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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.

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e-commerce social media Startups

SimplyBe and MyTheresa partner with start-up to deliver shoppable social videos

SimplyBe's shoppable Instagram Story, thanks to Smartzer
SimplyBe’s shoppable Instagram Story, thanks to Smartzer

British e-tailers SimplyBe and MyTheresa have partnered with interactive video startup Smartzer to release shoppable videos via social media.

Smartzer’s technology, which has so far been used by the likes of John Lewis and Zalando on their websites, allows customers to click through and buy items while watching interactive videos. The latest update will enable brands to share shoppable video content on social apps such as Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook.

When watching a video, consumers can swipe up from an Instagram or Snapchat story, or via Facebook Canvas, to trigger the interactive experience that features clickable hotspots.

The MyTheresa partnership saw Italian label Valentino benefit from the new feature on its AW17 pre-launch. MyTheresa produced a film showcasing items from its range, as well as a behind the scenes Instagram story, using the Smartzer shoppable technology. Meanwhile SimplyBe used the technology to make its The Curve Catwalk event at London Fashion Week entirely shoppable via Instagram within an hour of the show.

“Our aim is to enable all brands from the highstreet or high end to offer these kinds of interactive, customer-centric experiences – while providing detailed analysis of customer interaction. In an ever-evolving landscape where technology is constantly revolutionising the way that consumers shop, it’s imperative that brands listen to what their customers really want,” says Smartzer founder AND CEO Karoline Gross, who launched the company in 2012.

Gross emphasises the importance of customer-centric strategies in the current retail scenario: “Take Amazon for instance – partnering with Nicola Formichetti to offer catwalk to doorstep delivery in just one hour. We see shoppable video as a core part of that process – enabling customers to find the piece they want instantly. In a few years, we could be seeing shoppable live streams which allow customers to click through to the item they want, purchase it, and have it delivered the next day, or even within an hour.”

Retailers have been dipping their toes into social commerce for years, often creating and using tools that work around platform limitations, such as RewardStyle’s app. In 2016, media company Popsugar also introduced Emoticode, an e-commerce companion app to Snapchat where users could post screengrabs of snaps that featured items they wanted to purchase. Meanwhile Tommy Hilfiger is leveraging the ‘instant gratification’ demand this season by enabling fans to buy looks straight off the runway with click-to-buy functionality on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and Pinterest.

digital snippets e-commerce film mobile social media Startups technology

Digital snippets: Alexander Wang’s future, Louis Vuitton wins Instagram battle, new Kenzo film

Alexander Wang - fashion and technology

A round-up of everything you might have missed in fashion and technology news (and beyond) over the past fortnight or so. Read on for Alexander Wang’s views on Amazon, insight on how Kit and Ace overhauled its e-commerce, and detail on Tencent and L’Oréal’s zany branded content experiment in China…

  • Alexander Wang talks about the future of fashion – including Amazon (as pictured) [Racked]

  • On Instagram, Louis Vuitton’s resort show comes out on top [Fashionista]

  • Kenzo just released a Japanese all-girl biker gang film [Dazed]

  • How Kit and Ace overhauled its e-commerce [Glossy]

  • Selfridges unveils iOS app with ‘shoppable’ Instagram feed [Econsultancy]

  • Condé Nast partners with Gucci on branded content [The Industry]

  • Inside Tencent and L’Oréal’s zany branded content experiment in China [AdAge]

  • Sephora uncaps new mobile revenue stream via shoppable Snapchats [Mobile Commerce Daily]

  • Adidas on Snapchat leaks its latest collection [PSFK]

  • Nike reveals Euro 2016 ad starring a body-swapping Cristiano Ronaldo [The Drum]

  • Visa introduces NFC-enabled payment ring for Rio 2016 Olympic Games [Brandchannel]

  • How online models are chosen to influence the way you shop [Telegraph]

  • Pinterest’s real-world Pins let in-store shoppers save real items to virtual boards [AdWeek]

  • Snapchat passes Twitter in daily usage [Bloomberg]

  • Smartzer seeks to carve niche in shoppable video realm [Glossy]

  • Welcome to a cashless future where retailers recognise our faces [The Guardian]

  • Refinery29, focused on global expansion, hits Germany [AdAge]

  • Fashion’s fraught relationship with 3D printing and sustainability [Glossy]

  • Line’s beauty and fashion portal rolls out its Persian carpet [TechCrunch]

  • Why is futuristic fashion still retro? [Slate]
e-commerce film Startups

Puma introduces shoppable football video


Puma has become the latest brand to experiment with shoppable videos. The sportswear company has teamed up with technology provider Smartzer to allow viewers to immediately click to purchase from one of its recent campaigns.

The interactive ad stars English footballer Adam Lallana, who plays for Liverpool, in the Puma Evolution Apparel line. As he talks, the user is able to click on the red Puma logo that comes up on certain pieces he’s wearing, to open a pop-up with more detail about it. By clicking ‘shop now’ from there, they are redirected to a new page. It’s not hugely intuitive to keep doing so, but the video, which is hosted on the JD Sports website, is reportedly already seeing conversion rates at 6.9%, and earnings per click at 24 times higher than the e-commerce industry standard.

Puma follows in the footsteps of Whistles, which previously teamed up with Smartzer for its spring/summer 2015 show, introducing a shoppable video that enabled consumers to ‘wishlist’ items for purchase once the collection was released. This allowed the brand access to pre-sale data as well as the ability to send a follow-up email to the sign-up list. The results saw 22% of clicks converting to purchase at an average basket size of 4.1 items. The follow up emails also received above standard unique open rates of 66%, with consumers returning to the emails with actual open rates at 157%.

Karoline Gross, founder of Smartzer, said: “The results we’ve seen with both partnerships have been incredibly positive and outline the effectiveness of making online video content interactive with a retail application. The value of the Smartzer software is highlighted by working with such illustrious clients and helps add momentum to what is a strong period of organic growth for the business as we look for further investment.”