Wait, is it 1999?
That was my feeling as I walked through the exhibit hall during the 2010 Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition (IRCE) in Chicago earlier this week.
Crowded booths packed with people asking questions, lots of tchotchkes and smiling vendors were the order of the day on the floor. Of course they were smiling; the event was the “largest meeting of e-commerce professionals ever assembled,” Internet Retailer Publisher Jack Love told a packed audience at the opening general session. Love told attendees the total attendance at IRCE 2010 exceeded 6,300 people, a 33 percent increase from IRCE 2009 in Boston last June.
On the exhibit floor, I met with many product and service suppliers and retailers, and all seemed excited that online retailing is growing and thriving as the economy gets back on its feet.
In terms of exhibitors, the floor was split between e-commerce platform providers, search providers, payment and security solution providers, and email marketing service providers. I met with many vendors; here are some highlights:
- First Data, a merchant processing services provider, is about to launch eGift Social Solution, a mobile commerce service that provides consumers the ability to send item-level gifts — such as cups of coffee, sandwiches or movie tickets — to Facebook friends.
- Listrak, an email service provider, introduced its Purchase Cadence Optimization solution, which automates email remarketing campaigns designed to proactively prompt customers to repurchase products.
- MarketLive, an e-commerce software provider, has created a new version of its intelligent commerce platform, clearly with its customers in mind. The new version enables retailers to offer shoppers more refined search queries, as well as leverage online content and syndicate it across affiliate sites and social networking sites. It also packs advanced testing capabilities.
- Payvment, a provider of social network-powered e-commerce applications, offered a solution that enables companies to open storefronts on Facebook. The solution provides a universal shopping cart, a shopping display and search tool designed for Facebook e-commerce, the ability to offer fan discounts, and enables any Facebook user to add comments and reviews to their storefront.
- SLI Systems, a provider of intelligent on-demand search services for e-commerce sites, discussed Rich Auto Complete, which helps consumers search websites more efficiently by providing rich media suggestions to complete search terms they’re typing.