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Campaigns mobile product social media

Wrangler activates scannable denim in ‘Old Town Road’ tie-up

Scanning a pair of Wrangler jeans will now unlock exclusive behind-the-scenes footage from the hit single of the year, the hip-hop-country crossover “Old Town Road”, featuring Billy Ray Cyrus and rapper Lil Nas X.

The brand created a web app called WranglerOnMyBooty.com, which invites users to take a picture of the back pocket of their jeans to activate the experience. Doing so allows them to not only see the footage from the five-minute music video, but also the option to shop the exclusive capsule collection of the collab with Lil Nas X.

Fans are encouraged to share their Wrangler selfie on social media using the hashtag #WranglerOnMyBooty. That line comes from the lyrics “Cowboy hat from Gucci, Wrangler on my booty” in the song.

“As an iconic brand in fashion, we have shown up in music, film and popular culture for decades, but this is the first time our jeans are actually the key to unlocking a behind-the-scenes look at the making of a chart-topping hit,” said Jenni Broyles, VP/GM of Wrangler North America. “We’re incredibly excited about the success of ‘Old Town Road’ and our partnership with Lil Nas X. It is another great example of the power music – and in our case, fashion – has to unite and inspire us all.”

The partnership and the mobile interactive function came after the single reached Number One in the United States for five weeks straight, gaining momentum on social media.

“The phenomenon surrounding the track has broken boundaries and allows for a brand like Wrangler to hone in on its Western DNA while tapping into current culture,” said Jennifer Frommer, SVP of brand partnerships at Columbia Records.

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

Categories
Editor's pick Retail technology

ASOS launches voice-enabled shopping guide via Google Assistant 

ASOS

ASOS has introduced a Google Assistant experience that gives shoppers the ability to discover new styles using voice technology.

The initiative is an extension of the “Fashionbot” the e-commerce company launched on Facebook Messenger earlier this year, but this time taps into the burgeoning voice interface, which is expected to be worth $40 billion by 2022 in terms of shopping, according to OC&C Strategy Consultants.

Enki, as the ASOS shopping guide is called, gives users access to designs across six of the website’s top womenswear and menswear categories, making them then viewable on smartphones for full exploration and purchase.

All the user has to do to initiate the conversation is say “HeyGoogle, Talk To ASOS” to their Google Home smart speaker or Google Assistant app on Android or iOS. The aim is to help consumers in the US and UK edit down the vast array of products ASOS has available.

Jason Gregory, senior product manager at the company, said: “With 85,000 products on site at any one time, and on average 5,000 new items added each week, it’s more important than ever to make it easy for our customers to stay on top of what’s new on ASOS. With the launch of Enki on Facebook Messenger and now Google Assistant, we’re exploring ways that conversational commerce can help us make the ASOS shopping experience as easy and intuitive as possible.”

On Facebook Messenger, Enki also includes features such as Your Edit, a weekly drop of curated items; Style Match, which enables customers to search using images from the web or captured on their smartphone; and You Might Also Like, which recommends other styles. All are built on machine learning.

This is the first time ASOS has stepped into the voice tech space. Others brands from fashion and beauty, including Perry Ellis and Estée Lauder, have experimented with it ahead of them.

ASOS says it will be using customer feedback from the initial launch to explore ways to refine and enhance the experience over the coming months.

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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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
technology

Google and the BFC launch educational platform for British fashion

Google and the BFC's new platform for British fashion
Google and the BFC’s new platform for British fashion

The British Fashion Council has partnered with Google’s Arts & Culture team to celebrate British fashion via a new educational platform that includes several virtual reality experiences.

Launched ahead of last night’s new Fashion Awards, which honoured designers and other industry players from around the word, the g.co/britishfashion site is designed to inform and inspire future generations of young fashion creatives and students.

Support the BFC’s Education Foundation, it brings to life the creativity, heritage and craftsmanship of British fashion, pulling together content from big names in the space – including brands, designers, craftspeople, photographers, stylists, models and more – and using technology to tell their stories.

