responsive design approaches and discusses their pros and cons.

Monday, March 16, 2015 - 9:45am to 10:15am

Innovative Design Makes Responsive Look Great

Eric Freedman - Vice President, Sales, Marketing - AeroDesigns Inc.

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AeroLife.com is among the best-looking, and certainly most unique, responsive design web sites in retail. On desktops, tablets and phones, web site content appears in bubbles of varying sizes that float from top to bottom and side to side, perfectly fitting the size of the screen of any device. The bubbles are meant to mimic air particles, much in the way that AeroLife delivers nutrition to its customers. Parent company AeroDesigns launched the “pure” responsive design site in November 2013. After the first six months, the average mobile conversion rate jumped from 1% to 4%. AeroDesigns’ marketing chief discusses where the retailer’s novel approach to responsive design came from, how it worked with developer Growth Spark to create and deploy the site, and suggestions for other retailers looking to  spice up responsive design sites.

Monday, March 16, 2015 - 10:15am to 10:30am

Break

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Monday, March 16, 2015 - 10:30am to 11:00am

When a Mobile Site Beats a Responsive Site

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Responsive design is like the mythical Sirens of yore: Once an e-commerce director hears the inviting call, that building just one site serves all kinds of devices, it's hard to resist. That's why more retailers are going responsive. But some retailers are swimming against the tide. They've carefully considered the options, one responsive site versus separate sites for different mobile devices, and have concluded that building mobile-optimized sites is actually the better path for them. Our speaker is one such retailer that debuted its m-commerce site for phones in April 2014. He’ll reveal several key reasons a separate site for phones beats responsive design, and the results it’s seen to date.

Monday, March 16, 2015 - 11:00am to 11:45am

Tablet Sites: Balancing Ease of Use and Richness

Chris Mason - Chief Executive Officer - Branding Brand

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Tablets will soon dominate mobile commerce and eventually may dominate all of e-commerce as more shoppers shift web activity at home from desktops and laptops to tablets. This makes designing for tablet shoppers more important than ever. Like tablets themselves, tablet sites must be easy to use. But consumers expect a rich experience: Just because they shift from desktop to tablet doesn’t mean they no longer need the features and functions on desktop sites that help them make buying decisions. Our e-retail speaker launched a robust tablet-optimized site that features everything its desktop site offers but in a tablet-friendly way; for example, emphasizing big, high-resolution images and offering buttons with easy-to-understand icons. Our second speaker from Branding Brand will outline how to build an optimal tablet site, from strategy through deployment.

Monday, March 16, 2015 - 11:45am to 12:15pm

Newegg Mobile 4.0: Redesigning a Mobile App

Ross Higgins - Director, User Experience, Design, Newegg - Newegg

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Known for its consumer electronics product assortment, e-retailer Newegg also stays abreast of technical advances in how it builds digital shopping tools for customers. After Apple came out with its iOS 7 update, Newegg launched a completely redesigned iPhone app to take advantage of new capabilities introduced in iOS 7. Called Newegg Mobile 4.0, the app allows customers to personalize their home pages and sign up to receive notifications on their iPhones when products they’ve liked become available or drop in price. New search and navigation features allow customers to sort items by category and deals, and to select multiple search filters at once. They can also compare products side by side. And product listings in the new app include more detailed images and specifications, and more than 1.7 million consumer reviews. Our speaker will discuss how the Newegg team dreamed up the new look and features, who in the company was involved, and how the team brought its vision to life.

Monday, March 16, 2015 - 12:15pm to 1:15pm

Lunch

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Monday, March 16, 2015 - 2:00pm to 2:45pm

Speeding the Path from Mobile Ad to Purchase – Right on Your Phone

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The practice of deep linking can launch an app that already resides on a consumer’s mobile phone when the consumer clicks on an ad served on the phone. And the app thus launched can be designed to include the opportunity to buy the advertised product — right from the phone. In this session, learn why deep linking is a new step forward in mobile advertising and how it can shorten the path to purchase. You’ll hear how and why to make your own app friendly for deep linking. And you’ll hear about the implementation and results achieved directly from a retailer who uses deep linking.

