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Harvey Nichols unveils in-store shoppable video screens

Harvey Nichols

British department store, Harvey Nichols, is introducing shoppable videos via in-store touch screens.

The full-length installations feature a variety of films through brand collaborations with the likes of Calvin Klein. Customers can simply tap on the touch screen to bring up more information about individual products, and then add them to their basket for immediate checkout. They can also connect to their phone through a QR code.

Created by shoppable video startup Smartzer, the experience follows a successful trial online. The Calvin Klein launch also extends to the Harvey Nichols website and social channels.

Peter Howroyd, head of CRM and digital marketing at Harvey Nichols, said: “We are always looking to bring our customers closer to our product in a unique and innovative way. Smartzer’s technology has enabled us to do just that and bring the digital experience to our customers, not only online but in our stores as well.”

Harvey Nichols

This initiative comes at a time when brands are increasingly trying to not only balance their creative work with driving conversions, but also looking at how to encourage new levels of engagement in store. Touch screens and interactive mirrors aren’t new to the retail space, but this example shows a different way of combining storytelling with an endless aisle play.

According to Smartzer, initial results show an average engagement rate of 48.3% and a click-through rate of 15.7%. CEO Karoline Gross says interaction rates the company sees across the board tend to be on average 20 times higher than that of standard video ad formats. The platform provides such video performance metrics, as well as click maps to show which part of the videos have generated the highest interaction.

Smartzer has previously worked with other brands in the fashion and retail space including Burberry, Galeries Lafayette, Adidas, Emilio Pucci and more.

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about helping you build innovative integrations and experiences. TheCurrent 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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Campaigns Editor's pick technology

Ralph Lauren celebrates 50 years with immersive installation and epic NYFW bash

Ralph Lauren and Oprah Winfrey
Ralph Lauren and Oprah Winfrey

Ralph Lauren celebrated its 50th anniversary at New York Fashion Week on Friday night, with a star-studded affair that kicked off with an immersive installation.

Held at the Bethesda Terrace and Fountain in Central Park, guests were welcomed into the venue with a journey through the brand’s history. Enormous LED screens towering like sculptures played some of the designer’s most memorable collections, while iconic campaign imagery was next projected across the walls of a tunnel. Ralph Lauren himself narrated the tale.

The show that followed saw a diverse cast of over 150 models, followed by a dinner, with guests including Hillary Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg and Kanye West. It was more than just a fashion week show, and rather a slice of Hollywood entertainment.

The company called it “a multi-brand, multi-generational celebration of the World of Ralph Lauren and the next chapter of iconic American style”.

Chief marketing officer Jonathan Bottomley added that it was all about storytelling and the power of a story. He accordingly built the event out online too, with a strategy that spanned IGTV, WeChat, Line and live streaming, as well as via 125 digital influencers and celebrities.

That move was aiming to build on the success of last September’s show in the designer’s classic car garage, which saw over 1 billion social media impressions.

Ralph Lauren's 50th anniversary installation
Ralph Lauren’s 50th anniversary installation

For those who weren’t there in person, the digital strategy now extends in person, with the installation otherwise appearing at the brand’s Madison Avenue flagship in New York, and in additional locations worldwide in the coming weeks.

Building on the brand’s see-now-buy-now strategy, a selection of the 50th-anniversary collection has also been made available to buy immediately following the show, both online and at the brand’s flagship stores, as well as via key partners including Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue.

In a continuing use of technology, Ralph Lauren was also awarded Design Legend of the year award by GQ magazine last week in London, for which he beamed in via hologram.

Such a move is classic from the brand. Though it has been quieter in recent times, for many years it led the way with innovative uses of technology, especially around fashion week. It has previously showcased its Polo Ralph Lauren collection via holographic water projections for instance, and used architectural mapping to bring a variety of its stores to life in an experiential way. There’s also been everything from connected fitting rooms to wearables.