There are immersive digital exhibits from the likes of Burberry, Stella McCartney and Vivienne Westwood for instance, a virtual reality experience of Manolo Blahnik at work in his atelier, and a high resolution capture of a couture dress from Alexander McQueen’s SS17 collection, allowing people to zoom in and see its threadwork in never-before-seen detail.

To mark the launch of the project, Paul Smith has also designed a special-edition Google Cardboard to enable the virtual reality viewing, and created online exhibits around five objects that represent his creative vision and brand.

Caroline Rush CBE, CEO of the BFC said: “The internet has been an incredible resource for opening up the fashion industry to a new audience, giving young people access to information not previously available. This collaboration represents a new step, bringing together diverse information into one, engaging place. We hope this legacy project will not only inspire but also educate – allowing young people wanting to get into fashion to see the breadth of individuals, skills and careers that make up this multifaceted industry.”

In total, there are over 1,000 assets to explore, including 20 multimedia exhibits, 25 videos and three virtual reality experiences, all accessible from anywhere in the world, on desktop, laptop or mobile.

Sarah Mower MBE, American Vogue chief critic and BFC ambassador for emerging talent, has also directed a short film captured in 360 VR so viewers can come face-to-face with industry luminaries. Included are Naomi Campbell, Anya Hindmarch, Edward Enninful and Joan Burstein.

Users can also search archive material from British fashion houses by colour and chronology, explore profiles of numerous of the industry’s other key players, and go behind-the-scenes with top craftspeople and producers of British fashion, including the Royal School of Needlework and Brora Cashmere.

Categories
e-commerce

Digital luxury: Who are 2016’s winners (and losers)?

Balenciaga digital luxury
Balenciaga.com

Luxury was late to the digital party and for the most part hasn’t acquitted itself well ever since. Which is why the regular ContactLab/Exane BNP Paribas reports into just how good the purchasing experience is for consumers is always interesting.

The report looks at factors such as digital touchpoint like abandoned carts, customer service, ease of ordering and general communications, plus physical touchpoint like packaging, delivery and much more.

Last year it did this from a Milanese viewpoint and this year it was New York. So what did it learn?

Well, Balenciaga and Fendi topped the performance ranking this time after ContactLab did its usual practical tests. It bought and returned products from 31 brand websites and five multi brand e-tailers.

Kering (Balenciaga owner) and LVMH (Fendi owner) must be happy as they were joint first. Kering scored again in number three position as Saint Laurent (or is it YSL these days?) took the bronze medal. Chanel and Coach shared fourth place, just missing the medal-winners rostrum.

Dropping back this time were Cartier, which had scored well last year but was in eighth spot this time, plus former high-ranker Louis Vuitton at only number 17. Hugo Boss was a lowly 31. Gucci stayed at number 16.

Burberry and Prada both improved. But given that Burberry was only at number 13 when it prides itself on being very digitally-focused, that’s not great. And poor old Prada only managed a rise to number 27 so its much-talked-about digital turnaround obviously hasn’t kicked in yet.

What’s so interesting about this particular report is that it’s not about the things we often notice first, such as high profile websites or social media engagement; it’s purely about the nuts and bolts of buying and returning goods, because that’s what the customer does and that’s how the customer interacts most with a brand. Given that online accounted for all of luxury’s growth last year and is expected to do so for the next few years at least, you’d think the experience would be prioritised.

You’d also think luxury retailers rather than monobrands might perform better with their long traditions of customer service, but some of those don’t acquit themselves that well. Saks was only in 13th place, Nordstrom 18th, Barneys 26th and Bergdorf Goodman an unimpressive 35th.

Who was the top retailer? Net-a-Porter in sixth place. I must admit, the experience of buying from this company (and its Yoox arm) is generally excellent. It wasn’t always. Many a time I’ve paid extra for Saturday delivery from Yoox only for something to arrive on Monday. While Net-a-Porter once took five months to refund me for an item returned the day after delivery. It was only a small amount and I completely overlooked not getting the refund until it just showed up nearly half a year later.

