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

Is footwear fueling the Amazon fires, NYFW’s evolution, Zalando trials robots

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

TOP STORIES
  • Is footwear funding the burning of the Amazon? (Vogue Business)
  • Under Tom Ford, New York Fashion Week undergoes an evolution (Vogue Business)
  • Zalando trials robots to pick shoe orders (Charged Retail)
  • Glitz, glamour & garbage: Why fashion week needs to clean up its act (BoF)
TECHNOLOGY
  • Sizing tech takes on fashion’s expensive returns problem (Vogue Business)
  • IBM serves up an ace with AI at the US Open (AdWeek)
  • Nike just created a high-tech shoe that you can control with Siri (Fast Company)
  • Amazon apparently wants to turn your hand into an ID store purchase (The Next Web)
  • ‘Deepfake’ app causes fraud and privacy fears in China (BBC)
  • Alibaba storms NYFW with data driven design (Nikkei)
SUSTAINABILITY & PURPOSE
  • Climate activists ask Jess Bezos to buy the Amazon rainforest (Ad Week)
  • Primark to train 160,000 cotton farmers in latest sustainability move (Retail Gazette)
  • H&M’s COS launched Restored Collection, ‘saves damaged garments’ (Fashion Network)
  • The Amazon fires stops Vans & Timberland buying Brazilian leather (Quartz)
  • H&M boycotts Brazilian leather following Amazon fires (Fashion United)
  • Why Levi’s new water strategy represents an ‘evolution in thinking’ (Sourcing Journal)
  • Gap sets new sustainability design focus with atelier & repairs capsule (WWD)
  • ‘Misleading’ Peta ad claiming ‘wool is just as cruel as fur’ banned by ASA (The Drum)
  • Timberland is planting 50 million trees (Fast Company)
  • How IoT and AI can enable environmental sustainability (Forbes)
  • Allbirds & Just Water’s new capsule collection supports Amazon firefighting efforts (Sourcing Journal)
  • John Lewis looks for water source (Drapers)
RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • Zalando launches resale pop-up store in Berlin (Fashion Network)
  • First look: Puma’s New York flagship (Drapers)
  • Burberry delves into chat-based commerce (WWD)
  • American Eagle takes on Sephora in an effort to be a one-stop shop for teens (Fast Company)
  • Amazon pushes fast shipping but avoids responsibility for the human cost (NY Times)
BUSINESS
  • Tapestry CEO ousted for poor performance, per internal email (Vogue Business)
  • Fake Allbirds & Glossier dupes: DTC brands are battling counterfeits and knockoffs (BoF)
  • Le Tote online retailers buys venerable Lord & Taylor for £100m (SF Chronicle)
  • Zara distances itself from Hong Kong protest controversy (The Industry)
  • M&S to be kicked out of FTSE 100 for first time (Fashion Network)
  • Walmart to stop some ammunition sales in response to shootings (Retail Dive)
  • Moda Operandi gets a makeover- by data and design (Vogue Business)
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Is TikTok a time bomb? (Fast Company)
  • Ralph Lauren moves onto TikTok platform with US Open campaign (WWD)
  • Reebok drops Cardi B sneakers on Alexa, Google Assistant (Mobile Marketer)
  • Fortnite star Ninja signs multi-year apparel deal with Adidas (The Verge)
  • Molton Brown unveils perfume range via scent experience (Campaign Live)
  • Why Estee Lauder are spending 75% of their marketing spend on influencer marketing (The Drum)
PRODUCT
  • Google’s Project Jacquard returns on an YSL backpack strap, for $880 (The Verge)
  • How Fenty beauty is selling cruelty-free products to China (BoF)
CULTURE
  • Dior pulls ‘Sauvage’ campaign after facing appropriation backlash (BoF)
  • Walmart comes under fire for ‘segregating’ products (Fashion Law)
  • Has inclusivity skipped fashion’s front row? (Vogue Business)
  • The future of the cannabis industry (Quartz)
  • How Tommy Hilfiger thrived on hip hop (without being accused of cultural appropriation) (BoF)

How are you thinking about innovation? 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. Get in touch to learn more.

