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Takeaways from eTail Palm Springs 2024

March 7th, 2024 | 6 min. read

Takeaways from eTail Palm Springs 2024 Blog Feature

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Last week, the retail industry’s top minds gathered in California for eTail Palm Springs 2024. Across the multiple days packed with presentations and panel discussions, insights were shared, strategies were uncovered, and actionable takeaways were highlighted. But there were a handful of common threads between speakers – key themes that attendees couldn’t ignore at the event and shouldn’t ignore as they lead their brands through 2024. 


The End of Cookies


Although it’s been on everyone’s radar for quite some time now, the cookie-less future is fast approaching. In late 2023, the large majority of targeted ads were still fuelled by cookies, but with the clock ticking toward the late 2024 death of cookies, it’s no surprise that the need for marketing efforts to pivot hard and fast was a hot topic at eTail.  


Brands must ensure they’re equipped with alternative ways to gather first- and zero-party data. Digital experiences like quizzes are an incredible way to acquire data while simultaneously engaging consumers and creating a personalized and streamlined customer journey.  


And in the spirit of speed and agility, brands need to consider what they have in their tool belt to shorten if not entirely bypass development timelines en route to creating, deploying, testing, and tweaking the digital experiences that will soon be a major source of data.  




Brands are always looking for ways to grow their customer base, but as DTC brands aim to compete with big box stores, there is an increased focus on creating customers through personal connection. 


A common topic discussed at eTail was that of refining our strategies around and perception of "growth". Appealing to the masses may sound like the epitome of revenue success, but it’s through serving individuals that brands will unlock major growth – both in their customer base and profitability. 


Gone are the days where merely ensuring your shop’s front door was unlocked would guarantee foot traffic and sales. The online shopping world is oversaturated with stimuli, brands, and products, so brands wanting to compete must meet consumers where they are. 


But heightened customer expectations and top-notch customer care is challenging in the digital world where you can’t greet with a smile, conversate, and embark on a guided, 1-on-1 shopping experience. The only ways brands can parallel this hyper-personalized, intimate shopping experience for online consumers is by acquiring data and scaling their experimentation efforts. From there, ecommerce teams and their tech need to be agile enough to plug their findings into optimized digital shopping experiences that reflect the habits, wants, and needs of their individual customers.  


Adopting AI


It may sound to some like a broken record, but AI is the future. However, it’s no longer a distant one; AI is here and here to stay. With its rapid development and quickly-broadening use cases, brands not welcoming AI technology into their workflows will be left in the dust of those who are leveraging its capabilities. 


Although the use cases are exciting, the focus at eTail was often on the broader theme of using AI to unlock efficiency. Regardless of what form of AI you want or choose to use, or what you want it to do for your brand, AI can improve and streamline workflows, make a moment’s work out of otherwise tedious and time-consuming tasks, un-tap your team’s productivity, and enable your brand as a whole to drive and deliver outcomes with enhanced speed and agility. 


From eTail Learnings to Retail Actions


Retail-focused conferences like eTail Palm Springs are an incredible way to make connections, gather insights, and spark ideas, but of course it’s how leaders take that information back to their teams and into action that counts.


The Fastr team was thrilled to be on-site sharing Fastr Frontend with the brands that know this; those wanting to put strategy into practice. Fastr Frontend is built for ecommerce teams wanting complete design freedom, easy deployment with a one-time CMS setup, clear-cut experimentation capability, site-wide optimization, the added power of AI, and the speed and agility to do it all without development meetings, mockups, handoffs, or holdups.