The topic of retail technology was a big part of a panel discussion that took place at the Women in Retail Leadership Circle: On the Road event in San Francisco last November. The panel featured industry disruptors Lily Kanter, CEO and founder, Boon Supply Co.; Cassie Fossum, CEO and founder, Mavette; and Jenna Kerner, co-CEO and co-founder of Harper Wilde, who provided insight into, among other things, the influence of technology on retail businesses, and specifically how it’s impacting consumer behavior.

Kanter, whose online household essentials marketplace Boon Supply Co. donates 50 percent of all proceeds to a philanthropic cause customers choose from a list of options, offered a few salient points about the technology trends she’s tracking (featured in the video below ). Kanter should know: she’s also the founder of bedding and furniture retailer Serena & Lily, and spent many years at Deloitte, where she managed retail system integrations. One trend she’s tracking is customer convenience through technology.

“I’m seeing customer convenience as a big trend,” Kanter told the audience. “People are time starved, so those who can deliver an exceptional customer experience to a time-starved person [will be on the right track].

While it doesn’t currently impact Boon Supply Co., Kanter believes that virtual reality will play a major role in retail’s future. “We’re just starting to see the beginning of that,” she said.

Mobile is also something to keep top of mind when thinking of retail technology trends to watch. “I think we’re all surprised at how much mobile has taken over our customers’ lives,” said Kanter.

Finally, what Kanter is most excited about is how easy and inexpensive it is to work with out-of -the-box, cloud-based e-commerce applications.

“I was able to stand up an e-commerce platform on Shopify so easily,” Kanter said. “I’ve spent my life in technology, and it [used] to cost a million dollars to stand up what we were able to stand up for nothing. So, we were able to invest all of our dollars in the crowdsourcing part of our platform — and some of the other technologies — which is exciting.”

What are some retail technology trends that you’re tracking in 2019? Leave a comment below or drop me a line at

To hear more about how these innovators use technology in their retail businesses, WIRLC members can watch the full “Retail Change Agents” Panel from WIRLC On The Road: San Francisco here.

If you’re not a member, click here to apply to become a member of  the Women in Retail Leadership Circle. Members receive many benefits such as access to premium content, networking opportunities with executive-level women, discounts to our annual summit, and more. 

Women in Retail Leadership Circle On the Road: San Francisco Change Agents clip from NAPCO Video on Vimeo.