Monday, March 16, 2015 - 2:45pm to 3:00pm

Break

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Monday, March 16, 2015 - 3:00pm to 3:30pm

How Mobile Design Will Evolve in the Next Five Years

Julie Ask - Vice President, Principal Analyst - Forrester Research

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Retailers already separate tablets from phones in measuring traffic, but five years from now, retailers will have much more distinct strategies for tablet shoppers versus phone shoppers. The behaviors are different, and the experiences are different — and that affects design for both phones and tablets. In five years, experts say, new features like cameras and gesture-based and voice control will allow consumers to have an even more immersive shopping experiences on tablets. And emerging functionalities will similarly create new possibilities on phone screens that will alter design priorities. In this session, get a peek into the future of how mobile technology in development today could affect design for mobile sites and tablets tomorrow.

Monday, March 16, 2015 - 3:30pm to 4:15pm

Epic Wins and Epic Fails: Some Great and Not-So-Great Mobile Efforts

Carissa Ganelli - Chief Executive Officer, Founder - LightningBuy

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There’s nothing like outside, objective commentary to help marketers zero in on where a web site, mobile site, app or marketing plan needs improvement. Every week, m-commerce consultants at LightningBuy send out a critique of mobile sites and mobile marketing efforts. The IRCE Focus: Digital Design Mobile Design Workshop will end with a fast-paced look at some of the biggest gaffes LightningBuy has uncovered. They will be balanced by some of the biggest wins that LightningBuy consultants have encountered. The goal: Learn from others’ mistakes and successes.

Main Day 1 - March 17

The first day of IRCE Focus: Digital Design offers two afternoon tracks following main stage presentations. Basics of Great Design - Effective e-commerce site design starts with a solid foundation. This track introduces key concepts including design elements, usability and SEO requirements and other factors critical to success. Design Strategies - This track offers insights about factors affecting design and development, from the effects of color to the habits on online fashion buyers to what to consider when timing multiple launches.

 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - 8:30am to 9:00am

KEYNOTE: The Race for Relevance: How Overstock.com Keeps its Site Design Ahead of the Evolving Consumer

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An early leader in the online retailing revolution, Overstock.com now ranks No. 31 in the Top 500 Guide. Overstock started in 1999 with a name that described its merchandise. Today, it is a mass merchant of electronics, jewelry, apparel and many other items and a fashion leader in home furnishings. Its expansion into many new product categories, including its recent announcement to become an insurance hub, requires Overstock to keep in mind the ever-present challenges of moving shoppers to the items they want while giving them the opportunity to discover what else Overstock offers. The president of Overstock.com will talk about how the company’s web site design keeps up with its evolving product mix, how it often leads the way in new designs and initiatives and how the company benefits from being a leader in web site design and usability.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - 9:00am to 9:30am

FEATURED PRESENTATION: What Your Refrigerator Is Trying to Tell You: Peapod Pioneers Next-Generation Shopping

Thomas Parkinson - Co-Founder, Chief Technology Officer - Peapod

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Peapod was a pioneer of online grocery shopping, shortening the path from shopping list to purchase by making it possible to buy on the web and arrange delivery with a few clicks of a mouse. Then it trimmed that path further by mobilizing grocery shopping, launching mobile apps that let consumers shop away from the desktop. Mobile now drives 40% of sales.  Peapod’s latest:  a slick new mobile-first web site based on the principles of responsive design and positioned for the future, built on open APIs that will allow its web site to connect with mobile phones, smart TVs and even web-enabled cars and refrigerators. Peapod co-founder and chief technology officer Thomas Parkinson shares how mobile will be at the heart of all future retailing and what retailers can do today to get ready for tomorrow.

Sessions by Track

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 (All day)

Design or Redesign: Creating the Foundation for a Great Web Experience

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Effective e-retail site design starts with having a solid foundation in understanding the building blocks of design and how they all work together. In sessions that introduce key concepts to e-commerce newcomers and revisit important lessons for veterans, this track explains what digital merchants need to know about the design elements that give a site its look, how usability and SEO requirements should help shape design, and other factors that are critical to creating a successful site.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - 10:30am to 11:00am

10 Sites with Design Lessons from the Internet Retailer Hot 100

Don Davis - Editor In Chief - Internet Retailer

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Every year, Internet Retailer magazine recognizes The Hot 100—sites with interesting design, usability and approaches to e-retailing that provides an example for others to learn from. Don Davis, editor in chief, will review the criteria for choosing the Hot 100 then call out 10 sites that have particularly interesting, novel or instructional approaches to success in online retailing.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - 11:00am to 11:45am