Categories
digital snippets Retail sustainability technology

ICYMI: Lush abandons social, buyers send sustainability message, learning resale from Nike

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

TOP STORIES
  • Lush abandons social media: it’s ‘getting harder’ to talk to customers [The Drum]
  • The world’s fashion buyers are sending a strong message to designers about sustainability [Quartz]
  • What Chanel can learn from Nike about the resale market [BoF]
TECHNOLOGY
  • Amazon readies Alexa-powered earbuds [Retail Dive]
  • Ikea’s new smart speaker looks like a HomePod crossed with a lamp [The Next Web]
  • Everything you need to know about the Pinterest IPO [NYT]
SUSTAINABILITY & PURPOSE
  • ‘Buy local’ seeks to reduce fashion’s environmental footprint [Vogue Business]
  • Salvatore Ferragamo promotes sustainability with art and fashion exhibition [WWD]
  • Galeries Lafayette launches second-hand fashion platform [Fashion Network]
  • Fur supporters plan to keep fighting New York City’s proposed ban on fur sales [WWD]
RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • According to Amazon’s new horoscopes, the stars want you to go shopping [Vox]
  • The line between social media and e-commerce is beginning to disappear [Fashionista]
  • Gucci opens doors to pop-up apartment [Campaign]
  • The new retail: today’s China is tomorrow’s America [Jing Daily]
  • Singapore’s $1.3 billion airport expansion is half botanical garden, half mega-mall [Fast Company]
  • H&M subsidiary to start trialing secondhand sales next week [WWD]
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Ermenegildo Zegna introduces new fragrances with special installations [WWD]
  • New Balance invests in gamified mobile ads to win over young, global customers [Glossy]
  • Asos ‘upweights’ digital spend as it puts focus on acquisition [Marketing Week]
PRODUCT
  • Rodarte unveils a collaboration with Universal Standard [Vogue]
  • Guess to sell vintage capsule via Fred Segal [Fashion Network]
  • How Cos is changing the way we think about design [Vogue]
BUSINESS
  • Asos pre-tax profits plunge 87 percent [Fashion United]
  • Why Tommy Hilfiger is selling better than ever [Vogue Business]
  • Sales surge at LVMH [Drapers]
  • Allbirds goes all-in on China [WWD]
  • Debenhams falls into administration [Drapers]
CULTURE
  • Estée Laundry: the Instagram collective holding the beauty industry to account [The Guardian]
  • The shady truth about inclusive beauty (and how brands can improve) [BoF]
  • Virgil Abloh’s real value to Louis Vuitton isn’t about the clothes he can sell [Quartz]

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. The Current Global 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. 

Categories
Retail technology

MAC targets Chinese Gen Z with interactive store concept

 

MAC Cosmetics is targeting Gen Z consumers in Shanghai, China with the Experience Center, an interactive store that aims to bridge the gap between physical and digital with a host of interactive experiences.

According to the Estée Lauder-owned brand, the store is a result of six months of consumer behavior research into the MAC consumer, including cognitive walkthroughs, focus groups and exit interviews with customers. Results then helped shape the design and experience of the store, including all tech elements that give visitors a more personalized experience.

For example at the store’s entrance, stationary digital screens invite customers to scan their phones to check into MAC’s WeChat mini-program. The program then triggers a variety of functions during the experience, such as instant checkout and product pick up.

Meanwhile in the lipstick section, a smart mirror enables customers to virtually try on 18 different shades in under 30 seconds through augmented reality. Customers can also choose from six eye shadow palettes and customize it to their tastes through the WeChat platform, which is then 3D printed for them. Lastly, an infrared touchscreen interface can scan a shopper’s face and recommend a foundation shade.

Beauty companies are leading the conversation in creating retail concepts where tech plays a major role in allowing consumers an increasingly personalized experience. Last year, brands from Bourjois to CoverGirl unveiled concepts where the try-on experience was further enhanced by tech fixtures, while Sephora often experiments with such features in its many store concepts across the globe.

How are you thinking about retail innovation? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. Current Global 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. 

Categories
e-commerce Editor's pick technology

Estée Lauder launches personalised voice experience on Google Home

The Google Home device
The Google Home device

Estée Lauder has launched a beauty-focused app for Google Assistant on the Google Home device that focuses on personalisation.

