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business digital snippets e-commerce product social media sustainability technology

What you missed: Amazon’s AI designer, sewing robots at Nike, AR iPhone apps

Inside the Grabit robots making Nikes
Inside the Grabit robots making Nikes

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


TOP STORIES
  • Amazon has developed an AI fashion designer [MIT]
  • A new t-shirt sewing robot can make as many shirts per hour as 17 factory workers [Quartz]
  • These robots are using static electricity to make Nikes (as pictured) [Bloomberg]
  • A preview of the first wave of AR apps coming to iPhones [Techcrunch]
  • In a Zara world, who orders custom clothing? [Racked]
  • What happened to wearables? [BoF]

BUSINESS
  • Matchesfashion.com sells majority stake to Apax after fierce bidding war [NY Times]
  • Making sense of Chanel’s secret filings [BoF]
  • Is Nordstrom the next acquisition target for Walmart or Amazon? [RetailDive]
  • North Korea factories humming with ‘Made in China’ clothes, traders say [Reuters]
  • Is counterfeiting actually good for fashion? [HighSnobiety]
  • C&A Foundation highlights ‘gaps to overcome for clean and circular fashion’ [Fashion United]

SOCIAL MEDIA
  • ‘Game of Thrones’ actor Maisie Williams will kick off new Twitter series for Converse [Creativity]
  • How Instagram and Snapchat are benefiting from Facebook’s declining teen and tween numbers [AdWeek]
  • Facebook furthers WhatsApp monetisation efforts with verified business pilot [The Drum]
  • Condé Nast and Facebook are debuting a virtual reality dating show [AdWeek]

MARKETING
  • Zalando turns festival into three-day live marketing campaign [BoF]
  • Donatella Versace works with eight creatives for new versus ads [WWD]
  • 40% of consumers want emails from brands to be less promotional and more informative [AdWeek]
  • In first-ever TV ad, Patagonia targets Trump administration [MediaPost]

RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • What is Amazon, really? [Quartz]
  • How Westfield is combating the Amazon threat with digital upgrades at its malls [Digiday]
  • Betting on brick-and-mortar: Alibaba’s billion-dollar retail experiment [Forbes]
  • H&M’s Arket encourages transparent shopping on its new e-commerce site [WGSN]
  • Uniqlo’s retail empire embarks on a digital revolution [Nikkei]
  • Farfetch Black & White partners with Certona to offer personalised e-commerce to luxury brands [The Industry]
  • Shopify’s e-commerce empire is growing in Amazon’s shadow [Bloomberg]
  • Voice search, 3D modelling and chatbots named as 2017’s most significant e-commerce trends [The Drum]

TECHNOLOGY
  • 11 tech leaders share the real truth about artificial intelligence (and what really matters) [Forbes]
  • How Bitcoin is making waves in the luxury market [CNN]
  • How blockchain could boost the fashion industry [BoF]
  • Walmart and Google partner to challenge Amazon’s Alexa [Retail Dive]
  • Google and Vogue are bringing voice-activated content from the magazine to home devices [AdWeek]
  • Latest Magic Leap patent shows off prototype AR glasses design [Techcrunch]
  • ‘Self-driving’ lorries to be tested on UK roads [BBC]

PRODUCT
  • Everlane’s quest to make the world’s most sustainable denim [Fast Company]
  • The zipper: the innovation that changed fashion forever [Bloomberg]
  • A new high-tech fabric could mean the end of bulky layers in the winter [Quartz]
  • Watch how Vans can now put any custom design on your shoes in under 15 minutes [Fast Company]
  • How RFID tags became trendy [Engadget]
  • Leather grown using biotechnology is about to hit the catwalk [The Economist]
  • These brands are teaming up on smart hang tags [Apparel Mag]
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business data digital snippets e-commerce Editor's pick mobile social media Startups sustainability technology

What you missed: Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Zara’s data recipe, a chatbot deep-dive

Black Friday
Black Friday

This week’s news is of course dominated by the Black Friday weekend results. Online sales reached new highs in the US on Black Friday itself, up 21.6% year-on-year to $3.34bn. Unsurprisingly, mobile was a significant part of that growth, generating 36% of total digital sales, in a 33% rise from 2015, and 55% of all mobile shopping visits, according to Adobe. It was a similar story for Cyber Monday, with mobile generating 53% of online visits and 35% of sales.

In the UK, meanwhile, over 57% of traffic came from mobile devices on Black Friday rising to 75% at certain times of day. Overall online sales were only up 6.7% year-on-year however, yet footfall in stores was also up 2.8%, despite an expected 5% drop. “This demonstrates the fact that customers want a balance. Between online and physical shopping experiences, the high street isn’t as obsolete as some might think,” said Rupal Karia, managing director for retail and hospitality, UK and Ireland, at Fujitsu.

