retail | March 20, 2016

“The Store Is Becoming Media”: Douglas Stephens at the Dx3 Retail Conference

Earlier this month, sales speaker Douglas Stephens served as curator of Toronto’s Dx3 Retail Conference—a showcase of exciting software advancements for brick and mortar retailers looking to make in-store shopping more appealing. As online purchasing becomes easier, retailers and marketers have to think creatively to entice customers into physical stores. That’s why, as Stephens tells the Financial Post, “the store’s function really has to change strategically, and be designed not just to sell products, but to sell remarkable experiences.”

The conference—which comes to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre every March—brings together the year’s leading innovators in technology, digital marketing, and retail. One such company is Silicon Valley’s Eyeris, whose software EmoVu gauges customers’ reactions to products as they move about a store. Another standout, from Montreal-based Stefanka, is a 3D body scanner that streamlines apparel sizing. But perhaps the most talked-about product from this year’s Dx3 is ‘Pepper’: a four-foot tall robot that fields basic customer inquiries. Weighing in on Pepper’s potential impact, Stephens championed the future of robots in retail spaces as a “great merchandising device.”

Although Stephens recognizes the influx of digital purchasing methods, his vision of the future is one of both bricks and clicks. “The store is becoming media,” he told the FP. “Nobody wants another box in the suburbs filled with products. People will get off the couch to go to the store when there is a remarkable experience there, and retail is exciting again.” Stephens is a retail futurist—and that’s exactly what it sounds like. His cutting-edge insights on demographics, economics, technology, and media help brands like Johnson & Johnson, Home Depot, Walmart, Disney, and Google stay relevant in an ever-changing retail landscape. With his company Retail Prophet (rated the ninth-biggest Retail Influencer in the world by Vend) Stephens keeps his clients on the cusp of retail’s constantly shifting megatrends.

Check out the full FP feature on the Dx3 conference for a video interview with Stephens.

To book Douglas Stephens for a keynote on big data, consumerism, or the future of retail, contact The Lavin Agency speakers bureau.