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e-commerce Editor's pick technology

ASOS introduces augmented reality catwalk to showcase product

ASOS has introduced a virtual catwalk using augmented reality that allows shoppers to place looks in their physical space in front of them.

Using the ASOS app on iOS devices, users can point at a flat surface to pull up a 3D video of models wearing various products as though they are there themselves in person.

The experience currently exists for 100 of the ASOS Design line of products. Once placed, you can pinch to shrink or stretch the model to work within the room you’re in.

The online retailer has worked with UK AR company HoloMe on the initiative.

HoloMe CEO, Janosch Amstutz, said: “By allowing the consumer to bring mobile shopping into their own physical space, we can create a more intimate buying experience. We are excited to see how our technology can be used as a new way to communicate to the customer.”

Being able to visualize products through augmented reality in the physical space has been something homeware stores have played with for some time, but the move is a newer one in fashion.

ASOS was one of the early players to use video on its site – aiming to increase trust in its products and thus up conversions by enabling shoppers to see what things looked like in motion. This project is a build on that, making looks seem more accessible to consumers by viewing them in their own home.

The company has not shared details on the cost of the project or its potential for scalability. But, filming each model in 3D is going to be significant lift from a time and cost perspective at this point, which would make it a significant investment to push across its entire catalog of circa 87,000 products, or 5,000 new ones a week.

ASOS is often trialling new technologies. Recent other projects include an AI-enabled sizing tool, a shopping guide using Google’s voice assistant, as well as visual search.

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about helping you build innovative integrations and experiences. The Current Global 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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e-commerce Editor's pick technology

Nike launches virtual store where items can only be bought with Air Max credits

Nike has launched a virtual pop-up store where shoppers can only access limited edition items once they have earned credits from a previous purchase.

The store, which accompanies the launch of the Air Max 720 style, can be visited by anyone whereas items are only available to buy once the user has entered their order number for purchasing the new sneaker beforehand. From then the microsite generates “Air Credits”, which are put into a virtual wallet, and allows users to purchase the items that they can see on their screens.

All merchandise in the store has been digitized, hovering in the space while allowing for 360° views either via desktop or phones. This includes AM720-themed water bottles, socks and stickers, for example, all developed in collaboration with the brand’s network of creatives.

To assist customers in the shopping journey, it is also deploying virtual avatars of its many collaborators as sales assistants, including London-based designer Mini Swoosh, England footballer Raheem Sterling and DJ Peggy Gou, which rotate on a weekly basis.

Nike's virtual Air.Shop
Nike’s virtual Air.Shop

The virtual store expands into the physical realm, however, with visitors to the brand’s Oxford Circus flagship in London being able to explore the activation through an installation on the ground floor.

The campaign is part of Nike’s yearly celebration of its iconic Air Max style, which culminates in the Air Max Day taking place on March 26, the day when the very first shoe of the family was released. The yearly celebration is also a chance for the brand to dial up collaborations and promotions around the shoe. This year, it will reveal a style designed by a Nike fan under its On-Air initiative, a competition that grants people the opportunity to create their own shoe and have it produced and released to the public.

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about helping you build innovative integrations and experiences. The Current Global 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 e-commerce Editor's pick

Fred Perry and Raf Simons launch collaboration via shoppable virtual map

Fred Perry and Raf Simons are promoting their newest collaboration by inviting customers to view and shop the collection through a virtual map featuring a suburban town.

Similar to Google’s Street View platform, the map features models walking through a nondescript coastal town, captured mid-movement as if oblivious to the presence of a camera. Adding an element of anonymity they have their faces blurred, as do some products which are to be launched at a later date and still not available for purchase.

When navigating the platform, users are sent on a scavenger hunt to spot the models as they go through the streets by clicking arrows in the direction they want to go in. Models can then be found at random, huddled in groups, riding a motorbike or walking alone. Clicking a model will reveal what garment they are wearing, and leads customers to an e-commerce page to complete purchase.

Fred Perry x Raf Simons
Fred Perry x Raf Simons

The brands’ decade-old collaboration has become a staple in the wardrobes of many trend-led young consumers. To celebrate its 10th anniversary last summer, the brands gifted 100 garments from its archives to the subcultures that inspire their collections. Over the course of six weeks, products were distributed at places with emerging subcultures, such as Athens and Belgrade.

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. The Current Global 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 technology

YOOX combines AI and digital avatars in virtual try-on feature


Luxury e-commerce platform, YOOX is launching YOOXMIRROR, an in-app feature that acts as a discovery tool for users to explore new looks through a virtual avatar, Daisy.

On the app’s homepage, users can view nine fashion stories laid out in a similar style to Instagram Stories, divided into themes such as “Join the party” and “Check mate”.

Daisy, the avatar, has been introduced to showcase the outfits,  customizable by four different skin tones and hair colors. Users can then ‘swipe up’ to play mix-and-match with more garments and accessories. Daisy has also take over the YOOX Instagram account.

