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business Editor's pick Events Retail technology

Everything you need to know from World Retail Congress

Retail’s ability to disrupt and update its strategies alongside a broader call for more sustainable practices were among the key topics at this year’s World Retail Congress in Amsterdam.

“High velocity retail” and “the future of retail” were the themes for the conference in 2019, with technological advancement standing out as a priority for retailers. “If you’re slow at picking up these nuances, these trends and things that are happening all around us all the time, you’re going to be a loser,” said Lord Stuart Rose, former chairman of British department store Marks and Spencer, now chair of online grocer Ocado.

There was also a conversation around slowing down, however, which tied into consumer expectations of purpose-driven brands. “I think the brands and retailers who will win will be the ones who can tap into meaning,” said philosopher Robert Rowland Smith.

Here’s everything else you need to know…

TOP STORIES
  • High velocity retail: Why the World Retail Congress 2019 was a breath of fresh air [Forbes]
  • Slower retail: Has the industry hit its speed limit? [FashionUnited]
  • Lord Rose: Death of the high street is “overblown” [Retail Gazette]
  • Amazon revealed as the world’s most valuable retail brand, but it shouldn’t rest on its laurels [Warc]
INNOVATION
  • Levi’s to allow shoppers to customize their own ‘greener’ jeans [FashionUnited]
  • Retail chiefs dismiss AI job threat, promise more training [Reuters]
  • Google launches tool to help retailers boost customer experience [Retail Week]
  • Walmart International CEO on data privacy, the failed Asda merger and leveling the playing field for women [FashionUnited]
RETAIL UPDATES
  • Zalando to expand delivery from stores to bag missed sales [Reuters]
  • Yoox Net-a-Porter to become one of the first to launch shoppable Instagram account [ChargedRetail]
  • JD.com exec Ling on the future of ‘boundless retail’ [Retail Week]
BUSINESS MODELS
  • Retailers should collaborate to survive: “You can’t do it alone” [CyclingIndustry]
  • Retailers say business model needs to change for them to remain relevant [Enterprise Times]
  • Millennials are driving growth in emerging subscription retail services [FootwearNews]
  • Superdry chairman urges boardrooms to hire young people amid online shift [Retail Gazette]

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. 

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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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data Editor's pick technology

Yoox to introduce AI-generated designs for new private label

Federico Marchetti of Yoox Net-a-Porter spoke at the Wired Smarter conference
WIRED Smarter

Yoox is due to introduce a new private label generated by data, according to Federico Marchetti, CEO of the Yoox Net-a-Porter Group.

Speaking on stage at the WIRED Smarter conference in London today, he said the collection – the name for which he declined to yet share – will be informed by artificial intelligence (AI), but still designed by the creative team.

“By using the data, we think the creative team can interpret better our customer needs going forward,” he explained. In other words, he sees AI as an opportunity to enhance humans in their design process.

That focus on man versus machine is at the very heart of business today, he argued – and especially luxury. The challenge is how to balance the two.

“Man is about emotions. It’s about beauty. It’s about feelings. The machine is about speed, information power and the future. Can these two worlds co-exist?” he asked. “We must make choices to strike the right balance.”

In the future, he imagines clothing labels such as “Made in Italy” will be replaced by “Made by Humans”. But he said that’s a choice for us to do so: “This is only going to get harder as technology accelerates – it’s not always the efficient choice to use humans, it will probably be easier to let a machine do everything in the future. It’s a choice to stop ourselves from allowing technology to replace what we truly value.”

The YNAP Group can already demonstrate a variety of examples where man and machine come together out of choice. Its logistics center is fully automated, for instance, apart from at the final point, which is where the box is put together and the bow is tied around it. “This intersection with the final customer needs to have the human touch,” Marchetti explained.

It’s the same for the e-commerce company’s personal shoppers, all of whom now have an AI tool to help them give advice to customers. This is a data-led system that learns tastes from stylists and then hands that information over to be scaled.