But that was five years ago, since then the company has shown why it’s the luxury e-tail leader.

“Net-A-Porter is digital native and is extremely consistent in assuring a top luxury performance in the majority of the more than 100 digital and physical touch points we have been evaluating along the online purchasing process,” said Marco Pozzi, senior advisor at ContactLab. He added that US department stores came out better on the digital touch points (especially Nordstrom and Saks) but they’re “average or lagging on physical touch points”.

“It should not be difficult for department stores to improve packaging, fillers, documentation and overall care in order to give a more luxury and less Amazon-like feeling to online customers,” Pozzi said. “Of course this requires focus on the problem, and for sure additional costs.”

The stores do rate highly on returns though, especially Nordstrom, which is unsurprising as multibrand retailers have a long tradition of liberal returns policies while luxury brands themselves are frequently very unforgiving if you change your mind. However, ContactLab said Burberry and Cartier top the returns service rankings.

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

Categories
e-commerce social media

Ralph Lauren knocks Michael Kors into second place in digital rankings

Ralph Lauren
Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren is top dog in the US when it comes to luxury brand website visits, according to the latest study from digital-marketing company PMX Agency and data-analytics firm Hitwise.

The pair measured website visits in the year to June, and Ralph Lauren overtook last year’s winner Michael Kors. Ralph Lauren had a 19.2% share (that’s nearly one in five visits) compared to 18.5% for Kors. The figures were arrived at by measuring website visits, social media interactions and brand searches.

With Coach in third place (12%), Louis Vuitton next (9.5%) and Gucci fifth (5.3%), it clearly doesn’t leave a lot of room for the other 75 brands the companies tracked. In fact they said that the top 10 brands accounted for almost 80% of the website visit share. The remaining top 10 brand include Chanel, Burberry, Hermès, Christian Louboutin and Versace, and as the number 10 spot only gives the Italian giant a 1.7% share it’s obvious that everyone else is trailing the big players at the top of the list by a huge margin.

Online interactions are largely driven by women of all ages, but among men, it’s the 34-to-44 age group that engages with these brands the most.

luxe-study-bloomberg-chart

Interestingly, even though luxury is seen as more of a physical store or at least a large screen experience, global luxury brands got more than half (52% actually) of their US web traffic from smartphones or tablets. Perhaps that’s part of the trend that sees social media driving 6.3% of the website traffic. While that’s still a surprisingly low number, luxury brand social media followers have risen 40% year-on-year and we’re likely to see more explosive growth over the next few years.

Consumers visited websites 185.2m times over the study period, which meant 11.2% fewer visits than a year earlier. That’s odd given how much luxury brand have upped their game when it comes to offering richer online experiences and better e-commerce features for those who want to buy online rather than tripping off to a destination city’s flagship store.

Of course, the fall also comes at a tough time for the luxury sector with global economic woes and currency exchange issues denting sales of luxury goods worldwide.

“The drop in online visits can be attributed, in part, to external factors like fluctuating exchange rates, uncertain economic outlooks across the globe and reduced travel due not only to financial concerns but also terrorism,” said Glenn Lalich, VP of research at PMX Agency.

“Also notable is that more luxury interactions may be occurring solely with social platforms on social applications – predominantly mobile – and not always reaching the traditional luxury brand website,” he added.

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

8 unique e-commerce sites you need to bookmark immediately

Bow & Drape
Bow & Drape

As with everything digital – noise is one of the greatest barriers to success. With more players in the space, comes increased difficulty around standing out. E-commerce business is no different.

Responsive mobile sites and extensive product detail – once considered special features – are now points of parity. Ideas like free shipping, blog content and wish lists are commonplace. With consumer expectations at an all-time high, going above and beyond is harder than ever too.

