This year’s retail success conference was one for the books. Over 400 independent food and beverage retailers from all over the United States and Canada tuned in together to absorb the latest CATAPULT® knowledge, hear from industry leaders, and support each other during this new age of retail. Although we weren’t all physically together, attendees and sponsors alike could feel a strong sense of community, of which we’re so very proud. If you couldn’t tune in to the conference, check out a few highlights below from Virtual Ignite 2020.
The Conference Kickoff was Out of This World
Is this the end of retail as we know it? Ignite 2020 opened with this critical question on Tuesday morning. The current health crisis has forced retailers to rethink their competitive strategy. Liftoff, an introductory video sponsored by Fujitsu and HP, provided a glimpse at the opportunities ahead, urging retailers to rise above and flip the script. With CATAPULT technology as the foundation and with the CATAPULT Community as support, retailers can reach their maximum potential and share in that success with others.
Opening Keynote: Dive into Retail with NGA & IGA Presidents
The leaders of two of the most recognized organizations associated with independent retailers came together to inspire Ignite attendees and share their industry expertise. Greg Ferrara, President & CEO of the National Grocers Association (NGA), and John Ross, President & CEO of the Independent Grocers Alliance (IGA), joined Stephanie Reid, President of Shelby Publishing, in an open panel to discuss the current competitive landscape, opportunities for operators, and best practices from around the globe.
Keynote: Executing Asymmetric Strategy
In this executive address, Pete Catoe, ECRS Founder & CEO, provided a confidential glimpse at some of ECRS’ future innovations and the key elements of the ECRS Asymmetric Strategy. He expounded on ECRS’ commitment to the CATAPULT Community and how retailers can maintain transactional dominance, reduce the complexity of their technology systems, and operate with precision to keep a competitive edge.
Educational Sessions to Sharpen your
Ignite 2020 offered educational opportunities in a variety of formats, including workshops, keynotes, panels, Q&As, breakout sessions, and private meetings.
Monday’s annual Success Workshop Day provided a collaborative environment where retailers could explore the ins-and-outs of building email templates in CATAPULT’s loyalty platform, optimize their e-Commerce operations with WebCart™, and create appealing and functional labels with Jaspersoft.
This year’s most attended breakout sessions were not surprisingly customer centric. The Future of CATAPULT WebCart, led by one of ECRS’ user experience experts, discussed the direction of WebCart and how the system will evolve and improve.
The Loyalty Panel comprised of CATAPULT retailers from Edson Farms, Food Fair Markets, and Marczyk Fine Foods, and discussed how CATAPULT’s Loyalty functionality is creatively utilized to maintain a strong customer base and what their implementation process was like.
The Customer Empowerment session, led by an ECRS Product Expert and former self-service representative, walked attendees through several customer personas and how those personas could feel empowered with a collection of touchpoints in any retail operation, from ordering online, to picking up deli orders at a self-service kiosk in-store.
LIVE! Ask Me Anything Q&A Sessions
After each breakout session time slot, attendees were encouraged to join the LIVE! Ask Me Anything session for a live Q&A. Attendees were able to network and learn simultaneously while having their burning questions addressed by members of the ECRS team and by trusted partners.
Virtual Networking to Remember
Ignite 2020 Conference Party Wine Tasting
In typical Ignite fashion, we wanted to give retailers the opportunity to win(e)d down after a value-packed day of learning, and this year’s conference was no exception. Retailers were invited to attend a virtual wine tasting, hosted by ECRS and led by an informative wine expert.
Trivia at Ignite
Ignite attendees had the chance to put their trivia knowledge to the test to win CASH PRIZES on Wednesday afternoon. Allen Huffman, ECRS Installer and host of Ignite Trivia, put on an incredibly entertaining event for all. Winners hailed from all over the country and put their brains to the test, as answering the quickest earned more points.
Father-daughter duo, Pete Catoe & Caroline Catoe, hosted this year’s Ignite Award Ceremony, congratulating outstanding CATAPULT retailers for their achievements. See the full award recipient list below:
- Ignite 2020 Award: Organnon’s Natural Market & Rosemont Market
- Self-Service Leader: Food City
- CATAPULT Community Champion: Tom Esrey at Rainbow Blossom
- Astro Award: Marczyk Fine Foods
- Ecosystem Influencer Award: River Valley Co-op & Erewhon Markets
Conference App Activity Feed
The conference app activity feed was chock-full of posts and pictures of adorable pets, creative workspace setups, and Ignite special deliveries. Attendees could comment and connect with each other in a dynamic and fun environment.
Maybe this conference format wasn’t our first choice, but at the end of the day, attendees signed on to gather valuable session takeaways from retail peers, industry veterans, and even the creators of the CATAPULT system. Ignite is about inspiration – It’s a chance to learn from each other about the ups and downs of retail and how ECRS solutions and feedback from the CATAPULT Community can help combat those retail challenges. It’s a chance to suit up for what lies ahead and build upon a strong foundation, so retailers are prepared to face the future and all it holds for retail.