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business digital snippets e-commerce product social media sustainability technology

What you missed: Amazon’s AI designer, sewing robots at Nike, AR iPhone apps

Inside the Grabit robots making Nikes
Inside the Grabit robots making Nikes

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


TOP STORIES
  • Amazon has developed an AI fashion designer [MIT]
  • A new t-shirt sewing robot can make as many shirts per hour as 17 factory workers [Quartz]
  • These robots are using static electricity to make Nikes (as pictured) [Bloomberg]
  • A preview of the first wave of AR apps coming to iPhones [Techcrunch]
  • In a Zara world, who orders custom clothing? [Racked]
  • What happened to wearables? [BoF]

BUSINESS
  • Matchesfashion.com sells majority stake to Apax after fierce bidding war [NY Times]
  • Making sense of Chanel’s secret filings [BoF]
  • Is Nordstrom the next acquisition target for Walmart or Amazon? [RetailDive]
  • North Korea factories humming with ‘Made in China’ clothes, traders say [Reuters]
  • Is counterfeiting actually good for fashion? [HighSnobiety]
  • C&A Foundation highlights ‘gaps to overcome for clean and circular fashion’ [Fashion United]

SOCIAL MEDIA
  • ‘Game of Thrones’ actor Maisie Williams will kick off new Twitter series for Converse [Creativity]
  • How Instagram and Snapchat are benefiting from Facebook’s declining teen and tween numbers [AdWeek]
  • Facebook furthers WhatsApp monetisation efforts with verified business pilot [The Drum]
  • Condé Nast and Facebook are debuting a virtual reality dating show [AdWeek]

MARKETING
  • Zalando turns festival into three-day live marketing campaign [BoF]
  • Donatella Versace works with eight creatives for new versus ads [WWD]
  • 40% of consumers want emails from brands to be less promotional and more informative [AdWeek]
  • In first-ever TV ad, Patagonia targets Trump administration [MediaPost]

RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • What is Amazon, really? [Quartz]
  • How Westfield is combating the Amazon threat with digital upgrades at its malls [Digiday]
  • Betting on brick-and-mortar: Alibaba’s billion-dollar retail experiment [Forbes]
  • H&M’s Arket encourages transparent shopping on its new e-commerce site [WGSN]
  • Uniqlo’s retail empire embarks on a digital revolution [Nikkei]
  • Farfetch Black & White partners with Certona to offer personalised e-commerce to luxury brands [The Industry]
  • Shopify’s e-commerce empire is growing in Amazon’s shadow [Bloomberg]
  • Voice search, 3D modelling and chatbots named as 2017’s most significant e-commerce trends [The Drum]

TECHNOLOGY
  • 11 tech leaders share the real truth about artificial intelligence (and what really matters) [Forbes]
  • How Bitcoin is making waves in the luxury market [CNN]
  • How blockchain could boost the fashion industry [BoF]
  • Walmart and Google partner to challenge Amazon’s Alexa [Retail Dive]
  • Google and Vogue are bringing voice-activated content from the magazine to home devices [AdWeek]
  • Latest Magic Leap patent shows off prototype AR glasses design [Techcrunch]
  • ‘Self-driving’ lorries to be tested on UK roads [BBC]

PRODUCT
  • Everlane’s quest to make the world’s most sustainable denim [Fast Company]
  • The zipper: the innovation that changed fashion forever [Bloomberg]
  • A new high-tech fabric could mean the end of bulky layers in the winter [Quartz]
  • Watch how Vans can now put any custom design on your shoes in under 15 minutes [Fast Company]
  • How RFID tags became trendy [Engadget]
  • Leather grown using biotechnology is about to hit the catwalk [The Economist]
  • These brands are teaming up on smart hang tags [Apparel Mag]
Categories
e-commerce Editor's pick

Cyber Monday keeps top e-shopping title

nordstrom-cyber-monday

Another day, another special retail event. It’s Cyber Monday (as if you didn’t know) and the question is: will it retain its status in the US as the biggest online shopping day?

Some thought it wouldn’t as Black Friday’s online migration has picked up pace and shoppers no longer need to wait until they get back to work to take advantage of fast internet connections.

But, as Mark Twain would say, reports of its death have been greatly exaggerated. Yes, fewer people plan to shop online today but they’re still going to be online in greater numbers than last Friday. Perhaps that’s inevitable given that they had the luxury of shopping in-store when they were off work on Friday but haven’t today.

Anyway, the National Retail Federation’s Cyber Monday Expectations Survey (conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics over the weekend), showed 121m shoppers (49.5%) plan to shop online today, down from the 126.9m a year ago. The NRF said 103m people shopped online over the weekend.