Basics of E-Commerce Site Design: Building a Foundation

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A shopping cart, home page, product pages, navigation and checkout are the bare-bones design pieces of an e-commerce site. Picking one from each column sounds easy enough, but each decision represents a world of choices. This session will provide a checklist of the design elements you need to assemble an effective web site, some options for each and what those different options are likely to communicate to your audience: product pages spare, or content-packed? Home page hero shot, or lots of deals? Even: Where should I place the search box and buy button? It also will dip into social media and how you can begin to incorporate social into your site’s design and functionality.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - 11:45am to 12:30pm

Usability: Design’s Partner in Site Success

Rick Medeiros - Executive Director, Global Usability, User Experience - Lenovo

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Not everyone who understands the basic concepts of design has a similar understanding of usability – or even the importance of usability as vital to effective site design. Beyond the visual appeal of design elements such as product images, color and fonts, and merchandising features that engage shoppers, usability—the ability to move through the site and complete needed tasks—is the workhorse that keeps directing shoppers toward purchase. This session will address usability, how it affects conversion and pointers on the basic elements that usability demands of design.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

LUNCH BREAK

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Enjoy lunch and a break to visit the exhibit hall featuring more than 60 vendors who will help grow your eCommerce business.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - 1:30pm to 2:00pm

Reality Show: How Live Reviews Gave Rise to Great Web Design

Shari Doggett - President, CEO, Founder - Factory Direct Craft

Kevin Huynh - President, CEO - The Nail Superstore

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In this session, two e-retailers who subjected themselves to the critiques of Live Reviews at a past Digital Design conference will share what they learned and what they implemented to improve their sites as a result of recommendations made by design experts. Attendees will see compelling “before” and “after” visuals that illustrate how even a simple tweak can make a big difference in how shoppers navigate a site, how much time they spend, how deep into a site they delve and ultimately, what design and functionality enhancements led them to the Buy button. Our speakers from Factory Direct Craft and The Nail Superstore will share why they bravely volunteered their web sites to be displayed and dissected – warts and all -- before their peers and how the sting of criticism quickly fades when great ideas emerge to improve the site. This session is designed for those new to e-commerce who feel a little overwhelmed by all the choices and decisions to be made. It will prove inspiring to those who accept that web site design is always a work in progress and the industry is all learning together.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - 2:00pm to 2:30pm

Optimizing Checkout Pages

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The checkout process remains one of the most important pages on e-commerce sites. After drawing customers through the conversion funnel, checkout is where the sale closes, or gets lost in the last mile.  Improvements to checkout pages aren’t flashy or eye-catching like the changes that update a site’s home or product pages, but their effectiveness, measured in the speed to complete all necessary tasks, is key to an e-commerce site’s success. This session will address the challenges to swift and easy checkout, such as security requirements, usability and whether to add or leave out features that can either upsell or distract – and how to resolve them.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - 3:15pm to 4:00pm

What Everybody Needs to Know About Mobile Design

Eli Weiss - Director, Mobile Commerce - B&H Photo

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Consumers’ increasing use of mobile devices to access the web raises design questions for e-retailers—How should the design of my e-commerce site be adapted for mobile screens or tablet screens?  What should I add or leave out in seeking effective display and navigation on different types of screens? For any e-retailer, design decisions on optimizing for mobile are best started by determining the why of any approach, vs. the how. In this session, learn the display opportunities and challenges attached to different types of mobile devices and the questions you should answer first in deciding whether to adapt your site design for mobile or create new designs.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - 4:00pm to 4:45pm

Live Reviews: Where Does Your Design Shine or Fall Short?

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With the basics of web site design covered earlier in the day, attendees at this end-of-day session will be ready for some of the most useful advice of all: the chance for a live review of their own site that will offer specific information from our experts on what they’re doing right and where to go next in their ongoing efforts to improve site design. Attendees can volunteer their URLs from the floor for on-the-spot feedback and tips in a friendly, relaxed setting. Whether or not your site is reviewed, there will plenty of learning for all.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - 10:30am to 11:00am

How Color Choice and Design Elements Drive the “Buy” Button

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The human brain processes visuals exponentially faster than text, and colors stir a whole spectrum of emotions and actions, including the coveted click on the Buy button. In this session, a web designer and a retailer will demonstrate how effective use of color and other foundational web design components, including “snackable content,” can influence purchasing decisions.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - 11:00am to 11:30am

