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

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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
e-commerce mobile

River Island pushes localised product listings using Google’s Local Inventory Ads

River Island
River Island

River Island has become the first UK fashion retailer to use Google’s Local Inventory Ads (LIAs) in an effort to bridge its on and offline presence.

Based on location technology in a user’s mobile device, the LIA will display River Island products directly to shoppers searching for relevant items nearby. For instance, and as per the image below, if the user is on the hunt for a black dress or a bomber jacket in their standard Google search, it will surface River Island product first and foremost (listed as sponsored and also including a map on the ‘shopping’ search page, as well as distance to that particular store).

To achieve that, a retailer must provide a well-organised inventory of product and have set a high enough bid within the Google system. Clicking on the ad for the user will then take them to a Google ‘Local Storefront’ page, where they are provided with further information on the product, retailer, price, nearby location, opening hours and a link to purchase online if applicable.

River Island's Google Local Inventory Ads
River Island’s Google Local Inventory Ads

In searching for the most seamless shopping experience for its consumer, River Island elected to only feature products available both in store and online in the ads. To do so, the company solicited the collaborative efforts of its retail, digital marketing and IT departments, along with the help of inventory feed provider Intelligent Reach for a unity of product offerings.

The project has proven successful thus far, with sales numbers climbing accordingly: 6% of clicks on the mobile-based LIAs resulted in a store visit, an increase of 17% compared to standard shopping campaigns. When looking at return on investment, the numbers were equally compelling with a 15% rise in return-on-ad-spend and a 33% increase in total sales (both on and offline).

Josie Cartridge, customer director at River Island, said: “We’re pleased with the results of our LIA activity so far and it’s good to see targeted mobile activity driving sales in-store as well as online. Mobile offers us lots of opportunity to enhance the shopping experience through location technology and stock information and we’re excited to keep working with Google and developing in this area.”

In an effort to keep the growth consistent, River Island plans to invest further into its LIA strategy. The retailer has expressed interest in using in-store beacons to collect even more accurate store visit data which can be applied towards its LIA automated bidding strategy.

It also recently launched its Christmas campaign starring Caroline Vreeland and Shea Marie of Peace Loves Shea as they get ready for a festive night out. You can also check out the rest of this year’s seasonal films, here.

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data digital snippets e-commerce mobile product social media Startups technology

Digital snippets: Pokémon Go, McQueen’s DNA, luxury’s executive changes, AI, VR and more

McQueen pure human - digital snippets
Alexander McQueen’s DNA turned into leather in designer Tina Gorjanc’s Pure Human project

If there’s one thing that’s grabbed everyone’s attention this past fortnight, it has of course been Pokémon Go. The augmented reality mobile game has reportedly gained as many users as Uber and Tinder, topped Twitter’s daily users, and started seeing people spend more time with it than in Facebook. It also caused Nintendo’s share price to increase by more than $7bn.

We published a great piece looking at what retailers can learn from it in a broader location-marketing sense.  Also worth reading is this story tracking the retail invasion of Pokémons, via Racked, and another looking at why retailers should care about Pokémon’s forthcoming ads.

Beyond that, the news to know in the fashion, digital comms and technology space this week (and there’s a lot of it!), spans everything from an experiment with DNA in textile design to the plethora of changes at the helm of the industry’s luxury houses, the impact artificial intelligence might have on brands, not to mention how we’re faring with virtual reality so far…


  • Fashion that gets under the skin – designer creates leather prototypes grown from Alexander McQueen DNA (as pictured) [NY Times]

  • Luxury fashion: a year of big moves [The Industry]

  • Amazon Prime Day: Wow… but not yet a fashion must-buy [Trendwalk]

  • What Amazon could learn from Yoox Net-a-Porter, the “world’s biggest luxury fashion store” [Quartz]

  • Fashion apparel retailing in the age of artificial intelligence [WWD]

  • Luxury brands get off to an awkward start with virtual reality [Glossy]

  • Is a holographic fashion show for VR clothing the future? [The Creators Project]

  • The store of the future: physical retailers must stage experiences, embrace omnichannel and harness data [BoF]

  • 5 ways shoppers are using mobile to make purchase decisions, according to Google [Fashionista]

  • Sephora is driving mobile sales with Tinder-like features and digital mad libs [Ad Week]

  • Stores must learn to think like Facebook [BoF]

  • Warby Parker is offering Snapchat-exclusive sunglasses [Techcrunch]

  • Birchbox tests Snapchat for customer service – turns to revamped video and voice calling feature [Digiday]

  • Why advertisers are forking over big bucks for custom Snapchat lenses [Ad Week]

  • Snapchat is looking at a way to recognize objects in your snaps and serve you related ads [Business Insider]

  • New study says people are more likely to buy from brands that use virtual reality [Ad Week]

  • Luxury brands embrace digital, but still wary of programmatic [The Drum]

  • Using an algorithm to figure out what luxury customers really want [HBR]

  • Amazon is developing a 3D modelling system to solve online clothes shopping’s biggest problem [Quartz]

  • How the future of fit could spell the end of retail returns [Retail Dive]

