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ICYMI: Alibaba smashes Singles’ Day record, 2018 as the year of Virgil Abloh and Meghan Markle, holiday catalogs

Singles' Day 200 billion yuan sales figure
Singles’ Day 200 billion yuan sales figure

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

TOP STORIES
  • Alibaba sets Singles’ Day record with $31 billion in sales [Bloomberg]
  • Ebay declares 2018 the year of Virgil Abloh, logos and the Markle Effect [FashionNetwork]
  • Why catalogs still have a hold on holiday marketing [RetailDive]
TECHNOLOGY
  • Sephora and Google partner on hands-free experience [WWD]
  • China is now using gait recognition to identify people [FastCompany]
  • AI news anchor makes debut in China [NPR]
  • AI bots are awkwardly learning how to dress themselves [Dazed]
SUSTAINABILITY & PURPOSE
  • Is sustainability incompatible with fashion? [i-D]
  • The suddenly surging business of recycled plastic puffer jackets [Fashionista]
RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • Glossier opens first NYC flagship [Fashion Network]
  • Zalando looks to Alibaba for connected retail inspiration [Fashion United]
  • Amazon to inaugurate first pop-up shop in Italy [WWD]
  • Dollar Shave Club plans vending machines in high-traffic areas [Retail Dive]
  • JD.com competes for luxury partners with high-tech and white gloves [Jing Daily]
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
  • WeChat reaches 1m mini programs, half the size of Apple’s app store [TechCrunch]
  • Anya Hindmarch gets down to business, helping procrastinators and the scatterbrained [WWD]
BUSINESS
  • Black Friday 2018: Consumers are eager, more digital, and willing to spend [McKinsey]
  • Betting on Richemont’s future [BoF]
CULTURE
  • This size-inclusive lingerie show just put the Victoria’s Secret runway to shame [Teen Vogue]
  • Saint Laurent launches art project with Daido Moriyama exhibition [WWD]
  • Why fashion’s future will be shaped by male consumerism [Highsnobiety]
  • Hedi Slimane and the art of the ‘drop’ [BoF]

How are you thinking about 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 Retail

Alibaba expands Singles Day for 2018 with new retail strategy beyond China

Daniel Zhang, CEO of Alibaba
Daniel Zhang, CEO of Alibaba

Alibaba’s annual mega-sales day, known as Singles Day, is set to be bigger than ever this year as it introduces its “New Retail” strategy, which further connects online and offline shopping.

The event, which takes place on November 11 every year, is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2018, with the ambition to top last year’s record-breaking $25.3bn revenue in 24-hours. The focus will be on expanding scale and reach, according to the e-commerce giant, which includes moving beyond its home in China.

“Over the last two years, we have pioneered the concept of New Retail to accelerate the digital transformation of the offline,” said Alibaba’s CEO, Daniel Zhang.“We are excited by the impressive results achieved to date and will continue to be the driving force innovating for merchants and customers in the coming decades.”

As for geographical reach, platforms in the Alibaba ecosystem (TMall World, AliExpress and Lazada) are focused on bringing the event to overseas shoppers. Lazara, for example, will host its own festival for customers in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam.

Moreover, Alibaba’s TMall plaform is already offering 500,000 items for pre-order as of October 20, following a see-now-buy-now fashion show on the same day, which enabled the company to respond to any insights on demand.

This year also includes a new focus on independent retailers. The retailer is working with 200,000 mom-and-pop shops which have been upgraded with Alibaba’s technology tools, such as AR-enabled discounts in-store and online promotions. 

Other brands including L’Oréal and Starbucks have also announced plans in place. L’Oréal China will launch a series of pop-up stores allowing customers to interact with virtual mirrors using AR and AI as well as vending machines, according to Hagen Wuelferth, the beauty group’s chief digital officer.

The shopping day’s extraordinary growth over the past 10 years aligns with China’s appetite for digitally-enabled experiences, which have not reached the same level in the West.

How are you thinking about retail 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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What you missed: Alibaba’s Singles’ Day record, ASOS try before you buy, unpaid Zara workers

Alibaba on its Singles' Day success, as posted on Twitter: "#Double11 2017: As of 24:00, total GMV has exceeded RMB168.2 billion - more than USD25.3 billion. Mobile GMV: 90%."
Alibaba on its Singles’ Day success, as posted on Twitter: “#Double11 2017: As of 24:00, total GMV has exceeded RMB168.2 billion – more than USD25.3 billion. Mobile GMV: 90%.”

