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business Campaigns e-commerce Editor's pick product Retail technology

How brands can find their own voice in a screenless future

Amazon Alexas and Google Homes have been popping up in households around the world, and it is expected that there will be 8 billion voice assistants by 2023. While so far, the technology has mainly been used for running other smart devices in the home, asking novelty questions or setting timers, there is strong potential for fashion and beauty brands to focus on the retail aspect of the experience.

Voice commerce sales totaled a whopping $2.1 billion last year, and it is predicted that consumers will use the technology for almost a fifth of their total spending by 2021. For brands, this is not only a new a new opportunity to connect with its customers, but an important new sales channel. 

Last year we spoke to Amazon Alexa’s founder, William Tunstall-Pedoe, on the Innovators podcast, on how voice tech will impact retail. Although the technology is still in its early stages of development, Tunstall-Pedoe envisioned a future that is all connected: “I think you’ll be surprised in a couple of years if you speak to a device and it doesn’t reply.” He believes that the technology will be transformative, with the artificial intelligence behind voice assistants eventually interconnecting everything around us. 

As far into the future as it sounds, this concept may be happening a lot sooner than we think. 

From creating moments of discovery to enabling better store interactions, we explore 3 ways that brands retailers can be leveraging voice tech in order to enhance customer experience.

Gaining traction
Rebook’s limited edition Club C sneakers

One of the biggest challenges retailers and brands face when engaging in voice interactions is how to get their product discovered. The lack of a screen and the current intelligence of algorithms means that shopping on these platforms is generally a linear journey, and unless the customer is looking for a specific brand, surfacing as a suggestion is virtually impossible. 

One way retailers can adapt to the technology is by utilizing it in their marketing strategy. Reebok, for example teamed up with Amazon and Google for the launch of its Swarovski sneakers collaboration. Consumers could win a pair of the limited edition trainers by asking their voice assistant to “open Reebok Sneaker Drop”, which would automatically enter them into the competition. On the day of the launch, 50 lucky winners were announced through the voice channels. 

This specific campaign showed that as the popularity of the drop model starts to lose steam, voice tech could help reignite its spark. This approach is also particularly effective with the younger generation who is not only tech-savvy, but constantly looking to be challenged in order to land exclusive products.

Setting the tone
Mastercard’s sonic branding

Marketers often talk about fighting to get through the noise, but now brands are literally fighting to get their voices heard. In the near future, owning a clear brand voice, which aligns to its overall identity and DNA, is going to be an important tool to have under the belt. 

As voice tech gets more sophisticated, we’re seeing that brands will start to move away from the generic ‘Alexa’ or ‘Cortana’ voices, into recognizable accents that differentiate the brand from competitors. Developing the correct tone of voice will be key to building brand loyalty, as 72% of consumers believe brands should have a unique voice and personality.

Mastercard has been experimenting with sound architecture by creating its own sonic brand identity which is simple, memorable and adaptable. The distinct melody is played at every touchpoint of the consumer journey, with the intention of helping reinforce the brand’s values and build deeper connections with its customers. This indicates that although brands have long relied on having a purely visual identity, in the future, they are going to have to adapt to an environment that is increasingly audio-friendly (and often screenless).

Enhancing the in-store experience
H&M’s voice activated mirror

68% of consumers say voice assistants free them to multitask and accomplish tasks hands-free in the home, but how could that translate in-store? For example in a fitting room, a voice assistant could make product recommendations, check for other sizes, or even offer styling tips.

Last year, H&M tested the use of voice-activated mirror at its NYC flagship, which allowed users to access style advice, discounts and even take selfies. The mirror gained a lot of traction, with 150 interactions per day, while 85% of people who did so, scanned an additional QR code to receive a discount. The mirror was implemented as a standalone feature, but in the future, this technology could potentially move into changing rooms, allowing people to experience it privately (and therefore lowering the barrier to entry.)