The Estée Lauder Nighttime Expert, as the in-home experience is called, offers personalised skincare solutions through voice activation. To try it, users say: “Ok Google, can I talk to the Estée Lauder Nighttime Expert.”

The chat experience then offers them their own nighttime skincare routine and application techniques through a series of questions and answers.

“We are thrilled to collaborate with Google to be at the forefront of creating personalised consumer beauty experiences via the emerging world of voice activation,” said Stephane de La Faverie, global brand president of Estée Lauder. “Combining our beauty expertise with Google’s technology allows us to build on our digital evolution and offer the latest innovation to further enhance our consumer experience.”

Tricia Nichols, VP of global consumer engagement at the brand, further noted the experience as an expansion of Estée Lauder’s omnichannel efforts, taking them beyond stores and online into the home and into the moment. “Adding voice experiences will unlock the next level of personalisation and help us reach a new generation of consumers,” she said.

The experience at this point ends by encouraging users to try out Estée Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II serum for free at an Estée Lauder counter, thus driving consumers back to store.

The Nighttime Expert is the first voice app to launch from the brand and is expected in December. Further future experiences will then follow in early 2018. They will be available through the Google Assistant on mobile, in ad units on the Google Display Network and on Esteelauder.com. Supporting media will include YouTube, programmatic and search.

Categories
business data digital snippets e-commerce film social media Startups sustainability technology

What you missed: Amazon’s big data ambitions and on-demand textiles, Facebook’s VR, a sustainability deep dive

Amazon's Echo Look
Amazon’s Echo Look

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’s big data fuelled fashion ambitions [TechCrunch]
  • Amazon wins patent for on-demand textile manufacturing [Retail Dive]
  • Facebook launches VR project Facebook Spaces [The Drum]
  • Tech tackles the fitting room [Racked]

BUSINESS
  • LVMH takes control of Christian Dior in $13 billion deal [BoF]
  • Hermès joins trend of accelerating luxury sales growth [Business Insider]
  • Kit and Ace shutters all stores worldwide, except in native Canada [Retail Dive]
  • Retail workers fight to get a cut in the era of e-commerce [Racked]
  • Debenhams unveils its turnaround strategy [The Industry]

SUSTAINABILITY
  • How to cut carbon emissions as e-commerce soars [Bain & Co]
  • Are fashion’s recycling schemes as effective as they seem? [The Fashion Law]
  • Is deadstock the future of sustainable fashion? [Fashionista]
  • The myth of closed-loop manufacturing [Glossy]
  • How much has actually changed 4 years on from the Rana Plaza collapse? [Refinery29]
  • Why is fashion still sleeping on all-natural dyes? [Fashionista]

SOCIAL MEDIA
  • How brands are finally cashing in on social with shoppable Instagram Stories and Snapchat ads [AdWeek]
  • Why does the term ‘influencer’ feel so gross? [Man Repeller]
  • Rue21, mode-ai launch virtual stylist with Facebook Messenger group feature [Retail Dive]

MARKETING
  • The state of data strategy in fashion and retail [Glossy]
  • Do podcasts make you wanna shop? [Racked]
  • John Lewis unveils experiential National Treasures summer campaign [The Industry]
  • Mytheresa.com teams with Miu Miu on capsule, fashion film [WWD]

RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • Macy’s and the survival of retailing [Bloomberg]
  • Why retailers are trying on showrooms [Retail Dive]

TECHNOLOGY
  • Amazon builds team for autonomous vehicle technology [AutoNews]
  • Burt’s Nature showcases the Burt of Burt’s Bees in VR [The Drum]
  • Estée Lauder’s augmented reality efforts focus on Europe [L2]

START-UPS
  • Walmart’s tech incubator hires co-founder of Rent the Runway [Bloomberg]
Categories
Editor's pick mobile social media technology

Chatbots and VR lead this season’s top tech trends in retail

Google's Window Wonderland virtual reality experience
Google’s Window Wonderland virtual reality experience

Technology is playing an ever-important role in the shopping side of the holiday season. Logistics aside, which is of course critical at this time of year, tech is also proving increasingly key from an experiential and a customer service perspective both online and offline. Leading that charge for 2016 are virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI).