We’ve otherwise rounded up some of the best stories to read summarising everything that happened below. Also worth checking out from this week past is a deep-dive on Zara’s recipe for success, further updates on everything Instagram versus Snapchat, and an ultimate guide to chatbots.


BLACK FRIDAY / CYBER MONDAY UPDATE
  • Cyber Monday sales surge to record $3.45bn in the US [Retail Dive]
  • The US winners and losers of Black Friday 2016 [Retail Dive]
  • Black Friday online sales growth falls short in the UK but shop visits rise [Sky]
  • About 10 million more Americans shopped online than in stores over Black Friday weekend [Fortune]
  • How did Manhattan’s luxury stores fare on Black Friday? [Bloomberg]
  • Patagonia donated 100% of Black Friday sales to eco-causes [Ecouterre]
  • We might look back on 2016 as the year Black Friday hit an inflection point [LeanLuxe]

OTHER TOP STORIES
  • Zara’s recipe for success: more data, fewer bosses [Yahoo!]
  • Gap’s CEO missed the brand’s biggest problem when he called creative directors “false messiahs” [Quartz]
  • Email outpacing social media in e-commerce, stoking innovation [WWD]

BUSINESS
  • Yoox Net-A-Porter Group to launch in the Middle East [Fashionista]
  • Matchesfashion.com launches 90-minute delivery service in London [WWD]
  • Is e-commerce really better for the environment than traditional retail? [BoF]

SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Is Snapchat the next Facebook, or the next Twitter? [WWD]
  • Instagram is now letting users stream Live videos that disappear as soon as they end [Wired]
  • How this quirky clothing brand uses Snapchat to sell more shorts [Venture Beat]
  • Spyder using NFC to connect with customers through social media [WWD]

RETAIL
  • Missguided unveils first standalone store in Westfield Stratford [The Industry]

TECHNOLOGY
  • The ultimate guide to Chatbots: Why they’re disrupting UX and best practices for building [Medium]
  • Uniqlo is experimenting with MindMeld’s ‘smarter bots’ on Facebook [Engadget]
  • These new adidas shoes are made from lab-grown spider silk [Motherboard]
  • Scientists have created a solar-powered fabric that would let you charge your phone with your jacket [Quartz]
  • Soon you can scan a garment’s label to find out how sustainable it is [NY Observer]

START-UPS
  • How Stitch Fix blends AI and human expertise [HBR]
Categories
Comment e-commerce

Comment counts: Burberry’s ‘see-now, buy-now’ move highlights need for luxury brands to embrace 1-2-1 marketing

Today’s luxury consumers come in many different shapes and forms, making a one-size-fits-all mode of marketing no longer good enough, says Mike Cullis, CEO of creative direct marketing agency Soul.

Burberry LFW see-now, buy-now
Burberry’s see-now, buy-now show at London Fashion Week

Much has been made of Burberry’s decision, starting at London Fashion Week, to make its catwalk collections immediately available in store and online. And rightly so. It’s a bold move that points towards luxury not only responding to customer need but anticipating it.

This comes at a time when the luxury marketing model is under pressure to evolve due to an over-reliance on a “one-size-fits-all” approach to communications; a prevailing attitude not only in fashion but also at the luxury end of sectors such as automotive and travel.

Of course, the luxury sector has seen tremendous growth in recent times. The growth of global wealth has had something to do with this, including the rise, and current slow down, of new markets such as China. However, even in established markets, the UK included, luxury and high-end premium goods are an affordable consideration for many more people than used to be the case.

Accessibility has changed in terms of the offering. Whether through the range of products (from beauty, small accessories, bags, off the rail to haute couture) or the diversity of the range, which now includes diffusion brands and partnerships.

The result is that luxury and premium brands have actually entered the mainstream, and this means that their customers come in many different shapes and forms. This, in turn, means that luxury brands need to give far more thought to recognising and engaging these various customer types.

Burberry LFW see-now, buy-now
Burberry’s see-now, buy-now collection at London Fashion Week

While the little black book of your top customers still has value, simply sending a one-size-fits-all email to everyone else in the world isn’t good enough. And the problem with this type of email broadcast is that it has the potential to cheapen your brand, because in the context of most people’s shopping and retail experiences it looks unsophisticated, uncreative, and even low budget.

Luxury brands get it right in that there is no doubt that the top end customer remains the most valuable and requires everything from VIP experiences through to 1:1 personal styling. But there’s so much room for improvement.