Why today? It’s all down to the deals. “Unlike 10 years ago, we live in a world in which you can shop anywhere at any time,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “It’s no longer about one day, but a season of digital deals, and savvy online shoppers are ready to see what exclusive promotions retailers have in store for Cyber Monday. Shoppers have seen promotions roll out for the past several weeks, but if the price is right on Cyber Monday, they’ll definitely show up ready to spend.”

What else does the survey show us?

  • Mobile is key but not dominant. While 29.6m (24.4%) consumers said they will use their mobile device to shop on Cyber Monday, eight in 10 (80%) said they will use their home computers to shop online, despite heavy retailer investment in optimising their mobile websites
  • That’s interesting as data has also shown that online shopping from traditional computers rose nearly 10% on Black Friday
  • As many as 42.4% of Cyber Monday shoppers plan to shop online in the early morning, while a third (33%) will shop in the late morning
  • Many will wait until lunchtime to shop (16.6%) and over a quarter will take a more leisurely approach, waiting until early afternoon (29.5%)

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

Categories
business e-commerce Editor's pick

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

Categories
data digital snippets e-commerce social media technology

Digital snippets: Timberland, My-Wardrobe, Instagram, Flipkart, holiday and more

Happy New Year everyone and welcome to 2015!

We’re headfirst into CES in Las Vegas this week for what’s looking set to be yet another week for wearable technology. Look out for more of that to follow shortly, but in the meantime, here’s a highlight of some of the fashion and tech stories you may have missed over the past couple of weeks…

timberland

  • How Timberland used customer data to reboot its brand [The Washington Post]
  • My-Wardrobe domain name bought by Net-a-Porter [BoF]
  • Instagram spam purge costs Nike, Adidas and Forever21 hundreds of thousands of ‘followers’ [The Drum]
  • Flipkart now valued at $11bn after raising another $700m [Business Standard]
  • The 5 biggest trends in fashion and tech in 2014: a look back to look forward [Fashionista]
  • 5 retailers who nailed it this holiday season [Inc]
  • The psychology behind a mysteriously fluctuating holiday sweater sale [Fast Company]
  • What’s the future of luxury? [Fortune]
Categories
business digital snippets e-commerce film mobile Startups technology

Digital snippets: Condé Nast, Gap, Hermès, Rag & Bone, John Lewis and more

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

gap_normcore_ZosiaMamet

  • Condé Nast to sell Fairchild Fashion Media, including WWD, for $100 million [NY Times]
  • Gap’s fall campaign is an ode to normcore trend, Zosia Mamet (as pictured), Elisabeth Moss, Anjelica Huston among stars [Racked]
  • Hermès creates quirky app to promote men’s A/W 2014 accessories [Creativity]
  • Rag & Bone autumn/winter collection stylised in dance performance [PSFK]
  • Hawes & Curtis, House of Fraser and Bentalls install beacon-enabled mannequins [The Drum]
  • However, John Lewis to seek ‘romance’ in beacon technology before committing [The Drum]
  • Topshop and Miss Selfridge in online push into China, launching on ShangPin.com website [FT]
  • Condé Nast’s Lucky magazine merging with online retailer BeachMint [WSJ]
  • Will Apple’s ‘iWatch’ rattle luxury watchmakers? [BoF]
  • A girl faces her monstrous fears in Old Navy’s back-to-school musical, generates five million views to date [AdWeek]
  • Six takeaways from Gap and Old Navy about brand-building in China [AdAge]
  • New shopping app, Spring, makes the mall obsolete [Wired]
  • Rise of shoppable content will change the face of advertising [The Guardian]
  • Fashion start-ups bring style to Silicon Roundabout [FT]
  • Can technology solve the fit problem in fashion e-commerce? [BoF]
  • Omote real-time projection mapping demoed with make-up on model’s face [DigitalBuzzBlog]
Categories
e-commerce Startups

Lyst introduces back in stock alerts

Lyst_backinstock

Social shopping site Lyst has introduced another nice feature to its platform – users can now receive alerts when items they’re interested in come back into stock.

Pitching the launch as combatting fashion FOMO (fear of missing out), the company says its mission is to make shopping as easy as possible. Now when users add items to their stylefeed they’ll be notified immediately when they become available to buy again.

This launch sits alongside the site’s already existing sale alerts, which lets users know when items they’re following get discounted.

The company also introduced an integrated checkout system earlier this summer, allowing users to shop directly from its site.