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e-commerce Editor's pick mobile Retail technology

6 loyalty activations driving customer engagement

Today’s consumers are increasingly spoilt by choice, meaning brands  have to work harder than ever to earn any level of loyalty. That hasn’t stopped many from trying however. 

In today’s retail climate, personalization is king, with customers seeking brands that tailor their products and services to their behaviors. When done correctly,  loyalty programs not only respond to that need, but can generate over 20% of a company’s profits, according to McKinsey

Retailers across the board – from larger names like Target and Nordstrom to standalone brands like Nike – are revamping their traditional spend-and-reward offerings to add layers of digital that respond to the modern consumer.

From tapping into an engaged community and encouraging gamified behavior, to pushing personalized spending in-store, here we highlight some of the most innovative loyalty approaches:

FOSTERING COMMUNITY

Victoria's Secret PINK NATION
Victoria’s Secret PINK NATION

One of the cornerstones of the Victoria’s Secret’s PINK brand, is its college ambassador program, which recruits university students across the country representatives. The role is not too dissimilar from a social media influencer, with responsibilities including promoting the brand on social, offering followers advice and organizing campus events and get-togethers. Ambassadors dedicate up to 10-hours a week to their roles for free, and see this as an opportunity to build a personal brand with PINK’s support.

The brand’s loyalty program, PINK NATION, has also received an upgrade and launched its very first app, aiming to emulate a girl’s club. This includes exclusive member perks as well as a dedicated Campus tab where customers can chat with ambassadors. Ultimately, the brand wants to scale to include more college-life related content.

Flipkart-owned fashion retailer Myntra also took a similar crowdsourced approach to loyalty when it launched the Shopping Groups feature in 2017, in the run-up to its  End Of Reason Sale (otherwise known as EORS). Shoppers could team up with their friends and families on the platform to shopping groups, where all purchases were tallied together to unlock further special discounts for the whole group. 

The retailer reported almost 100,000 shopping groups being formed during the sale as a result, contributing to around 18% of sales.

INCENTIVIZING ACTION

Nike Plus
Nike Plus

Starbucks boasts one of the most successful retail apps to date with 23.5m active users. In order to encourage loyalty and get more customers to join its booming loyalty program that sits alongside (15m users), it launched a gamification experience called the Summer Game Boardwalk this year. 

Anyone could play the virtual board game, which prompted users to tap a spinner and advance steps in order to tally points, similar to a game of Monopoly. At the end, loyalty members received points towards their accounts, while general app users were prompted to join the program in order to receive the same.

Meanwhile this year NikePlus added a number of interactive experiences for its members, extending the remit of physical activity into wider lifestyles. Nike collaborated with three key partners to do so – Apple Music, mindfulness app Headspace, and gym booking app ClassPass, to encourage consumers to be active in order to receive more rewards. For example, if the user completed and logged a workout within the app, it would unlock free Apple Music playlists.

With this program, the sportswear brand is hoping to triple its 100m user membership number.

DRIVING IN-STORE ENGAGEMENT 

Inside the Philosophy skincare Manhattan store
Inside the Philosophy skincare Manhattan store

According to research company Bond, 95% of loyalty members want to engage with brands via new technologies. In-store, deploying digital tools is an opportunity for brands to engage and acquire new loyal customers at the point of sale, when demand is at its highest.

At Coty-owned make up brand Philosophy’s flagship in Manhattan, loyal customers are recognized and rewarded via facial recognition. Upon entering the store, customers are asked to take a selfie with their own phones and send it to a designated phone number. Registered customers can then be recognized on screens, which offers them special discounts. Over time, customers are pushed more tailored notifications and one-to-one consultants based on previous behavior.

Also in New York, is Nordstrom’s new menswear store, which is offering a higher level of service for its newly revamped Nordy Club loyalty program members. Customers shopping online can receive items to then try-on at that specific location. When physically approaching the store, customers receive an app notification giving them precise information on the location of their reserved item.

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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digital snippets e-commerce product Retail social media sustainability technology

ICYMI: Facebook in crisis, AR unboxing from Adidas, ASOS’ new online sizing feature