Mobile vs. Web: When Two Designs Are Better Than One

Danny Gavin - Director of Marketing - Brian Gavin Diamonds

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As e-retailers wrestle with how to make mobile work with their web designs, some have taken a two-pronged approach of designing separate web and mobile designs. That allows them to take maximum advantage of the design properties the web creates without sacrificing for the constricted format of mobile, all the while permitting them to optimize the benefits of a mobile site. Our speaker in this session has adopted just such an approach and he will lay out why his company took  this two-pronged approach, the benefits the company has realized as a result and how the strategy might evolve as mobile traffic and sales grow.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - 11:30am to 12:00pm

Mobile Mania: Designing Everything at Once

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When it comes to mobile, many marketers don’t know where to start. In this session, a leading e-retailer will show how it solved that dilemma by crafting an overarching mobile design and approach all at once, in quick succession deploying a new phone site, a tablet site, a phone app and a tablet app. While that process created logistical and management challenges, it paid off by providing managers with key mobile insights as sites and apps were developed. And it saved time and frustration by ensuring that as the process evolved, everything worked together. Our speaker will explain how the company managed the process, how it selected a vendor to help it achieve its mobile goals and what it learned along the way.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - 1:00pm to 1:45pm

Winning Game Design Tactics that Work for E-Retailers

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Good game design captures the imagination with a story, prompts and rewards specific actions and creates a must-return-to-play impulse. Customized graphics – such as a spinning basketball to indicate an action is under way for a sports e-retailer rather than the standard spinning circle – and clear, instant feedback to user input keep gamers engaged. And they are highly effective for online shoppers, too. Our speakers, whose design experience straddles the gaming and e-retail worlds, will share five powerful design tactics borrowed from game design that will enhance and extend the shopping experience in a playful – and profitable – manner.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - 1:45pm to 2:15pm

Inject Design Flair, Fun and Imagination to Energize Everyday Products Online

Lissa Cupp - Chief Marketing Officer - Chalkfly

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Purveyors of pedestrian product already know: Shoppers don’t view their goods as mere commodities. They choose to visit a site because they want – and need -- what the retailer is selling. But with many web sites to choose from, sellers of everyday products face a heightened challenge of getting consumers to buy at their site rather than from competitors’. Success comes when you tap into what makes commodity shoppers tick, inject a little whimsy and lose the cluttered catalog page design. In this session, office supplies e-retailer Chalkfly will show how a conversational manner (in print and live chat), use of vibrant colors and intimate knowledge of shoppers inspire an empathetic voice that makes shopping fun and not a chore.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - 3:00pm to 3:30pm

Design Lessons from the Red Carpet Divas

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By the time the IRCE Focus: Digital Design conference takes place, the Oscars will have just wrapped up.  Hollywood glitterati provide a “teachable moment” to web managers with design practices you can apply to your web site. Our speaker blends his web optimization smarts with fashion savvy to illustrate how that celebrated killer gown embodies the design components your web site needs and how that much-mocked dress of the evening shows you what to avoid when your goal is to engage and enchant.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - 3:30pm to 4:00pm

Factors that Influence Conversion on Fashion Sites

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Apparel is one of the top categories of products consumer purchase online. And because they attract some of the most design-conscious shoppers on the web, fashion retailers serve up some of the slickest sites with the most forward-looking design elements and functions. This session will examine what features most engage and drive purchases among the demanding yet fickle online fashion customer, and at the same time offer tips on styling a successful a web site with lessons for all e-retailers.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - 4:00pm to 4:45pm

Apps that Shine: What Separates the Best Apps from Everybody Else

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Consumers can choose from millions of apps for mobile devices. With such a large universe, not everyone can stand out. But creating an app that does shine gives you a competitive advantage. In this fast-paced session, the CEO of App Annie, a mobile app analytics company that tracks millions of apps across all of the major app stores, will report on his company’s analysis of a massive number of apps and metrics. He will explain what successful apps have in common, what common app errors to avoid, and how to zero in on the metrics that will make your app stand out and ignore those that will not add to your bottom line.