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
  • Alibaba’s Singles’ Day goes global with record $25bn in sales [Bloomberg]
  • How Alibaba makes Singles’ Day appealing to luxury brands [Glossy]
  • Will the power of Singles’ Day ever truly capture the West? [The Drum]
  • Alibaba tests 60 futuristic pop-up stores across China for Singles’ Day [Digiday]
  • ASOS launches try before you buy service [TheIndustry]
  • The real story behind those desperate notes that Zara workers left in clothes [Fast Company]

BUSINESS
  • Inside LVMH’s executive reshuffle [BoF]
  • Burberry operating profit jumps 24% in half, boosted by new Coty deal [WWD]
  • Yoox Net-a-Porter Q3 sales jump 17.7% [Fashion United]
  • To reach consumers, Richemont’s new leaders need to embrace digital [BoF]
  • Laying out fashion’s new supply chain vision [CFDA]
  • One of fashion’s most prominent investors is someone you may never have heard of [TheFashionLaw]

SOCIAL MEDIA
  • ASOS launches virtual Gift Assistant on Facebook [TheIndustry]
  • Why Maybelline is winning at social media [Glossy]

MARKETING
  • The new marker of luxury is feel-good marketing [QZ]
  • For Nike, augmented reality is the perfect way to sell hyped sneakers [Engadget]
  • Gwen Stefani fronts Westfield’s Christmas campaign [Fashion Network]
  • Cue the reindeer: Kohl’s, Nordstrom launch holiday campaigns [MediaPost]
  • Fruit of the Loom goes totally 80s with comical freeze frame ads for sweatpants [AdWeek]
  • Fashion wakes up to podcasts [BoF]

RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • The Alibaba warehouse where fake goods go to die [Sixthtone]
  • You can now rent Ann Taylor clothes for a monthly fee [Today]

TECHNOLOGY
  • Amazon’s app now lets you place items inside your home using AR [The Verge]
  • Apple said to be working on AR headset aimed for potential 2020 ship date [TechCrunch]
  • Zalando to open new tech hub in Lisbon [TheIndustry]

PRODUCT
  • Is mass customisation the future of footwear? [WSJ]
  • These 10 brands are killing it on the fabric innovation front [HighSnobiety]
  • Ford just made a trucker hat that uses technology to save truckers’ lives [Fast Company]

START-UPS
  • Glossier, Stitch Fix among most disruptive companies [RetailDive]
Categories
e-commerce social media

8 great luxury WeChat campaigns to cash-in on Singles Day shopping craze

Michael Kors released a WeChat campaign ahead of this year's Singles Day
Michael Kors released a WeChat campaign ahead of this year’s Singles Day

Alibaba’s Singles Day, China’s biggest online shopping holiday, is just around the corner. Last year, the e-commerce company’s online marketplaces Tmall and Taobao pulled in a total of $17.8 billion of sales within 24 days. Citigroup forecasted that sales in 2017 will reach $24 billion.

In the lead-up to the event this year, Alibaba Group has made great marketing efforts to stoke Chinese consumers’ anticipation for the event. It hosted a “See Now Buy Now” fashion show ahead of the festival, inviting a slew of Chinese celebrities to wear outfits and carry products provided by participating brands while performing on stage. The show was broadcast on a number of different channels, including China’s biggest online streaming site Youku and several local TV stations. Chinese consumers could watch the show on their mobile phones and place orders directly if they were interested in items shown by performers.

With the Singles Day shopping holiday, Alibaba has provided international fashion and luxury brands with a golden opportunity to reach out to Chinese consumers. According to Alizila, the company’s PR portal, the size of Singles Day has grown to more than 18 times that of Amazon Prime Day, and 2.5 times larger than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.

For luxury and fashion brands, the festival is the one annual retail event that they cannot miss if they want to get the most out of the Chinese market. Currently, top-tier luxury labels still refrain from participating in it. The event features lots of discounts and sales, which goes against the traditional pricing principles of the luxury business. However, we have seen an increasing number of premium labels decide to give it a try in recent years.

Some new labels such as Jason Wu and Opening Ceremony joined the festival this year, in addition to long-time participants including Ralph Lauren, Guerlain, and Estee Lauder.

