Shop.org Gives the Latest in Web 2.0

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Shop.org hosts its annual summit Oct. 10-12 at the Hilton New York in Manhattan. The interactive forum includes two halls with exhibitors for the retail and technology industries, educational seminars and an online retail boot camp addressing current topics.

Shop.org expects about 2,000 attendees, up from 1,500 last year. The event begins with the boot camp, where attendees may sit in on two tracks, "Core Concepts in Marketing and Site Merchandising" and "Web 2.0 Technologies." The next two days offer more than 100 exhibitors and 20 panel discussions.

"I think the buzz about Web 2.0 and how retailers are integrating Web sites into their core business practice will be very obvious," said Ellen Davis, senior director of strategic communications at the National Retail Federation, Shop.org's parent group.

Keynotes will be given by industry experts like Barry Schwartz, author of the book "The Paradox of Choice"; Seth Godin, author of "Permission Marketing," and Liberty Media Corp. president/CEO Gregory B. Maffei.

Phillip Kenney, vice president of marketing at Escalate Retail (www.escalateretail.com), San Diego, a merging of e-commerce firm Ecometry Corp. and merchandising firm GERS Retail Systems, will exhibit a new platform.

"There is a mood amongst people doing e-commerce of optimism of continued growth, and we see a strong desire for convergence amongst selling channels by retailers and direct marketers," he said.

This hopeful mood was echoed by another exhibitor, e-commerce firm Demandware (www.demandware.com), Woburn, MA.

"The next wave of e-commerce is to put merchants in full control of the online storefront and user experience," said Stephan Schambach, the company's founder/president/CEO. "Think of this as a 'Web 2.0' way of true on-demand online retailing where retailers can implement any design, promotion or site feature, any time, without the routine dependence on outside resources that an ASP model requires."

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