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business data e-commerce mobile product Retail social media sustainability technology Uncategorized

The cost of free returns, manufacturing post-Brexit, the resale revolution

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

TOP STORIES
  • The unsustainable cost of free returns (Vogue Business)
  • The brave new post-Brexit world of UK manufacturing (Drapers)
  • Retail at risk: analyst cite resale revolution (WWD)
TECHNOLOGY
  • A guide to virtual beings and how they impact our world (Tech Crunch)
  • Facebook’s vision of glasses that read your thoughts isn’t just a dream (Fast Company)
  • StockX was hacked, exposing millions of user records (Tech Crunch)
  • UK financial watchdog finally decides which cryptocurrencies to regulate (The Next Web)
  • John Lewis partners with UK robotics companies to create blueprint for robot-human interaction (Charged Retail)
SUSTAINABILITY & PURPOSE
  • True sustainability not achievable until 2021 (Drapers)
  • Textile waste has increased 811% since 1960 (Supply Chain Dive)
  • Inside Nuuly, Urban Outfitter’s attempt to take on the rental clothing market (Modern Retail)
  • Waitrose to expand sustainable unpacked trial (Retail Gazette)
  • Beauty’s giant glitter problem (BoF)
  • Carrier bag sale in supermarkets drop 93% (Retail Gazette)
  • Why are fashion supply chains so wasteful? (Retail Dive)
  • H&M called out for ‘greenwashing’ in its conscious fashion collection (DeZeen)
RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • Retailers to scale back ‘kiss of death’ Black Friday (Drapers)
  • How Zappos used AI to rebuild its search engine (Modern Retail)
  • Amazon adds styling service to Prime Wardrobe (Retail Dive)
  • Why this Japanese e-commerce giant is doubling down on fashion (BoF)
  • Can retailers break up with the mall? (Retail Dive)
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
  • The golden age of Instagram marketing is over (BoF)
  • Inside Westfield’s VR jungle adventure (Retail Gazette)
  • MCM immersive pop-up playground lands in Shanghai (Jing Daily)
PRODUCT
  • Rag&Bone puts the focus on fit in fall initiatives (WWD)
  • Should brands charge more for larger sizes? (Vogue Business)
  • Duchess of Sussex to launch clothing collection (Drapers)
BUSINESS
  • Risk of global recession threatens luxury party (BoF)
  • China’s tech startups flourish in talent-rich second-tier cities (Asian Review)
  • Gucci fears spark Kering sell off (Bloomberg)
  • The Future of Maison Margiela (BoF)
CULTURE
  • Beauty is designing packaging for the visually impaired (Vogue Business)
  • Pantene breaks beauty advertising norms by celebrating grey hair (Campaign)
  • The Hong Kong protests: what brands need to know (BoF)
  • Meet the designer behind a new line of functional and fashionable accessories for wheelchair users (Teen Vogue)

How are you thinking about innovation? The Current Global is a transformation consultancy driving growth within fashion, luxury and retail. Our mission is to solve challenges and facilitate change. We are thinkers and builders delivering innovative solutions and experiences. Get in touch to learn more.

Categories
e-commerce Retail technology

ASOS introduces new fit tool to cater to wider range of shapes and reduce returns

ASOS's new fit tool
ASOS’s new fit tool

British retailer ASOS is rolling out a sizing tool that combines machine learning with a visual questionnaire in a bid to cater to a wider range of customer shapes, as well as reduce returns. At present, almost half of the items bought online are sent back, mainly due to incorrect fit.

The fit assistant, which works both on the retailer’s app and e-commerce site, goes beyond the shopper’s weight and height to take into account different body shapes. It asks for the tummy and hip shape (with options that range from straighter to wider), age and bra size, plus the fit the customer is looking for: tighter, average, or looser.

The brand is using machine learning to blend questionnaire data with recommendations based on the customer’s previous purchases and returns, as well as what sizes other customers with similar body shape were happy with. The same technology is being used in features like ‘Your Edit’, ‘Style Match’ and the ‘You Might Also Like’ carousel on product pages.