  • Back to bricks and mortar: how e-commerce has embraced the real world [The Guardian]

  • Where machines could replace humans—and where they can’t (yet) [McKinsey]

  • Confessions of a fashion start-up founder: ‘Fashion tech is the Wild West’ [Glossy]

  • 3 need-to-know live streaming apps in China (and how bloggers & brands are using them) [WGSN]

  • Payments firm Klarna adds Lyst to its collection [Reuters]

  • How valuable is trend forecasting in the post-internet age? [NJAL]

  • These acrylic nails double as an Oyster Card [PSFK]
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Comment Editor's pick mobile technology

Comment counts: Retailers should look to Pokémon Go for location marketing inspiration

Retailers needn’t just jump on Pokémon Go as a sponsorship opportunity, but use it as a starting point to explore all the options around location-based marketing, writes xAd’s Theo Theodorou. 

Pokémon Go
Pokémon Go in-store at Sephora (Image via @BrandiiNycolee on Twitter)

It may have been a time of chokers, bomber jackets, double denim and all things grunge, but the 90s were also the decade that Pokémon was born. For millennials, Japan’s Pokémon was a huge part of growing up. Fast-forward 20 years, and just like those fashion trends, the game is back. Now instead of trading cards, fans are running around the world catching characters in the augmented reality game Pokémon Go.

Released officially on July 6, 2016, the game uses a player’s mobile GPS to show a virtual version of their world populated with Pokémon characters to catch. In less than a week, it reportedly became the number one downloaded app on the app store, gained as many users as Uber and Tinder, topped Twitter’s daily users, and started seeing people spend more time with it than in Facebook. It also caused Nintendo’s share price to increase by more than $7bn.

Aside from realising just how many consumers love games, what can fashion retailers learn from this newest internet craze; one that gamifies our location in the real world, in real-time?


Generation mobile-savvy

Pokémon Go has tapped into the demographic that grew up with its card trading format. Now mobile-savvy and tech obsessed, this generation are demonstrating an immense appetite for a fully online/offline immersed world.

Pokémon Go is essentially the latest poster child for the power of location. Just like all successful location-aware apps like Uber, Tinder and Just Eat, the game delivers a valuable, fully merged experience, and retailers want in on the engagement this connected approach is creating.

Pokémon Go retail
Retailers have jumped on the Pokémon Go phenomenon, even in jest (Image via @Gobobbo on Twitter)

A huge 89% of all retail sales are still happening in brick and mortar stores, yet the world is simultaneously becoming increasingly mobile-first. As a result, it is imperative that retailers link the two worlds. As consumers are influenced by more than one channel now, it is crucial that brands understand how online advertising influences their consumers’ real world actions and vice versa.

Where we go, says a lot about who we are. Just like a player’s location tells us about what character they are looking to catch, location insights allows brands to understand a person’s context and proximity to points of interest, which then influence their experiences and actions in the real world.

Compared to search and social, location speaks the truth about our intentions. Just because I searched for a John Lewis voucher as a present for my niece’s birthday, doesn’t mean that I am the perfect target for future online advertising from them, for instance. However, actions speak louder than words and if, through location-based technology, John Lewis were to know I visited multiple stores on different occasions, it’s far more likely I am a worthwhile consumer to target with personalised advertising.


The power of location

While it’s exciting that Pokémon Go has brought the power of location and its abilities to the forefront by giving them a tangible and obvious consumer use, it is critical that retailers think about the type of relationships they want to build with customers. With brands now interested in investing in ‘lures’ by placing a character outside (or inside) their stores, many are recognising the potential location-technology has in driving store visitations.

However, retailers shouldn’t just jump on Pokémon Go, but explore all the options around location and what it has to offer. The pertinent question to ask is would retailers rather use a bribe essentially unassociated to the brand to get people there, or use location intelligence based on real-world behaviours to meet their needs better? With its ability to drive the right customer to a store, at the right time, brands can use location technology to drive engagement and build long lasting, loyal relationships instead of just visitors who want to ‘Catch em all’.

While the technical ability to map locations has existed for several years its accuracy has significantly improved. Now, through Blueprints technology like xAd’s, brands know whether a person is inside a store or just walking down a street – knowledge that is the difference between delivering messages of value or something of irritation to a potential customer. This level of precision means that brands can be sure impressions are meaningful and made on the right audience.

Ultimately, retailers want to drive revenue by enticing customers into their store to buy their products or services. Location technology enables brands to do this by providing intelligence about a customer based on where they go. This means the retailer can then personalise and enhance the customer experience. In a mobile-first world, where we start our path to purchase journey online and complete in the physical world, it is critical that brands grab the opportunity to join the dots between these two worlds.

Theo Theodorou is the MD of EMEA at location-based mobile advertising technology company, xAd. 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.

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e-commerce Editor's pick mobile

Peak Performance runs GPS-based virtual outdoor campaign

peakperformance_magichour_01a

Outdoor sports brand, Peak Performance, is running a digital campaign that sees fans able to win clothing and other goods at set times of day while out in the wilderness.