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about helping you build innovative integrations and experiences. TheCurrent 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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Editor's pick technology

IN PICTURES: Macy’s new “One Below” juniors floor – a tech-infused playground

Macys_Onebelow_tech8

Macy’s has opened a new juniors floor on the lower level of its flagship Herald Square location in New York City, with numerous tech features including a selfie wall and Levi’s customisation station installed.

Called One Below, the 53,000 square-foot space is part of a $400m renovation of the store. It features young brands such as Material Girl and XOXO, and a wealth of interactive experiences to engage with today’s young consumers.

The selfie wall allows users to pose against famous Macy’s backdrops; the Levi’s custom laser bar let’s them choose designs from a book to appear on their jeans; a wearable tech area dedicated to smart watches includes brands like Fitbit, Samsung and Fossil; and another from 3D systems sees 3D-printed products including jewellery and phone cases for sale.

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A blow dry bar is also coming to the beauty department soon, and there are screens in every department, including a giant one outside the fitting room showing what looks like Instagram posts across it. All the seats for those waiting also have charging stations for devices.

The floor is reportedly aimed at Millennials (those born circa 1980-2000), but it already feels younger than that – for today’s pre-teens and teens (if the prom and homecoming dresses are anything to go by) and their increasingly connected futures.

More importantly, it’s also heavily for today’s teen tourists: it’s no mistake the selfie wall appears in the Macy’s Arcade for instance, which also houses the department store’s souvenir products. This is for visitors, not regular shoppers; it’s intentionally gimmicky, but that’s why it works.

Here are a load more original pictures of the space:

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digital snippets e-commerce mobile social media

Digital snippets: Holiday retail round-up special

Given it’s the day before Thanksgiving in the US – meaning retailers are about to go all out on heavy promotions – here’s a special round-up of all the ways they’re using social and digital to help lure the seasonal shopper and start converting those all-important Holiday sales…

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  • eBay debuts shoppable touchscreens and digital storefronts for Sony, Toms And Rebecca Minkoff in San Francisco (as pictured) [TechCrunch]
  • Target launches “most digitally enabled campaign” in its history, pins hopes on Pinterest this holiday season [Co.Create]
  • Topshop partners with Pinterest for online and offline Holiday campaign [Fashion&Mash]
  • JC Penney launches first Holiday campaign under new marketing head, includes crowdsourcing initiative inviting users to upload videos of themselves singing ‘Silent Night’ [AdAge]
  • ‘Reserve in Store’ service rolling out to all Banana Republic stores across the US, 200 Gap [CNBC]
  • Jingle all the way at Kmart with #showyourjoe Christmas ad [Fashion&Mash]
  • Kohl’s adds emotional brand spots to Holiday mix [AdAge]
  • Hollister teases Black Friday deals on YouTube [ClickZ]
  • All the interactive elements accompanying John Lewis’ #bearandhare Christmas ad [Fashion&Mash]
  • Cath Kidston, Bauble Bar driving traffic with Christmas treasure hunt campaigns [Fashion&Mash]
  • Michaels offers interactive Holiday help with live elf available through streaming video [Chain Store Age]
  • M&S teases Christmas #magicandsparkle campaign over social [Fashion&Mash]
  • Louis Vuitton highlights gift ideas on interactive goose game [Luxury Daily]
  • Tillys runs ugly Christmas sweater contest over Instagram [Tillys]
  • Neiman Marcus teams up with Shapeways to offer 3D printed holiday capsule collection [PSFK]
Categories
social media technology

Burberry steals #LFW with global digital strategy

Yesterday’s Burberry show, though perhaps not a favourite-ever collection from Christopher Bailey, nonetheless stole the London Fashion Week limelight hands down.

Once again proving itself as a digital leader within the luxury sect, the brand live-streamed around the globe through 40 in-store virtual trunk shows, as well as on the mega 32m digital billboard in London’s Piccadilly Circus.