 “The introduction of YOOXMIRROR represents an important move for us, offering our customers something personalized and memorable which is also a brand-new way to explore the very best of YOOX, ” says Paolo Mascio, president of YOOX. “We are so excited by the potential of this initiative that we will not limit our avatar Daisy to the styling suite – taking over our IG she is going to become the personification of YOOX, allowing us an even more direct contact with our followers and customs.”

The feature is currently available for both men and women on the retailer’s iOS app.

The luxury e-commerce group has been investigating the different ways in which AI can provide users with a more personalized experience in the future, but also how it can enable its staff to deliver more efficiently. Last year, it opened a tech hub to investigate AI and the next wave of mobile technologies. Meanwhile, at the Wired Smarter conference in London in October, it announced it is introducing a new private label collection that is informed by AI, while designed by a creative team.

This post has been edited. The original version said users could also upload a full-body shot of themselves and view outfits in 2D overlaid onto them. This feature is not currently available.

How are you thinking about digital 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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Editor's pick Retail technology

Bourjois unveils virtual try-on triggered by physical products

Bourjois Magic Mirror
Bourjois Magic Mirror

Coty-owned makeup brand Bourjois has unveiled a new smart mirror experience that enables shoppers to virtually try on make-up simply by picking up a cosmetic product in store.

Available at the brand’s newly relaunched boutique in Paris, the blended reality mirror is said to be an industry first as it integrates physical product – in this case makeup – with the augmented reality experience happening on the screen.

Shoppers can, for instance, pick up a lipstick and the chosen colour will instantly appear on their lips via the smart screen. The connected screen currently features the ‘pick up’ experience with the Rouge Velvet lipstick collection, and shoppers can then complete the digital look via onscreen eye make-up and blush, which is matched to their individual skin tones.

“As part of our desire to reinvent the retail experience through purposeful and personalized innovation, the Bourjois Magic Mirror represents the most extensive integration of physical products and digital content in the beauty industry,” said Elodie Levy, Coty’s global digital innovation senior director.

“Most women intuitively prefer to play with a lipstick rather than touch a screen, as there is an inherent sensual aspect in cosmetics packaging that no technology can replace, and our new Magic Mirror provides this desired experience to shoppers.”

Coty’s innovation comes from research that shows that 72% of consumers want an in-store beauty experience to be a mixture of both physical and digital elements in order to feel more ‘believable’. Moreover, the company believes virtual product try-on solves other retail-related issues such as testers not being available, as well as general hygiene concerns.

To create this experience, Coty worked with London-based digital studio Holition and retail marketing experts Perch. Holition is also responsible for Charlotte Tilbury’s in-store smart mirror, as well as Rimmel London’s makeup filters on Facebook Stories, but what differs in the Bourjois experience from other mirrors, however, is that it is customizable by product, as opposed to previous mirrors that focus on looks. Holition’s FACE software also allows skin tones to be analysed, thus providing a more personalized experience.

The experience is complemented by NY-based Perch’s expertise in the mirror’s form and function, where the smart camera monitors a defined area for activity, and automatically triggers visual content.

On the future of in-store marketing, Perch Interactive CEO Trevor Sumner says it is about blending digital experiences naturally into the shopper journey. “The Bourjois Magic Mirror uses computer vision to sense the most important indication of interest in physical retail – when a shopper touches a product – unlocking an experience that encourages natural pathways of discovery, education and engagement.”

Tapping into the digitally-connected beauty shopper’s need for peer engagement, the mirror also offers three playful filters and a feature that takes selfies, which can either be printed in-store or sent to the customer via email, which links to purchase all trialled items at Bourjois’ online channel.

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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 e-commerce product social media sustainability technology

ICYMI: Fashion themes from Davos, Bitcoin bubble, social media’s black market

The seven female co-chairs of the 2018 World Economic Forum at Davos
The seven female co-chairs of the 2018 World Economic Forum

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

TOP STORIES
  • 4 Davos themes fashion needs to watch [BoF]
  • Beyond the Bitcoin bubble [NY Times]
  • The follower factory: Inside social media’s black market [NY Times]
  • How box logos and the blockchain reveal our anxieties about an uncertain future [Ssense]
TECHNOLOGY
  • I got chipped: a dispatch from the frontier of wearable tech [Fast Company]
  • Sewing a mechanical future [RobotRabbi]
  • Inside the race to create an AI-powered virtual Elton John [Wired]
  • L’Oréal launches 3D AR hair color simulation app [FashionNetwork]
SUSTAINABILITY
  • The world’s most sustainable companies 2018 [Forbes]
  • Napapijri launches new form of digital manufacturing [FashionUnited]
RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • Prada debuts new pop-up retail project in Macau [WWD]
  • Fashion retailers in China go cashier free using facial recognition payment [Jing Daily]
  • How customers decide whether to buy from your website [HBR]
SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Inside Balmain’s digital revolution [BoF]
  • Neiman Marcus looks to associates for social media commerce [Pymnts]
PRODUCT
  • How Nike used algorithms to help design its latest running shoe [Wired]
  • Couture that combines Japanese craftsmanship with the science of space travel [CNN]
BUSINESS
  • Richemont offers €2.7 billion for full control of Yoox Net-a-Porter [BoF]
  • Asos sales soar driven by ‘exceptional’ UK performance [Retail Week]
  • Will Hedi Slimane be a blessing or a curse for Céline? [HighSnobiety]
  • Kering, Stella McCartney in talks to end partnership [BoF]
  • Abercrombie and Fitch might actually be pulling off its comeback [Glossy]
Categories
business digital snippets e-commerce product social media Startups sustainability technology