Today, landing the claim of “hidden gem” particularly is no small feat. Up against established names including Net-a-Porter and Zappos, through to Farfetch, Lyst, Zalando and more, start-ups and smaller players must increasingly find ways to differentiate themselves in order to get seen. After all, it’s not just about giving shoppers reasons to visit, but convincing them it’s worth hanging around long enough to spend too.

While the specifics vary, the bulk of the success stories can be summarised under three headings: exclusivity, editorial and user experience. Read on for a highlight of eight lesser-known or particularly unique names worth checking out:


1. Shop-GhostShopghost

For a curator of high-end designer pieces, Shop-Ghost does nothing like its competition. The website is quirky and drunk with dizzied content, but somehow, it works. Tumblr-style clustered graphics are met with fragmented thoughts in “blog posts” that suggest pieces to fit the mood. The website is not searchable, does not bother with filters and offers anything BUT a clean interface. The zine formatting even forces users off the site to make the actual purchase. This is the digital version of the cluttered shop that oozes cool and finds you fleeing with three bags in tow. www.shopghost.com


2. Bow & Drape

Bow & Drape

Bow & Drape finds its niche right at the cusp of where young Millennials match up with Gen Z. This pop culture hub plays right into its market, updating simple garments with customisable and glittered-emoji makeovers, finished with the catchphrase du jour. A shoppable Instagram section also sees a witty artful take on meme-manufacturing, keyed in on ‘90s nostalgia and modern trends. www.bowanddrape.com


3. Semaine

Semaine

Each week, Semaine focuses on a new tastemaker, allowing a completely shoppable behind-the-curtains reveal into their lives. Monday begins with a short film or profile of the individual in question, while each subsequent day then features another glance into their lives, ranging from their beauty regimes to the dust collectors on their bookshelves. www.semaine.com


4. The Iconic

The Iconic

If you’re in Australia – this name won’t be new to you. For everyone else, it’s worth knowing for the unique fashion glossary on offer – a categorisation feature every site should consider implementing. The fashion conscious shopper is able to use it as a tool to quickly navigate the expansive site offerings in search of their unique piece. The fashion newcomer, however, gets a complete education in images akin to a more accurate and completely shoppable Google Image search. www.theiconic.com.au


5. Brika

Brika

Brika is the perfect online destination for the shopper with DIY pipedreams, but lack of skills to deliver. Each day, a new artist is introduced on the homepage with their story and collection featured. In search of art, home décor, jewelry, accessories or even little knick-knacks for kids, this is the destination that breeds the perfect kitsch meets craft item. www.brika.com


6. Shoes of Prey

Shoes of Prey

For the love of shoes, a woman need look no further than Shoes of Prey, which enables users to customise every aspect of their footwear, from sole to zipper. What makes this a standout offering is the expansive colour selection and a complete 360-degree view of the final designs. www.shoesofprey.com


7. Of a Kind

Of a Kind

This one may already be on your list – if it’s not, it’s really time to bookmark it. An online concept store, it specialises in limited runs of items created especially for its website. The supply side of the operation comes from emerging designers, which further appeals to the quaint luxury of the setup. The special items are deemed “# of a kind”, letting the consumer know just how unique their buy is. Each item is also paired with a beautifully photographed story, similar pieces to curate a collection and non-exclusive add-ons that make the look. www.ofakind.com


8. Vide Dressing

Vide Dressing

The consignment model is completely revamped by Vide Dressing – the eBay of the pre-owned luxury fashion market. Sellers post their goods, get them checked over by a legal team for authenticity and then have 72 hours to ship to their buyer after purchase. The unique feature that sets Vide Dressing apart from competitors such as Vestiaire Collective is a money-back guarantee within 48 hours of product receipt. www.videdressing.co.uk

Categories
Blocks e-commerce social media

Charlotte Olympia opts for gamification in #spintowin Christmas campaign

charlotte olympia1

Footwear designer Charlotta Olympia is introducing a festive slot machine on its website during the first 12 days of December in a bid to drive new traffic to its online store.

