• Sun. Apr 11th, 2021

Home Improvement eRetailer Summit Goes Virtual

The upcoming Home Improvement eRetailer Summit will be conducted as a virtual event March 16 and 17 open to all retailers for first time.

The Home Improvement eRetailer Summit launched five years ago to help guide home improvement retailers and suppliers though fast-evolving ecommerce trends and developments. The summit is adapting to meet the market’s needs as impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, said Sonya Ruff Jarvis, the summit’s founder.

“Over its five years, the summit has become an essential venue for information and sharing ideas,” Ruff Jarvis said. “We felt an obligation to sustain the event, and this year our delivery platform will be the Internet, which has been so many retailers’ and suppliers’ lifelines during the pandemic.”

Curt Vitale, account manager with Firefly Buys, one of the summit’s advisory board members, said, “The need to continue interacting, learning and growing our businesses remains during this unusual period. Until we can resume customary conventions, conferences and trade shows, the option to participate virtually is the avenue for remaining engaged.”

Scott Sinclair, senior director of e-commerce at OneStone, reflecting on a previous year filled with new challenges resulting in updated processes and increased expectations, said, “It is more important than ever for us to share ideas, strategies, and insights. The virtual Home Improvement eRetailer Summit is the perfect environment to do just that.”

Moving online also opens the summit to independent hardware retailers and lumber building material dealers, Ruff Jarvis said. Previously, she noted, the conference limited its attendees invited to the physical event to facilitate the highest-level of networking and face-to-face relationship building.

The virtual Summit divides into two parts:

• The conference section kicks off March 16 with a data-informed overview of the home-improvement e-commerce channel, pre-pandemic and now, Ruff Jarvis said.

This session will be followed by a presentation from executives of summit sponsor OneStone exploring how Amazon has pivoted its business during the pandemic; and how brands and manufacturers can win at fulfillment. This session will also provide best practices on counterfeit protection.

A two-part panel discussion moderated by retailers on product distribution will share ideas about supply, demand and volume that can help lead to seamless delivery to end users. Part two of this session will focus on how distributors and digital-savvy retailers can work together to streamline their processes to alleviate pinch points that hinder moving products quicker.

The first day concludes with each of the summit’s advisory council membe rs—Elizabeth Ragone of Boscov’s;  Mike Hargrave of Goedeker’s; Asa Farquhar of Spreetail; Brian Fricano of Sustainable Supply; Jay Patel of Zoro.com; and Vitale of Firefly Buys— sharing experiences during the pandemic and what each has learned to improve his or her business.

The conference part of the summit will be streamed to registered participants. Companies that register three or more of their employees receive a discounted registration rate.

The summit’s second day, March 17, will showcase one-on-one meetings for suppliers with selected retailers and third-party fulfillment companies.

The registration fee structure for manufacturers is tiered to encourage greater participation. There is an ala carte rate for manufacturers that just want to attend the conference or have access to as many as three one-on-one meetings during the second day. Manufacturers that choose to participate both days receive a discounted rate that gives two company representatives access to up to six meetings with retailers and third party fulfillment companies.

For more information about the upcoming Summit, contact  Ruff Jarvis at [email protected]