What you missed: Tim Cook on AR for fashion, the future of visual search, open sustainability

Apple CEO Tim Cook on the future of AR for fashion
Apple CEO Tim Cook

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
  • Apple’s Tim Cook on the future of fashion and shopping [Vogue]
  • Retailers continue to experiment with visual search [Glossy]
  • Fashion needs an open-source sustainability solution [BoF]
  • Alibaba to spend $15 billion exploring ‘moonshot’ projects [Bloomberg]

BUSINESS
  • Giorgio Armani speaks on restructuring and succession plans [BoF]
  • Coach is changing its name to Tapestry [Bloomberg]
  • How Supreme grew a $1 billion business with a secret partner [BoF]

SOCIAL MEDIA & MARKETING
  • Fashion week engagements on Instagram nearly tripled compared to February’s fashion month [AdWeek]
  • Snapchat is twice as popular as Instagram when it comes to teens’ favourite social apps [AdWeek]
  • Will Dove’s ‘Pepsi moment’ affect the brand in the long term? [The Drum]

RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • Walmart and Target are banding with Google to take on Amazon [AdWeek]
  • Black Friday shoppers more likely than ever to go online this year [Retail Dive]
  • ASOS launches same-day delivery service [The Industry]

TECHNOLOGY
  • Mastercard offers first checkout option for VR with Swarovski [AdAge]
  • What Sephora knows about women in tech that Silicon Valley doesn’t [WSJ]
  • Marie Claire and Mastercard showcase the future of shopping [BrandChannel]

PRODUCT
  • What goes into making an earth-friendly $68 pair of jeans at Everlane [Bloomberg]
  • Spider silk and stem-cell leather are the future of fashion [Engadget]
  • Stella McCartney is pioneering synthetic spider silk in high fashion [QZ]
  • Kering announces 2017 sustainable winners [FashionUnited]

START-UPS
  • With the launch of a lower-price subscription service, how Rent the Runway’s ‘closet in the cloud’ is changing the face of sustainability [Fashionista]
  • Digital closet start-ups want to give you the Cher Horowitz experience [Racked]
Categories
business Editor's pick technology

DVF to present wholesale collection via virtual reality

Diane von Furstenberg spring 2018
Diane von Furstenberg spring 2018

Diane von Furstenberg has teamed up with wholesale marketplace Ordre.com to present its spring 2018 collection to buyers using virtual reality (VR).

Using the platform’s online showrooms, retailers will be able to review the new ready-to-wear and accessories line in this 360-degree virtual sense. All partners will be provided with Ordre headsets to also experience the show that took place during New York Fashion Week on September 10.

This technology will help to create an overall understanding of the fit, movement and fabrication of the collection, the press release explains.

Jonathan Saunders, creative director at DVF, said: “As a designer, I want to embrace the digital world as a way of presenting our collections and we are excited to introduce a number of new technologies to our business marketing, as well as enhancing our consumer experience.”

DVF will still be hosting physical showrooms in New York, London and Milan during fashion month, but this virtual showroom is designed to otherwise enhance and facilitate order taking in an efficient sense.

Melissa Sussberg, EVP of domestic sales and global merchandising at DVF, added: “It’s becoming increasingly difficult for our valued retail partners to constantly travel to showrooms. Our partnership with Ordre will allow them to understand the detail of the collections and place wholesale orders remotely.”

The digital assets created by the collaboration will also be trialled for consumers – both in-store on interactive touch screens and online.

Categories
e-commerce Editor's pick mobile social media

The new Levi’s chatbot aims to help shoppers find the perfect pair of jeans

The Levi's chatbot website widget by Mode.ai
The Levi’s chatbot website widget by Mode.ai

Levi’s has teamed up with tech company Mode.ai to launch a chatbot on Facebook Messenger focused on helping customers find the perfect pair of jeans.

The Levi’s Virtual Stylist, as it’s called, assists shoppers with fit, rise and stretch for its denim line, all the while aiming to reduce returns by also providing sizing recommendations.

Users can search through the entire catalogue of the brand, get inspiration by seeing the items worn by others in a section called ‘See it Styled’, then opt to either view more items like the ones they’re looking at or indeed click through to the product page. All of the results are synced with real-time inventory data, so they don’t see out of stock items.

As a plus point, the bot understands real language – meaning it parses text input to deduce exactly what the user is looking for. When I typed “Looking for white jeans for women”, for instance, it then did indeed surface white jeans for women.

What’s perhaps most interesting is that Levi’s has also worked with Mode.ai to create a separate version of the chatbot as a widget on its website. Head over to Forbes to read the full story, as well as insight from Mode.ai founder and CEO Eitan Sharon.