Keeping up with new trends and innovations is crucial for retailers to stay competitive in the industry.

Conferences are a great way to stay current and learn valuable information about emerging trends in the industry. As an eCommerce retailer, there are so many conferences out there that it can be overwhelming to choose one that suits your brand’s needs and goals.

If you are looking for tailored content on a specific platform or subject-area, Northern has curated a list of 14 North American conferences that have high-calibre speakers, relevant workshops, and enough attendees to make meaningful connections to grow your online sales channels.


1. Magento Imagine (Part of Adobe Summit)

March 29 – April 2, 2020 – Las Vegas, NV
Northern attended Magento Imagine this past March where our President, VP Marketing, and VP Technology got to take an inside look at the future of digital experiences. They got to witness firsthand all the different trends that are driving revenue and increasing customer retention in the constantly-changing digital retail industry. Many of the things learned have been incredibly valuable for us as a full-service growth agency and we’ve been actioning them for our clients.

2. Shopify Unite

May 6-8, 2020 – Toronto, ON
If your brand uses Shopify for your eCommerce platform, this conference could greatly benefit your design and development teams to optimize the way the platform is used. Learn directly from Shopify about new features, tools, and advanced storefront development strategies. Shopify Unite hasn’t been announced for 2020 yet, but it usually occurs around June.

3. BigCommerce: Make It Big

TBD 2020 – Online
Not just for BigCommerce platform users, this online conference offers strategies, tactics, and insights on how you can further grow your brand. If your marketing team doesn’t have the budget for conferences, then this is a great one to virtually attend. There are no travel costs and it’s free to register. The 2020 conference hasn’t been announced yet but 2019’s occurred in September.

4. Dreamforce

November 9-12, 2020 – San Francisco, CA
Learn more about consumers and why they buy. Dreamforce has workshops on building buyer personas, how to use your sales data to increase growth, cybersecurity, and Salesforce-specific courses too. This conference has something to appeal to every company or retailer no matter the industry. Dreamforce happens in November every year but the specific dates for 2020 haven’t been announced yet.

5. Klaviyo: BOS

TBD 2020 (Around September) – Boston, MA
Klaviyo is one of the top email service providers and this conference is where they share their expertise on all areas of marketing, not just email marketing. Northern attended this past September and came away with new ways to leverage this platform to optimize our clients’ marketing mix and increase ROI. This year’s conference took place in September but the dates for 2020 haven’t been announced yet.


6. ShopTalk 2020

March 22-25, 2020 – Las Vegas, NV
Over 8,000 retailers attend this annual conference to network, learn about retail trends, new technology, and more. What’s unique about this conference is the people focus. Peer roundtables, one-to-one meetings, and curated dinners are a few of the ways this conference helps to connect you with new people to help you grow.

7. IRCE @ RetailX

This conference and trade show offers about 130 sessions covering emerging trends and strategies specifically tailored to eCommerce retailers. This combined with over 600 vendors providing everything from payment solutions to shipping methods makes it worth your and your team’s time.

8. Path2Purchase Summit

May 15-17, 2020 – Ft Lauderdale, FL
This conference focuses on what consumers are looking for and what the path to purchase looks like in the rapidly changing retail industry. If your team would benefit from in-depth ways of gathering and analyzing customer data, conversion rate optimization, and using personalization to your brand’s advantage, then this is a conference to consider.

9. eTail West

February 24-27, 2020 – Palm Springs, CA
This conference has been running for over 20 years and delivers a deep dive into the strategies disrupting the eCommerce industry and a future look into what may change tomorrow. Their agenda of 2020 speakers include innovative executives from Zappos, Overstock, Lenovo, Sephora, and other global brands.

10. eTail Canada

May 4-6, 2020 – Toronto, ON
If your team is looking for new insights on things Canadian eCommerce branding and growth strategies while making new industry connections, take a look at eTail Canada. Speakers from all industries within eCommerce are there to lend their expertise in their niche. 2020’s speakers include C-suite executives from Metro, Indigo, InkBox, David’s Tea, and more big brands.

11. DX3

March 10-11, 2020 – Toronto, ON
Learn expert insights from thought leaders in the retail industry. Over 100 speakers cover topics like social media marketing, UX trends, the future of subscription-based retail, and mobile solutions for evolving consumer buying habits.

12. Commerce Next

July 28-29, 2020 – NYC, NY
Bump shoulders with brands like Macy’s, Uniqlo, Adidas, and Footlocker at this eCommerce marketing-focused conference. Join over 1,200 other peers to learn about subjects like brand storytelling, digital audio advertising, building a fanbase, and how to optimize Google’s smart bidding feature.


13. Inbound 2020

August 18-21, 2020 – Boston, MA
This is a huge conference centred around inbound marketing, sales, and customer service. Over 24,000 people attended in 2018 to hear big players in the marketing and education world like Brian Halligan and Darmesh Shah of Hubspot and Sal Khan of Khan Academy.

14. Growth Marketing Conference

TBD December, 2020 – San Francisco, CA
Learn from subject-matter experts on topics like demand generation, conversion optimization, customer lifecycle and funnel optimization, user psychology, and how to hire a team that will help your brand grow. If your brand is looking to boost product-driven growth, this is the conference for you

Get The Most Out Of Conferences

Begin your research and put together a proposal for your management team to convince them your chosen conferences are worth the time and money. Discuss the options with your team and get their thoughts on what would be the most valuable outcome of attending a conference.

After you get the go-ahead from your management team, start preparing a plan so your team can get the most out of the conference.

  • Review the agenda and the list of speakers for each conference to make sure there is an alignment between the topics offered and your brand’s needs.
  • Come prepared with fully charged devices, pens and notebooks, and don’t forget plenty of business cards!
  • Strike up conversations with as many people as possible. You never know who will be a valuable ally to your business.
  • If multiple members of your team are attending, split up in order to go to as many workshops and seminars as possible
  • Take detailed notes so you can share what you learned with the rest of your team and other departments when you return to the office.

If you’re attending one of these conferences, feel free to reach out and tell us about your plans. We’d love to hear from you!

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Northern is one of North America’s fastest growing eCommerce agencies, specializing in industry-leading eCommerce web development, design, and marketing services.