By Amanda Massello, Product Marketing

Earlier this week, we kicked off the 3rd Annual European XChange Summit for the Demandware community in Barcelona and continued celebration of Demandware’s 10 year anniversary. We heard about the future of retail growth and innovation from a variety of perspectives, including Demandware executives and other industry thought leaders.

Highlights from the keynotes on Day 1 include:

  • Bringing the Cloud Vision to Life – Our CEO Tom Ebling set the context for the summit by evoking some local color. He told the story of Demandware through the lens of Gaudi, a relentless visionary and architect whose imagination and attention to detail is deeply rooted in Barcelona’s history. The Gaudi parallels Tom evoked were uniqueness, community and continued evolution. Demandware’s shared platform and success model is focused on our customers. The platform’s uniqueness combines both form and function – a scalable infrastructure (form) which supports unique brand expression through customization (function). And finally, evolution with community: Gaudi’s master work, La Sagrada Familia, is yet to be completed and is constantly evolving. More than 100 architects have added to his vision, just as the Demandware community comprised of customer, partner and employee architects continue to add to the cloud platform.

“The pace of change will never be as slow as it is today.” –Stephan Schambach, founder, Demandware

  • Meeting Change Head On – Founder Stephan Schambach took the stage to share the story of Demandware’s genesis as a company, celebrating its 10 year anniversary, and giving his view of what the next 10 years might bring. Reflecting on the journey, he talked about how the founding principles from 2004 – shared success, continuous innovation and the network effect (community and intelligence) – continue to drive our company forward. Peering into the future, Stephan sees a few key disruptions shaping the next decade:  the shift to virtual payment led by Apple Pay; retail delivery logistics shrinking time to doorstep through drones and Uber; and computing moving from away from HTML and web browsers to native apps. Stephan ended with a prescient note for retail: “the pace of change will never be as slow as it is today.”
  • One Platform – COO Jeff Barnett spoke to us about omni-channel and Demandware’s one platform strategy centered around experience, operations and intelligence. The one platform, fully realized, will continue to enable commerce anywhere, anytime, on any device, bringing physical and digital, as well as content and commerce together to truly connect brands to consumers. The long-term strategy? Replacing the traditional point of sale.
  • Threading the Needle of Content & Commerce – Clinical Professor of Marketing at NYU and Founder of L2, Scott Galloway delivered the final keynote on the evolution of the digital customer experience. He stressed that retailers must thread the needle of content and commerce. He told the audience, “There’s no better branding than enabling someone to buy your product easily and just love the damn thing.” Too many retailers treat their brand as a Faberge egg that only a few can manage or touch. The practical implication is that brand marketing content is sometimes standing in the way of the customer and her needs; too many commerce content experiences today lead to a dead end and disrupt the shopper’s journey.