ASOS's new fit tool
ASOS’s new fit tool

Excessive returns and the pressure this puts on fulfilment and ultimately profit is one of e-commerce’s biggest problems, therefore this feature is likely going to have a major impact on the bottom line. In the UK, 47% of items bought online are returned, according to a study from Barclaycard released in earlier this year. UK shoppers have even earned the title of “serial returners,” as £7bn worth of purchases are sent back every year, leading to a ‘phantom economy’ of lost revenue for retailers. Returns and refunds have risen at four in ten online stores selling fashion, footwear, and accessories since 2016.

Additionally features like ‘Try Before You Buy’ can also trigger a flood of returns. Globally, 25% of retailers will roll out this feature by 2019, but a report from Brightpearl looking at the US market shows that most aren’t ready for the proliferation of returns that could quadruple return costs for retailers. For example in 2017 alone, total merchandise returns accounted for more than $351 billion in lost sales for US retailers.

Fit tools for online shopping may not be new, but so far they have done little to prove their effectiveness in preventing returns. However from a customer retention standpoint, tools that enable e-commerce consumers to shop more confidently will only help instil a further sense of loyalty and trust, which in turn will hopefully translate to a happy purchase.

How are you thinking about e-commerce? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners for your innovation strategy. 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.

Categories
Campaigns data digital snippets Retail social media sustainability technology

ICYMI: Plastic waste becomes Adidas tees, how Bitcoin went luxury, data to reduce returns

Adidas for Earth Day
Adidas for Earth Day

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

TOP STORIES
  • Adidas created Earth Day soccer jerseys made from ‘upcycled’ plastic ocean waste [AdWeek]
  • How Bitcoin went luxury [Vogue]
  • How retailers are crunching data to cut losses from returns [Glossy]
  • The fashion world after Anna Wintour [NY Times]
TECHNOLOGY
  • Alibaba is becoming a major investor in facial-recognition technology [Quartz]
  • Retail’s adapt-or-die moment: how artificial intelligence is reshaping commerce [CB Insights]
  • Leap Motion’s “virtual wearables” may be the future of computing [Co.Design]
  • Why beauty giants are snapping up technology startups [BoF]
  • Farfetch launches startup accelerator [BoF]
  • LVMH’s Ian Rogers on Station F [WWD]
SUSTAINABILITY
  • The beginner’s guide to how blockchain could change the ethical fashion game [Fashionista]
  • Why brands are under increasing pressure to be transparent about what they believe in [AdWeek]
  • Stella McCartney: ‘Only 1% of clothing is recycled. What are we doing?’ [TheGuardian]
RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • Brandless, the ‘Procter & Gamble for millennials’ startup that sells everything for $3, is launching a pop-up, but you can’t buy anything [Business Insider]
  • Glossier opening permanent retail space in LA [WWD]
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Two computer-generated influencers are at war right now, and nothing is real anymore [W Magazine]
  • With privacy updates, Instagram upsets influencer economy [BoF]
  • How Vans is shaking up its experiential marketing to get more personal [BrandChannel]
  • Snapchat has launched in-app AR shopping, with Adidas and Coty among the first sellers [TheDrum]
BUSINESS
  • Adidas partners with Lean In to promote equal pay for women [WWD]
  • Gap CEO Art Peck: Big data gives us major advantages over competitors [CNBC]
Categories
business digital snippets film product Retail social media sustainability technology

ICYMI: Rethinking returns policies, beauty’s AI future, Gucci on gun control

AI impacting beauty
AI impacting beauty

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

TOP STORIES
  • Why fashion retailers are rethinking their returns policies [Glossy]
  • How artificial intelligence is changing the future of beauty [HuffingtonPost]
  • Why Gucci decided to support gun control [BoF]
  • How Everlane is building the next-gen clothing brand [FastCompany]
  • Cracking luxury’s customization challenge [BoF]
TECHNOLOGY
  • 10 breakthrough technologies 2018 [MIT Technology Review]
  • How Google Zoo is thinking about machine learning [TCDaily]
  • Diamond industry turns to AR to attract wedding-wary millennials [Glossy]
SUSTAINABILITY
  • Is this the year that fashion will pay attention to the planet? [ThePool]
RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • Target CEO: Online shopping alone won’t cut it, retailers also need great stores [CNBC]
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Maybelline asks followers whether it should quit Snapchat [AdAge]
  • Chanel unveils Instagram feed for beauty devotees, plans for another beauty pop-up in West Hollywood [LA Times]
  • First short film produced by Giorgio Armani unveiled during MFW [WWD]
  • Why paid memberships are the new loyalty [BoF]
  • Automat creates online hive for beauty sector chatbots [RetailDive]
  • Fashion company loses social media followers over same-sex ads [BBC]
PRODUCT
  • This company is using AI to make personalized skincare [FastCompany]
BUSINESS
  • UK fashion industry to take hardest Brexit hit [BoF]
  • Topshop boss Sir Philip Green ‘is in talks to sell his High Street empire to Chinese textiles giant’ [DailyMail]
  • Charlotte Olympia files for bankruptcy [Fashionista]
  • Tod’s turns to ‘Factory’ project to keep pace with fast-moving fashion market [BoF]
  • LVMH and Kering launch website for model welfare [FashionNetwork]
Categories
Campaigns digital snippets e-commerce product Retail social media sustainability technology