A combination of data analysis and research provides the opportunity to uncover and recognise people’s behaviour, attitudes, and motivations. This then helps to inform an understanding of the potential of different customers, provides an insight into what the purchase cycle and customer journey looks like, and identifies the channels with which to engage customers and which buttons to press (product, styling, messaging) to realise this potential.

There’s a related creative challenge in that luxury brands’ approach to creative communication is quite protectionist. Keeping the brand guarded and polished is a pre-occupation for many in the luxury market but, culturally, many of these brands view personalisation and flexing the creative product as quite alien.

Yet personalisation on a large scale doesn’t necessarily equate a brand with cheapness. Far from it because it has the potential to up the ante for luxury brands. If small companies, with smaller budgets, such as Thread.com can deliver an inspired, personalised, CRM experience through their website and email, there is no reason why others with larger resources can’t.

Viewed through this lens, while Burberry’s efforts at London Fashion Week are to be applauded a greater emphasis on 1-2-1 marketing would bring them into sharper focus.

Mike Cullis is CEO of creative direct marketing agency Soul. Comment Counts is a series of opinion pieces from experts within the industry. Do you have something to say? Get in touch via info@fashionandmash.com.

Categories
business e-commerce mobile

Luxury brands are relatively primitive in the world of email marketing – report

anchor_email

Despite the fact email is one of the most cost effective forms of digital marketing, and a proven route to drive traffic, only 30% of luxury brands are using it to its full potential, says customer engagement specialists ContactLab.

Its new report, conducted in conjunction with Exane BNP Paribas, suggests email marketing practice is relatively primitive in the sector, and reveals an opportunity gap surrounding better segmentation and personalisation of content, as well as integration with other channels.

It highlights brands including Burberry, Cartier and Armani as leading on its “Email Competitive Map”, comparative to others such as Cèline, Prada and Givenchy who are dragging behind. Unsurprisingly, such email performance seems to align with overall digital competency, according to the research.

contactlab_email

Other negative factors specific to email strategy include excessive frequency and an overwhelming commercial bias. But it’s brands who do not exploit data collection to achieve full segmentation that create the largest impression of complacency, it suggests.

Marco Pozzi, author of the research, says: “Achieving customer segmentation will always be a challenge but there remains a lot of room for luxury brands to differentiate in their emails and create more personalised campaigns. Simply sending generic content and treating all customers as one does not build a relationship with customers. Customer shopping habits have changed and they expect an integration of different channels as part of the omnichannel experience. ”

It’s not all bad news however, there are a few luxury brands who do already distribute personalised messages. Of those, Dolce and Gabbana is leading, followed by Armani, which addresses recipients according to gender/title, building a strong relationship with customers in the process.

Continuing on a positive note, ContactLab pointed out that, across the board there is good performance on email localisation (key languages) and structure (composition, visualisation).

contactlab_email2

“With the modern customers having an overload of content and often bombarded with emails, brands need to ensure the emails they distribute are relevant and thus capturing the attention of the consumer,” Pozzi adds. ContactLab’s study suggests customers prefer a varied mix of content that isn’t too commercial. Hermès leads the way with a balanced mix of branding, commercial and store-focused content, it highlights.

The report outlines the fact email marketing offers opportunities for brands to receive large amounts of traffic via smartphones and tablets particularly. Time spent browsing on such devices is notoriously short, so targeted emails that stand out from the crowd are essential.

So what does the future look like for email marketing? Luxury brands need to review the different services they offer and integrate cross-channel communication. A small number of brands ask for ZIP codes and postcodes, which could be used in conjunction with store locators. Elements like ‘buy now’ buttons and links to shoppable apps should also be introduced. Right now, only Cartier includes a “Book an Appointment” tab and only Burberry offers a “Collect in Store” option. Technology to incorporate cross-channel communication through email is already available, so expect to see more of this sometime soon.

It’s worth remembering that although email is only one aspect of the ecosystem, the impact of effective digital marketing can result in a 40% increase in revenue. A separate study by McKinsey also shows that 75% of luxury consumers interact with at least one digital touchpoint before making a sale in the offline world. A strategic use of email that caters to the user’s needs must be implemented.

