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e-commerce Editor's pick mobile technology

Are we over the next big thing? Omnichannel’s reality bites at Shop.org Summit

This post first appeared on WGSN.com/blogs

shoporg

The US digital retail crowd hit Seattle this week for the National Retail Federation’s annual e-commerce event, the Shop.org Summit.

Once a must-attend event for cutting-edge insights on what newness was coming out of the online retail space, this year felt like a repeat of many strategies we’ve heard before: the importance of mobile, the push for omnichannel, the overwhelming plethora of data.

Perhaps it was merely a sign of our industry and how it’s merged: having a separate brick and mortar conference in January (NRF Big Show) and a digital version in October when we live in an increasing omnichannel world, is starting to seem redundant.

Was is still worth attending? Yes. But retail’s tech rockstars seemed to have moved on from the speaker floor this year, leaving us with a series of sessions that felt like they were designed to enlighten the troops rather than inspire the next generation of e-commerce strategists. It was for the doers rather than the thinkers. But maybe, for US retail, that’s exactly where we’re at; in the trenches executing on omnichannel more than merely talking about it.

Those who attended may have come for innovation, but actually what they got was an agenda otherwise driven pretty heavily by the news. Alibaba’s swift movement into the US and its recent IPO on the New York Stock Exchange leading to a valuation of $231bn, made way for a focus on marketplace disruptions and debates about the Chinese giant and its Amazon and eBay counterparts.

The emergence of Apple Pay, another unsurprising one, meant discussion around what all is happening with mobile payments, where we expect that to go, and when we need to really be thinking about it.

Macy’s recently announced plans to introduce 4,000 beacons similarly led to talk on beacons on the expo floor. Confirmations from other big stores including Kohl’s and The North Face of forthcoming trials especially in the run up to Holiday only added to this.

With this most important season of retail just ahead of us, it’s perhaps inevitable the focus was on the execution of new technologies rather than finding the next big thing. It’s just a shame in a town that’s home to Amazon, Starbucks and Nordstrom there wasn’t also something that might at least inspire it.

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Editor's pick mobile Startups technology

John Lewis announces beacon technology start-up Localz as £100k JLAB incubator winner

This post first appeared on WGSN.com/blogs

Jlab_Localz

Beacon technology got another nod of approval from the retail sector today as start-up Localz was announced as the winner of John Lewis’ JLAB tech incubator.

The ‘micro-location’ technology business wins £100,000 in investment as well as the chance to trial its solution with the department store in the UK. Its premise is to provide customers with access to enhanced services on their smartphones based on their physical location.

It could detect when they walk into a store, for instance, and automatically trigger that their Click & Collect order be prepared in order to help speed up that process. Similarly it could help with navigation around the stores based on online wish lists.

“It’s all about choice, designed to make shopping easier for those who wish to use it,” reads the write-up.

The concept was shaped and honed within the JLAB incubator over a period of 12 weeks this summer. It followed hundreds of start-ups applying to participate in the contest, which called for innovations that could shape the future of the retail experience.

Localz was among five finalists that received mentorship from experts including Luke Johnson, chairman of Risk Capital Partners; Sara Murray OBE, founder of confused.com; and Bindi Karia, vice president of entrepreneur banking at Silicon Valley Bank. The other start-ups were Musaic, SpaceDesigned, Tap2Connect and Viewsy.

Paul Coby, IT Director at John Lewis, said: “Innovation is at the heart of John Lewis and JLAB, our first tech incubator, has given us a new way to explore the technologies that will change how we all shop in the future. It’s been a hugely rewarding and educational experience, drawing on a diverse group of people from a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives, and we have a very worthy winner who we’re looking forward to working with in the months ahead.”

Stuart Marks, a partner in JLAB, said Localz won because the team felt it had the potential to become a long term partner to John Lewis and to provide continuous innovation for their customers. It will continue to develop its technology in conjunction with John Lewis and will launch live trials in store at a date yet to be announced.