ICYMI: Burberry and Farfetch, Natalie Massenet on exiting BFC, Alibaba’s retail strategy

Cara Delevingne in Burberry latest collection
Cara Delevingne in Burberry’s latest collection

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

TOP STORIES
  • Burberry to expand online reach with Farfetch tie-up [Telegraph]
  • For Natalie Massenet, change brings opportunity [BoF]
  • Alibaba invests another $1.3 billion into its offline retail strategy [TechCrunch]
  • Can Marchesa survive in a post-Weinstein world? [Refinery29]
  • NYFW roundup: #MeToo conversations, immersive runways and supersized robots [TCDaily]
TECHNOLOGY
  • In-depth: H&M puts tech at the heart of action plan to turn the brand around [TCDaily]
SUSTAINABILITY
  • When it comes to millennials’ fashion buys, price and convenience trump sustainability [WWD]
  • If you care about ethical fashion, it’s time to stop sleeping on G-Star Raw [Fashionista]
RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • Selfridges opens in-store boxing gym in “world first” [RetailGazette]
  • WeWork moves into retail with new partnership with J.Crew [Glossy]
  • Mulberry takes over Spencer House for London Fashion Week 2018 [Campaign]
  • Fewer happy returns in retail land as companies tighten generous return policies [Fung Global Retail Tech]
  • Target will roll out same day delivery in Twin Cities next month as it faces off with Amazon [StarTribune]
  • Google wants to change the way we shop online, beginning with beauty brands [Campaign]
MARKETING
  • How Nike’s “Nothing Beats a Londoner” advert taps into real London culture [HypeBeast]
  • PORTER becomes editorial voice across Net-A-Porter as it goes digital with daily updates [TheIndustry]
SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Inside Vans’ social media strategy [Digiday]
  • Pinterest now lets you archive boards, rearrange pins and more [AdWeek]
PRODUCT
  • This blouse comes with free performance coaching sessions [FastCompany]
  • Macy’s is making history with its new hijab-friendly clothing line [Brit+Co]
  • Customization in beauty is on the rise, but its scalability is uncertain [Glossy]
BUSINESS
  • Blockbuster Gucci continues to boost Kering [BoF]
  • Fashion unicorn Farfetch will soon interview bankers for its New York IPO [CNBC]
  • Richemont uncovers counterfeiters abusing customer service line to copy designs [WWD]
  • The future of luxury: 7 trends reshaping the luxury industry [CBInsights]
Categories
business digital snippets e-commerce film mobile social media Startups technology

What you missed: Nike scavenger hunts, AI changing how we shop, Reebok’s Oscars letter

Nike's scavenger hunts
Nike’s scavenger hunts

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


TOP STORIES
  • Inside the wild world of Nike’s high-tech scavenger hunts [Mashable]
  • No clicks required: Artificial intelligence is changing how we shop, Boxed CEO says [CNBC]
  • Reebok just sent an open letter to the Academy Awards asking for a new award to honour fitness trainers [AdWeek]
  • The evolution of retail personalisation, in five charts [Glossy]

BUSINESS
  • Aldo to buy Vince Camuto in a merger of shoe brands [NY Times]

SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Dior and Louis Vuitton are the fashion brands with best Instagram Stories engagement [BoF]
  • How H&M is using Instagram to drive buzz for its latest brand, Arket [Digiday]

MARKETING
  • Shoemaker Kickers capitalises on FOMO to spur purchases [Digiday]
  • Boohoo enlists all-female crew for #AllGirls ads, but critics claim diversity vision is lost in casting [The Drum]
  • Female empowerment imagery more effective than sex appeal in ads, says Facebook [The Drum]
  • The fashion influencer has found a new gig [Refinery29]

RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • 3 things retailers can do to compete with Amazon [Retail Dive]
  • GGP looks to revive its malls with interactive concept stores [Glossy]

TECHNOLOGY
  • Streetwear brands are tapping the creative power of AR [JWT Intelligence]
  • The end of typing: The next billion mobile users will rely on video and voice [WSJ]
  • Here’s what you need to know about voice AI, the next frontier of brand marketing [AdWeek]

START-UPS
  • With “return bars” and “returnistas”, Happy Returns is eliminating the hassle of returning online orders by mail [LeanLuxe]
  • This virtual try-on system for clothing might actually work [Engadget]
Categories
business digital snippets e-commerce social media Startups technology

What you missed: Virtual reality Window Wonderland, Amazon Go, free shipping and free returns

Google's Window Wonderland virtual reality tour
Google’s Window Wonderland virtual reality tour

Amazon, Google and Snapchat are the three top tech companies to look at for key stories over the past couple of weeks (and potentially the whole of 2016 in fact). From the launch of Amazon Go, which enables shoppers to just walk out of a shop while their phone handles payment, to the virtual reality “Window Wonderland” holiday tour Google has organised from a bevy of US stores – it’s all about more convenient as well as heightened experiential retail. Meanwhile, lots of brands are starting to experiment with Snapchat’s Spectacles too.

Also worth checking out from this past fortnight are a double-whammy of reports on free shipping and free returns, lots more about the uptake of chatbots, and a deep-dive on what the fashion world faces against the rise of extremism, populism and protectionism.


TOP STORIES
  • Thanks to Google, you can now take a VR tour of New York’s holiday window displays [Ad Week]
  • What Amazon Go means for the future of retail [AdAge]
  • Fashion world faces new normal [BoF]
  • Free shipping is a lie [Fast Company]
  • ‘Free’ returns aren’t free [The Atlantic]

BUSINESS

SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Lush staff hit back at viral tweet with hilarious video [Stylist]
  • American Eagle Outfitters uses Snapchat Spectacles to film influencer ads in Hong Kong [The Drum]
  • Macy’s mixes shopping with social video to launch its holiday campaign [Ad Week]
  • Hype vs discovery: lessons from the Spectacles rollout [Loose Threads]
  • While we weren’t looking, Snapchat revolutionised social networks [NY Times]

MARKETING
  • Christmas ads deliver few real gifts for retailers, poll suggests [The Guardian]
  • How Target is taking control of programmatic [Digiday]
  • How chatbots will revolutionise holiday shopping [The Drum]
  • CoverGirl’s influencer chatbot is smart, funny and responsive [AdAge]

RETAIL
  • Experiential retail is key to Boohoo’s US expansion [Glossy]
  • Adidas just opened a new kind of store – and Nike should be terrified [Business Insider]

TECHNOLOGY
  • Has voice control finally started speaking our language? [The Guardian]
  • Rag & Bone takes on virtual reality with Google [WWD]
  • Is your T-shirt clean of slavery? Science may soon be able to tell [Reuters]
  • Technology can’t get rid of your cheap used clothes [Motherboard]

START-UPS
  • Amazon announces Alexa Accelerator to boost conversational commerce start-ups [Retail Dive]
Categories
business digital snippets film product social media technology

What you missed: See-now, buy-now at #NYFW, Levi’s musical roots, Amazon’s fashion ambitions

adidas alexander wang see-now buy-now
Alexander Wang’s surprise Adidas collaboration at New York Fashion Week

With New York Fashion Week well and truly in full swing, the main conversation this past week (and weekend) has been around the whole see-now, buy-now collection strategy from various designers. Alongside that have been the way in which tools like Snapchat and Facebook Live are being used at the shows, as well as the introduction of street style shopping on Google thanks to a new partnership between the search giant and LiketoKnow.It.