In 2016, Gartner predicted that by next year 30% of web browsing would be screenless. Brands and retailers must therefore keep up with the pace of change, or risk being excluded from this emerging behavior that is increasingly leaning towards audio.

How are you thinking about new technology? The Current Global is a transformation consultancy driving growth within fashion, luxury and retail. Our mission is to solve challenges and facilitate change. We are thinkers and builders delivering innovative solutions and experiences. Each of the rules referenced above is matched by one of our products and services. Interested in how? Get in touch to learn more.

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business data e-commerce Editor's pick Events Retail sustainability technology

SXSW 2020 trends: From big tech to the explosion of cannabusiness

Artificial intelligence, sustainability, cannabis, gaming – just four examples of major areas impacting the fashion and retail industries today. As always, the key questions our clients want to know is in what way, and by when? Or in other words, at what point do I need to pay attention enough to jump into this space myself too?

Every August we take a pause and think about direction of travel for the industry. What within these trends really matter and how will they be shaped as we work towards 2020? 

We then like to reach out to our community about it to bring them to life at one of the industry’s leading festivals when it comes to the intersection of technology and culture today. 

Yes, we’re talking about SXSW.

Whether you’re a regular attendee, have the intention of being a first-timer, or just want to support great content from afar, this is your chance to bring to life the talks you’re interested in for next year. All you have to do is vote on the SXSW Panel Picker by August 23, 2019.

We’ve taken to heart those themes mentioned above, sourced some of the world’s foremost expert speakers on each subject, and we’re pitching for a total of five big sessions on stage. See them all below and click on each to place your votes.

Defending our humanity: The war on big tech
Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie

This revealing interview with Cambridge Analytica whistleblower, Christopher Wylie, will discuss how in a world overrun by disinformation, increasingly segregated by algorithms and steadily dulled through tech disruption, the very essence of our humanity is at risk. We’ll explore why it’s naive to rely on government or big tech to do the right thing, and how our culture can be defended as a result. Vote Here

Nike revealed: Sustainability through skateboarding
Stefan Janoski, Nike

This insightful panel featuring skateboarding and sustainability superstars including Stefan Janoski, Elissa Steamer and the brand’s Chief Sustainability Officer, Noel Kinder, will explore how Nike is opening up to reveal its changing labor practices and to launch a new documentary series shot in China. Vote Here

Desire-driven data as the future tastemaker
Stitch Fix

With data increasingly impacting everything consumers do, is machine learning becoming the tastemaker of the future? Learn from experts at L’Oréal, Stitch Fix and Hulu on how they’re using data to shape creativity and almost everything they do. Vote Here

Dope retail: The luxury opportunity for cannabis
Beboe

The global legal cannabis trade is expected to hit $77bn in value by 2022. Join us to hear about the exploding retail opportunity in this space from luxury cannabis brand, Beboe, and iconic New York retailer, Barneys. Vote Here

Shopper engagement? Gamification is the answer!
Harry Potter Wizards Unite

Gaming is having a moment – not just on our smartphones but in our stores. This session will see shopping center Simon Malls, which is tapping into Harry Potter with gaming company Niantic, and luxury brand Kenzo, which is driving exclusive product access through gaming, diving into how “play” is reshaping brand engagement. Vote Here

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e-commerce Podcast

Why Pinterest pushes shopping over commerce

There’s a big difference today between the role of commerce, and that of shopping, says Tim Weingarten, head of shopping product at Pinterest, on the latest episode of the Innovators podcast by the Current Global.

“Commerce has this implication of pushing for the transaction – about reducing friction in the conversion. Whereas shopping is one of joy. It’s one of serendipity, it’s one of discovering something you didn’t know existed,” he explains.  

Listen here:  Apple Podcasts | Android Google Podcasts | Stitcher | RSS

It’s that mentality that underpins everything his team does at the company, focusing primarily on how to better the user experience with discovery and personalization at its core. This includes the introduction of a series of tools that filter and predict needs – from Pinterest Lens, which allows customers to find items from the database by photographing similar ones, to the newly announced Catalogs feature, where brands can upload their entire product catalog as shoppable pins.