Yoox also isn’t the first to think about a data-generated collection. Companies like Stitch Fix in the US, have also been experimenting with collecting data from customers and feeding it through an algorithm to create new designs. The idea of “cognitive creativity” is also something the likes of IBM Watson has been playing with in partnership with a variety of brands including Tommy Hilfiger, Marchesa and Australian designer Jason Grech.

The new AI-generated line from Yoox will launch in a couple of weeks, Marchetti said.

UPDATE NOVEMBER 6, 2018: Yoox has announced the brand will be called 8 by Yoox, and consist of a collection of stylish essentials for women and men, powered by artificial intelligence alongside human designers. It launches on site today.

The team have used advanced AI tools to review content from across social media and online magazines in key markets with a particular focus on fashion influencers. This insight is combined with predictive indicators into emerging lifestyle and style trends, analysis of own data from products sold on its site, customer feedback, industry purchasing trends as well as text search and image recognition. The result is a dynamic mood board that allows the design team to tap into the pulse of the Yoox customer, providing inspiration before they start to conceive items for the collection including everything from shape trends to colours, sleeve lengths, neckline shapes, fabrics, textures, heel heights and price points.

8 by Yoox
8 by Yoox

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.

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

ICYMI: LVMH’s digital strategy, feathers in fashion, the McQueen documentary

Proenza Schouler
Proenza Schouler

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

TOP STORIES
  • Decoding LVMH’s digital strategy [BoF]
  • Is the use of feathers in fashion any more ethical than fur? [Fashionista]
  • The McQueen documentary tells the story of the people who carry his legacy [Vogue]
TECHNOLOGY
  • Why Nordstrom is betting on high-touch tech [Fortune]
  • Avery Dennison and SoftWear Automation to create digital supply chain for manufacturers [SupplyChainDigital]
SUSTAINABILITY
RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • How Sephora built a beauty empire to survive the retail apocalypse [CBInsights]
  • This is how a brick-and-mortar store can thrive in the age of Amazon [NYMag]
  • Urban Outfitters launches third-party marketplace, tests self-checkout [RetailDive]
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Nike sells out of Facebook Messenger sneaker drop in less than an hour [RetailDive]
  • Givenchy and Stella McCartney score on Instagram at Royal Wedding [WWD]
  • Victoria’s Secret is still advertising to women like it’s 1999 [Bloomberg]
  • Esprit’s Instagram posts are now shoppable [FashionUnited]
  • This Ikea print ad is designed to put you to sleep [CreativityOnline]
  • Do influencers need regulating? [BoF]
BUSINESS
  • Balenciaga is now the fastest-growing label at Kering? [Harper’s Bazaar]
  • LVMH invests $60 million into fashion platform Lyst [HypeBeast]
  • Richemont clinches takeover of Yoox Net-A-Porter [Reuters]
  • Can the Model Alliance Respect program make a difference? [Vogue]
Categories
data e-commerce Editor's pick Podcast Retail

Yoox Net-a-Porter on nailing the basics of e-commerce

TheCurrent's Rachel Arthur and Yoox Net-a-Porter's Paolo Mascio recording TheCurrent Innovators podcast - e-commerce
TheCurrent Innovators: Paolo Mascio with Rachel Arthur

There’s little point in looking at all of the innovation surrounding e-commerce today, if you don’t first have the basics in place, Paolo Mascio president of online flagships at Yoox Net-a-Porter Group, explains on the most recent episode of TheCurrent Innovators podcast.

“If you can’t get the fundamentals right, forget about artificial intelligence,” he says. “Really, execution is the key word. It’s very easy to mess up with your customers… A bad customer experience is even worse than not giving [them] an experience at all. It’s better not to open Russia or China if you can’t serve them in the proper way. Discontent spreads… which is setting the base for a failure in the future as well.”