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business digital snippets e-commerce film mobile Startups technology

Digital snippets: Condé Nast, Gap, Hermès, Rag & Bone, John Lewis and more

A round-up of the latest stories to know about surrounding all things fashion and tech…

gap_normcore_ZosiaMamet

  • Condé Nast to sell Fairchild Fashion Media, including WWD, for $100 million [NY Times]
  • Gap’s fall campaign is an ode to normcore trend, Zosia Mamet (as pictured), Elisabeth Moss, Anjelica Huston among stars [Racked]
  • Hermès creates quirky app to promote men’s A/W 2014 accessories [Creativity]
  • Rag & Bone autumn/winter collection stylised in dance performance [PSFK]
  • Hawes & Curtis, House of Fraser and Bentalls install beacon-enabled mannequins [The Drum]
  • However, John Lewis to seek ‘romance’ in beacon technology before committing [The Drum]
  • Topshop and Miss Selfridge in online push into China, launching on ShangPin.com website [FT]
  • Condé Nast’s Lucky magazine merging with online retailer BeachMint [WSJ]
  • Will Apple’s ‘iWatch’ rattle luxury watchmakers? [BoF]
  • A girl faces her monstrous fears in Old Navy’s back-to-school musical, generates five million views to date [AdWeek]
  • Six takeaways from Gap and Old Navy about brand-building in China [AdAge]
  • New shopping app, Spring, makes the mall obsolete [Wired]
  • Rise of shoppable content will change the face of advertising [The Guardian]
  • Fashion start-ups bring style to Silicon Roundabout [FT]
  • Can technology solve the fit problem in fashion e-commerce? [BoF]
  • Omote real-time projection mapping demoed with make-up on model’s face [DigitalBuzzBlog]
Categories
digital snippets e-commerce film social media Startups technology

Digital snippets: Wren, Gucci, John Lewis, Lord & Taylor, Kenneth Cole, Sephora

A bit of a catch-up post today in light of several weeks of travel… here then all the latest stories to know about surrounding fashion and tech from the past fortnight or so:

 

  • “First Kiss” film (as above) goes viral with 63 million views – is ad for clothing label Wren [NY Times]
  • Gucci launches own Spotify music hub to promote short film ‘The Fringe’ [The Drum]
  • John Lewis looks to digital innovation as next big thing in retail with ‘JLab incubator’ [The Guardian]
  • Lord & Taylor now accepting bitcoin [CNBC]
  • Kenneth Cole challenges consumers to do good deeds and prove it via Google Glass [Creativity]
  • Sephora launches ‘Beauty Board’ social shopping platform [USA Today]
  • Bergdorf Goodman makes Instagram shots shoppable at SXSW with 52Grams [5th/58th]
  • Dolce & Gabbana crafts love story around perfume to appeal to consumer emotion [Luxury Daily
  • adidas launches gaming platform powered by social media starring Lionel Messi [Marketing Magazine]
  • Can Instagram save ageing teen retailer Aeropostale? [CNBC]
  • Which big brands are courting the maker movement, and why – from Levi’s to Home Depot  [AdWeek]
  • How beacon technology could change the way we shop [Fashionista]
  • On Instagram, a bazaar where you least expect it [Bits blog]
  • What Google’s wearable tech platform could mean for the fashion industry [Fashionista]
  • Smartphone payment system to be unveiled in UK [FT]
  • Alibaba ramping up efforts to sell US brands in China [WSJ]
  • What does WeChat’s new e-credit card mean for luxury? [JingDaily]
  • Op-Ed | Are camera phones killing fashion? [BoF]
Categories
data digital snippets e-commerce mobile social media

Digital snippets: adidas, Louis Vuitton, Neiman Marcus, Bitcoin, American Apparel

Here’s a highlight of the best stories in the fashion and tech space over the past couple of weeks…

adidas_Stan_Smith_Popup

  • adidas launches Stan Smith pop-up store, includes 3D-printing station (as pictured) [Dexigner]
  • Louis Vuitton debuts spring campaign on Instagram [Refinery29]
  • Neiman Marcus CEO apologises for data breach, offers free credit monitoring [The Verge]
  • Overstock CEO: Why we’re accepting Bitcoins [CNBC]
  • Five reasons why American Apparel is bullish on Twitter [AdWeek]
  • Aerie’s unretouched ads ‘challenge supermodel standards’ for young women [Huffington Post]
  • Warby Parker launches interactive 2013 annual report [Laughing Squid]
  • Wet Seal hires 16-year-old to build its following on Snapchat [AdAge]
  • François-Henri Pinault puts his money where his mobile is via Square, hints at future for luxury world buying into tech [FT Material World]
  • Show business: are fashion shows still relevant? [BoF]
  • Beacons: what they are, how they work, and why Apple’s iBeacon technology is ahead of the pack [Business Insider]
  • Personalisation is key for beauty omnichannel strategy: L’Oréal Luxe exec [Luxury Daily]
  • Try on virtual make-up and pay with your hand with retail tech at CES 2014 [BrandChannel]