eTail Canada 2018

15 - 17 May, 2018

Hyatt Regency Toronto, ON


Day Three: Thursday, May 17, 2018 | Questioning the Status Quo and Taking on Tomorrow

Day Three will challenge us to take a hard look into the mirror, and our crystal balls, to ask: what is working, what is not working, how can I change, and where are we going next?  We’ll mix insights from some of the industry’s biggest and most exciting players with companies that are eschewing entrenched industry patterns - and thriving..  Walk out of the conference energized and armed with both practical insights and inspiration to supercharge your e-commerce approach – for all you have on your plate now, and whatever will come next!

8:20 am - 8:55 am Continental Breakfast & Registration for All Attendees

8:55 am - 9:00 am Welcome Remarks

Krishna Patel, Senior Conference Producer,eTail Canada

Krishna Patel

Senior Conference Producer
eTail Canada

9:00 am - 9:10 am Chairperson’s Remarks

9:10 am - 9:30 am This Will Be Obsolete By the Time You Read It

Daryl Porter, Vice President, Omnichannel & Online Grocery,Walmart Canada
Every day, industry innovation generates an avalanche of exciting new headlines and initiatives from omni-channel and ecommerce retailers.  Join Daryl Porter as he brings you the story behind those headlines, focusing on the challenges within the Canadian retail landscape and how Walmart is transforming to meet them head-on.

Daryl Porter

Vice President, Omnichannel & Online Grocery
Walmart Canada

9:30 am - 9:50 am Expanding Your Brand into a Cultural Paradigm

Nicole Tapscott, GM, Canada,Casper
  • Don’t be complacent in your industry monopoly
  • Story of growth is very customer centric, great takeaway
  • We sold our first month of product in two days
  • Everyone became all hands on deck, customer service centricity
  • Catapulted the brand into the consumer mindset
  • Best in class example of customer experience and engagement
  • In terms of establishing the next paradigm
  • Looking for those engegemtn opps with customers and like minded partners – indigo, target, differentways to engage the consumer
  • Unlike socks or makeup if you see an ad you might just go get it, matteress isn’t an impulse buy.  Creating ads that resonate, remembering the brand experience, engagement with comsters memorable, exciting different,
  • Introducing ourselves to you in whimsicle human way and communicating valye of the product

Nicole Tapscott

GM, Canada

Profit margins on e-commerce are questionable given operational costs.  These companies eschew e-commerce or are stepping away from online operations but are thriving.  Where are they putting their focus instead?

Chris Tarrant

Vice President, Store Development & Design
Starbucks Canada


Tim Barnes

Director, Commercial & Retail
Calgary International Airport


Fab Stanghieri

Senior Vice President, Real Estate & Construction

10:30 am - 11:10 am Morning Refreshments & Networking Break

11:10 am - 11:30 am Remarkable Customer Experience is Channel Agnostic: How One Furniture Brand is Breaking Through

Duncan Blair, Director, Marketing,Article
Asking if people will buy a sofa online is the wrong question. The right question: Why do people shop for furniture the way they do, and is there a way to do it better? How you serve your customer isn’t defined by where they make their final purchase. It’s not the channel that should be memorable, it’s the experience with your brand. 

Duncan Blair

Director, Marketing

Help the bots find your information by delving into the art and science of SEO.

  • Understanding how search algorithms impact your page ranking
  • Making SEO optimization part of your copywriting process
  • Publishing relevant content and updating regularly
  • Establishing processes to optimize metadata, linking, and alt tags
  • Voice is the new frontier of search, how does a mid sized smb compete with Wal- Mart and Amazon on a home based advice?
  • Accounting for visual search – “where does our product show up when people are using them and looking to purchase the item?”  