Main Day 2 - March 18

Day two of IRCE Focus: Digital Design offers two afternoon tracks following main stage presentations. Social will explore strategies and tactics that welcome and reward savvy shoppers, including creative ways to exploit customer-created content. Usability, Testing and Performance reinforces that pretty in not enough in web design. Learn from real life examples of usability, behavior testing and optimizing performance, including a focus on video content.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015 - 9:00am to 9:30am

FEATURED PRESENTATION: Responsive Design: The Year-One Lessons That Build an Even Better Year Two

Michael Layne - Director, Internet Marketing - Fathead

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Some e-retailers are still just getting their arms around responsive web design, where a single web site adjusts to the size of the screen a visitor is viewing, any screen, all from one code base and one set of web content. Increasing responsive design is being deployed in new and different ways. Should retailers incorporate responsive design, how do they incorporate it, and most importantly, what will responsive mean to sales? Just past the two-year mark on a responsive design that underlies its presence on desktops, smartphones and tablets, Fathead.com has answers. In 2013, the first full year of its responsive design, sales rose 5%, driven largely by a whopping 74% increase in mobile sales. Fathead may have chosen the responsive route based on solid study, but it’s blasting toward year three of the implementation based on solid results. In this session, find out what this pioneer of web design has learned about responsive design, how the changes it’s made as a result now drive even stronger performance and how it’s staying a step ahead of this fast-evolving web design approach.

Sessions by Track

Wednesday, March 18, 2015 - 10:30am to 11:00am

One Year Later: The Social Remake of a Teen Apparel Site

Jennifer Fitzpatrick - Social Media, Brand Manager - Deb Shops

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Early in 2014, teen fashion retailer Deb Shops relaunched its web site with one of the strongest and most ambitious social orientations among online retailers. Central to the social strategy is the Social Hub, which posts feeds from six social networks where Deb Shops’ customers are active. The idea is to re-post content that teen fans had posted at the six sites using the hashtag #debshops. In addition, DebShops.com includes daily style inspirational photos and content, Style Chats, in which a style expert answers questions and encourages other participants to provide input and answers, and Deb Shops’ Tumblr posts feature girls who have a signature style and can serve as role models to others looking for fashion advice and ideas. Jennifer Fitzpatrick, who heads up the social initiative, will provide a one-year update, with details about what worked, what didn’t work and what’s next.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015 - 11:00am to 11:45am

As Social Marketing Spikes, SEO sinks: How to Design for Today’s New Marketing Tactics

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Social networks become more important as more consumers begin their online activities at social sites. Some marketers are now investing more in social marketing than in search marketing. That shift has big implications for the design of a retail web site. For a decade and a half, marketers have been optimizing their sites to show up high in natural search results. But now, many of those SEO techniques could become less important. Without adapting to the new reality, a marketer could continue to optimize for SEO, when the design should actually target shoppers with a social orientation. This session will examine the challenges marketers face when they must make the transition to a stronger emphasis on social. Our speaker will also explain how to balance the ongoing traffic from search engines with the traffic coming from social sites—and how to recalibrate when social traffic grows.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015 - 11:45am to 12:15pm

Shoppers Want to Help Close the Sale – Make it Easy and Fun

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Shoppers who have scrutinized a product purchase relish the opportunity to share their knowledge and Pinterest has trained them to do that in organized and authoritative fashion. E-retailers who ride this momentum by incorporating Pinterest-like design and features on their own sites encourage the personal interactions among consumers that close the sale. Hear how our speaker evaluated the design implications of Pinterest before adding functionality that allows visitors to “pin” and share images. The enhanced features not only help shoppers discover products but also yield insights that allow the retailer to better understand what interests shoppers most.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015 - 12:15pm to 1:30pm

Lunch

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015 - 1:30pm to 2:15pm

Tap the Spigot of Happy Snaps and other Free Content to Reward and Convert

Jessica Wells - Vice President, Social Marketing - Chico’s FAS

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Consumers can’t stop snapping photos and are, for the most part, happy and flattered when you add their work to your site. Encourage and reward content contributors and you can count on a steady flow of free, fresh material with authenticity that carries over not only to the product but to the corporate brand. In this session, Chico’s FAS will divulge what types of photos have proven to be attention-grabbers versus those that lead to a sale. The fashion retailers will also outline best practices for managing consumer-generated content so the task does not overwhelm your team. Our second speaker from a photo management company will share good practices for curating content, managing captions, and creating color schemes that consistently produce good results.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015 - 2:15pm to 3:00pm

Picture Perfect: See What People Post and Share to Optimize Your Site’s Image Content

Laney Crowell - Director, Online Communications - Estee Lauder

Apu Gupta - Chief Executive Officer - Curalate

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Instagram and Pinterest are packed with images created and collected by consumers. And what people choose to post and share online offers retailers a wealth of guidance for what kind of content to produce for their own sites to appeal to consumers and encourage them to share and to buy. This session offers a tutorial on the kinds of images consumers share and how that knowledge can be used to determine what kind of site content to prioritize. You’ll learn how to find patterns in the massive image content visible on social sites, where to look and how to spot developing trends to help get the most out of image content on your own site.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015 - 3:00pm to 3:30pm

