Endear x The Lead: Recap of the 2023 Summit

The Lead is one of Manhattan's most exciting retail summits. Here's what the Endear team had to say about this year's event.

Endear at The Lead Summit

2,000 Attendees

including leaders from international brands

#1 for Clienteling

Endear was The Lead's #1 clienteling platform

140 Speakers

Topics spanned from AI to the future of global retail


This month, Endear’s very own VIP of Sales Casey Drake and Partner Manager Madeleine Anderson attended The Lead, an innovation summit in Manhattan that is always highly anticipated by the retail world. The Lead brought together over 2,000 people this year, including retail industry visionaries from renowned brands like Macy's, Abercrombie & Fitch, Allbirds, and H&M. With over 140 speakers and 45 content sessions spread across three stages, the Lead was the ultimate destination for anyone looking to stay ahead of the curve in the world of fashion tech.

The Lead x Endear

First Impressions

Both Madeleine and Casey agree, “The Lead is always one of our favorite events.” Madeleine continues, “We always chat with amazing brands when we are there and this year I met some really exciting partners!” 

Casey compares The Lead to a place of nostalgia, “I love getting the chance to see the same faces year after year. It's like going to summer camp as a kid, but for adults! Whether prospects, customers, partners, or just friends in the industry, getting to see and interact with people IRL has an incredible effect of letting you get to know the human side of the people you're just on Google meetings with otherwise.”

Retail continues to buzz about AI

Here to Stay

Speaking of Google, one of the standout themes at The Lead was the ever-growing presence of artificial intelligence (AI) across industries. It’s clear that AI is no longer a far-off concept but rather a tangible force shaping the future of retail. Brands from various sectors showcased how they are embracing AI and incorporating it into their operations. This revelation left attendees, including our very own Partnership Manager, Madeleine Anderson, buzzing with excitement about the potential impact of AI on the industry.

Madeleine, who recently attended Shoptalk, another prominent retail innovation summit, drew comparisons between the two events. While Shoptalk focused on the retail ecosystem as a whole, The Lead honed in specifically on the direct-to-consumer business model.

Modern customer engagement is the future of retail - and the now.

Clienteling with Endear

How did this fare for Endear, an all-in-one Customer Relationship Manager that specializes in modern clienteling? Casey was excited to share, “We were the ONLY clienteling platform in the building and it seemed EVERYONE wanted to talk clienteling this year.”


“The biggest issue I kept coming across when talking to brands was the difficulties they have faced with their data when trying to personalize their approach to communicating with customers. Many feel helpless and locked in by their point-of-sale.” It’s true. At Endear, we’ve seen an increase in brands with specific questions regarding security when it comes to digital customer outreach.  “They were excited to hear about the resources we've put towards unlocking data from any platform for use in our clienteling tool.”

In conclusion

The Lead was an event that left an indelible mark on the minds of its attendees. It provided a unique opportunity to delve into the ever-evolving world of direct-to-consumer business, explore the limitless possibilities of AI, and establish meaningful connections with industry leaders. The future of fashion tech is brighter than ever, and with events like The Lead guiding the way, all roads indeed lead to greater direct revenue, both online and offline.

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