5 Not-to-Miss Sessions at

We’re gearing up for one of the year’s biggest retail shows,, which takes place next week in sunny Los Angeles. There’s plenty to be paying attention to right now, from harnessing the power of bots to garnering more loyalty, and we can’t to hear what this year’s roundup of thought experts and industry leaders are thinking and talking about as we head into the 2017 holiday season and beyond.Below, we highlight five sessions that we plan on attending (and we think you should, too) during next week’s

Fast Company presents: Innovating the customer experience (Tuesday, 9/26 @ 10:15 a.m.)

Hosted by Gunnar Lovelace, Founder and CSO at Thrive Market, and Brian Tilzer, SVP and Chief Digital Officer of CVS Caremark (and moderated by Fast Company Contributing Editor Varena Von Pfetten), this session promises to help retailers who are looking to engage through their digital channels more meaningfully.In today’s world, a brand’s in-store and online experiences need to not only peacefully coexist but also complement and transition between one another seamlessly. That means retailers need to take a look at how they can use technology and creativity to bridge the gap between digital and brick-and-mortar, simplifying the lives of their consumers and gaining more loyalty in the process. We think this forward-looking session is a great place to start.

Putting the instant in instant gratification (Tuesday, 9/26 @ 1:30 p.m.)

We all know that once the modern consumer decides she wants something, she expects it yesterday. This session, hosted by West Elm’s VP of Innovation Luke Chatelain and Target’s Senior Director of Site Merchandising Grace Glenny (and moderated by CEO of SpeedCurve Tammy Everts), will feature the UX experts sharing advice on how to utilize emerging technologies so that you can deliver better experiences to your customers with more speed and precision.This informative session promises to get down to the nitty gritty of why load speed, user perceived speed, caching, and new browser capabilities really matter, and explain how retailers can optimize their mobile experiences to meet consumer expectations.

Loyalty building strategies from cult brands (Tuesday, 9/26 @ 2:30 p.m.)

With reps from Soko Glam (Co-Founder and CEO Dave Cho), Dolls Kill (Co-Founder and CEO Bobby Farahi), and Allbirds (Co-Founder Joey Zwillinger) all on this panel about how building a cult following, you know you’re going to end up with some pretty stellar takeaways. From really getting to know your customer to telling the right story with the right content in the right places, this session is poised to share a bevy of tips about how to connect with consumers on a personal level so that you can reap both their trust and loyalty.According to the session summary, you’ll walk away with “steal-worthy examples of loyalty-building tactics,” learn “how storytelling can nurture customer relationships,” and even find out how you can use BI to better engage with your customer. Now that’s some how-to advice we can definitely get behind.

DSW’s brand revitalization story: inspiring self-expression (Wednesday, 9/27@ 10:30 a.m.)

DSW Inc. CEO Roger Rawlins is set to talk through the company’s recent efforts to set itself even farther apart apart from the footwear pack. We’re excited to hear him reveal how the team has been rethinking its technology strategy, delivering unique and relevant experiences to customers, and changing up the brand aesthetic without taking away from its roots.We love that DSW is building a business strategy that’s customer-centric, and we can’t wait to hear Rawlin’s advice for other brands looking to take a similar approach.

Conversational commerce and the rise of the robot (Wednesday, 9/27 @ 1:15 p.m.)

If you couldn’t tell from our previous blog posts, we here at Narvar have a bit of a crush on bots and other AI-driven customer service technologies. It’d be safe to assume, then, that this session hosted by Joyce Lee, Retail Innovation Lead at Google, and Jennifer Tvedt, Global Director of Project Management and Performance Innovation at Nike, Inc. (moderated by CEO and Founder of OAK Healey Cypher) is one we’re particularly giddy about.Is chatbot-driven commerce and customer service the way of the future? What’s the best way to start thinking about using them within your overall strategy? These are a just a couple of the questions that we hope get answered during the session.We hope to see you at one of these sessions! And feel free to come say hi at Booth 439.

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