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What you missed: Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Zara’s data recipe, a chatbot deep-dive

Black Friday
Black Friday

This week’s news is of course dominated by the Black Friday weekend results. Online sales reached new highs in the US on Black Friday itself, up 21.6% year-on-year to $3.34bn. Unsurprisingly, mobile was a significant part of that growth, generating 36% of total digital sales, in a 33% rise from 2015, and 55% of all mobile shopping visits, according to Adobe. It was a similar story for Cyber Monday, with mobile generating 53% of online visits and 35% of sales.

In the UK, meanwhile, over 57% of traffic came from mobile devices on Black Friday rising to 75% at certain times of day. Overall online sales were only up 6.7% year-on-year however, yet footfall in stores was also up 2.8%, despite an expected 5% drop. “This demonstrates the fact that customers want a balance. Between online and physical shopping experiences, the high street isn’t as obsolete as some might think,” said Rupal Karia, managing director for retail and hospitality, UK and Ireland, at Fujitsu.

We’ve otherwise rounded up some of the best stories to read summarising everything that happened below. Also worth checking out from this week past is a deep-dive on Zara’s recipe for success, further updates on everything Instagram versus Snapchat, and an ultimate guide to chatbots.


BLACK FRIDAY / CYBER MONDAY UPDATE
  • Cyber Monday sales surge to record $3.45bn in the US [Retail Dive]
  • The US winners and losers of Black Friday 2016 [Retail Dive]
  • Black Friday online sales growth falls short in the UK but shop visits rise [Sky]
  • About 10 million more Americans shopped online than in stores over Black Friday weekend [Fortune]
  • How did Manhattan’s luxury stores fare on Black Friday? [Bloomberg]
  • Patagonia donated 100% of Black Friday sales to eco-causes [Ecouterre]
  • We might look back on 2016 as the year Black Friday hit an inflection point [LeanLuxe]

OTHER TOP STORIES
  • Zara’s recipe for success: more data, fewer bosses [Yahoo!]
  • Gap’s CEO missed the brand’s biggest problem when he called creative directors “false messiahs” [Quartz]
  • Email outpacing social media in e-commerce, stoking innovation [WWD]

BUSINESS
  • Yoox Net-A-Porter Group to launch in the Middle East [Fashionista]
  • Matchesfashion.com launches 90-minute delivery service in London [WWD]
  • Is e-commerce really better for the environment than traditional retail? [BoF]

SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Is Snapchat the next Facebook, or the next Twitter? [WWD]
  • Instagram is now letting users stream Live videos that disappear as soon as they end [Wired]
  • How this quirky clothing brand uses Snapchat to sell more shorts [Venture Beat]
  • Spyder using NFC to connect with customers through social media [WWD]

RETAIL
  • Missguided unveils first standalone store in Westfield Stratford [The Industry]

TECHNOLOGY
  • The ultimate guide to Chatbots: Why they’re disrupting UX and best practices for building [Medium]
  • Uniqlo is experimenting with MindMeld’s ‘smarter bots’ on Facebook [Engadget]
  • These new adidas shoes are made from lab-grown spider silk [Motherboard]
  • Scientists have created a solar-powered fabric that would let you charge your phone with your jacket [Quartz]
  • Soon you can scan a garment’s label to find out how sustainable it is [NY Observer]

START-UPS
  • How Stitch Fix blends AI and human expertise [HBR]
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digital snippets film social media technology

Digital snippets: Dolce & Gabbana’s #selfies, Burberry’s Apple Music channel; NFC payments at House of Holland

Here’s a round-up of the latest stories to know about surrounding all things fashion and tech…

