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Welcome to Cyber Sunday: E-tail will never be the same again

la-redoute

Cyber Monday is now Cyber Sunday. That’s official. Well, at least as far as Walmart is concerned. The company is going to launch its Cyber Monday deals a day early this year.

Why? Is the retail giant-of-giants regretting pulling back from Black Friday now that the momentum is really building, or is this a logical move that simply reflects reality? Maybe a bit of both.

Walmart.com CEO Fernando Madeira pointed out the logic of changing tack. “The customers have changed but Cyber Monday hasn’t changed with them,” he told Reuters. “Now everyone has [the] internet.”

The fact is that Cyber Monday is no longer the year’s biggest online shopping day. China’s Singles Day has taken that crown and in some markets like the UK, Black Friday beat it last year too. Even in the US, the gap is closing with Adobe predicting $3bn in online sales on Monday but as much as $2.7bn on Friday.

It used to be that Americans got back to their offices on the Monday after Thanksgiving and took advantage of all those new-fangled computers and the high speed wifi they found there to go shopping. Seems almost funny now.

What it means as far as Walmart is concerned is that instead of the smattering of teaser deals it offered on the same Sunday last year, there’ll be 2,000 online-only specials available from 8pm.

The power of online

The move to Cyber Sunday also reflects a wider online-driven trend that sees retailers deciding when is the best time to offer deals and knowing that their smartphone-toting customers will be ready.

Black Friday is still key, of course, as its timing is perfect for Christmas shopping. But the rise of online shopping has shifted the shopping event scenery to create alternative Black Fridays at other times. Amazon has proved that with its Amazon Prime Days earlier in the year. Alibaba has proved it with Singles Day on November 11.

The onward march of online has also changed Black Friday itself and we’re seeing proof of that this year with a whole load of tweaks to usual retailer behaviour over Black Friday/Cyber Monday, of which Walmart’s move is the highest-profile.

Why is the change happening so fast in a world where e-sales are still the smallest percentage of total sales? Currently, more than 92% of total US retail sales still happen in physical stores and in Britain, the figure is still around 90%. But for both countries, online is a disproportionately large force in special shopping events like Black Friday. In the UK, for instance, over a third of the near-£2bn likely to be spent on the day will be online.

And that gives retailers the chance to extend the event on their websites as they’re not bound by shoppers’ abilities to get to stores. In fact, a lot of retailers launched Black Friday early this year with plenty of deals available last week and this week even more.

In France, where physical retail is still reeling from the Paris attacks, online is also changing the landscape and Black Friday is morphing too. La Redoute, which said the Friday-through-Sunday period was its second biggest shopping weekend in 2014 (as pictured), has renamed it Le Grand Weekend. But despite the use of the word “weekend”, its deals start today and end next Monday.

So whatever happens on Black Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday and Cyber Saturday, Sunday or Monday, one thing we know is that shopping will never be the same again.

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

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film social media

Cannes Lions 2013 round-up: fashion and beauty winners

CannesLions_JustinCooke_Topshop

It was a big year for fashion at the 60th annual Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity – the ad industry’s version of the Oscars if you will. As already reported, Burberry, Vivienne Westwood and Annie Leibovitz were all on stage, as was Justin Cooke, CMO of Topshop (as pictured), in a guest appearance during YouTube’s slot.

He talked to the idea of emotion in marketing: “When people feel happy, they want to influence others to do the same. At Topshop we refer to the three I’s; ignite a conversation, inspire our customers and then use that influence to build our UK-centric brand into a global entity.”

Topshop walked away with a bronze Media Lion for best use of social media for its Future of the Fashion Show campaign in February.

Here are some of the other fashion and beauty campaigns that won:

Dove Real Beauty Sketches: No surprise here – this campaign picked up the Titanium Grand Prix at Cannes as well as gold Lions in nearly every other category. Created by Ogilvy Brasil, it aimed to prove to women they’re more beautiful than they think they are by conducting a social experiment whereby an FBI-trained sketch artist drew their portraits based first on their own descriptions and then a stranger’s. The resulting film, which captures their reactions to the sketches, racked up over 4.5bn social media impressions. Dove also won a gold in the Film category for its Camera Shy campaign.