The luxury fashion brands that do participate in Singles Day all use WeChat as a crucial communication channel, to inform consumers of their Singles Day promotions. The following are eight great WeChat campaigns released by brands that caught our attention:

Coach

Coach has rolled out a very nicely planned WeChat campaign to promote its Singles Day sales. On November 7, the brand published an article to introduce this year’s deals. Readers can also peruse a much more visually-appealing, interactive HTML5 page by following the link provided at the end of the post. Users can navigate through the HTML5 page to get detailed information, such as descriptions and discount rates, on each deal. When they click on items that they’re interested in, shoppers will be directed to Coach’s Chinese e-commerce website where they can place an order immediately.

Stuart Weitzman

To celebrate this year’s Singles Day, the fashion footwear label Stuart Weitzman is calling on its followers to purchase some of its most popular shoes to reward themselves, especially those who are single. On November 11, consumers will enjoy 20% off of any order that they place on the brand’s official e-commerce website. Stuart Weitzman’s WeChat campaign has done a good job of encouraging readers to purchase products. At the end of Stuart Weitzman’s post, consumers can click to enter the e-commerce site and order directly. There is also information on offline store locations for those people who want to visit a store and try on the footwear.

Shiatzy Chen

The Taiwanese luxury fashion brand Shiatzy Chen, which is often referred to as the Chanel of Taiwan, not only sees Singles Day as a chance to boost sales, but also to acquire new members to sign up on its online boutique store. In the brand’s WeChat post, it encourages followers to register in order to receive a promotional coupon for Singles Day.

MCM

The German affordable luxury brand MCM published a WeChat article on November 8, three days before the launch of Singles Day, to offer tips on what readers should buy from the brand and how to be prepared to score the best deals. The article has a direct link to MCM’s new WeChat boutique store, where followers can browse through the Singles Day deals and add interesting items to their carts. The sales event officially starts at 10am and ends at 9pm on November 11. Consumers can use WeChat Pay or Alipay to make purchases on its WeChat boutique store.

Michael Kors

Capitalising on the Singles Day fever, Michael Kors released a WeChat campaign one week ahead of the festival where it listed a wide range of products for readers to purchase. Under every item that the brand promotes in the post, users can click a button that will take them to the Michael Kors’ Chinese online store for them to place orders right away.

Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren has launched its promotions on both Alibaba’s Tmall and JD.com to participate in this year’s Singles Day. Its WeChat campaign, nonetheless, seems to be separate from the sales activities on e-commerce sites, with no direct links to facilitate purchases. The post on WeChat focuses on promoting “Polo Bear”-themed items to readers. Additionally, Ralph Lauren is also trying to drive more viewers to officially enrol in the brand’s WeChat customer relationship management (CRM) system. To encourage them to do it, the brand gives away a “Polo Bear” WeChat emoji as a perk once they sign up.

Kate Spade

Another American affordable luxury label, Kate Spade, also requires users to enrol in its CRM system on WeChat to receive Singles Day coupons. Consumers can use them to purchase any Kate Spade products in any China store between November 3-12.

Furla

Following the official launch of its flagship store on Tmall earlier this year, Furla has participated in Alibaba’s “See Now Buy Now” fashion show for Singles Day. The goal of the brand’s WeChat account is to direct more users to purchase products on Tmall. The post explains in detail what steps Chinese consumers should take to pre-order from the “See Now Buy Now” fashion show.

By Yiling Pan @SiennaPan

This article was originally published on Jing Daily, a Fashion & Mash content partner.

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business data digital snippets e-commerce film social media Startups sustainability technology

What you missed: Browns’ new tech store, Gucci’s millennial advisors, Amazon’s fashion gap

The new Browns concept store in east London
The new Browns concept store in east London

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
  • Browns opens a nomadic concept (tech) store in London’s Shoreditch [Wallpaper]
  • Gucci has a “shadow committee” of millennial advisors [QZ]
  • Amazon ‘still has a long way to go’ in conquering fashion market, says report [BoF]
  • Alibaba’s 11.11 shopping festival is ready for its biggest global event [BrandChannel]
  • Opinion: What’s wrong with fashion’s sustainability strategy [Glossy]
  • ‘Terry Richardson is just the tip of the iceberg’ [NY Times]

