The crew from EYStudios just returned from IRCE 2017 in Chicago and they’re all equally exhausted and energized from the show.

I had a chance to sit down with Eric Yonge, Lisa Cook, Sean Callihan and Ali Hyduke to learn more about their favorite parts of the show were and what the key takeaways for the week were.


On Tuesday, we were able to kick the conference off with our partners at BigCommerce during their eCommerce Growth Summit. The event was held at Soldier Field where we were able to set up a booth and meet merchants and partners alike. Our CEO Eric Yong participated in a partner panel where he had a chance to speak about Product Merchandising.

Top Left: Soldier Field, Top Right: Our Booth at the Growth Summit, Bottom Left: Eric speaking about Product Merchandising Bottom Left: The booth area at the Growth Summit


On Wednesday, our favorite part of the day were the two keynote speakers that kicked off the day, Mary Beth Laughton, SVP of Digital for Sephora, and Barbara Corcoran of Shark Tank.

Mary Beth did a great presentation about How Sephora uses Mobile for Experiential Retail. Their focus is to get customers so involved with their site that users become “addicted” and are utilizing it several times throughout the day. Their goal is simple, use the site: To Teach (about the products and how to best use them). To Inspire (with new ideas, looks and an online community built on sharing). To Play (by allowing customers to test products virtually). It’s really the next level in the omnichannel experience. Whether a customer is Scanning SKU’s in the store, booking appointments or watching makeup tutorials – every touch is a chance to build loyalty to the brand and ensure repeat visits (and purchases)!

After that, Barabara Corcoran, no-nonsense Shark Tank mogul took the stage to talk about how she found success personally and keys to making your own team successful. She focused on themes like:

  • Rebounding from Failure. Don’t dwell! Our biggest opportunities for growth come right after some of our biggest failures.
  • Being a fierce woman in a man’s world.
  • Pushing yourself and your team, but knowing when to have fun as a team.
  • Finding the right team. Do you have Expanders AND Containers?

Our team learned so much from these keynotes, not the least of which was two excellent examples of female leadership and success in a male-dominated business world.


Throughout the week Sean had a chance to meet with over 20 current and potential partners – spanning everything from ERP Implementation, Search, Reviews, Taxes and more. Despite how different their services are – many of our partners shared the same things:

  • They’re looking to help merchants tailor the individual customer experience
  • They’re focusing more and more on user generated content

From the merchant standpoint, one thing seemed to ring true throughout: Merchants were laser focused on finding the right partners and knew exactly what they wanted. While the elaborate booths, happy hours and tchotchkees are some of our favorite parts of the conference, we couldn’t help but notice that merchants weren’t about to be distracted and knew exactly what they wanted and who they wanted to speak with.


On Friday after the conference floor closed, we were thoroughly impressed with the number of merchants who stuck around and joined us for the Design & Usability Workshop where Eric did Live Site  Reviews alongside Josh Levine. Merchants even lined up at the end of the session to ask questions of their own stores…proof positive that expert advice and trusted partners are more in demand than ever.

As always the team loved the opportunity to connect with partners and merchants alike and left feeling energized and inspired for the second half of 2017 and beyond.


Want to hear from the team themselves? Check out our IRCE 2017 Recap Podcast.

Interested in working with EYStudios? Call us at 888-429-4803 or email us at and we’ll connect with you ASAP.