Tamara Samoylova, Senior Director of Market Strategy at Westfield Labs, spoke in front of 250 advertising, marketing, owner/developer and property management professionals from the shopping center industry at the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) MOCIAL+ Conference in San Francisco last week. Her session, titled “The Convergence Between Physical + Digital Retail Experiences”, was the opening panel at the conference, and discussed some the key themes Westfield Corporation and Westfield Labs are focused on, including our renewed emphasis on making experiences matter, the importance of data and truly understanding insights in order to implement meaningful solutions, and how collaboration can be viewed as the new competition.
To emphasize these areas of focus, Tamara was joined on-stage by founders of three companies from Bespoke, the coworking, event and demo space located on level 4 of Westfield San Francisco Centre. Alex Shirazi, founder of San Francisco based Phlint, a UX focused software development firm that enhances software usability through data; Diane Loviglio, Co-Founder & CEO of Boon + Gable, a mobile app that brings a personal stylist to your home with 20 specifically chosen items for you; and Lee Hnetinka, founder and CEO of Darkstore, an on-demand delivery fulfillment platform and a participant in Westfield Labs’ Connected Commerce Accelerator program with R/GA, all joined Tamara for a discussion around the trends and how their products and solutions speak to the evolving world of retail.
Alex Shirazi talked about how important data is in retail, but not just any data – you need to make sure you are collecting valuable data, and furthermore, that you are gleaning meaningful insights from that data. The data points are only valuable if you can turn them into action and ultimately improve a function, service or experience. Diane Loviglio spoke about the importance of experience, and how her company brings not just any experience, but a personalized shopping experience, into the homes of her customers. Additionally, Boon + Gable is able to facilitate such a unique experience by leveraging data points provided by each customer. Finally, Lee Hnetinka touched on the importance of collaboration and how his business fosters collaboration between retailers, warehousers and delivery services in order to meet the needs of all parties involved and help them all benefit.
It was an exciting conversation that was undoubtedly a great kick-off to the rest of the conference, and the audience chimed in with questions at the end about how to embrace some of the new technologies being discussed and how to best work with innovative companies like Phlint, Boon + Gable and Darkstore. A big thank you to ICSC for hosting us!