BUSINESS
  • Hilfiger says making clothes in America remains unrealistic [Bloomberg]
  • H&M denies burning good, unsold product [Racked]
  • Greenpeace on why fashion is at a crossroads [FashionUnited]
  • Vogue and Vice are starting a new website together [Jezebel]

SOCIAL MEDIA
  • You can now PayPal friends in Messenger and get help via chat [TechCrunch]
  • WeChat is becoming a sales tool for luxury brand sales associates [Jing Daily]
  • Snap’s misfire on Spectacles [The Information]

MARKETING
  • Sephora cast its own store employees for its most diverse campaign yet [Racked]
  • Selena Gomez is party-ready in Coach’s glitzy holiday ad campaign [Fashionista]
  • Net-a-Porter and Mr Porter unveil “Party with the Porters” holiday campaign [TheIndustry]
  • The land of Fenty: The Rihanna masterclass in brand-building [BrandChannel]
  • Why visceral storytelling is the next brand-building territory [LeanLuxe]

RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • Take a look at Apple’s first ‘Town Square,’ its most beautiful retail store yet [TechCrunch]
  • Now Amazon wants to leave a package inside your house [Marketplace]
  • The most successful e-commerce brands build for mainstream America, not Silicon Valley [Recode]
  • Hudson’s Bay to sell Lord & Taylor Fifth Avenue store to WeWork [RetailDive]

TECHNOLOGY
  • Target.com rolls out augmented reality experience for smartphones [StarTribune]
  • The Under Armour ArmourBox: Subscription gear handpicked by an AI [BrandChannel]
  • Walmart’s Store No. 8 showcases the future of VR [RetailDive]
  • Nike’s focus on robotics threatens Asia’s low-cost workforce [CNBC]
  • Wal-Mart’s new robots scan shelves to restock items faster [Reuters]

START-UPS
  • How Stitch Fix’s data-driven styling could boost its IPO value [Bloomberg]
  • Harvey Nichols partners with Bink on “Payment Linked Loyalty” [TheIndustry]
Categories
business digital snippets e-commerce social media Startups technology

What you missed: Blockchain, a lack of omnichannel leaders, fashion week immediacy

Blockchain in use at Shanghai Fashion Week
Blockchain in use at Shanghai Fashion Week

Despite the holiday countdown being truly underway, the past week’s top stories are less about the festivities and more to do with a look forward – whether it’s the launch of more tech-enabled stores or significant developments with the likes of drones and blockchain.

Also worth checking out is a view on fashion immediacy from Burberry and Tommy Hilfiger, some further uptake of chatbots and an overview on this year’s major fashion and beauty mergers.


TOP STORIES
  • Blockchain is being adopted beyond Bitcoin, from fashion to finance [JWT Intelligence]
  • Report: Few retailers are omnichannel ‘leaders’ [Retail Dive]
  • Burberry and Tommy Hilfiger: Lessons in fashion immediacy [BoF]
  • Why retailers stop selling online: the hidden cost of e-commerce [The Guardian]
  • Move over Singles’ Day: Alipay’s ’12.12’ event breaks records [Jing Daily]
  • Luxury and charity are like oil and water – they don’t mix well [LeanLuxe]

BUSINESS
  • Harvey Nichols profits tumble on aggressive revamp [The Telegraph]
  • Young, quick and very hip: Missguided and Pretty Little Thing hit the big time [The Guardian]
  • The year in major fashion and beauty mergers [Glossy]

SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Dove flips #MannequinChallenge in extension of Real Beauty campaign [The Drum]
  • How Stuart Weitzman is using WeChat to expand its Asian footprint [Glossy]
  • New Nordstrom mobile chatbot is ready to help shoppers find the perfect holiday gift [GeekWire]

RETAIL
  • How sporting giants Nike and Adidas are pushing the future of retail [Fortune]
  • L’Occitane ups technology in New York City flagship [Chain Store Age]
  • Victoria’s Secret invaded China’s digital space but is moving cautiously on retail [AdAge]

TECHNOLOGY
  • In major step for drone delivery, Amazon flies package to customer in England [NY Times]
  • Why AR will be bigger than VR [Venture Beat]
  • Bot until you drop: How artificial intelligence is changing the way we do our Christmas shopping [The Independent]
  • Fashion’s future, printed to order [NY Times]
  • Under Armour expands connected footwear line-up [Retail Dive]

START-UPS
  • The inside story behind Pebble’s demise [Backchannel]
  • How True & Co. modernised the bra shopping experience [Racked]
Categories
business digital snippets e-commerce film social media technology

What you missed: What Trump means for retail, Alibaba’s $17bn Singles’ Day, Snapchat’s Snapbots

Trump America election retail
Analysts are weighing in on what a Trump presidency means for retail and for fashion

With the world reeling from the news of the US election over this past week, analysts have been trying to wrap their head around exactly what a Trump government will mean for retail. There are several good reads listed below.

