Last night concluded Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition 2011 in San Diego. We had a lot of good conversations with attendees and other exhibitors at the End Point booth, and our Liquid Galaxy with Google Earth was a great draw for visitors:
The majority of exhibitors at the show were offering software as a service or productized ecommerce services. A couple of our favorite small SaaS companies, both for their knowledgeable and friendly technical staff, and for their challenging some of the less-beloved incumbent giants in the space, were Olark, offering a SaaS live chat service, and SearchSpring, with their SaaS faceted search service. We look forward to trying out their services.
Some of the more dazzling software demonstrations at the show were:
- Total Immersion, an "augmented reality solution. Their TryLive Eyewear demo had us looking into their webcam and trying out different eyeglass frames that were overlaid on our video image in real time.
- Styku, a company offering 3-D virtual fitting room software. They had an amazing video demo of mannequins modeling different clothes, and it's all customizable per visitor who wants to use his/her measurements to be fitted online. It's easy to see that this kind of thing has a lot of potential for online clothing sales, and could greatly reduce returns and exchanges due to bad sizing.
E-commerce can seem to make location less relevant, and at End Point our workforce is distributed throughout the U.S., adding to the effect of "dislocation". But at Internet Retailer, people's location was a common topic. I'm located in Teton Valley, Idaho, just a few miles west of Wyoming, and it was nice for me to meet some of my geographic neighbors in Idaho, Utah, and Colorado.
We had good conversations with several companies in the Salt Lake City area: Logica transportation analytics, Molding Box fulfillment outsourcing, Doba drop ship, and AvantLink affiliate technology, headed up by Scott Kalbach who we worked with at Backcountry.com years ago. I also met attendees and exhibitors with offices and staff closer to home in Idaho Falls and Boise, Idaho.
The show ended last night at 7:00 pm and we broke down the booth and packed up our Liquid Galaxy for shipping back to New York City, a somewhat labor-intensive task.
It's been a busy show, staffing our booth from 9:00 am till 7:00 pm each day, so we didn't have much time to enjoy beautiful San Diego or get much sleep or exercise. On the way back to the hotel we made a quick stop at a playground to unwind.