What makes Pinterest stand out among its competitors, is that its users navigate the platform for entirely personal reasons, such as renovating their kitchens or achieving the perfect hairstyle, as opposed to pushing aspirational content to followers, Weingarten comments. Being able to capitalize on that then comes down to having the right algorithms in place.

“The more data you have, the more you can personalize. But on an e commerce site, the only data they have is based on prior transactions. That’s a very sparse dataset and it happens very infrequently. If you switch gears to Pinterest, what you have is someone visiting every day doing this authentic thing – saving things for particular use cases. This engagement signal can be applied to all products… And because we have this authentic form of engagement, we’re able to understand what you’re trying to accomplish, and actually personalize it to your tastes,” he says.

Pinterest has been around for nearly a decade with a quiet yet steady climb to the top. As of 2018, users on the platform had pinned 175 billion items on three billion virtual boards. The company is now on track to top $1bn in revenue, and is rumored to be moving forward with an IPO this summer at a valuation of $12bn.

During this conversation recorded at Shoptalk with the Current Global’s Rachel Arthur, Weingarten dissects how Pinterest is only getting better at predicting consumer needs before they’re voiced; shares how the platform balances being commercial with keeping the joy of inspiration alive, and hints at the types of technologies he’s looking at to further personalize the shopping experience.

Catch up with all of our episodes of the Innovators podcast by the Current Global here. The series is a weekly conversation with visionaries, executives and entrepreneurs. It’s backed by the Current Global, a consultancy transforming how consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more.

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e-commerce Editor's pick Podcast

NET-A-PORTER on personalizing the customer experience

Rosanna Falconer and Matthew Woolsey

The future of e-commerce may not be about a traditional website at all, but about existing on multiple other platforms, expresses Matthew Woolsey, managing director at online luxury retailer, NET-A-PORTER, on the latest episode of the Innovators podcast by TheCurrent.

Listen here: Apple Podcasts | Android | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | RSS

The company sees many of its big customers making purchases over platforms including Whatsapp, iMessage and WeChat, which have become their primary entry point to e-commerce through their relationships with personal shoppers, he explains.

“We want to be in the platform where our customer is engaging with content, seeing the product or speaking with the personal shopper. It’s about what’s best for her. We never want to be in a position where we are forcing or imposing a platform or methodology on our customers, because that’s the opposite of customer centricity,” he explains.

“It’s very easy to imagine a time when NET-A-PORTER doesn’t even have a website, in the traditional sort of desktop sense, and really what it exists as is more of a concierge, on-demand, service offering. I think that’s the future of where this industry is headed and it’s something we are really well suited for because we have that infrastructure, we have that service component but we also know a lot more about our customer than just what she is buying.”

Data is central to being able to personalize the experience for individual customers in this way, he explains, outlining how the company is constantly looking at how to give its personal shoppers greater tools through technology.

The company is currently experimenting with how it can use artificial intelligence to merge data between purchase history and fashion trends to give personal shoppers recommendations and ideas in advance that are personalized to the customer, for instance.

Eventually the idea is for this to be scalable across the seven million consumers NET-A-PORTER talks to, but hitting its EIPs, or extremely important people, is the core focus, given the fact this 3% of its customer base, make up 40% of its revenue.

Speaking with Rosanna Falconer at a FashMash event in London, Woolsey also reveals why the most expensive item ever bought via a messaging app is so significant, whether NET-A-PORTER would ever think about physical retail, and how to manage the modern day tension between algorithms and inspiration.  

Catch up with all of our episodes of the Innovators podcast by the Current here. The series is a weekly conversation with visionaries, executives and entrepreneurs. It’s backed by the Current Global, a consultancy transforming how consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more.

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data Editor's pick sustainability technology

Cambridge Analytica whistleblower joins H&M to lead AI research

Christopher Wiley
Christopher Wylie

Christopher Wylie, the man known as the Cambridge Analytica whistleblower, has joined H&M as its director of research, where he will work on using data and analytics to drive sustainability.