dolce_selfie

  • Dolce & Gabbana models post selfies straight off the runway (as pictured) [Vogue]
  • Burberry becomes first fashion brand to launch Apple Music channel [BoF/Bloomberg]
  • It might seem like a gimmick, but here’s why Henry Holland’s NFC payment ring matters [Forbes]
  • Intel unveils RFID system for retailers, Levi Strauss pilots [RFID Journal]
  • DKNY gets personal for New York Fashion Week with Instagram Direct campaign [AdAge]
  • H&M releases film featuring David Beckham and American comedian Kevin Hart [Brand Republic]
  • Robots, holograms and wearables: A tech history of fashion week [Fashionista]
  • Snapchat and Uber: How outsiders got into NYFW events [Digiday]
  • The best of tech at London Fashion Week [Forbes]
  • New York Fashion Week’s social media winners and losers [Digiday]
  • Why fashion model Karlie Kloss launched her own YouTube channel [Co.Create]
  • Vogue goes viral [FT]
  • Google’s Eric Schmidt on how artificial intelligence could shape fashion trends [WWD]
  • Can ‘smart malls’ save China’s failing shopping centres from collapse? [The Guardian]
  • ‘A lot of guff is talked about personalisation’, says Ao.com boss John Roberts [Retail Week]
  • The invisible labour of fashion blogging [The Atlantic]
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Editor's pick social media technology

The best of tech coming up at #LFW

FyodorGolan_anchor

London Fashion Week kicked off yesterday, and while there might not be quite as much buzz around tech or digital ideas at the shows as there was in New York this season, there are still a handful of things worth knowing about.

Head over to Forbes for a highlight of the best, including Burberry’s early Snapchat reveal, Hunter’s mobile gigs on Periscope, Topshop’s Pinterest Palettes, Henry Holland’s NFC-enabled wearables, Fyodor Golan’s Transformers (as pictured) and a look ahead at Intel as a patron of the British Fashion Council.

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data mobile technology Uncategorized

New start-up Tapestry gives shop floor a digital identity, signs Diesel as pilot partner

It goes without saying that mobile is set to play an ever-increasing role in the future of retail – be it for payment, loyalty and rewards, social content or more.

Enter then, Tapestry, a new start-up from the team behind London-based digital agency Guided Collective, that very nicely ties all those things together.

Launched in a pilot partnership with Diesel in the UK, this iPhone and Android app helps to provide shoppers with a 360 degree online-meets-offline experience.

Trialling at Diesel’s Westfield London store until December 21, it allows consumers to curate a collection of all the items they like as they shop by scanning existing barcodes (or by using NFC in enabled Android devices). From there, they can see information about each piece such as size, colour and price, as well as the digital content that surrounds it – expert reviews from bloggers for instance, alongside videos, runway shows and more.

In essence, it’s a physical or real-world bookmarking tool for the fashion industry.

Those bookmark sets – known as Tapestries of course – can then be shared across social networks, but better yet be bought straight from the smartphone too. There’s also the possibility for notifications on things like promotions and rewards.

Referring to itself as a mobile loyalty service, the Tapestry write-up reads: “On the one hand it links content and promotions directly to physical products via a consumer’s mobile. On the other hand it links all physical items in store to the retailer’s ecommerce site, re-shaping the retail experience both in and out of store.”

Simply put, it gives a retailer’s physical inventory a digital identity, something Sam Reid, founder of Tapestry, refers to as “joining up the dots”. Based on a cloud platform, it also does so simply and at scale, he explains. And the app is to be funded on that basis, with retailers paying a subscription fee for the service.

In addition, it gives retailers permission-based real-time access to consumer interests, and therefore data. “The user is saying ‘I’m interested in these shoes, this t-shirt and this dress. Let me know when they’re on sale, or if stock is close to selling out, or if you’ve some interesting content to share,” the Tapestry description explains.

It’s hoped more retailers will follow in Diesel’s footsteps, says Reid, suggesting others are already in talks. This makes the concept all-the-more interesting – rather than just being about one brand’s clothing items consumers might save and explore, it becomes about their entire shopping trip. Imagine being able to recall everything you’ve seen, read reviews around them, and pick and choose which ones you want to buy at a later date. It’d certainly simplify those occasions when you regret something you should have purchased and you can’t find it online.

Another interesting part for the future will be seeing this app develop alongside NFC. With this, consumers only need to tap items (hence the clever Tapestry name) to bring them up on their phone – effortless. As this technology becomes more commonplace across devices, that behaviour is likely to see a huge spike in uptake in the retail space, blurring the digital and physical lines ever more.

It’s worth checking out blogger Liberty London Girl’s exclusive link up with Diesel for the Tapestry launch too. And watching the video demonstrating Tapestry in action, below: