Retail is going direct. Digitally native brands have shaped a new entry method into the industry: Cut out the third party retailers, gather as much customer data as you can online, then use those insights to make better decisions about store openings and partnerships. Knowing more about your customers is more important than ever before, and that’s true whether brands were born direct-to-consumer or not.

As the DTC space looks to scale, traditional brands have to adopt new strategies to get a tighter grip on customer data in response. And for every brand, it’s time to move: The direct evolution is quickly forcing retailers to adjust to new consumer expectations for customer service, personalization, in-store experiences and more.

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Speakers

  • Pooja Agarwal
    VP OF OPERATIONS
    BIRCHBOX
  • Andrea Blieden
    U.S. GENERAL MANAGER
    THE BODY SHOP
  • Matt Carrington
    VP MARKETING
    FRAMEBRIDGE
  • Will Flaherty
    VP GROWTH
    RO
  • Deepa Gandhi
    CO-FOUNDER & COO
    DAGNE DOVER
  • Seth Goldman
    CEO
    URBAN STEMS
  • Sophie Kahn
    CO-FOUNDER
    AURATE
  • Caitlin Strandberg
    PRINCIPAL INVESTOR
    LERER HIPPEAU
  • Josh Wolff
    VP CUSTOMER
    THIRDLOVE

Agenda

Thursday, March 21

  • 8:30 a.m.
    Breakfast & Networking
  • 9:00 a.m.
    The State of the Industry & Digiday Challenge Board
    • Hilary Milnes

      RETAIL EDITOR

      DIGIDAY

  • 9:10 a.m.
    Opening Keynote

    As stores open and retail partnerships are formed, DTC brands are maturing, but their beginnings are making way for smarter, modern brands. In this session, we discuss the path forward for DTC brands.

    • Caitlin Strandberg

      PRINCIPAL INVESTOR

      LERER HIPPEAU

  • 9:40 a.m.
    Inside the Store of the Future

    As digitally native brands open stores, they’re using customer data to pick locations, plan inventory, localize marketing and build community centers. The store of the future still sells product, but brands are rethinking what customers get out of them once they’re inside. Hear from a retailer who's using their physical locations to their online advantage.

    • Deepa Gandhi

      CO-FOUNDER & COO

      DAGNE DOVER

  • 10:00 a.m.
    Sponsor Workshop
  • 10:15 a.m.
    Loyalty Wins

    Customer retention is critical for young brands in competitive categories. Hear a case study from a brand focusing its energy on not just getting customers, but keeping them, and what loyalty means to modern shoppers.

    • Josh Wolff

      VP CUSTOMER

      THIRDLOVE

  • 10:35 a.m.
    The Case for Wholesale

    Wholesale isn’t dead. Modern brands are just finding new ways to work with retail partners that doesn’t mean forfeiting control or submitting to promotions. Hear from a retailer who's using wholesale partnerships in innovative ways.

    • Andrea Blieden

      U.S. GENERAL MANAGER

      THE BODY SHOP

  • 10:55 a.m.
    Secrets to Scaling: Going Beyond DTC's So-Called Limits

    An expanded customer base is the goal of most direct-to-consumer brands, but rethinking the model they launched with isn’t the only means to greater reach. This session will break down the strategies each should tackle to avoid hitting a wall.

    • Sophie Kahn

      CO-FOUNDER

      AURATE

  • 11:15 a.m.
    Networking Break
  • 11:30 a.m.
    Breakout Session: E-Commerce Best Practices

    Take a deeper dive into the specifics of one brand's e-commerce strategy in this breakout session.

  • 11:30 a.m.
    Breakout Session: Marketing Mix

    Trying to perfect your marketing mix? Find out what channels one retailer focuses on to build their brand and why.

    • Matt Carrington

      VP MARKETING

      FRAMEBRIDGE

  • 12:05 p.m.
    Lunch
  • 12:45 p.m.
    The New Multi-Brand Class

    Multi-brand retail is changing to adapt to startup brands and changing customer behavior, which has given rise to different formats catering to retail’s new norms. This session will explore what brands and customer can expect from new multi-brand retailers, and how startups are shifting expectations for legacy brands.

  • 1:05 p.m.
    Sponsor Workshop
  • 1:20 p.m.
    Product vs. Brand: How to Tell a Compelling Story

    What matters most: product or brand? For DTC brands, you can’t sacrifice either. What connects the two is the story, and creating an emotional connection with customers that both drives awareness and loyalty. Hear from a retailer on how they take the reins on both.

    • Matt Knapp

      VP CREATIVE, EXECUTIVE CREATIVE DIRECTOR

      DOLLAR SHAVE CLUB

  • 1:40 p.m.
    Networking Break
  • 1:55 p.m.
    Breakout Session: In-Store Strategy

    Whether it's wholesale, pop-ups or your own physical store, how do you decide on your in-store strategy? Hear one retailer take a deeper dive into their in-store roadmap.

    • Pooja Agarwal

      VP OF OPERATIONS

      BIRCHBOX

  • 1:55 p.m.
    Breakout Session: Customer Data Hack

    There's so much data and so little time. How do you filter through the ocean of information about your customers to inform actionable insights? Hear one head of data and analytics at a retailer break down their strategy.

  • 2:30 p.m.
    Networking Break
  • 2:45 p.m.
    Wholesale’s Comeback: How to Gain Reach Without Sacrificing the Brand

    Retailers like Nordstrom and Target are throwing out the old playbook in order to accommodate new digital brands on their shelves. In return, brands working with traditional retailers gain more reach and exposure than they can on their own. But pulling off the move to wholesale is tricky. In this session, hear from a digital-first retailer on how they've dived onto the shelves of traditional companies.

  • 3:05 p.m.
    Sponsor Workshop
  • 3:20 p.m.
    Moving on From Instagram and Facebook: Reaching New Customers

    Social is table stakes. But in a competitive marketplace, differentiated media mixes are becoming more critical. From print mailers to paid partnerships, DTC brands need to think outside the Facebook feed to reach new customers. Hear from a DTC brand on how they're expanding their reach beyond social.

    • Will Flaherty

      VP GROWTH

      RO

  • 3:40 p.m.
    Networking Break
  • 3:55 p.m.
    Digiday Town Hall

    We'll take your answers from the Digiday Challenge Board and discuss the biggest issues retailers are facing today.

    • Hilary Milnes

      RETAIL EDITOR

      DIGIDAY

  • 4:15 p.m.
    From Acquisition to Retention: Keeping Customers Loyal

    Getting customers is one challenge. Keeping them is a different beast. As more brands look to customer retention rates to demonstrate success and stickiness, new strategies around driving customer loyalty and repeat buys are forming to prove longevity. Find out what one brand has learned from their customer lifecycle.

  • 4:35 p.m.
    Closing Keynote

    DTC brands didn’t entirely change the retail playbook. Stores and partnerships still matter. But what has changed is how business decisions are made. Customer data is embedded into every strategy, meaning a smarter era of retail is coming, led by brands with digital roots. Hear from a retailer who's paving their way into the future.

  • 4:55 p.m.
    5 Things We've Learned

Attendees

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A great event that aligned so many different verticals. The Digiday Retail Forum really helped shape how my company will communicate with our customers.

— Key Account Manager, MALIN+GOETZ

Great opportunity to see the latest strategies, what’s working and what’s not.

— President, Milly

Excellent opportunity to check the digital pulse at major industry players.

— Global Social Media Specialist, Bugaboo

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Situated just steps from Grand Central station, Convene is located in the TIAA Financial Services building between 45th and 46th streets.

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