Speaking on stage at the Business of Fashion’s VOICES conference in the UK this week, he said artificial intelligence (AI) can be used to reduce waste in the industry and drive efficiency through the supply chain.

“A lot of fashion companies look at the supply chain and the mechanics from production to distribution, but actually understanding consumers will help you optimize the supply chain because you will better understand what it is they want to buy or they don’t want to buy,” he explained.

That comes off the back of the fact that H&M reported it had a stockpile of $4 billion in unsold clothing earlier this year. Meanwhile, Burberry also came under fire over the summer for news it burnt $37.8 million in excess inventory last year.

But Wylie argued that turning to data is not only good for the environment, but also good for business.

“Investing in AI will allow you to not only better match your units of clothing to your customers, and therefore make more money, but be able to make more money with less units of clothing. So there’s an argument in profit and profitability to invest in AI, and also an argument in sustainability to invest in AI.” That means that being more sustainable is not only an environmental decision, but a business one, he noted.

Wiley will join the H&M Group on December 1 to bring these insights to the fast fashion giant, where he will work alongside Arti Zeighami, the company’s head of AI and advanced analytics.

“If we put this data on top of what we have, then we can be more precise. It means you can stop guessing what you can calculate. It helps you be [sharper] with decision-making,” Zeighami added.

“Tech is cool. There are amazing things you can do with data, it doesn’t have to be evil,” said Wylie.

That followed a keynote he gave earlier in the day in which he outlined the way in which Cambridge Analytica used data from fashion brands as a weapon to help elect President Trump in the US in 2016. Facebook ‘likes’ from brands including Wrangler and LL Bean were used as a primary input for the algorithms that then targeted people with pro-Trump messaging. He referred to this as repurposing technology originally designed for cyber warfare to influence politics.

Earlier this year, Wylie also gave an exclusive interview to Vogue Italia in which he spoke further about why the similarities between fashion and politics are stronger than people think.

How are you thinking about AI for sustainable innovation? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. TheCurrent is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more.

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data Editor's pick technology

Yoox to introduce AI-generated designs for new private label

Federico Marchetti of Yoox Net-a-Porter spoke at the Wired Smarter conference
WIRED Smarter

Yoox is due to introduce a new private label generated by data, according to Federico Marchetti, CEO of the Yoox Net-a-Porter Group.

Speaking on stage at the WIRED Smarter conference in London today, he said the collection – the name for which he declined to yet share – will be informed by artificial intelligence (AI), but still designed by the creative team.

“By using the data, we think the creative team can interpret better our customer needs going forward,” he explained. In other words, he sees AI as an opportunity to enhance humans in their design process.

That focus on man versus machine is at the very heart of business today, he argued – and especially luxury. The challenge is how to balance the two.

“Man is about emotions. It’s about beauty. It’s about feelings. The machine is about speed, information power and the future. Can these two worlds co-exist?” he asked. “We must make choices to strike the right balance.”

In the future, he imagines clothing labels such as “Made in Italy” will be replaced by “Made by Humans”. But he said that’s a choice for us to do so: “This is only going to get harder as technology accelerates – it’s not always the efficient choice to use humans, it will probably be easier to let a machine do everything in the future. It’s a choice to stop ourselves from allowing technology to replace what we truly value.”

The YNAP Group can already demonstrate a variety of examples where man and machine come together out of choice. Its logistics center is fully automated, for instance, apart from at the final point, which is where the box is put together and the bow is tied around it. “This intersection with the final customer needs to have the human touch,” Marchetti explained.

It’s the same for the e-commerce company’s personal shoppers, all of whom now have an AI tool to help them give advice to customers. This is a data-led system that learns tastes from stylists and then hands that information over to be scaled.

