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Urban Outfitters launches live shopping parties on influencer app Dote

Urban Outfitters has partnered with social shopping app Dote on a pilot that allows influencers to host live-streamed shopping parties within the platform.

The app, initially launched in 2014, is geared towards a younger audience and heavily relies on the social element of shopping. One of its main features, for instance, allows influencers (or Dote Creators) to create their own profiles and wishlist products across the app’s 150-strong brand inventory, which followers can then shop from. This new feature, called “Shopping Party”, will enable Creators to host 15min-long live streams shopping solely from one brand.

“When we stopped going to malls with our friends and started shopping online, the experience became one skewed toward convenience and assortment,” says Dote founder and CEO Lauren Farleigh. “Along the way, we lost the social experience that shopping can be, which so many people have enjoyed throughout the history of commerce.”

Since its inception, Dote has raised $23 million in funding and added major Gen Z-focused brands and retailers to its assortment, from Asos and Brandy Melville to Madewell. In July 2018, it announced the launch of its first exclusive collection, with YouTube star Emma Chamberlain.

How are you thinking about e-commerce 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. 

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Editor's pick Retail

Adidas uses AirDrop to gift sneaker collab to Coachella festival goers

Adidas used Apple’s AirDrop feature to gift lucky attendees at Coachella Valley Music Festival this weekend with a new shoe collaboration with musician Donald Glover (also known as Childish Gambino).

A randomly selected number of people who were attending the festival were sent an image of the shoe, dubbed “Nizzas”, via AirDrop. Those who accepted the image then had one hour to pick up a free pair of the kicks at a designated area.

Inside the shoe box, a small note outlined certain “responsibilities” that came with receiving the shoe. New owners of the coveted “Nizzas” were encouraged to take three actions at the festival to promote the shoes: wear them, keep them on all weekend and lastly, watch the Childish Gambino performance.

Also at the festival, Childish Gambino collaborated with Google to launch “Brighter in the Dark”, a custom tech and music installation where attendees could take photographs in the dark and explore the musician’s creative world. This was part of a larger collaboration between Childish Gambino and Google which started in February, where the musician joined the tech giant’s camera feature “Playground” as Playmoji (an AR avatar) that users can interact with.

Meanwhile for adidas, this experience is another clever activation that adds an element of excitement and surprise to the consumer when they are least expecting it. For example at last year’s ComplexCon, the brand dropped new sneakers by asking users to scan giant cubes located across the venue at designated time slots.

How are you thinking about product innovation? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners for your innovation strategy. The Current Global 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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e-commerce Editor's pick technology

YOOX combines AI and digital avatars in virtual try-on feature


Luxury e-commerce platform, YOOX is launching YOOXMIRROR, an in-app feature that acts as a discovery tool for users to explore new looks through a virtual avatar, Daisy.

On the app’s homepage, users can view nine fashion stories laid out in a similar style to Instagram Stories, divided into themes such as “Join the party” and “Check mate”.

Daisy, the avatar, has been introduced to showcase the outfits,  customizable by four different skin tones and hair colors. Users can then ‘swipe up’ to play mix-and-match with more garments and accessories. Daisy has also take over the YOOX Instagram account.

 “The introduction of YOOXMIRROR represents an important move for us, offering our customers something personalized and memorable which is also a brand-new way to explore the very best of YOOX, ” says Paolo Mascio, president of YOOX. “We are so excited by the potential of this initiative that we will not limit our avatar Daisy to the styling suite – taking over our IG she is going to become the personification of YOOX, allowing us an even more direct contact with our followers and customs.”

The feature is currently available for both men and women on the retailer’s iOS app.

The luxury e-commerce group has been investigating the different ways in which AI can provide users with a more personalized experience in the future, but also how it can enable its staff to deliver more efficiently. Last year, it opened a tech hub to investigate AI and the next wave of mobile technologies. Meanwhile, at the Wired Smarter conference in London in October, it announced it is introducing a new private label collection that is informed by AI, while designed by a creative team.

This post has been edited. The original version said users could also upload a full-body shot of themselves and view outfits in 2D overlaid onto them. This feature is not currently available.

How are you thinking about digital innovation? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. TheCurrent 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.


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e-commerce Editor's pick mobile Retail

Nike announces retail app for connected in-store experience

Nike

Nike has announced the launch of Nike App at Retail, a mobile concept that provides in-store customers with a personalised experience via their devices.

The app will allow consumers to be recognised when entering a store, opening up exclusive products within their proximity. It will also allow them to scan product availability in all nearby Nike stores, as well as check out and pay for their in-store purchases.

For customers using the app elsewhere, they can reserve products in a personal locker in-store for try-on and purchase later. The brand is said to be testing several other features that will eventually be incorporated into a wider range of stores.

The debut, which will happen in Q4 in two locations – Portland and Los Angeles – follows the recent acquisition of Zodiac, a consumer data and analytics startup whose expertise the sporting brand will leverage to build skills in-house and better connect with customers.

Nike's scavenger hunt
Nike’s scavenger hunt

At an earnings call on March 22, CEO Mark Parker stated that digital and mobile apps are playing an increasing role in how the brand launches key innovations, which is reflective of how consumers are behaving and shopping. He explained there will be a lot more storytelling coming to life from a digital standpoint as it becomes a more important part of the brand’s overall strategy.

In the future, Nike’s in-store experiences will blend physical and digital seamlessly and effortlessly complement one another, he added.

Nike has recently been experimenting with providing super fans with one-off experiences leveraged by their digital behaviours, particularly in terms of gamification. Last year, it promoted an AR scavenger hunt that enabled fans to get their hands on a limited shoe collaboration by scanning NYC posters, while this February it gave fans at a basketball match early access to limited edition shoes via a shoppable Snapchat filter.