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Signifyd’s virtual conference offers retailers a playbook for better ecommerce

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Retail can be a lonely business.

The competition is fierce. The industry changes at warp speed. Products and trends that were smoking hot last month, suddenly turn listless. It can all leave some retail professionals wondering whether they’re the only ones who just aren’t getting it.

Speakers at FLOW Forward 2020

Rite Aid’s Dean Bowerman on the nine pillars of ecommerce

Featured speaker Michelle Beeson, Forrester analyst

Ty Collins, co-founder of Rad Power Bikes

Corey Messom, Astound Commerce

Charley Moore, Mack Weldon

Peter Sheldon, Adobe commerce strategist

Those, of course, are the rough days. There are plenty of good days too. Days when that brainstorm that hit you on the way to work actually pays off. Days when poring through the data makes a difference, because what you saw as a coming trend actually comes along. 

But who do you share the challenges and victories with? How do you share your wisdom while also picking up some surprising insights from others?

FLOW Forward Summit is Signifyd’s debut virtual conference

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the company’s first virtual summit. It will be a gathering with all the important trappings of a retail trade show held in a crowded convention center, but one you can participate in while sitting at your desk — or on your couch for that matter. 

The conference is a way for the learning to continue despite the cancellation of a number of large retail trade shows in the face of COVID-19. It has been months in the making and it will feature some of retail’s leading lights from industry leaders Rite Aid, Adobe, Astound Commerce, Rad Power Bikes, Forrester and others. In keynote and breakout sessions, they will tackle subjects presenting some of retail’s biggest challenges and opportunities, covering the direct-to-consumer revolution, the key pillars to running ecommerce right and stories of retailers who’ve found the path to success. 

We’ll go a little deeper on the conference agenda in a minute, but first we should say that the conference is a reflection of Signifyd’s belief that commerce deserves community — that retail is at its best when practitioners learn from each other. Or commiserate with each other. Or celebrate with each other. 

We started building a community of fearless commerce leaders with our FLOW events, drinks and dinner with a fireside chat and awards ceremony in cities across the country. The evenings give retailers a chance to mingle with peers and compare notes. It has fostered relationships that otherwise might have had trouble getting ignited, given the hectic pace of retail. 

“I’m always looking for a chance to share insights with fellow ecommerce leaders and hear about professional journeys, like the one Hims’ Jack Abraham shared at FLOW in San Francisco,” Jamie Ceccato, risk team lead at BUILD.com, told me after the event. “FLOW provided a beautiful setting for an intimate evening of networking and learning. I can’t wait for my next chance to attend.” 

We expanded the power of FLOW by launching our FLOW Forward online community, a digital professional network that allows retail experts to learn, share ideas and engage in conversation with each other. 

Bringing fearless commerce leaders together was the next logical step

It seemed only natural that we’d bring the ecommerce community together for a day of learning and discussion about how to do ecommerce better. The three tracks of sessions will allow attendees to assemble a playbook of inspirational strategies for molding a successful ecommerce enterprise built for now and the future.

No one trend appears to be disrupting retail more than the direct-to-consumer movement. Yes, it’s been around awhile and its definition is notoriously squishy. One thing most everyone agrees on, though, is that direct-to-consumer can’t be ignored.

Featured speaker Michelle Beeson, an eBusiness and channel strategist from Forrester, will dig into why that is, in a session called, “All Brands Need a Direct to Consumer Digital Strategy” — in case there was any doubt. 

Beeson’s presentation will help firm up those squishy definitions by laying out the elements of a direct-to-consumer strategy. She’ll discuss both the upstart digital startups known as digitally native retailers and provide a look at legacy brands that have realized they need to connect directly with consumers in order to protect margins and increase their access to data. 

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Attendees will also hear the stories of successful direct-to-consumer retailers and from D-to-C retailers themselves.

Meanwhile, Rad Power Bikes’ Co-Founder Ty Collins and Charley Moore, vice president, finance & operations at Mack Weldon, will talk with Signifyd Senior Vice President Marketing & Alliances Indy Guha about the path to D-to-C.

Rad Power Bikes, you might well be aware, just raised a $25 million round of venture capital on top of a previous round and investment from ecommerce notables. The Seattle-based retailer started out in a garage, as startups do, but has since opened brick-and-mortar stores and intends to open more according to GeekWire.

Those attending the conference will also hear how some venerable brands are reacting and succeeding in the era of the digital native. Dean Bowerman, vice president of digital marketing and ecommerce at Rite Aid, will detail the nine pillars that are essential for ecommerce success.

FLOW Forward Summit will feature ecommerce success stories

And Corey Messom, managing director, Canada, for Astound Commerce, will dig into how Toys R Us turned to technology to make sure that it would succeed despite the difficult conditions brought on by digital disruption.

But wait, there’s more. Peter Sheldon, senior director of commerce strategy at Adobe, will focus on the importance of experience in the world of retail and ecommerce.

The conference will also give attendees a look at what’s new in Signifyd’s line of products, including the announcement of a sweeping innovation that we wouldn’t want to spoil here. Signifyd’s product leaders will take conference-goers through detailed demos and outline the advantages the product improvements bring to retailers.

As a way of underscoring why constant improvements are needed in the fraud protection field, Signifyd’s customer success team of fraud experts will run down a chilling list of the latest fraud schemes that the company is tackling. They’ll also cover what is being seen as the next wave of consumer abuse, a category of misdeeds that is expected to challenge payment fraud in terms of volume in the coming years.

Oh, and don’t worry, they will also have some suggestions regarding what to do about it.

In fact, fraud, consumer abuse and what to do about them, can be among those things that make retail a lonely business at times. But it is events like the FLOW Forward Summit 2020 — and others — that remind us all that in retail you’re never really alone.

You just need to have a place to make the connection.

Photo by Signifyd

Mike Cassidy

Mike is lead storyteller at Signifyd. A former journalist and a retail geek, he covers ecommerce and the way technology is transforming digital commerce. Contact him at mike.cassidy@signifyd.com; follow him on Twitter at @mikecassidy.