How Social Sharing Affects Site Design

Josh Levine - Chief Experience Officer, Co-Founder - Ai

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Social sharing of consumers’ tweets, blogs, Facebook and Pinterest posts about retailers and products can increase your e-commerce’s site’s reach exponentially. But incorporating opportunities for social sharing into your site is just the start – the placement of social icons or sharable content, usability of social features and many other design decisions will affect not only the look of your site, but the degree to which consumers choose to share what you want them to share. This session will address how to incorporate social into your site design for the best results.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015 - 10:30am to 11:15am

IE, Firefox, Safari, Chrome: What’s a Designer to Do?

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A few years ago, web site designers optimized for Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. Designers who are still doing that are certainly losing sales. Internet Explorer’s market share is under pressure from Firefox and Google Chrome and, to a lesser extent, Apple’s Safari and Opera. A competitive market in browsers means sites must accommodate all equally—and enough differences exist among the browsers that one design will definitely not fit all. This session will examine the differences among browsers and help executives and designers analyze the most crucial elements that sites need to optimize.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015 - 11:15am to 12:00pm

Faster! Faster! Satisfying the Need for Speed

Russell Ackner - Vice President of Marketing - World of Watches

Peter Blum - Vice President, Product, - Instart Logic

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Web shoppers’ demand for speedy site load time continues to rise, especially among those simultaneously juggling multiple devices. Poor performance gets punished and that laggard reputation is hard to shake even after technical issues are corrected. Our first speaker will provide context about how e-retailers are confronting shoppers’ relentless desire for more and more, faster and faster. Our second speaker from World of Watches will address how to provide fantastic imagery without compromising resolution or load time performance.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015 - 12:00pm to 12:45pm

Do Your Instincts Match How Consumers Shop?

Scott Kincaid - Vice President, User Experience - Usability Sciences

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How well can you anticipate how shoppers will use your web site? Put your instincts to the test with this interactive usability testing session. Our speaker from Usability Sciences recruited consumers to participate in shopping expeditions in a lab environment. With no prompting from usability testers, shoppers were asked to choose an item to buy, go online and find it. The lab recorded their shopping experiences and running commentary as they searched for and bought their items. A usability expert will provide his own insights as the videos of the shopper play. He will pause the tape before each crucial step and give the audience the opportunity to guess, using mobile feedback options, what the shopper will do next. You might be surprised at how right—or how wrong—you are. Our speaker will conclude each session with takeaways that attendees can apply to their own site redesigns.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015 - 12:45pm to 2:00pm

Lunch

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015 - 2:00pm to 2:30pm

Consumers Hate Mobile Sites (Here's the Fix!)

Timothy Peterson - E-Commerce Director - MaxximaStyle.com

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Many e-retailers have gone too far in streamlining to make things quick and easy, cutting features and functions crucial to purchasing decisions. But retailers must be careful not to cut too much in the name of performance. In this session, hear how MaxximaStyle.com confronted competing demands for fast load time and the need to include elements that appeal to customers in the recent launch of its hybrid responsive design mobile site. Learn how to balance design choices so that added features and page weight don’t compromise conversion but actually boost it.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015 - 2:30pm to 3:00pm

How to Make Sure Video Leads to Sales and Not Site Abandonment

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A well thought-out video strategy can boost sales. Most e-retailers pay a lot of attention to product pitch, on-screen talent and merchandising. But many overlook the basics of video—technology, hosting, format, analytics, testing and so on. Not paying attention to those crucial areas can cost a retailer a lot of lost revenue. This session will examine the foundation of a good video experience and help attendees sort through such issues as process/workflow to create an effective video, how to determine playback and hosting methods, A/B testing, analytics, bandwidth requirements, choosing third-party vendors and many other important topics. Our speaker is an expert in video.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015 - 3:00pm to 3:45pm

Live Test Drives: Learn in Real Time How Well Consumers Can Shop Your Site

Danielle Savin - Director, Retail Strategy Consulting - Lyons Consulting Group

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You have a great site – it’s easy to navigate and even your grandmother can find her way around it. But is it as great as you think? This is your chance to put your site to consumer scrutiny. Volunteers from the audience will call up attendees’ sites and perform tasks assigned to them by design and merchandising experts. The audience will be able to see how well consumers visiting your site for the first time navigate and reach the shopping cart. Our experts will provide advice on design changes that could smooth the process.