Both Yoox and Net-a-Porter are businesses known for their innovative approaches to e-commerce – the former for supporting brands on running their own operations, and the latter for its first-rate customer experience. While together they’re focused on maintaining their market leading position, many of their partners and clients by comparison represent an industry still getting to grips with how to handle multichannel commerce.

Mascio references the shift to convenience, or of frictionless customer experiences in an omnichannel world, as the foundation of e-commerce expectations today. But it’s service, he says, that can be the key point of differentiation for brands – especially those in the luxury space – comparative to multi brand retailers.

Listen here: Apple Podcasts | Android | Google Play | Stitcher | RSS

Underneath that, what’s driving brand growth and loyalty today, is data, he notes. “Data is one of the fundamental things around which, not only our company, but the brands themselves are going to build their future.”

This is the big shift still taking place in luxury, he adds. “Most brands up to a few years ago thought they were all unique, now they’re all struggling to distinguish themselves in the digital space.”

“For decades the brands have built their success around their collections, around the designers’ names, and the designers’ abilities, around advertising, but they haven’t tracked down what the customer’s behavior was,” he explains, noting that today, it’s the customer that has the biggest voice.

Those who can understand their customer and use analytics to better serve them, are the ones who will win. On top of that, and only then, comes the next step forward, he explains. Personalization, for instance, is something Mascio is watching closely. Artificial intelligence (Yoox Net-a-Porter is working with IBM Watson), is going to be the facilitator that transforms how people shops for the very reason it enables the brand to manage customers on a one-to-one basis at scale, he says.

In terms of the user interface, another area he’s keeping an eye on, is that of voice technology. “I believe voice controlled systems [will] play quite a fundamental role in the future,” he says. “It will take time… but then there will be a need for a brand to evolve their interfaces, so that customers can use voice to search for products in a much easier way.”

Catch up with all of our episodes of TheCurrent Innovators here. The series is a weekly conversation with visionaries, executives and entrepreneurs. It’s backed by TheCurrent, a consultancy transforming how 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
data e-commerce Editor's pick mobile social media sustainability technology

2017: A designer meets digital year in review

Chanel's spacecraft at Paris Fashion Week (Image: Vogue Paris) - space technology - space race
Chanel’s spacecraft at Paris Fashion Week (Image: Vogue Paris)

It’s always interesting looking back at the most-read stories on the site for the year – a hugely indicative view on what the big subjects have been and the direction of travel accordingly for the industry.

This year – while we’ve been living a particularly tough time for retail, with multiple bankruptcies and ongoing store closures – the lens through which we report, has only been a positive one.

There’s been a big focus on sustainability for instance, from new bioengineered materials actually hitting at a commercial level, through to the role blockchain can play in enabling greater transparency.

Artificial intelligence has also been a particularly pertinent subject – ranging from the impact it’s having on personalisation, to the future of automated stores and the role of voice technology.

On the subject of the future, our ongoing fascination with space travel hit fever pitch this year too – as a society at large, and within the fashion industry itself once more – which was reflected in our long-read on the future branding opportunity that lies in spacesuits.

On top of that in our 10 most popular stories on Fashion & Mash this year was a look at augmented reality, the evolving view on the store of the future and the way in which Instagram Stories is being used.

Enjoy!

Categories
business data Editor's pick mobile technology

Yoox Net-a-Porter looks to the future of AI and mobile commerce with new tech hub in London

The new Yoox Net-a-Porter tech hub in White City, London
The new Yoox Net-a-Porter tech hub in White City, London

Federico Marchetti, CEO of Yoox Net-a-Porter, calls the group’s new tech hub in White City, west London, its “space shuttle”.

“This is our temple of innovation that’s going to take YNAP into the future,” he explained at the opening this morning.

The 70,000 sq ft space comes as part of an investment of more than €500m in technology and logistics across the group in a bid to double the size of the business by 2020. It houses all of YNAP’s UK tech teams under one roof – a total of 500 employees, in addition to the further 500 based in Bologna, Italy.

