Internet Retailer heads to the National Retail Federation conference in NYC to deliver the latest e-commerce news.

The National Retail Federation’s Big Show kicks off Sunday and runs through Tuesday in New York City.

Internet Retailer will be on the ground covering NRF 2018 each day delivering readers the e-commerce highlights. Here’s what’s on our radar:

The expo hall and tech announcements

The two-floor expo hall will be filled aplenty with 600-plus technology vendors. Internet Retailer’s dance card is full of meetings with personalization vendors, mobile payments vendors, e-commerce platform providers and more to hear what’s new and what is coming for e-commerce technology this year.

 

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The direct-to-consumer uprising

Executives from web-only merchants Boxed Wholesale, which sells bulk groceries and household goods, and dog-toy specialists Bark & Co. are speaking on the first day of the conference about how to keep up with online shoppers’ shifting demands, especially for companies that primarily sell directly to consumers.

I’m also on the docket to write a story about direct-to-consumer online sales for the September issue of Internet Retailer magazine. As this is eight-plus months away, I have not started digging into this. I am, however, hoping this session will give a good framework of the issues surrounding this e-commerce area and provide a solid jumping-off point.

Face-to-face meetings

In most cases, I interview retailers and vendors on the phone. A conference is a great opportunity to interview executives face-to-face and to meet sources that I’ve previously interviewed on the phone. With more than 18,000 retailers attending the show, I’m hoping to get face time with at least a dozen a day. I’m especially excited to meet with KidBox CEO Miki Berardelli, and catch up with her since the last time Internet Retailer checked in with her at IRCE in June 2017.

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The next generation of retailers

At the tail of the show is the session, “On the eve of disruption: Meet next-gen retailers on the rise.” I’m excited for this forward spin of a session and to hear from powerhouse speakers Shan-lyn Ma, CEO and founder of wedding registry Zola.com; Tina Sharkey, CEO and co-founder of online grocer Brandless; and Eric Kinariwala, CEO and founder of online pharmacy Capsule.

Check InternetRetailer.com and follow @AprilBertheneIR on Twitter to stay abreast of the latest e-commerce news from NRF 2018.