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Consumer Experience Symposium examines state of mobile shopping

Thanksgiving weekend 2013 proved to be a feast for mobile shopping, with retail sales via smartphones and tablets accounting for nearly 40 percent of online traffic on Black Friday, according to IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark.

Merchandising and digital retailing students will learn about the future of mobile shopping during the annual Consumer Experience Symposium from 8 a.m. to noon April 10 at the Gateway Center, Ballroom.

The symposium, “Consumers on the Move,” is sponsored by the Global Digital Retailing Research Center in UNT’s College of Merchandising, Hospitality and Tourism, and will feature four keynote speakers.

The speakers are:

Garrett Eastham, co-founder and chief executive officer of Compare Metrics, an Austin company that helps leading brands better engage their online customers. Eastham was previously data and analytics product manager for Bazaarvoice.

Sweeni Ponoth, vice president and global practice leader for retail and brands at Symphony Analytics in Plano. He assists retail and manufacturing companies with enabling data-driven decision making.

Rita Ramirez, vice president of emerging payments for MasterCard, who has worked with a wide variety of leading financial institutions, major retailers and processors to implement the next generation of payment solutions, such as mobile payments and digital wallets.  

Kerri Smith, an independent mobile specialist who writes the blog A Mobile Pursuit. Smith previously was the head of mobile performance and strategy for iProspect’s Europe, Middle East and Africa division, and worked in account services for iProspect’s U.S. office.

In addition to giving their keynote addresses, the four speakers will participate in a panel discussion.

Richard LastRichard Last, left, senior director of the Global Digital Retailing Research Center, will serve as the moderator for the event. Created in 2013, the interdisciplinary center is the first of its kind in the U.S, advancing the global digital retailing field through collaborations in research, innovation and talent development between industry leaders and those in academics. The center’s founding members are JCPenney, LiquidPixels, Rocket Red, Sally Beauty Holdings Inc., Usability Sciences and Zales.

Last said the center’s goal “is to not only understand what customers want today, but also look at the data and research to understand what they’ll want tomorrow. That’s what makes the Consumer Experience Symposium and the work of the center so valuable to our students and the retail industry at large. Our half-day event is a very efficient way to stay abreast of what’s new, and to do so within the collaborative context of an academic institution educating the next generation of industry leaders.”

The event is open to a limited number of non-UNT students and to the general public. Non-UNT students can buy individual tickets for $25 with valid college or university identification, while the general public will pay $50 for individual tickets. Parking is included in the cost of the tickets.

  • Learn more: Lisa Wallace, director of development for the College of Merchandising, Hospitality and Tourism, 940-369-7051

—Nancy Kolsti, News Promotions

Posted on: Tue 01 April 2014

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