Yoox also isn’t the first to think about a data-generated collection. Companies like Stitch Fix in the US, have also been experimenting with collecting data from customers and feeding it through an algorithm to create new designs. The idea of “cognitive creativity” is also something the likes of IBM Watson has been playing with in partnership with a variety of brands including Tommy Hilfiger, Marchesa and Australian designer Jason Grech.

The new AI-generated line from Yoox will launch in a couple of weeks, Marchetti said.

UPDATE NOVEMBER 6, 2018: Yoox has announced the brand will be called 8 by Yoox, and consist of a collection of stylish essentials for women and men, powered by artificial intelligence alongside human designers. It launches on site today.

The team have used advanced AI tools to review content from across social media and online magazines in key markets with a particular focus on fashion influencers. This insight is combined with predictive indicators into emerging lifestyle and style trends, analysis of own data from products sold on its site, customer feedback, industry purchasing trends as well as text search and image recognition. The result is a dynamic mood board that allows the design team to tap into the pulse of the Yoox customer, providing inspiration before they start to conceive items for the collection including everything from shape trends to colours, sleeve lengths, neckline shapes, fabrics, textures, heel heights and price points.

8 by Yoox
8 by Yoox

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about helping you build innovative integrations and experiences. TheCurrent is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology, powered by a network of top startups. Get in touch to learn more.

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Editor's pick product technology

Nike releases data-driven training collection by Matthew M Williams

Nike x Matthew M Williams
Nike x Matthew M Williams

Nike is paving the way for a new approach to manufacturing through a data-driven collection with designer Matthew M Williams, the man behind breakout label Alyx.

The purpose-led line of training shirts, trousers and accessories for both men and women, employs computational design to transform the data into structural patterns. That data comes from Atlas maps relaying information about heat, sweat and motion, in a way that challenges traditional garment patterning.

“What computational design and computer data can offer is really the future of design,” affirms Williams. “It allows us to see things or take things further than we might otherwise. It helps to create a different perspective that we can build around. Working in tandem — with data and emotion — is super interesting.”

Nike x Matthew M Williams
Nike x Matthew M Williams

The initiative follows the launch of a capsule collection of data-driven t-shirts last year. Further detail explained that these tees were built on similar digital body maps that examined explicit lifestyle parameters (such as sweat and heat again) so as to define a visual language for ideal designs.

“Translated by the company’s cutting-edge knitting machines, this inclusive algorithm output a single-layer, seamless knit that delivered ventilation where needed and coverage where desired (for example, more ventilation on the back and increased coverage at the chest). From there, the designers tweaked the machine’s language (or code) to originate a final knit structure that was tested in an environmental simulator,” read the write-up.

One thing Williams is keen to emphasize, however, is that such an approach to design doesn’t replace the role of the creative. “You need human beings to still figure out how to interpret data in a great way. The storytelling of how the product links to its use and bring an emotion to it into — tug on the heartstrings a little bit. That’s where I see my role,” he explains.

The Nike x MMW collection releases on July 12.

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business data digital snippets e-commerce product Retail social media sustainability technology

ICYMI: Inside Target’s test store, algorithms threatening jobs, L’Occitane’s AI personalization

Target
Target

A round-up of everything you might have missed in relevant fashion, retail and tech industry news over the past week.