Facebook

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

TOP STORIES
  • What the Facebook crisis means for fashion advertisers [BoF]
  • With virtual ‘unboxing’ site, Adidas Originals looks to shake up sneaker drops [Glossy]
  • ASOS’s new sizing feature just made shopping a whole lot better [Refinery29]
  • Everlane’s five tactics for winning at physical retail [BoF]
TECHNOLOGY
  • eBay uses augmented reality to help sellers find the right box for their product [VentureBeat]
  • Blockchains could upend the fashion business [BoF]
  • Google’s new experiment lets you tag digital graffiti in the real world [Co.Design]
SUSTAINABILITY
  • Wrangler’s suppliers to adopt new water-saving technology [WWD]
  • How fashion and beauty people really feel about packaging waste [Fashionista]
  • The Great Pacific Garbage Patch isn’t what you think it is [NatGeo]
RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • The rise of experiential commerce [TechCrunch]
  • How 3 growing niche brands are simplifying e-commerce [AdWeek]
  • John Lewis offers in-app personal stylists and H&M a nailbar as part of a move to ‘experiential retail’ [InternetRetailer]
  • Walmart’s e-commerce CEO explains why its many acquisitions will help it reach millennials [AdWeek]
  • Starbucks launches ‘Tryer’ location to encourage new ideas [RetailDive]
  • Depop marketplace headed to physical retail in LA, NY [WWD]
  • India’s e-commerce market is exploding—and how [QZ]
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Glossier’s customer obsession is about stirring up conversation [RetailDive]
  • Winona Ryder and Elizabeth Olsen dance in the streets of Buenos Aires in latest H&M ad [Campaign]
  • Pinterest thinks the future lies in visual discovery—and wants retailers to take notice [AdWeek]
  • Snapchat is doling out free stats to brands on how many users visit their locations [AdWeek]
PRODUCT
  • Zips. Toggles. Pumps. The end of shoelaces? [BoF]
BUSINESS
  • Is dry cleaning dying? [Racked]
  • Louis Vuitton names Virgil Abloh as its new menswear designer [BoF]
  • Kim Jones appointed artistic director at Dior Homme [TheIndustry]
  • Zalando entering the beauty market both off and online [WWD]
  • Rent the Runway’s “wardrobe in the cloud” is opening up to other clothing brands [FastCompany]
Categories
business e-commerce mobile

From unorganised retail to controlled fulfilment – how Indian e-commerce is evolving

snapdeal
Snapdeal is now the third largest online marketplace in India behind Flipkart and Amazon

Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal, co-founders of Indian marketplace Snapdeal, recently sat down with the team from venture capital fund Andreessen Horowitz to discuss the e-commerce scene in their country.

Speaking on the a16z podcast (a must-listen if you don’t already), the group explored everything from inefficient supply chains to evolving digital payments. The conversation comes at a time when competition is heating up from international players like Amazon, as well as local market leader Flipkart. Snapdeal with its 300,000 different merchants selling everything from computers to women’s fashion (its most popular category), is now ranked third in the country.

Head on over to Forbes to read the full story; a breakdown of everything you need to know about the current marketplace e-commerce scene in India and the barriers being overcome.

Categories
digital snippets e-commerce social media technology

Digital snippets: Valentino’s Instagram strategy, YNAP and IBM team up, Lacoste’s AR book

Valentino_instagram

Beyond Paris Fashion Week, and on past SXSW, here’s your round-up of the latest fashion and technology stories to know from the month of March…


  • In the age of the algorithm, top Instagram brand Valentino needs to rethink its strategy [Digiday]

  • Yoox Net-a-porter Group, IBM partner on software, tech development [WWD]

  • Lacoste enriches its brand campaign with augmented reality book [PSFK]

  • The North Face to launch insanely smart Watson-powered mobile shopping app next month [Venture Beat]

  • True Religion is equipping its sales staff with Apple watches [Apparel News]

  • ‘It can bottle our energy’: Why Bloomingdale’s is going all in on Snapchat [Digiday]

  • Bloomingdale’s spurs branded conversation through emoji app [Luxury Daily]

  • Why Uniqlo is now selling through mobile shopping app Spring [Fashionista]

  • American Apparel offering on-demand delivery via Postmates partnership [TechCrunch]

  • Alibaba spreads its wings into VR sector [China Daily]

  • L’Oreal creates unbranded content hub to woo beauty fans [AdAge]

  • Net-a-Porter’s digital chief on how brands can get up close and personal to consumers [Marketing Magazine]

  • In the store of the future, your shopping bag connects to the internet [Fast Company]

  • How do you bring personalised shopping technology to stores? Adobe has an idea [Fashionista]

  • More influencers, fewer posts: How Instagram’s algorithm will affect fashion brands [Digiday]

  • In the future, Instagram and Facebook could be amongst the largest retailers online [WWD]

  • To big brands, from a millennial: Snapchat filters are where it’s at [AdAge]

  • How Pinterest knows who’s down to shop and who isn’t [AdAge]

  • Personal shopping services seek scale [BoF]


  • Brotailers market to millennial men who hate to shop [BrandChannel]

  • Venture capitalists: e-commerce funding to tighten [WWD]

  • Flush with tech wealth, San Francisco warms to fashion [BoF]

  • E-commerce in Brazil gets more mobile [eMarketer]

  • FedEx to expand e-commerce reach in China, Japan [WSJ]
Categories
e-commerce

Digital India: Ready for take-off

pernia

It may not be the world’s most mature e-commerce market but it’s set to grow 10-fold in the next five years. Which market am I talking about? India, of course.