Fans will be able to spin to win iconic pieces from the brand’s seasonal collection, including Glitter Kitty ?ats, Jingle Bell Dolly platforms, Holly Pandora clutch and Frosty pouch, as well as a flurry of classic styles like the Dolly platforms, Pandora clutch box, spiderweb earrings and more.

Spin to win

All they have to do is get three matching styles on the virtual machine over the course of three tries.

Bonnie Takhar, president of Charlotte Olympia, told WWD: “During a busy holiday season with a competitive retail landscape…brands are focused on new-customer acquisition. We wanted to ensure that this word-of-mouth campaign brings new customers to Charlotte Olympia.”

The campaign is being pushed via social media with a countdown bauble each day alongside the #spintowin hashtag.

Categories
e-commerce mobile social media technology

Digital snippets: Amazon, Burberry, Apple Watch, Bloomingdale’s, L’Oréal, Selfridges

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

applewatch_VogueChina

  • Amazon to open first brick-and-mortar site in New York [WSJ]
  • Burberry remains digital luxury leader, while Céline trails industry [BoF]
  • Apple Watch graces cover of Vogue China (as pictured) [Mashable]
  • Bloomingdale’s tests “smart” fitting rooms [Fortune]
  • BuzzFeed steps into e-commerce game with “buy now” button on L’Oréal post [WSJ]
  • Selfridges in £40 million website revamp [The Independent]
  • Spring app: what’s working – and what isn’t – six weeks in [Fashionista]
  • Gap’s new CEO is its digital guy, Art Peck [Business Week]
  • Why Dove is trying Snapchat for self-esteem effort [AdAge]
  • This is why Facebook was so aggressive about migrating users over to messenger: mobile payments [Fast Company]
  • Facebook and Twitter are making a push as social shopping destinations [Business Insider]
  • Retailers will win holidays with omnichannel [USA Today]
  • Apple Watch, smartwatches and the wearables fashion gap [The Guardian]
Categories
Comment Editor's pick fashmash

Fashion & Mash celebrates relaunch at all-new Google Glass Basecamp

IMG_1431

If you hadn’t yet noticed, Fashion & Mash relaunched this past week to a new responsive design, in a bid to truly surface the great content we do around the subjects of fashion and technology and that remaining tagline of “where designer meets digital…”

We’ve got a new logo, new layout, bigger pictures, simplified navigation and more. In fact the only thing that hasn’t changed is the content itself.

This site was founded in 2011 by Rachel Arthur – a British business journalist and senior editor at leading online fashion trade publication and trend forecaster WGSN – as a go-to place for easily digestible updates on digital strategy, social media marketing, the latest fashion film releases, who’s doing what on mobile, start-ups to know about and more.

You’ll now notice that very easily broken down across the top of the page into dedicated categories. You’ll also see the flow of content becoming increasingly rapid as more contributors come on board to help us out (drop us a line if you want to get involved!) Be sure to check out the search functionality too – this site now has an archive of over 700 articles tracking the evolution of the industry, from the early days of Ralph Lauren’s architectural mapping or Burberry’s Tweet Walk, to all things new in social commerce or the wearable tech world.

Alongside the website is an exclusive global network uniting pioneering minds from the fashion and tech space, known simply by its hashtag #fashmash. Meeting quarterly in various cities worldwide, the group is made up of heads of digital and social media from across the fashion industry, including designer brands, retailers and relevant technology companies. It’s run by Rachel and by Rosanna Falconer, head of digital at Matthew Williamson.

Last night marked our summer special event co-hosted by Google, with over 75 names from the industry meeting in the all-new Google Glass Basecamp in London (the store’s inaugural event no less). Check out some of the photos from the event below, as well as via the #fashmash hashtag across social. An enormous thank you goes out to Google for organising, to Danielle Copperman from Model Mange Tout for supplying us with deliciously healthy canapé treats, and to Rosanna for her now infamous #fashmash cakepops.

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