Google has employed the former this year, for instance, to allow consumers to ‘walk’ along Fifth Avenue in New York to experience all the holiday window displays.

Window Wonderland, as the initiative is called, is a VR experience that lets users view 18 different retailers including Bloomingdale’s, Barneys New York, Saks Fifth Avenue, Tiffany & Co, Burberry and more. They can zoom in on the displays and even listen to audio guides from some of the store creatives talking about this year’s work.

The experience was produced by Google’s Art, Copy & Code team by taking hundreds of high-resolution images of each store and then stitching them together so they can be viewed via a web browser, on a smartphone or tablet, or through a VR headset. The effect is almost like a moving image; a rich, life-like panorama.

“We all love the window tradition here. It’s such an iconic thing. We thought it might be fun to put a unique Google spin on it and bring it to the masses,” Aman Govil, head of the Art, Copy & Code projects team, told Fast Company.

VR is also getting a spin in the UK, where department store John Lewis has introduced an experience tied to its Buster the Boxer advertising campaign. Visitors to its Oxford Street flagship in London can enter the world of Buster and all his friends using an Oculus Rift. They can also view a 360-degree film using Google Cardboard or by watching it on YouTube.

Artificial intelligence, meanwhile, is being heavily experimented with in the form of chatbots for the holidays.

IBM Watson has worked with Mall of America for instance, on a Facebook Messenger bot called E.L.F, which stands for Experiential List Formulator. Created in collaboration with Watson developer partner Satisfi, it helps visitors plan a more personalised experience to the shopping centre by determining things like how much time they have and what activities they prefer.

“The holiday season is upon us and, for many, this represents the most hectic shopping period of the year. Whether you’re navigating crowded shopping centres or debating what gifts to buy, the in-store experience can be particularly overwhelming,” explains Don White, CEO of Satisfi. The chatbot aims to better understand, connect with, and create superior experiences for shoppers accordingly.

The E.L.F chatbot from IBM Watson and Satisfi
The E.L.F chatbot from IBM Watson and Satisfi

The launch of Facebook Messenger’s bot store earlier this year is behind much of the drive for experimentation in this space. Already throughout 2016, we’ve seen fashion and retail brands including Burberry, Tommy Hilfiger, Everlane, eBay and more launching their own versions. In total, 33,000 different bots have been introduced since April.

For the holidays, Burberry has extended its version from the original one it launched for London Fashion Week. This time, users are introduced to its The Tale of Thomas Burberry festive campaign, which tells the story behind its founder. Different layers of the tale are unveiled using emojis, including the invention of Gabardine fabric in 1879 using a raindrop, the introduction of Sienna Miller’s character using a heart, and more. Users can also see behind-the-scenes of the film, browse gift ideas and opt into a ‘live chat’ with a human consultant.

This mix of storytelling, product discovery and customer service is seen as the likely future for chatbots; making consumer engagement possible at a much wider scale than could have been achieved before. It’s about answering as much as possible for shoppers through AI, before escalating to a human only when needed.

Burberry's Facebook Messenger chatbot
Burberry’s Facebook Messenger chatbot

Gift guides is another example. Chatbots are making suggestions for what to buy at a much greater level of detail than ever before, as achieved by the likes of H&M and American Eagle using messaging service, Kik, which also has a substantial bot store.

Nordstrom’s bot, available on both Kik and Facebook and developed in collaboration with mobile messaging company Snaps, also focuses on helping shoppers find the perfect Christmas presents.

Estée Lauder’s No. 6 Mortimer in London is even making purchases possible directly through the Facebook Messenger app. Customers can checkout using Paypal without having to go to an outside website. Mark Lapicki, director of retail innovation at The Estée Lauder Companies UK and Ireland, told WWD the pilot service was for “time-poor consumers seeking ultimate convenience, with immediate purchase and delivery of our products in as little as 60 minutes”.

While significant conversions aren’t anticipated from each of those experimenting this season – aware of the fact such interaction remains very new for consumers – this is a trend expected to carry through and make significant inroads for 2017.

This story first appeared on Forbes