A new report says it’ll be worth $100bn in five years and perhaps $250bn in a decade, as internet penetration increases, more consumers get smartphones and digital networks reach rural areas.

Who says so? Direct selling industry body FICCI and consultants at KPMG, The Economic Times reported.

And the growth will start quickly, especially as Indians will own 350m smartphones by 2017 with 500m people in the country having broadband access.

Now those figures may look large but if you take into account that India’s population is 1.267bn (which works out at 17.5% of the world’s total population), they actually seem quite small. That’s because, despite the expansion of the internet into rural areas, it’s still the urban middle class that has been driving uptake and that will continue to do so.

Still, the growth potential is huge because Indians are moving en masse into cities. The government estimates that by 2030, it would see 350m people moving from rural to urban areas and by 2050, 700m people.

The potential for digital selling is staggering…

This post first appeared on Trendwalk.net, a style-meets-business blog by journalist, trends specialist and business analyst, Sandra Halliday. (Picture courtesy Perniaspopupshop.com)

Categories
e-commerce Startups

India’s Styletag.com gets growth funding

styletag

India’s digital market is growing and more homegrown business are gearing up to exploit that growth. Styletag.com, the country’s first online curated fashion and lifestyle startup has raised US$7.5m in angel funding from real estate magnate Jitu Virwani.

OK, $7.5m is not a huge sum in tech terms, but Virwani, with a three-decade track record of building business, knows a good investment when he sees one.

So what is Styletag.com? It makes luxury product accessible to price-conscious fashion shoppers via its flash sale model.

The company will use the money to further expand its range of private labels, acquire a raft of other designer brands and strengthen its team.

Founder and CEO Sanjay Shroff said the company has grown exponentially since launch but is committed to “enriching” the customer experience and staying “ahead of the curve.”

Virwani added that: “Similar investments have been carried out in the past from my end into projects that have been extremely fruitful. I find the startup e-commerce space a very exciting one and it is an extremely dynamic and upcoming market. Through similar investments, I want to encourage players in the startup space.”

styletag-2

So what are Styletag’s credentials? At launch in 2012 it drew on the 20-year experience of Sanjay Shroff and his wife Yashodhara founding and running Southern India’s first-ever multibrand luxury store ffolio.

The Shroffs decided they could bring together high-end with affordable prices for the millions of consumers based in and around smaller cities across the country. Since then it has walked a line between its mix of Western looks more traditional Indian styles.

Shroff said he foresees scaling up to 100 omnichannel models across major Indian cities in less than two years with its physical store presence ready to aid in brand building.

Current growth projections indicate it should soon reach 100,000 orders for the festive season and Styletag is looking to establish gross merchandise value of between $7m and $10m by year-end.

This post first appeared on Trendwalk.net, a style-meets-business blog by journalist, trends specialist and business analyst, Sandra Halliday

Categories
digital snippets e-commerce film mobile social media Startups technology

Digital snippets: shoplifters at Harvey Nichols, Iris van Herpen on fashion and science, Rakuten’s virtual fit start-up

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

harveynichols

  • Harvey Nichols features genuine CCTV shoplifting footage in new Rewards ad (as pictured) [Creative Review]
  • Iris van Herpen’s science fashion [BoF]
  • Rakuten buys virtual fitting room start-up Fits.Me in a fashion commerce play [TechCrunch]
  • Why an “Amazon for high fashion” is a really bad idea [HighSnobiety]
  • Amazon Fashion, playing the long game [BoF]
  • ShopStyle figured out how to monetise Snapchat [Racked]
  • Why it took Zappos Labs five tries to admit failure [Fast Company]
  • Stamp your in-store Snapchats with custom Lilly Pulitzer prints [Digiday]
  • Crocs bets big on interactive Twitter videos with ‘Funway Runway’ effort [AdWeek]
  • Online jewellery start-up Bauble Bar to open retail stores [Forbes]
  • Matthew Williamson to sell part of pre-fall collection exclusively on Lyst [Fashionista]
  • Net-a-porter partners with Tom Ford on e-commerce exclusive [WWD]
  • Nike quickens plans to ‘seamlessly connect social platforms to commerce’ [The Drum]
  • How artificial intelligence is powering e-commerce in India [TechinAsia]
  • Fashion apps continue the trend for mobile swiping [The Telegraph]
  • Six futuristic retail displays that will change your idea of ‘e-commerce’ [Time]
  • Luxury brands dip toes in e-commerce waters [WSJ]
  • Why the Internet of Things won’t be about the ‘things’ for retailers [Retail Dive]
  • The man who wants to turn our clothes into modular gadgets [Wired]
  • Meet Mona, the world’s smartest personal shopper [PSFK]
  • Why the Apple Watch is flopping [Co.Design]
  • 3D-printing has stagnated, says pioneering designer Francis Bitonti [Dezeen]
  • We did not expect Vogue’s native advertising to be this good [Brand Republic]
Categories
Editor's pick film

Vogue India empowerment video clocks record 9m views

VOGUE EMPOWER - MY CHOICE

Vogue has struck a chord with women in India – its recent My Choice video, which focuses on female empowerment, has been viewed nearly 10 million times since it was published on March 28.