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digital snippets e-commerce film mobile social media Startups

Digital snippets: Polyvore sells to Yahoo, Calvin Klein on sexting, Marques’Almeida’s email campaign

Here’s a round-up of the latest stories to know about surrounding all things fashion and tech. Fashion & Mash is now taking a bit of a break for the summer in a bid to regenerate, but we’ll be back later in August…

calvin-klein-sexting-ad-750

  • Why Polyvore’s Jess Lee sold to Yahoo [TechCrunch]
  • Calvin Klein takes on sexting, Tinder to promote #mycalvins (as pictured) [WWD]
  • Marques’Almeida is releasing its new campaign by email [i-D]
  • Louis Vuitton to stage Instagram-friendly ‘Series 3’ exhibition in London [BoF]
  • Filmmaker and video artist Charles Atlas creates Calvin Klein Collection’s new fall campaign [Style.com]
  • The Asos approach to native content: authenticity [Digiday]
  • How Facebook (not YouTube) is helping Chubbies make videos about men’s shorts go viral [AdWeek]
  • Forever 21 launches Instagram powered thread screen [DigitalBuzzBlog]
  • Everlane’s mobile app: one-tap checkout, download incentives [Digiday]
  • Agile adaptors: How John Lewis, Argos and Westfield are innovating through start-ups [The Drum]
  • Do universal shopping carts have a future? [Fashionista]
  • If you think Amazon is huge now, wait until it becomes America’s biggest fashion retailer [Quartz]
Categories
data digital snippets e-commerce film mobile social media technology

Digital snippets: Selfridges, Prada, Victoria’s Secret, Gap, Asos, Lancôme, Valentino

A highlight of the top stories surrounding all things fashion and digital of late:

Selfridges_drivethru

  • Drive-through Dior? Coming right up at Selfridges London [CN Traveler]
  • Wes Anderson debuts latest Prada feature [Fashionotes]
  • Victoria’s Secret creates 3D-printed angel wings for fashion models [Huffington Post]
  • Gap rolls out “reserve in store” service [CNBC]
  • Valentino jumps in on China’s high-tech runway revolution [JingDaily]
  • Under Armour looks to take a bite out of FuelBand success with MapMyFitness acquisition [BrandChannel]
  • Pinterest opens API to retail partners [TechCrunch]
  • Google’s Eric Schmidt invests in retail tech designed to help personalisation and data measurement [WWD]
  • Here’s why ‘The Internet of Things’ will be huge, and drive tremendous value for people and businesses [Business Insider]
  • Why companies desperately need to make wearables cool [Wired]
  • How brands get shoppers to volunteer their personal data: transparency and better experiences [PSFK]
  • Social media drives less than 1% of shopping sessions, study says [Fashionista]
  • Fashion retailers are still failing to optimise email marketing for mobile [Econsultancy]
  • What retailers can learn from mobile commerce in the UK [Shop.org]
  • 15 stats that show why click-and-collect is so important for retailers [Econsultancy]

Note: Look out for a separate holiday-specific digital round-up later this week, featuring all the top retail campaign stories as well as insights into the biggest innovations being pushed for the festive season.

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digital snippets e-commerce

Digital snippets: American Eagle, Rebecca Minkoff, Bonobos, L’Oréal, adidas

Here’s a highlight of other stories from around the web surrounding all things fashion and digital recently:

RebeccaMinkoff_fall2013

  • American Eagle unveils denim runway across America with “Rock Your Walk” seamless video project [WSJ]
  • Rebecca Minkoff goes digital with fall campaign (as pictured) [WWD]
  • Andy Dunn of Bonobos on building the Armani of the e-commerce era [BoF]
  • Reverse showrooming: Pinterest is driving people into stores [Business Insider]
  • L’Oréal, Walgreen’s look to measure effectiveness of mobile coupons [AdAge]
  • New adidas campaign stars Leo Messi in LED suit [BrandChannel]
  • Hanes is asking women to overshare on social media by telling the world the colour of their undies [AdWeek]
  • How do 15 top US fashion retailers handle email sign ups? [Econsultancy]
  • With $5m  in funding, Olapic targets fashion retail market [Mashable]
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Uncategorized

Lanvin chief’s email-free Wednesdays

Love this: Lanvin chief Thierry Andretta, has declared Wednesdays email-free.

Having a full day without interruption reportedly helps him concentrate. He implemented the initiative earlier this year after feeling increasingly depressed and frustrated by the  volume of emails he was expected to handle each day, reports Reuters.

“Generally, I think we have become too accessible. We all lose too much time reading and writing emails and they prevent you from thinking clearly,” he said on the fringe of the FT Luxury Summit in Lausanne, Switzerland earlier this week.

He explained how he would frequently clear his inbox before flying from Paris to New York, but have another 250 messages waiting for him by the time he arrived.

Perhaps needless to say, there’s not been a huge amount of uptake from the rest of the employees at the luxury brand.

“I think they are not really interested but it might be also because they get fewer emails than me,” Andretta said.

Jean-Claude Biver, chief executive of luxury watch brand Hublot, however, said Andretta’s idea was nice but unrealistic and impractical. “The one who can allow himself not to read or answer emails during an entire day in a working week indulges in real luxury,” he told Reuters.