Internet Retailer draws crowdsToday began the first major day at the Internet Retailer Conference in San Jose and it has drawn the masses. The sessions have been very full, which is pretty impressive in a room that probably holds a thousand people. Jim McCann from 1-800-flowers.com gave a very good keynote, full of colorful anecdotes about running a small family flower shop in Manhattan in the 70s. His customers would sit around the store on ratty director's chairs and give opinions on his flower arranging and if his uncle wanted to come for Thanksgiving dinner during the busy season, he had to help with deliveries on Wednesday beforehand.
The show floor seemed quiet whenever I wandered it, but the exhibiting vendors assured me that traffic was good. UPS was selling a returns option, something worthwhile to all of the online retailers out there, and Junction Solutions said that they had inquires about all of their products, not just their e-commerce platform. MyBuys was showing off its updated version of its RSS, e-mail and e-commerce analytics platform that is rich with behavioral targeting.
Lunch was hosted by Accretive Commerce, who presented its platform and announced new partnerships with Allurent, LiquidPixels and CyberSource. But the presentation was really just background noise to the mingling. I ate with Kevin Magnuson CEO or online sports store M.U.D.U. Sports and Nicki Hayes at Memolink. Mr. Magnuson noted how many e-commerce vendors he met that didn't have booths, but were just wandering the show. Ms. Hayes was one such vendor. Both were enjoying the sessions, though our lunchtime chatter didn't let us get very into Foresee's naming of the top retailers. It was to be expected, Apple.com, Amazon.com and Netflix.com were names I heard when I looked up from my salad.