Also hitting the headlines has been everything from Ted Baker’s new shoppable film produced by Guy Ritchie to the role music is playing over at Levi’s and a look into Amazon’s fashion ambitions. Don’t forget to check out our full list of upcoming events at the bottom too…


TOP STORIES
  • The complications of ‘see-now-buy-now’ [Glossy]
  • “See-now-buy-now” is New York’s hot new reality show – Suzy Menkes on Thakoon [Vogue]
  • Alexander Wang threw a mini-music festival to celebrate his secret Adidas collab and spring show [Fashionista]
  • Google is making street style fashions shoppable in new LiketoKnow.It partnership [Forbes]
  • Why Levi’s is looking to its musical roots to drive relevance for young consumers [The Drum]

BUSINESS
  • How Tommy Hilfiger is rewiring for fashion immediacy [BoF]
  • Mytheresa.com adds see-now, buy-now collections [WWD]
  • Is Herschel Supply Co. building the first modern luxury empire (right under our noses)? [LeanLuxe]

SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Gucci sees growth in China with social media sentiment rising [BrandChannel]
  • All the looks from Misha Nonoo’s “live lookbook” on Snapchat [F&M]
  • Vogue uses ‘Runway’ vertical to experiment with live video [Glossy]
  • Refinery29’s fashion week installation is full of Instagram-worthy, interactive art [AdWeek]
  • Snapchat fuels rumours it is creating augmented reality goggles as it joins Bluetooth industry group [The Drum]

ADVERTISING
  • Ted Baker launches shoppable Guy Ritchie film and Google retail partnership [Forbes]
  • H&M launches Lauren Hutton campaign [Elle]

RETAIL
  • Decoding Amazon’s fashion ambitions [BoF]
  • How Macy’s store closures could help Gap [Fortune]
  • Kit and Ace moves to no-cash policy [Detroit Free Press]
  • Big name brands notably absent from Condé Nast’s new fashion retail website [The Drum]
  • The sneaky genius of America’s lenient return policies [Quartz]

TECHNOLOGY
  • Michael Kors brings really, really big design to Android Wear [TechCrunch]
  • Topshop approved: Madison Maxey on smart fabrics beyond LED dresses [Wareable]
  • Death of Apple’s $17,000 gold watch leaves Swiss rivals smiling [Bloomberg]
  • Sewbo claims breakthrough with first robotically sewn garment [The Industry]

UPCOMING EVENTS
Categories
digital snippets e-commerce social media Startups technology

Digital snippets: Diesel’s ads on Pornhub, Chanel’s Instagram battle, why the fashion world hates wearables

Your round-up of the latest stories related to fashion and technology…

diesel

  • Why you’ll soon be seeing Diesel ads on Grindr, Tinder and Pornhub [i-D]
  • Chanel may have just won a battle for the Chanel Instagram account [The Fashion Law]
  • Why the fashion world hates wearables [Co.Design]
  • High tech innovation wears well at Ralph Lauren [Forbes]
  • Burberry debuts on Apple TV with menswear fashion show [Mashable]
  • Misha Nonoo will skip fashion week to follow a consumer calendar [Fashionista]
  • Everlane’s starting a private Instagram account for new products [Digiday]
  • How Belstaff maintains a strong defense against counterfeiters [Stores]
  • How Urban Decay gets its 4.1 million Instagram followers to shop [Digiday]
  • Victoria’s Secret furthers organic storytelling mastery via Angel-endorsed Snapchat takeover [Mobile Marketer]
  • Crocs bows to critics, deletes David Bowie tribute tweet [Brand Republic]
  • Meet the female CEOs running fashion’s biggest brands [Fashionista]
  • What fashion needs to know about cyber security [BoF]
  • Shoppers are choosing experiences over stuff, and that’s bad news for retailers [The Washington Post]
  • Do ‘digital flagships’ deliver? [BoF]
  • The myth of the physical versus digital retail battle [WWD]
  • Why the social media ‘buy button’ is still there, even though most never use it [The Washington Post]
  • Inside the hidden world that handles your holiday returns [Wired]
  • Retail writes an obit on flash sale sites [Marketplace]
  • The blogosphere pays off more than ever [WWD]
  • What’s Grindr’s new agenda? [Dazed]
  • Instagram and the watch world [NY Times]
  • Why women aren’t buying smart watches [Racked]
  • Apple acquires Emotient, start-up that reads emotions from facial expressions [Fortune]
  • Why visual search will become a marketing obsession in the coming years [AdWeek]
  • These vibrating yoga pants will correct your downward dog [Fast Company]
  • 30 under 30 retail and e-commerce 2016: meet the millennials changing how we shop [Forbes]