TOP STORIES
  • Inside Target’s top secret test store [Co.Design]
  • How algorithms are threatening fashion’s white-collar jobs [BoF]
  • L’Occitane boosts mobile conversions by 159% with AI-powered personalization [Mobile Marketing]
TECHNOLOGY
  • What blockchain can’t do [HBR]
  • Think you know how disruptive artificial intelligence is? Think again [Forbes]
  • Top Japan fashion site bets big on custom-fit fast fashion [BoF]
  • Baidu’s self-driving buses will hit Japan’s streets next year [TNW]
  • How SK-II disrupted the beauty industry in Japan with emerging technology [TheDrum]
  • Watch MIT’s blind robot run, jump, and climb stairs [TNW]
SUSTAINABILITY
  • Factory Tour: Eileen Fisher helps make the eco-fashion dream of circularity come true [Fashionista]
  • Wrangler and MyFarms talk ‘field-level’ sustainability in new report [WWD]
RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • 27% of apparel sales are now online [RetailDive]
  • Why virtual reality won’t revolutionize retail, but scan-and-go will [RetailDive]
  • Sophia Webster puts her spin on experiential retail with second London boutique [WWD]
  • Reporter’s notebook: A quest for experiential retail [RetailDive]
  • Walmart.com launches 3-D virtual reality tour [WWD]
  • Amazon claims it doesn’t want to take on UPS and FedEx. So why is it introducing tons of its own Amazon delivery vans? [Recode]
  • Samsung brand experience opens its doors in the heart of Paris [BrandChannel]
  • Kirsten Green’s survival guide for the ‘retail reckoning’ [BoF]
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Inside Instagram’s social shopping masterclass [BoF]
  • Hilfiger’s next TommyNow runway show to touch down in Shanghai [WWD]
  • Are influencers really worth the money? [BoF]
  • Roger Federer signs $300 million sponsorship deal with Uniqlo [BoF]
PRODUCT
  • These people with disabilities have ideas for making shopping more accessible [TeenVogue]
  • Tiffany & Co. will now let you personalize with custom symbols and monograms [Town & Country]
  • What FDA approval of CBD could mean for the beauty industry [Racked]
  • Walmart pulls “Impeach 45” t-shirts after Trump supporters threaten boycott [FastCompany]
BUSINESS
  • Paris Fashion Week’s front rows speak to fashion’s complicated stance on #MeToo [TheFashionLaw]
  • Chanel’s digital strategy takes shape amid executive shuffle [BoF]
  • Subscription box market fights fatigue [AdAge]
  • How Revolve has built a billion-dollar fashion company for millennial women [Inc]
  • Fans of ModCloth and Bonobos were aghast when Walmart bought the brands. But they’re still shopping [Quartzy]
Categories
business data digital snippets e-commerce product social media technology

What you missed: Store of the future, Edward Enninful to Vogue, Walmart acquiring Bonobos

Edward Enninful is joining British Vogue as editor in chief - what you missed store of future
Edward Enninful is joining British Vogue as editor in chief

A round-up of everything you might have missed in relevant fashion business, digital comms and tech industry news.


TOP STORIES
  • A fantastical new world of high-tech, high-concept stores is here [Quartz]
  • Enabling the ‘offline cookie’ – why Farfetch’s store of the future is all about data [Forbes]
  • 6 fashion insiders on the British Vogue EIC news [Man Repeller]
  • Walmart is in advanced talks to acquire online men’s retailer Bonobos [Recode]
  • A new generation of even faster fashion is leaving H&M and Zara in the dust [Quartz]

BUSINESS
  • With Brexit now triggered, UK’s modern luxury CEOs discuss the early impact [LeanLuxe]
  • Burberry licenses fragrances and cosmetics business to Coty [Reuters]
  • Ralph Lauren closing Fifth Avenue Polo store, cutting staff [WWD]
  • Jenna Lyons out at J.Crew after 26 years [NY Post]
  • Luxury-goods companies are belatedly trying to go digital [The Economist]
  • Prada’s turnaround plan: fewer stores, more e-commerce [Glossy]
  • ‘See now, buy now’ is a publicity stunt, not real process innovation [BoF]

SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Snapchat vs. Instagram: Which Stories format is winning? [AdAge]
  • Snap-to-shop ads hope to drive retail sales [MediaPost]

MARKETING
  • Dear brands, quit trying to be my best friend [Racked]

RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • The whole ‘malls are dying’ thing is getting old, say mall CEOs [Bloomberg]
  • Macy’s CEO on the future of department stores [The Robin Report]
  • Alibaba’s new retail integrates e-commerce, stores, & logistics: is this the next gen of retail? [Forbes]
  • ModCloth, True & Co. point the way to e-commerce’s future [SF Chronicle]
  • How Mon Purse makes $2 million worth of customisable handbags a month [Glossy]