The Magic Hour, as the initiative is called, sees virtual pop-up shops appearing in certain rural locations chosen for their views just before sunrise and sunset. Included are mountain tops, a golf course and a lighthouse on a small island. The aim is to appeal to cyclists, golfers, ramblers, runners, trekkers and walkers.

Creative agency Perfect Fools Stockholm developed the mobile web experience, viewable at CatchMagicHour.com, which displays the shop location, distance to it, opening hours, a collection catalogue and how many items are left to claim. It relies on smartphone GPS to detect when users are at the right location, only showing them a preview of the collection if they’re not.

peakperformance_magichour_03b_clean

Robin Salazar, online marketing and e-commerce manager at Peak Performance, said: “The Magic Hour is a beautiful time of day and we want to encourage people to experience that time at fantastic locations. The virtual pop-up shops are an added incentive to experience sunrise or sunset and bridge the physical digital divide.”

The campaign is being pushed online as well as via PR in Austria, France, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Japan and UAE.

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Editor's pick film mobile social media

Hunter to partner with tech start-up Grabyo for real-time #LFW show

Hunter Original AW14 Look 1

Live and localised are two key phrases you can associate with the Hunter Original show due to be held at London Fashion Week next Saturday, September 13.

The British-based wellington boot brand, in its second ever season showing on the runway, is set to partner with real-time video start-up Grabyo in order to deliver up to 10 instantaneous highlights from the catwalk to its fans via Twitter.

Key moments as they unfold will be available for followers in 10-45 second clips, whether at a desktop or viewing via their smartphones (which is where the majority of traffic inevitably tends to be seen based on Grabyo’s past experience).

Better yet, said content will also be geo-targeted on Twitter so the type of items shown from the collection are reflective of the user’s particular region and climate.

Read the full story at Forbes.com.

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digital snippets e-commerce social media technology

Digital snippets: Matthew Williamson, Gap, Amazon, Instagram, Wanelo, Tinder

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

MatthewWilliamson_Instagram

  • ‘Is it scalable? I think it has to be,’ Matthew Williamson head of digital on customer acquisition through Instagram [The Drum]
  • Amazon launches #AmazonCart (#AmazongBasket), a new way to shop without leaving Twitter [TNW]
  • Fashion world sashays to Instagram for brand-building [FT]
  • Wanelo profiled: like mall browsing, with a click [NY Times]
  • Meet the new wave of Tinder-like shopping apps [Fashionista]
  • Stylect, the Tinder for shoes, finds you a perfect pair [Co.Design]
  • Study shows prevalence of consumer ‘webrooming’; more people researching online and buying in local stores [AdWeek]
  • Tracking is dead: the next wave of wearables is context [re/code]
  • Millennial-focused marketers start to dig in to new SnapChat video feature [AdWeek]
  • Must see: colour-changing fabric uses heat sensitive technology to react to sound files and its surrounds [PSFK]
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digital snippets e-commerce Uncategorized

Digital snippets: Oscar de la Renta, Hugo Boss, Nike, Michael Kors, Dove, Target

Some more great stories from around the web surrounding all things fashion and digital over the past week:

  • Oscar de la Renta sells five Resort tees in first day via TheFancy (as pictured) [NY Times]
  • Hugo Boss hosts New Dimension Beijing event, live-streams new collection and campaign in 3-D [Hugo Boss]
  • Nike’s interactive ad challenges viewers to find secret content [PSFK]
  • Michael Kors opens new store via email, social video invite [Luxury Daily]
  • E-commerce in China: how the world’s biggest market buys online [Mashable]
  • Op-Ed: Are we failing to fulfill the potential of fashion film? [BoF]
Categories
digital snippets film Uncategorized

Digital snippets: Selfridges, Karl Lagerfeld, Bergdorfs, Nike, Mr Porter, Gap

Some more great stories from around the web surrounding all things fashion and digital over the past week:

 

  • Selfridges launches The Film Project with Alexander McQueen (as above), Comme des Garçons, Dries Van Noten, Gareth Pugh, A.F. Vandervorst and Rick Owens [Karl is my Unkle]
  • Karl Lagerfeld launches new content-driven website [WWD]
  • Bergdorf Goodman partners with magazine app Zite to push brand-relevant lifestyle content [Marketwire]
  • Mr Porter launches global augmented reality fashion hunt [Mashable]
  • Nike showcasing ‘future of retail’ with pop-up Nike+ FuelStation in London [Creativity Online]
  • Gap launches new campaign integrating geo-fencing technology [PSFK]
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Uncategorized

GPS treasure hunting with Timberland

Timberland is running a GPS-enabled treasure hunt to push its new Earthkeeper footwear range across Europe.

The ‘Trail of Heroes’ campaign is open until June in Berlin, Brussels, London, Madrid, Milan and Paris.

It encourages participants to find hidden treasure (prizes such as clothing from the brand and a trip to Iceland) off the back of coordinates sent to their GPS device.

Geocaching.com/trailofheroes is a campaign site created by brand experience specialists BEcause and Groundspeak, reports Campaign.