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IRCE 2019: Recap and Key Takeaways
Stay on top of the latest e-commerce and marketplace trends.
The Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition, more commonly referred to as IRCE, is one of the e-commerce industry’s most well-known, highly esteemed annual conferences. Boasting an attendance of over 10,000 e-commerce professionals, the show provides a carefully curated combination of thought leadership, trade show floor exhibition, business development, and networking with industry experts.
This year, Feedvisor sent a team of 14 of our own Amazon experts — the most we have ever sent to a conference in our company’s existence. What was the reasoning behind our decision? We know that IRCE brings together industry professionals of all kinds: manufacturers, wholesalers, third-party sellers, brands, and more. To have that audience in one place and eager to learn how to optimize their online businesses was extremely compelling for us. In this article, we provide an overview of the show and a detailed roundup of our top takeaways for the future.
1. Competitive Pricing Remains Critical for 3P Sellers
Price competition used to be the primary concern of businesses selling on Amazon, which is why Feedvisor originally created its industry-leading repricing solution. Since then, Amazon has continued to grow rapidly and has solidified its reign as the dominant online retailer.
As more customers start their product search on Amazon and Prime membership continues to flourish, there is plentiful opportunity for retailers to connect with millions of loyal Amazon customers. However, this opportunity does not come without challenges — everything from pricing mechanisms and fulfillment to finding new ways to stand out have become increasingly complicated.
Combining Feedvisor’s best-in-class algorithmic repricer with intelligent “AI-first” advertising and brand optimization capabilities, our clients have access to a holistic view of every piece of the Amazon puzzle, as well as the actionable, predictive insights necessary to drive discovery, sales, and profits.
What we heard from sellers at IRCE is that price still reigns as one of the most critical aspects of running a successful Amazon operation. Our very own Gil Mizrahi, VP of Product and Business Development, presented on the “Amazon and Me” track on Tuesday at IRCE in a session entitled “How to Price Your Product on Amazon.” In the presentation, Gil discussed how important it is for sellers to know how to price their products amidst a highly competitive, dynamic marketplace such as Amazon.
Gil touched on attributes that impact Amazon’s Buy Box algorithm and how sellers can maximize their profits based on their given inventory position. To do so, they should identify the exact price point that yields such maximum profit. As you can imagine, selling at too low of a price will yield a very low margin, thus a low total profit, despite a high Buy Box share.
Conversely, selling at too high of a price will result in a high margin, but very low velocity, once again resulting in low profit. The maximum profit point lies in between these two extremes, so sellers should strive to attain that optimal price point for every product every time — which is exactly what Feedvisor’s AI-driven price optimization platform does in real-time.
2. Retailers Seek Enterprise Technology and Amazon Expertise
At Feedvisor, we know that the traditional agency model does not — and never will — work for businesses operating on online marketplaces such as Amazon, and the folks we met at IRCE affirmed this notion throughout our conversations over the course of the three days in Chicago.
To effectively navigate today’s e-commerce landscape, brands and retailers can not afford to have a “family of agencies,” complicated tech stack, or series of fragmented platforms that live under one roof.
Clients actively seek optimization technology, data, and a team of experts all working in unison to help them grow and adapt to shifting priorities and policies from Amazon, changing consumer behaviors and expectations, and constantly advancing competition.
Our team of Amazon experts functions as an extension of our clients’ teams, advocating for them and understanding their needs on a deep level in order to drive and sustain rapid growth and brand discovery.
3. Feedvisor Displayed Our New Booth and Hosted a Happy Hour
For the first time since exhibiting at IRCE, Feedvisor had a 20’ x 20’ booth. To put into perspective how impactful this is, most of the other booths on the show floor are either 10’ x 10’ or 10’ x 20’. The new booth was sleek, visually captivating, and helped us ensure a constant flow of foot traffic.
Sellers and brands who stopped by our booth, #726, could meet with one of our Amazon experts to discover strategic ways to improve their overall performance, uncover gaps in their current Amazon strategy where they have room for optimization, and learn how data-backed intelligence can enable incremental sales and profits.
At any given time, Feedvisor had representatives at the booth from our sales, product, customer success, managed services, and leadership teams, eager to answer questions and talk to as many sellers as possible about how they can maximize their profitability. We pride ourselves on being Amazon experts, advising prospects and clients alike on all-things Amazon and how to succeed in such a fast-paced, complex landscape.
On Wednesday, Feedvisor hosted a happy hour at the booth at 2 p.m. and the event was tremendously successful. With Wednesday being the first full day of exhibiting, the happy hour broke up the day perfectly, giving brands and retailers a chance to play giant Jenga against others, reenergize for the remainder of the day, and enjoy complimentary margaritas and beers.
4. Retailers Who Are Not Yet on Amazon Are Eager to Be
Feedvisor data indicates that Amazon is the driving force behind e-commerce — in fact, 89% of consumers agree that they are more likely to buy products from Amazon than other e-commerce sites. Driven and led by Amazon, online marketplaces are rapidly shifting the e-commerce landscape — consumers prefer to shop on these expansive, curated destinations over brand and retailer websites.
For the business people that stopped by our booth at IRCE, this notion rang true. Those who are not already on Amazon, such as manufacturing companies, want to get involved and leverage Amazon as an additional way to diversify their inbound revenue streams. For those who already have an Amazon presence, there was a lot of dialogue surrounding a topic that has been in the news seemingly weekly since March — Amazon’s plans for 1P brands and the opportunities that exist when migrating from 1P to 3P.
5. The Team Discussed Our Product Roadmap and Upcoming Product Innovations
Private labels and brands have historically been challenged with dynamic pricing, as there has never been technology available to support their needs. Feedvisor is soon releasing the first-of-its-kind, AI-based brand and private label repricer to drive higher demand and velocity for products, simultaneously isolating and pricing against the indirect competition.
We discussed this upcoming innovation with sellers at IRCE and are excited to officially launch it to the market in the near future. According to our data, 90% of sellers that leverage repricing software find it to be helpful in some capacity, revealing that it can enable not only incremental sales and profits but greater performance across key areas on Amazon such as fulfillment and inventory management.
Lastly, we had many excellent conversations about our industry-leading advertising optimization platform, as well as our expanded managed services and intelligence offerings. Our client base is continuously expanding and as e-commerce evolves, we will continue to enable sellers and brands with innovative solutions so they can navigate complex market dynamics and make impactful, business-critical decisions.
6. Networking, Networking, Networking!
One of IRCE’s most important qualities for the Feedvisor team is the diverse audience it draws. From other industry experts and e-commerce thought leaders to media representatives and over 600 technology exhibitors, IRCE neatly folds together an attractive show for everyone involved, from exclusive, C-suite sessions to workshops for junior employees.
Whether you are focused on what is trending, new, or upcoming in the industry, want to meet other high-volume Amazon sellers, are seeking innovative go-to-market strategies or best-in-class technology, or simply want to garner best practices, IRCE has something for everyone and we could not have been happier with our experience. We are already planning for #IRCE20!