TECHNOLOGY
  • Artificial intelligence in retail: A smashing tool of omnichannel [Medium]
  • Adidas is kicking off the era of 3D-printed sneaker production with the Futurecraft 4D [Quartz]
  • What RFID technology means for retail [Glossy]
  • London to stage world’s first “smart street” [The Industry]
  • Why drone delivery still has a long way to go before it takes off [Retail Dive]
  • Inside Stitch Fix’s experiment to design clothing with an algorithm [Glossy]
Categories
business digital snippets e-commerce film mobile product social media Startups sustainability technology

What you missed: Farfetch photography, questioning Everlane’s transparency, Amazon as the largest apparel seller

Farfetch digital shoot listings fashion retail technology
Farfetch

The Wall Street Journal has a deep-dive story on just what it takes to produce all the imagery for Farfetch’s listed boutiques. Every weekday, it posts an average of more than 1,000 new listings, each with at least five different photographs. Alongside that, perhaps appropriately, comes a new set of stats about Amazon, proving the fact it’s expected to surpass Macy’s to become the biggest apparel seller in the US next year.

Sustainability is also top of mind within the industry of late, with lots of ongoing thoughts around Everlane’s transparency claims and Patagonia’s slow fashion aims. Also worth reading this week are various Snapchat campaigns, not to mention some insights on the pros and cons of retail technology. Don’t forget to also sign up for our Snapchat Masterclass before the early bird rate ends on Oct 31.


TOP STORIES
  • Where luxury fashion is a high-speed, high-volume business – on site with the photography crew at Farfetch [WSJ]
  • Radical transparency: Are H&M and Zara actually more transparent than Everlane? [The Fashion Law]
  • Amazon is expected to surpass Macy’s to become the biggest apparel seller in the US next year [Business Insider]
  • Vine video-sharing app to be shut down by Twitter [The Guardian]
  • Alibaba takes Singles’ Day to global buyers, sellers [China Daily]

BUSINESS
  • Sales surge at Kering’s Gucci, slip at sister brand [Yahoo]
  • American innovation: 5 questions with Shinola CMO Bridget Russo [BrandChannel]
  • How Outdoor Voices founder Tyler Haney plans to grow the brand into the next Nike [Fashionista]
  • In an age of fast fashion, Patagonia is going slow [Yahoo]

SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Following the screenshots: How Topshop is hacking Snapchat [Digiday]
  • Everlane’s social strategy: drive community engagement, not sales [Glossy]
  • Why Snapchat is winning out over Pinterest for River Island [The Drum]
  • H&M and Kenzo leverage iOS iMessage integration [Glossy]

ADVERTISING
  • REI’s ‘#OptOutside’ returns, and other brands have joined to help make it a new American tradition [Creativity]
  • Target channels Hamilton and The Nutcracker for holiday campaign aimed at Hispanic shoppers [AdWeek]

RETAIL
  • How AI is helping retailers [Venture Beat]
  • When it comes to retail technology, the industry is ‘just getting started’ [NRF]
  • Retail websites pile on the ad tech, but may be repeating publishers’ mistakes [AdAge]
  • Understanding China’s e-commerce and Internet sectors: A guide for global retailers [FBIC]
  • Why Alibaba just staged an 8-hour fashion show [Fortune]

TECHNOLOGY
  • This connected jacket provides VIP access to exclusive NYC experiences, demos future of the Internet of Things [Forbes]
  • The gift and the curse of 3D printing and the legislation we can expect [The Fashion Law]
  • You can now get styled by a fashion-savvy algorithm [Quartz]
  • Google Voice Search comparison-shops on mobile, creating audio ad opportunity [MediaPost]

START-UPS
  • How the Techstars + Target accelerator transformed retail start-up Blueprint Registry [Retail Dive]
  • Is Silicon Valley taking menswear more seriously? [Fast Company]
  • At ThirdLove, just one area of innovation isn’t enough [Medium]

UPCOMING EVENTS