Also hitting the headlines has of course been the mindblowing success and growth of Alibaba’s Singles’ Day – this year a $17bn affair, up from ‘just’ $14bn in 2015.

Meanwhile, some lighter bits to absorb: a wealth of new campaigns launched for the holiday season. John Lewis vs Marks & Spencer has got us excited, but also below is everyone from Gap to Macy’s, Debenhams and Kohl’s.

ps. Don’t forget to sign up for our Snapchat Masterclass – we’re currently offering 20% for our readers using code “community”.


TOP STORIES: US ELECTION & ALIBABA’S SINGLES’ DAY
  • What President Trump means for retailers [Retail Dive]
  • Fashion industry reacts to ‘devastating’ Trump victory [BoF]
  • Is fashion’s love affair with Washington over? [NY Times]
  • New Balance customers revolt after company welcomes Trump [Campaign]
  • $17 billion in one day: How Alibaba turned China’s Singles’ Day into a shopping bonanza [Digiday]
  • Virtual reality lets Chinese customers shop Macy’s New York store on the world’s biggest shopping day [Quartz]
  • Why luxury fashion brands are showing up for Singles’ Day [Glossy]
  • Michael Kors dished out discount codes with a casino-themed game on WeChat for Singles’ Day [AdWeek]
  • Five takeaways from Alibaba’s gigantic $17.8 billion shopping festival [AdAge]

BUSINESS
  • Nasty Gal files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy [Retail Dive]
  • Burberry profit falls 40% as costs rise [WSJ]
  • Kenneth Cole to shut down almost all its brick-and-mortar stores [Bloomberg]
  • Luxury coatmaker Canada Goose said to line up banks for IPO [Bloomberg]

SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Snap Inc.’s Spectacles are dropping in these crazy cool vending machines called Snapbots [AdWeek]

ADVERTISING
  • Luxury brands are failing in their storytelling [The Guardian]
  • Gap harnesses optimism in holiday ads [MediaPost]
  • Macy’s bets on power of Santa belief this holiday [AdAge]
  • Jennifer Saunders and Ewan McGregor sign up for Debenhams Christmas campaign [The Drum]
  • Kohl’s ramps up giving message in holiday campaign [AdAge]
  • Browns unveils new look, new website and innovative window campaign [The Industry]

UPCOMING EVENTS
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business digital snippets e-commerce film mobile product social media Startups sustainability technology

What you missed: Farfetch photography, questioning Everlane’s transparency, Amazon as the largest apparel seller

Farfetch digital shoot listings fashion retail technology
Farfetch

The Wall Street Journal has a deep-dive story on just what it takes to produce all the imagery for Farfetch’s listed boutiques. Every weekday, it posts an average of more than 1,000 new listings, each with at least five different photographs. Alongside that, perhaps appropriately, comes a new set of stats about Amazon, proving the fact it’s expected to surpass Macy’s to become the biggest apparel seller in the US next year.

Sustainability is also top of mind within the industry of late, with lots of ongoing thoughts around Everlane’s transparency claims and Patagonia’s slow fashion aims. Also worth reading this week are various Snapchat campaigns, not to mention some insights on the pros and cons of retail technology. Don’t forget to also sign up for our Snapchat Masterclass before the early bird rate ends on Oct 31.


