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IRCE 2019 Recap: The Dawn of RetailX

IRCE 2019 Recap: The Dawn of RetailX


Elevated walk-around of the IRCE exhibition floor shows the scale of the RetailX space.

Now that IRCE 2019 @ RetailX has wrapped up, we got to see what the new show format was like, combining the traditional IRCE show with the retail store-focused GlobalShop and RFID Journal LIVE! Retail shows. This blending of the in-store and online commerce universes was the first time for this format and the results were, in a word, BIG. While the combined shows weren’t Dreamforce or even NRF Big Show levels of crazy, it took a solid 10 minutes to walk from one side to the other (see the embedded video to get an idea of the scale).

The idea is that commerce operators will send their in-store retail and their Ecommerce leaders and practitioners to share a combined experience. The reality, at least this year, is that the various show attendees mostly operated independently and there wasn’t much crossover. Show organizers have indicated that they expect to see increased traffic between the two shows next year, as organizations now have a full picture of the possibilities. This being a first-year format, that makes a lot of sense.

For the 2019 IRCE show, we exhibited, attended sessions, did a lot of networking, and even a little socializing in the evenings. Here were our highlights and top moments from the show:


McFadyen Digital at IRCE 2019

The McFadyen team having multiple conversations at IRCE 2019

The McFadyen Digital team exhibited at an island booth this year directly across for Magento’s sprawling presence. Our focus was on improving the customer experience and profits via the online marketplace model and the implementation and tuning of modern Ecommerce platforms. The conversations we have at these events not only connect us with new potential business opportunities, but give us additional insight into what challenges and solutions Ecommerce operators are facing and implementing.

The major theme from retailers at this year’s IRCE event centered around the expansion of product selection, the improvement of the online buying experience, and migrating to more modern, cloud-based, digital commerce solutions. The technology platforms we discussed with these retailers were mostly Magento Commerce Cloud, Oracle Commerce Cloud, and the Mirakl marketplace platform, with the business opportunities ranging from the desire to expand selection, streamline the buying process, and find more efficiencies in the day-to-day running of these online stores.

A popular topic of conversation at our booth was the Marketplace Maturity Model we released at the NRF Big Show this past January. Now in it’s 2nd revision, this valuable maturity model an corresponding guide, serves as a roadmap to implementing and continually iterating an online marketplace. As we’ve seen recently with our customer The Albertsons Companies and their award-winning Albertsons Marketplace, it helps to have a defined structure from which to make intelligent decisions on how to begin and how to keep improving, and the Marketplace Maturity Model provides such guideposts.


Adrien Nussenbaum Session at IRCEIt’s encouraging to see so many leaders within the retail space recognizing that the online marketplace model is truly Ecommerce 3.0. There were more marketplace-focused sessions this year than in the prior years on topics involving both marketplace push (listing your items on marketplace) and marketplace pull (owning the marketplace that other sellers can list on).

Our favorite session was by the CEO of our partner Mirakl, Adrien Nussenbaum, titled “From Online Retailer to Online Marketplace: Launching a Marketplace”. This session addressed the topic of how a large retailer can create a new profit stream by leveraging their own ecommerce infrastructure and brand to create their own online marketplace. This gives the brand complete control over which categories and products are added, provides valuable intelligence into what their customers are seeking, and boosts revenues by taking a percentage of all 3rd party items sold, without the need to incur fulfillment costs. It was a powerful message that seemed well-received by those in attendance.


As always, IRCE was the perfect opportunity to network and socialize with our fellow Ecommerce leaders. Whether it was happy hour on the show floor, dinner with partners and clients, or after-hours parties, there was no shortage of conversations to be had. Our personal favorite after hours events were the FedEx party at The Wit Rooftop, and the Avatopia Party at the always lively Carnivale, sponsored by Avalara and several others. We thank you for the hospitality and, more importantly, for the ongoing partnership we enjoy with both organizations.


That’s a wrap for now, but we’ll be at a lot of upcoming shows including: The Marketplace & Platform Summit by Mirakl, CommercePros Insight 2019, B2B Next, GroceryShop, and Oracle OpenWorld. If you’re attending one of these shows or need help with a project, drop us a line a info@mcfadyen.com . We hope to speak with you soon or see you at one of these upcoming events.

Thomas Gaydos
CMO & Digital Marketing Practice Lead
McFadyen Digital

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