1. Technology & Innovation

Retail Innovation Conference & Expo 2024: The Latest News on Sessions, Speakers & Experiences

Taking place June 4-6, 2024, in Chicago, the Retail Innovation Conference & Expo is the must-attend event for retail execs to dig into cutting-edge topics and trends.

Are you ready to explore the evolved customer journey? The Retail TouchPoints team is reporting on all the news breaking before, during and after the Retail Innovation Conference & Expo, taking place June 4-6, 2024, at McCormick Place in Chicago. This year, we’ll hear senior-level executives’ perspectives on how customer experiences are evolving as content, community and commerce converge. Keep visiting this hub to get the latest and greatest content related to the show!

Register now to take advantage of the discounted pricing before rates go up on April 19!

About the Retail Innovation Conference & Expo

The Retail Innovation Conference & Expo (also known as RICE) aims to bring together emerging brands and established omnichannel players alike to dig into the topics and trends shaping the future of retail.

With an emphasis on customer experience, RICE has three tailored tracks to reflect the distinct interests and needs of its key audience members.


Marketing, advertising and digital practitioners can expect candid conversations on new channels and tactics that drive acquisition and retention. Planned topics include:


If you’re tasked with customer retention and loyalty and are trying to uncover new ways to cultivate community, then this track is for you. Senior leaders will have candid conversations about:


Retail executives and analysts will explore the future of commerce and how the convergence of content, community and commerce will drive future technology investments. Sessions will explore:

Tackling the Latest C-Suite Issues

The retail community wants to hear directly from C-level executives on how they’re tackling foundational issues that drive business growth and differentiation. To facilitate these conversations and connections, the Retail Innovation Conference & Expo team has added the C-Suite Corner to its programming. Speakers will reveal:

  • How they’re investing in global growth and expansion;
  • New sustainability investments and success measures;
  • How they’re prioritizing the fundamentals of operational efficiency and performance;
  • Workforce engagement and culture building;
  • and more!

Dr. Marcus Collins Shines a Spotlight on How Consumption Drives Culture

Best-selling author, marketing professor and “cultural translator” Dr. Marcus Collins will be the headlining keynoter at RICE 2024, bringing the event’s theme to life.

With rich history in marketing and communications, Collins has helped various tech, retail and music brands — from Apple to Nike and even Beyoncé — adapt their strategies to evolving consumer needs and behaviors. In his latest book, For the Culture: The Power Behind What We Buy, What We Do, and Who We Want to Be, he provides actionable guidance to help other brand and business leaders understand and embrace culture. Collins argues that true cultural engagement is the most powerful vehicle for influencing consumer behavior.

To effectively embrace the intersection of culture and commerce, brand leaders must first have a clear definition of a culture and understand their proximity to it. For example, Patagonia “know exactly who they are, and they have a very clear compass of how to show up in the world and to know who they’re for,” Collins said. “They’re for people who see the world the way they do.”

Read the article.

Pinterest Puts Joy Back into the Purchase Journey   

Pinterest has carved its own distinct space in the social commerce landscape, zeroing in on its ability to bring joy to users. This focus has inspired the brand to double down on full-funnel advertising and measurement capabilities that allow customers to discover products in context — and for brands to engage with users in more meaningful ways.

During RICE 2024, Pinterest’s VP of Retail, Carrie Sweeney, will share how the company is adapting to consumers’ evolving behaviors and further capitalizing on its role as an authentic discovery platform. Pinterest Chief Revenue Officer Bill Watkins spoke with Retail TouchPoints to share the company’s unique position and vision for monetization.

Click here to read the coverage.

Petco Designs Experiences Perfected for Pet Parents

Petco has been celebrated for its focus on creating incredible experiences, both for pets and pet parents.

After unveiling a “complete pet care experience” in New York City’s SoHo during the summer of 2023, the retailer is thinking even bigger. Petco is shifting its focus from being transaction-focused to being engagement-focused, and is partnering with companies like Lowe’s and Marriott to bring this mission to life. During RICE 2024, Justin Tichy, COO of Petco, will share even more insights on this vision, and how the retailer is investing in other partnerships to grow. “In retail you identify and understand your ‘lanes,’ and you do those lanes really, really well,” Tichy said in a recent Retail TouchPoints article. “I think that’s where retailers today can align and understand how to have partnerships where they don’t walk on top of one another. Every retailer that is trying to be bigger and better, they understand, ‘Okay, this isn’t my lane,’ and that’s where they can start to align a partnership. It’s the same thing with Sephora in Kohl’s — it’s individualized lanes that meet up well.”

Read the article.

Boisson Sets Sights on Scalable Growth

Blame the rise of wellness influencers or the hype surrounding “Dry January,” but the non-alcoholic (NA) market is exploding right now: it’s projected to grow at a compound annual rate of 25% through 2028, and Boisson is one company reaping the benefits.

Founder and President Nick Bodkins once described Boisson as “the Sephora of NA.” Although the company recently announced that it would be undergoing internal restructuring and immediately shuttering all stores, it still operating a robust logistics strategy, wholesale partnerships and a content-driven ecommerce site to help consumers find the best NA brands and products on the market.

“Unlike [the alcoholic beverage market], where there is a walled-off, regulatory-driven route-to-market for brands, we span all three tiers of distribution, and we have a few of our own products that we make along with some partners,” Bodkins said in a recent interview with Retail TouchPoints. Bodkins will dig into this approach more during a C-Suite Corner conversation on retail fundamentals.

Babylist Puts Content at the Center of the Customer Journey

Natalie Gordon started Babylist to make researching and registering for baby items easier. Since the business started in 2011, it has evolved substantially to include a robust content strategy, social communities and physical retail experiences that allow consumers to see and try these products in person. The brand has even ventured into the metaverse to bring its dynamic content to life.

During RICE 2024, Babylist’s VP of Strategic Partnership and Business Development Liz Primm will share tips, lessons and best practices she has acquired in helping the brand develop and scale its content strategy. She’ll dig into Babylist’s editorial operations, how the team is adapting to new content consumption trends and expectations and how artificial intelligence (AI) is changing the rules of marketing.

The RICE team recently interviewed Primm to learn more about her work. Click here to read the article.

How Home Depot is Differentiating its Retail Media Strategy

The retail media landscape is evolving at a rapid pace, but The Home Depot was an early adopter in 2018. Now Melanie Babcock, the retailer’s VP of Retail Media+ and Monetization, is helping bolster its offering, which includes a range of products across its site, mobile app, email and off-site.

Babcock will join a fascinating panel featuring executives from IAB, Albertsons Media Collective and CVS Media Exchange. The focus: how the evolution of shoppable moments and retail media is changing the way brands and retailers measure their performance.

Learn more about Babcock and Home Depot’s retail media strategy.

Register now to take advantage of the discounted pricing before rates go up on April 19 and hear directly from some of the brightest minds in retail.

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