Directed by Homi Adajania, it features Bollywood actor Deepika Padukone as one of 99 women from varying walks of life coming together to send a powerful message around the things women should see as their rights.

“In my family, my father is the only male in the house, but all of us have a voice,” says Padukone. “I’ve always been allowed to be who I want to be. When you’re not caged, when you don’t succumb to expectation, that’s when you’re empowered.”

In part of the narration of the video, she reads: “My body, my mind, my choice. To wear the clothes I like; even if my spirit roams naked. My choice; to be a size 0 or a size 15. They don’t have a size for my spirit, and never will. To use cotton and silk to trap my soul is to believe that you can halt the expansion of the universe. Or capture sunlight in the palm of your hand. Your mind is caged, let it free. My body is not. Let it be. My choice.”

As for the use of 99 women, Adajania explains: “I liked the idea of telling people I originally had 100 women planned but God said she was busy.”

The video is part of the #VogueEmpower social awareness initiative, which launched in India last October. This is designed to “encourage people to think, talk and act in ways big or small on issues pertaining to women’s empowerment”. It pushes a simple message to everyone: “It starts with you.”

The initiative has engaged opinion leaders and influencers since launch including Aamir Khan in a radio campaign, Sudha Murthy who contributed towards cervical cancer screening, and AR Rahman who dedicated an album to the cause.

Categories
digital snippets e-commerce film social media Startups technology

Digital snippets: Farfetch acquires Browns, Net-a-Porter launches social network, Warby Parker raises $100m

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

thenetset

  • Browns acquired by Farfetch as part of omnichannel growth strategy [BoF]
  • Fashion retailer Net-a-Porter’s new social network wants to combine your photo-sharing and shopping in one app (as pictured) [Quartz]
  • Warby Parker raises $100m to expand store network, technology [Fashionista]
  • The Rodarte designers are making a movie [The Cut]
  • Toms wants you to Instagram your bare feet for charity [Fashionista]
  • The future of retail looks like Macy’s, not Amazon [L2]
  • Infographic: wearable tech at the intersection of function and fashion [AdWeek]
  • How 3-D printing is saving the Italian artisan [Bloomberg]
  • Could 3-D body scanners help you find the perfect pair of jeans? [AdWeek]
  • Launching a fashion Kickstarter? Consider this [Medium]
  • V-Files relaunches as trendy start-up determined to become the shoppable Instagram [Business Insider]
  • With big names and money flowing in, tech start-ups in India heat up [NY Times]
Categories
digital snippets e-commerce mobile social media Startups technology

Digital snippets: wearables, Net-a-Porter and Yoox, Facebook messenger, live-streaming apps

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

wristwatches

  • The wearables road ahead: a race to the bottom? [TechCrunch]
  • Net-a-Porter, Yoox merger creates online fashion powerhouse [WGSN.com/blogs]
  • You can now pay your friends through Facebook Messenger [Mashable]
  • Will new live-streaming apps change the way we see fashion week? [Style.com]
  • Marketers weigh in on Periscope vs Meerkat [AdWeek]
  • LVMH’s Tag Heuer surfs wave of smartwatch partnerships [Reuters]
  • Kenneth Cole reveals Connect smartwatch line [BrandChannel]
  • Harrods takes its green-clad doorman global with Instagram contest [Luxury Daily]
  • Inside Balmain’s digital revolution [BoF]
  • Why Sephora’s digital boss joined Stitch Fix, the personal stylist startup that’s growing like mad [re/code]
  • Banana Republic harnesses photographed ‘Hot Dudes Reading’ in Instagram campaign [PSFK]
  • The North Face hopes to rope you in with virtual-reality rock climbing [Chicago Tribune]
  • L’Oreal’s chief digital officer on programmatic plans, start-ups and org charts [AdAge]
  • Meet Betabrand, the company that’s using viral humour and uncensored crowdsourcing to create the future of fashion [Medium]
  • Will personalised pricing take e-commerce back to the bazaar? [BoF]
  • Social media’s elusive goal: return on investment [WWD]
  • How beauty and fashion brands can win on Instagram [Fashionista]
  • Online fashion retail in India may touch $35 billion by 2020 [The Economic Times]
  • Are ‘smart’ clothes the wearables of the future? [re/code]