A total of 11 cameras as well as a live text feed, provided viewers with both pre-show content – featuring A-list guests including Rachel Bilson and Kate Bosworth as they arrived at London’s Royal Park of Kensington Gardens – and full coverage of the collection as it came out.

While this is the seventh season the brand has live streamed its show, which was also available online, it’s the first time it has done so on an outdoor digital screen at Piccadilly Circus. In fact, it’s a first for any brand.

The aim was for an immersive, interactive and entertaining experience, said chief creative officer Christopher Bailey. “We have always used digital communication to deepen our connection with the customer and allow people all over the world to experience Burberry no matter where they are. Whether you are at home online, watching in Piccadilly Circus, using a mobile device or in our store in Beijing everyone will be able to feel the energy and attitude of the brand and the excitement of the show,” he added.

The brand also continued with its runway to reality initiative, allowing consumers in store – via iPads – as well as online, to order items of outerwear or bags for delivery in seven weeks.

Those with the cash to splash are still able to pre-order until February 28, while the full collection will otherwise be available from August.

An on-demand version of the coverage is also now available online, which includes footage of the collection being put together and red carpet interviews.

Not forgetting the importance of music to the brand, viewers can also download the tracks featured in the show, including You Don’t Own Me by Dusty Springfield and Someone Like You by Adele, through iTunes on the Burberry.com site.

 

Yesterday’s Burberry show, though perhaps not one of my favourite ever collections from Christopher Bailey, stole the London Fashion Week limelight hands down.

Once again proving itself as a digital leader within the luxury sect, it live-streamed around the globe through 40 in-store virtual trunk shows, as well as on the mega 32m digital billboard in London’s Piccadilly Circus.

A total of 11 cameras as well as a live text feed, provided viewers with both pre-show content – featuring A-list guests including Rachel Bilson and Kate Bosworth as they arrived at London’s Royal Park of Kensington Gardens – and full coverage of the collection as it came out.

While this is the seventh season the brand has live streamed its show, which was also available online, it’s the first time it has done so on an outdoor digital screen at Piccadilly Circus. In fact, it’s a first for any brand.

The aim was for an immersive, interactive and entertaining experience, said chief creative officer Christopher Bailey. “We have always used digital communication to deepen our connection with the customer and allow people all over the world to experience Burberry no matter where they are. Whether you are at home online, watching in Piccadilly Circus, using a mobile device or in our store in Beijing everyone will be able to feel the energy and attitude of the brand and the excitement of the show,” he added.

The brand also continued with its runway to reality initiative, allowing consumers in store – via iPads – as well as online, to order items of outerwear or bags for delivery in seven weeks.

Those with the cash to splash are still able to pre-order until February 28, while the full collection will otherwise be available from August.

An on-demand version of the coverage is also now available online, which includes footage of the collection being put together and red carpet interviews.

Not forgetting the importance of music to the brand, viewers can also download the tracks featured in the show, including You Don’t Own Me by Dusty Springfield and Someone Like You by Adele, through iTunes on the Burberry.com site.

Categories
technology Uncategorized

London Fashion Week: young designers must embrace technology or risk shutting the door

London Fashion Week’s young designers must use the power of technology to promote themselves, rather than taking a leaf out of Tom Ford’s book and shutting the door completely.

For a city known for emerging fashion creative talent, the news that American heavyweight designer Tom Ford was intending to show his womenswear line during London Fashion Week (LFW) this season, instead of New York where he first launched it last September, was quite a surprising one.

Before a flurry of brands returned to the UK’s capital around LFW’s 25th anniversary in 2009, there were few big designer names that chose to show their latest collections here. Even now, those that do – Pringle of Scotland, Burberry Prorsum, Matthew Williamson – are predominantly, and quite understandably, British.

Tom Ford’s presence therefore, makes a statement. Quite simply it says that London is truly back on the international scene, holding its own against its European counterparts as a go-to destination for fashion. This is in stark contrast to a mere few seasons ago, where LFW was skipped by many press and buyers entirely.