Nike Find Your Greatness: Always a big winner at Cannes, this year was no exception for Nike. It won a silver in the Titanium category for its Find Your Greatness campaign that surrounded last year’s Olympics. Ambush marketing at its finest (given Nike wasn’t an official sponsor), it highlighted that greatness isn’t reserved for just the elite athletes participating in the big event in the chosen city, but can be found worldwide – importantly in all the other places around the world also called London. Nike also won a silver for its Jogger campaign, and bronzes for She Runs the Night and Voices.

adidas Window Shopping: Not to be outdone, adidas also walked away with an armful of awards, this time for its adidas Neo Window Shopping initiative created by TBWA Helsinki. This saw a fully functional virtual store accessible from on the street by combining windows with the brand’s already existing e-commerce. Users could connect their smartphones via a simple URL and a pin (no need for an app or QR codes here), and then interact with the products on screen, dragging them into a shopping bag to make them appear on their own device to buy. It won both gold and silver Cyber Lions, as well as three bronzes in the Media and Mobile categories.

Macy’s Yes, Virginia the Musical: Macy’s localised its long-standing Yes, Virginia campaign in 2012 with a musical for schools in the busy run-up to the Christmas period. That initiative, created by JWT New York, saw it winning both a gold and a silver Lion in the Branded Content and Entertainment category.

Uniqlo Storms Pinterest: A smart move by Uniqlo over Pinterest also scooped a gold Lion in the Design category at Cannes this year. To promote its new Dry Mesh T-Shirts the Japanese retailer, along with Firstborn New York, created an impossible-to-miss, branded mosaic on the virtual scrapbooking site. As users scrolled through Pinterest’s public feeds giant blocks of branded images appeared and seemed to animate. It was done using 100 shell accounts on the platform that were later switched to branded Uniqlo ones. Uniqlo also won a bronze Media Lion for its Wake Up campaign.

Kmart Ship my Pants: You may have spotted this one already – Kmart’s humourous new video ad that plays on the phrase “Ship my Pants” to tout its new free shipping service. A winner for me on element of surprise alone, and at Cannes with silvers and bronzes in both the Film and Promo & Activation categories.

Geox Amphibox: Geox’s campaign for its everyday waterproof shoe walked away with gold, silver and bronze awards in the Cyber category as well as a bronze in Media. The aim was to prove the performance qualities of the shoes, so the team took four Facebook fans to the wettest place on earth, Cherrapunjee in India (which receives 11.7m of annual rainfall) to put them to the test. An online interactive documentary resulted.

Asos #bestnightever: I’ve commented a lot on shoppable films in the past, but there’s no escaping the fact they’re slowly making an increasing impact in the advertising space. Asos won a silver Media Lion on that basis this year for its #bestnightever campaign (even if the stats that went alongside aren’t necessarily directly the result of it to be honest), which saw three shoppable music videos created.

Bronze awards otherwise went to:

  • Louis Vuitton in Film for its Core Values campaign starring Muhammad Ali
  • Converse in Outdoor for its Highways campaign

And here’s a particularly nice message from Christopher Bailey, chief creative officer of Burberry, to close: “You have to take a leap of faith to move into a world that your industry or sector is not used to, but if you believe in it, and can feel it, it will be stronger and more believable in itself.”

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digital snippets mobile social media Uncategorized

Digital snippets: Burberry, Donna Karan, Chanel, Oscar de la Renta, Sephora

As a final post for 2012, here’s one last round-up of stories from around the web surrounding all things fashion and digital over the past week.

We’ll be back in January, as previously mentioned with a very exciting update… Until then, happy holidays!

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  • Square to announce payment trial with Burberry, its first luxury brand partner [TheNextWeb]
  • Donna Karan launches new celebrity dressing app (as pictured) [WWD]
  • Chanel strengthens digital brand experience via site relaunch [Luxury Daily]
  • Oscar de la Renta taps social media to recruit focus group [L2 Think Tank]
  • Sephora wins digital innovator award in prestige category [WWD]
  • The 20 biggest brand fails of 2012, featuring Harvey Nichols, Gap and La Redoute [AdWeek]
  • Fashion 2.0: amongst promises of a perfect fit, what fits and what doesn’t? [BoF]
  • Shopping sites open brick and mortar stores [NY Times]
  • Retail display plays product demo when customers select various items [PSFK]
  • How Stylistpick used personalisation to increase conversions by 33% [Econsultancy]