Sneak Preview of IRCE Chicago 2010

Linc Wonham
by Linc Wonham 07 Jun, 2010

The Internet Retailer 2010 Conference & Exhibition (IRCE), by far one of the largest gatherings for ecommerce professionals, is being held this week in Chicago.


Nearly 500 exhibitors are scheduled to attend, and Website Magazine will be there to see them all. We will provide full coverage of the event in the next Ecommerce Express newsletter, as well as in subsequent blog posts over the next two weeks. Until then, here's an alphabetical guide to some of the companies worth watching, whether you are able to attend the show or not:

A global trade platform for importers and exporters, Alibaba has a community of more than 50 million users in over 240 countries around the world. In April, 2010, the company launched AliExpress on the international marketplace for smaller ecommerce buyers looking for the fast shipment of small quantities of goods.

Bold Software
Providers of an affordable and flexible line of communications tools for ecommerce merchants, Bold Software is continuously making innovations to enhance online interactions. The company's popular and intelligent brands include a live chat platform (BoldChat), a mobile selling solution (BoldCall) and a customer contact management tool (BoldCCM) for any size business.

An industry leader in Customer Experience Analytics (CEA), ClickTale's products put instant information on website usability and conversion analytics into the hands of ecommerce business owners. Some of the tools used include heatmaps that report where a customer is looking, real-time monitoring and form analytics that show conversion rates.

The global leader in on-demand ecommerce, Demandware is constantly looking to provide businesses new ways to deliver customized shopping experiences. The company's on-demand platform is rated at the top of the industry, providing solutions for such big-name ecommerce clients as Crocs footwear, Columbia Sportswear and Barneys New York.

With a growing number of online shoppers electing to pay with cash to keep their debt down, eBillme provides merchants with safe, secure and easy options to offer customers. Consumers using eBillme can check out online using their own bank account information, or visit one of more than 75,000 walk-in locations to pay cash for their online purchases.

This retargeting advertising technology provider was just acquired by GSI Commerce in a major move within the ecommerce industry. FetchBack brings with it a top-notch reputation in the retargeting space and a big list of blue-chip clients, and I won't be the only one looking to hear some initial reactions just a week after the deal was announced.

A Web development, design and hosting company specializing in ecommerce, Guidance serves a broad range of clients such as Foot Locker, Z Gallerie and Disney. I'm interested in learning about their work for new client TOMS Shoes, which donates a pair of shoes to the needy for every pair sold, and what role Guidance played in creating this "socially conscious commerce" business model.

This company helps ecommerce retailers maximize the media value of their shopping audience. HookLogic's software creates media programs that drive new non-transactional revenue streams while preserving the quality of the online shopping experience.

I am personally very interested in seeing the latest innovations in ecommerce video, so Invodo is on my must-see list while I am at this show. A leader in the category, Invodo's retail-focused video technology helps online retailers increase traffic and sales conversions while reducing returns.

Jagged Peak
This company provides order management software and multi-channel fulfillment services that enable ecommerce professionals the ability to quickly and effectively establish and operate direct-to-consumer online businesses. Jagged peak's outsourced solution provides companies the benefit of owning the channel without the burden of managing it.

Keynote Systems
A leading provider of on-demand test and measurement products for mobile communications and the Internet, Keynote just recently launched a new self-service load-testing tool for ecommerce website owners. The revamped product is supposed to have three times the capacity as its predecessor so that merchants can see up to 30,000 virtual users on their site in real time as they watch for symptoms of system overload.

E-mail marketing provider Listrak is a leader in the industry with clients such as Motorola, Waterford and Wolfgang Puck. Topics on the company's radar right now include boosting sales through a shopping cart abandonment e-mail campaign, segmenting e-mail lists using traditional direct marketing RFM metrics, the latest behavioral and event-triggered e-mail tactics and trends regarding cross-channel convergence.

The leading provider of personalized recommendations, MyBuys builds deep profiles on shoppers' behaviors and uses a portfolio of algorithms to deliver the best recommendations in real time. Ecommerce retailers that partner with MyBuys are said to be experiencing increases in conversion rates by as much as 90 percent, and in overall revenues by as much as 30 percent.

National Eco Wholesale
The first specialty wholesale distributor of exclusively natural and sustainable products, National Eco Wholesale serves as a one-stop virtual warehouse for a wide variety of environmentally friendly products. NEW provides drop-ship services for ecommerce businesses and offers a cost-effective bulk purchase program.

OpinionLab Inc.
User-generated ratings and customer feedback are also on my hot list during this show, and OpinionLab gathers this kind of information for ecommerce companies so that they can analyze it and leverage it into providing a better experience for shoppers. I am interested in learning about the latest technologies involved in collecting and distributing this useful business intelligence.

An ecommerce app for Facebook, Payvment allows users of the social network to sell products in a retail environment. Similar to other Facebook shopping apps such as Socialshop and 1-800-Flowers, Payvment should be able to give me a good insight into this particular trend in the industry.

Geotargeting is yet another aspect of the industry I hope to learn more about at this show, and Quova provides IP geolocation data to ecommerce businesses. Merchants can instantly identify where a visitor to their website is located geographically, which can be used to target advertising and content for consumers or to detect potential fraud.

A leading provider of customer reviews, testimonials and online reputation management services, RatePoint has been hard at work to stay fully integrated into all of the various social media channels. Helping ecommerce businesses protect and build their online reputations, this company usually has some innovative new tools and services to share.

This is a startup that's looking to make a splash with its product image management and rich media solutions for ecommerce merchants. Shotfarm will be unveiling its HTML5-based hosted viewer for businesses big and small, affordably priced but with the most up-to-date capabilities.

TurnTo Networks
A leader in on-site social shopping for ecommerce, TurnTo will be announcing its new social commerce suite that includes TurnTo Social Merchandising and TurnTo Social Purchase Sharing. TurnTo runs directly on a merchant's site, showing shoppers what their friends have purchased there. 

USI Technologies
Providing ecommerce businesses with sales and service chat solutions, USI introduced the industry to the first automated sales chat five years ago. The company continues to advance the live chat category as it comes up with new ways to increase conversions and improve customer experience.

Volusion, Inc.
The leader in innovative shopping cart software for ecommerce businesses, Volusion is the choice for over 100,000 online retailers. I am always interested to see and hear about the latest solutions and technologies that Volusion is working on.

For 15 years, WebLinc has been consulting and developing systems that drive sales and increase conversions for ecommerce companies such as Urban Outfitters, Deep Discount and AAA. The Philadelphia-based company provides an array of ecommerce solutions for some of the biggest names in the industry, so they're always worth checking in with.

This company creates customized international and domestic mailing solutions tailored to each ecommerce customer's own system. XPO has personalized programs for parcels and letters, including pre-payment of duties, delivery confirmation and return management programs.

Makers of an award-winning artificial intelligence service called Spider Linker, YourAmigo's product is responsible for ecommerce revenues increasing by as much as 25 percent for some companies. Spider Linker's AI identifies gaps in an online business that most merchants are not able to find on their own.

Zoovy Inc.
Makers of the Zoovy Complete ecommerce platform, Zoovy provides tools and guidance for merchants to keep up with their rapidly growing online businesses. Zoovy's features combine professional ecommerce expertise with a unique service platform that covers all the bases.