Toshi Okumura

Director, Marketing


Marc Tapping

Director, eCommerce
Jenny Bird


Di Gallo

Director, Digital Marketing & Social Media
Indigo Books & Music

12:10 pm - 12:30 pm “Look Up Dummies, Look Up!” How to Change the Way We Think in Crazy Times and Succeed

Peter van Stolk, CEO & Managing Director,SPUD
The model offers customers a true omni-channel grocery experience including direct to home through and pick-up at one its own Be Fresh or Blush Lane stores.  Free delivery of perishable items has been achieved with the help of a proprietary technology-enabled logistics solution.  Peter Stolk will discuss how was able to predict and lead digital adoption amid the razor-thin margins of the grocery space – and what businesses can do to position themselves to ride the next wave of disruption.

Peter van Stolk

CEO & Managing Director

12:30 pm - 1:30 pm Lunch for All Attendees in The King Street Social Restaurant

1:30 pm - 1:50 pm We Grew, Made Mistakes, Undertook A Painful Restructuring…And Successfully Put Customers Back in the Center of Our Org Chart

Jackson Lau, Co-Founder,
How did a specialty retailer face down the imminent collapse of their company and bounce back to rank #44 in the top 100 Canadian e-retailers?  Join Jackson Lau as he shares the difficult choices he posed to his team, partsengine’s unorthodox company structure, and the drive behind forfeiting higher profits to offer free shipping, 365 day returns, and price matching to its customers.

  • The dark side of unexpected growth: a painful restructuring experience
  • Mindset over Quantity: doing more with less than 40% of the original workforce
  • Development of our Circular Org Chart and the flexible operation structure
  • The Partsengine Culture: no boss, no KPI, no doors, Empowered Team Members Only
  • Benefits and pitfalls of the customer experience driven decision making process

Jackson Lau


1:50 pm - 2:15 pm Merging the Consumer Journey – Connecting Consumer Commerce Across Channels

Prashant Ramesh, Director, eCommerce,Adidas Group Canada Michael Smyth, Director, Retail,Adidas Group Canada
The heads of e-commerce and retail for adidas Canada will share the story of how the team is:

  • Using the website to drive store traffic
  • Effectively connecting physical locations and the website using digital strategies
  • Aligning marketing, IT, and operations efforts to support click and collect

Prashant Ramesh

Director, eCommerce
Adidas Group Canada


Michael Smyth

Director, Retail
Adidas Group Canada

2:15 pm - 2:35 pm No Discounts. No Excess Inventory. No Wholesaling. How Leaving Sales on the Table Has Been Vital to Our Growth

Kendall Barber, Co-Founder,Poppy Barley
Poppy Barley’s approach to pricing, inventory, and distribution eschew mainstream retail practices… and have driven average growth of 225% since its founding in 2012.  Join Co-Founder Kendall Barber as she delves into:

  • Training your consumers away from “wait for the sale” 
  • The pros and cons of building all your own distribution channels
  • What advice she has for established companies looking to modernize their approach when it comes to nimbleness, responsiveness to customers, and creating custom products

Kendall Barber

Poppy Barley

2:35 pm - 3:00 pm Mobile is the New Storefront: Leveraging the Impact of Mobile, Video, and Facebook Messenger to Drive Your eCommerce and Retail Business

Sam Galanis, Head of Retail, Canada,Facebook Canada

Sam Galanis

Head of Retail, Canada
Facebook Canada

3:00 pm - 4:00 pm Wrap-Up Roundtables – Lessons Learned and Takeaways

Saying goodbye is hard, especially after three inspirational days at eTail Canada with old and new friends and colleagues. We’re hoping this wrap-up will give you the closure needed to package all of your takeaways with a neat little bow to take back to work on Monday morning.

These free flow discussions will be your chance to take a deep dive into the specific areas you came to discuss and what the future of the consumer F&B experience looks like to you.

  • Share your one “A-ha!” moment from the conference 
  • What are two things you heard this week that scare you?
  • I wish…

4:00 pm - 4:00 pm End of eTail Canada 2018