The former Gucci designer and Hollywood film director broke the mould in New York last season when he opted for an intimate fashion show event for just 100 guests.

In an age where the catwalk is live streamed online around the world, enabling consumers to feel like they themselves are on the front row, he also only invited one photographer (his own), turned away all the bloggers, and set a strict embargo on information about the collection so as to relate it more closely to the date the garments hit store.

“[Today] you see the clothes on the runway, and within an hour or so, they’re online,” Ford said at the time. “They’re overexposed… I wanted to pull everything back.”

It was a daring move, but it worked for him. Accordingly, he’s opted for the same strategy with his autumn/winter 2011/12 collection in London. Today, Ford will present his latest designs to a handful of monthly magazine editors only.

But I question whether his method is really suited to this city at all.

Given the current dire financial state of the country, this alternative to the lavish and extravagant productions fashion shows have become, is certainly no bad thing; it’s more Ford’s strict restrictions around any detail being released in real-time that doesn’t quite fit.

Turn to the strategy currently being employed by the British Fashion Council (BFC) for instance, and the complete opposite approach can be seen.

Aiming to reach a wider audience than ever before, the council’s dedicated digital policy will see a total of 37 shows live streamed by the end of the week as well as a series of fashion films.

And it’s not just online – an LED screen currently dominates the wall of the tent at the official home of LFW at Somerset House, which, when it’s not showing the live streams, displays daily video highlights as well as tweets from the @londonfashionwk feed.

The same is happening on various screens on the London underground – in Oxford Circus, Holborn and Charing Cross stations to name a few.

Meanwhile, later today Burberry will become the first ever brand to stream live on the Landmark 32m digital screen at Piccadilly Circus.

In doing all of this, both Burberry and the BFC are helping to pioneer a new fashion landscape where democratisation, or put more simply, fashion for the masses, is key.

“It’s about reaching out to broader audiences,” says the BFC’s CEO Caroline Rush. “Showcasing digitally is a fantastic opportunity for our designers to reach global audiences without obviously having to have those big advertising budgets.”

At a time when convincing consumers back into shops is crucial, she’s hoping the outdoor initiative will also help generate a sense of excitement about LFW with the public and eventually lead to sales too.

Ford’s argument however, as many of his counterparts would still agree, is that it goes against the notion of luxury to make yourself so accessible.

It’s for that very reason many designer brands have been slow on the uptake of digital in the first place – in some instances still not having their own websites, let alone pushing forward through social media.

But then Ford is now a big established brand, and the bulk of those on the LFW schedule are not.

“The luxury Tom has is that he’s had the opportunity to develop his name, reputation and audience through the likes of Gucci… most of the designers we have in London haven’t got that grounding and so [digital] gives them the means to reach much further,” says Rush.

Save for its hero returnees, the city remains largely a home for emerging talent. Putting a collection together, let alone producing a show, is expensive business, and having any cash left over for marketing is fairly unlikely for these small companies. In utilising technology, the very best of London Fashion Week can be catapulted around the world no matter what financial backing it has.

Only by taking advantage of the true power of technology will these new fashion designers build their future. By shutting the door to the digerati, these rising stars will jeopardise their careers before they have even taken off. Therefore I encourage them to follow more in the footsteps of digitally enlightened fashion houses like Burberry, and not, though it’s wonderful to have him here, Tom Ford.

This piece originally appeared on fashion.telegraph.co.uk

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film social media

#LFW screens at Oxford Circus

More pics of the London Fashion Week digital screens on the underground, this time on the Victoria Line platform of Oxford Circus:

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social media

The #LFW screen at Somerset House

A few pics of the outdoor screen at Somerset House, which is streaming straight from the catwalk this London Fashion Week:

Read more about it here.

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Uncategorized

#LFW on the tube

@Londonfashionwk tweets on CBS outdoor screens on the underground – this one is on the Northern Line platform at Charing Cross.