TOP STORIES
  • Where luxury fashion is a high-speed, high-volume business – on site with the photography crew at Farfetch [WSJ]
  • Radical transparency: Are H&M and Zara actually more transparent than Everlane? [The Fashion Law]
  • Amazon is expected to surpass Macy’s to become the biggest apparel seller in the US next year [Business Insider]
  • Vine video-sharing app to be shut down by Twitter [The Guardian]
  • Alibaba takes Singles’ Day to global buyers, sellers [China Daily]

BUSINESS
  • Sales surge at Kering’s Gucci, slip at sister brand [Yahoo]
  • American innovation: 5 questions with Shinola CMO Bridget Russo [BrandChannel]
  • How Outdoor Voices founder Tyler Haney plans to grow the brand into the next Nike [Fashionista]
  • In an age of fast fashion, Patagonia is going slow [Yahoo]

SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Following the screenshots: How Topshop is hacking Snapchat [Digiday]
  • Everlane’s social strategy: drive community engagement, not sales [Glossy]
  • Why Snapchat is winning out over Pinterest for River Island [The Drum]
  • H&M and Kenzo leverage iOS iMessage integration [Glossy]

ADVERTISING
  • REI’s ‘#OptOutside’ returns, and other brands have joined to help make it a new American tradition [Creativity]
  • Target channels Hamilton and The Nutcracker for holiday campaign aimed at Hispanic shoppers [AdWeek]

RETAIL
  • How AI is helping retailers [Venture Beat]
  • When it comes to retail technology, the industry is ‘just getting started’ [NRF]
  • Retail websites pile on the ad tech, but may be repeating publishers’ mistakes [AdAge]
  • Understanding China’s e-commerce and Internet sectors: A guide for global retailers [FBIC]
  • Why Alibaba just staged an 8-hour fashion show [Fortune]

TECHNOLOGY
  • This connected jacket provides VIP access to exclusive NYC experiences, demos future of the Internet of Things [Forbes]
  • The gift and the curse of 3D printing and the legislation we can expect [The Fashion Law]
  • You can now get styled by a fashion-savvy algorithm [Quartz]
  • Google Voice Search comparison-shops on mobile, creating audio ad opportunity [MediaPost]

START-UPS
  • How the Techstars + Target accelerator transformed retail start-up Blueprint Registry [Retail Dive]
  • Is Silicon Valley taking menswear more seriously? [Fast Company]
  • At ThirdLove, just one area of innovation isn’t enough [Medium]

UPCOMING EVENTS
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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

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data digital snippets e-commerce social media Startups technology

Digital snippets: Iris van Herpen on designing the future, TAG Heuer’s luxury smart watch, Alibaba’s Singles Day smashes records

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

irisvanherpen_ss16

  • Iris van Herpen’s astonishing designs don’t look like ‘clothes.’ They look like the future (as pictured) [The Washington Post]
  • TAG Heuer Connected: the first ‘legitimate’ smart watch? [Wired]
  • How Alibaba turned an obscure, made-up Chinese holiday into a $14.3 billion shopping extravaganza that’s bigger than Black Friday [Business Insider]
  • Dior breaks its e-commerce ban [WWD]
  • REI’s Reddit experience shows brands need to be ready to take the tough questions [AdWeek]
  • Canada Goose debuts first global campaign [AdAge]
  • High-tech Sephora flash boutique in Paris has a robot greeter [Brandchannel]
  • Farfetch tries to reach a little further [Bloomberg]
  • The Minkoffs want to disrupt the dictatorship in fashion with digital innovation [Fast Company]
  • Fashion platform Zalando wants to be Europe’s top tech company [Wired]
  • Macy’s CEO defends role of stores in e-commerce era [Fortune]
  • Apple’s Angela Ahrendts on where the company is taking retail next [Fast Company]
  • Natalie Massenet’s Imaginary Ventures proves she’s ready for next venture after exit from Net-a-Porter [Independent]
  • How Revolve Clothing uses data to create a global brand [Digiday]
  • Adam Selman, Rihanna’s favourite designer, enters the wearables war with Mastercard [NY Times]
  • As luxury brands embrace data, will they use it like a butler or a stalker [AdWeek]
  • Retail’s best Snapchat campaigns [L2]
  • Tel Aviv’s booming tech start-up community is expanding its focus to fashion [Fashionista]
  • Singapore’s postal service provider is developing a futuristic shopping mall to house online retailers [TechCrunch]
  • “People don’t buy stuff in actual stores” – the future of retail, as explained by Gen Z [Quartz]
  • Wary of the next ‘Warby Parker’ [TechCrunch]
  • Refinery29, Dazed and i-D battle for millennials [BoF]
  • Essena O’Neill quits Instagram, rewrites her self-promoting history [The Guardian]