The big focus in terms of the work they’re doing today is around artificial intelligence (AI) and the next wave of mobile technologies, the team explained. Demonstrations at the opening for instance included an AI-enabled virtual personal stylist tool that could recommend items based on image recognition, personalised preferences and contextual data like location and weather forecast.

Another AI tool in the works can suggest different options for complete outfit looks – taking the professionally styled shots that the e-commerce sites currently show and providing unlimited variations of mix and match pieces for users alongside. This level of machine learning and neural networks learn as they go, making them only better for users over time, the team explained.

Alex Alexander, CIO at the company, referred to everything they’re doing as being about making the experience more personalised for shoppers. “We’re using our own data in a smarter and more detailed way in order to tailor the customer experience to every individual customer,” he explained.

Marchetti added: “What innovation means for us is not innovation for the sake of it, but innovation for the customer.”

On the mobile side however, that starts internally. Every employee at the company is being given an iPhone equipped with new apps designed in collaboration with Apple and IBM in a bid to enable them to think not only mobile-first, but eventually mobile-only.

“Our focus on mobile starts with our employees. If we don’t think mobile-first for them, how can we expect to get it right for our customers?” Alexander asked.

The tech team is therefore meeting with every department within the business to understand their mobile needs. The personal shopping team was on hand today, for instance, exploring how they can use mobile as an opportunity to spend more time with their top customers, known as EIPs (extremely important people). The idea is to give them greater tools and capabilities so they can scale their interactions. AI will inform that too.

Yoox Net-a-Porter is prioritising mobile
Yoox Net-a-Porter is prioritising mobile

From a customer perspective, some further examples for mobile include leaning heavily on Apple’s iOS 11 update, which is due to roll out in September (though is available in beta now). Centre to that is the camera, which will come with in-built augmented reality opportunities as well as a QR reader.

Users can use it to take pictures of outfits they like and through an AI algorithm using visual recognition, find similar options to purchase, for instance. Meanwhile, the team will also deploy QR codes in some of the windows of the physical stores it powers so that the looks on display (each tagged with RFID labels) can be brought up on the relevant e-commerce site for purchase immediately.

If the QR code still sounds like a questionable option, YNAP is convinced both by behavior witnessed from Chinese shoppers and Apple’s integration of the technology as a sure sign for the future.

The company also announced a new partnership today with Imperial College London, to support an initiative that teaches local children from underprivileged backgrounds the basics of coding. The project, named Imperial Codelab powered by Yoox Net-a-Porter, is particularly focusing on increasing the number of young girls who have access to such classes. “We know there are not enough women in tech and we want to help that for the future,” Marchetti noted.

This post first appeared on Forbes

Categories
e-commerce Editor's pick mobile social media

Yoox Net-a-Porter is pushing Whatsapp as a sales channel

Yoox Net-a-Porter is exploring Whatsapp as a mobile sales channel (Image via Net-a-Porter #MFW street style)
Yoox Net-a-Porter is exploring Whatsapp as a mobile sales channel (Image via Net-a-Porter #MFW street style)

Luxury e-commerce group Yoox Net-a-Porter is working on an initiative that will allow customers to buy products directly through Facebook-owned messaging service, Whatsapp.

The company already sees its personal shoppers using the app to communicate with its most valuable clients, and its plan is to expand that usage, according to CEO Federico Marchetti.

Some 40% of its higher-margin in-season revenue comes from just 2% of its customers, which it calls its EIPs, or extremely important people, he explained to Bloomberg. The company also knows its mobile shoppers place more than double the orders of desktop users.

“We’ve made some of our biggest sales to EIPs by chatting to them through WhatsApp,” Marchetti said.

Whatsapp currently has a reported 1.2 billion monthly active users, up from over 700 million in January 2015. It’s one of the most popular messaging service worldwide, but being a closed network, has not been an easy one for brands to utilise.

While the likes of Vogue launched a short-lived group chat (or broadcasting service) on the app in 2016, most other instances, including a campaign from Agent Provocateur for the holiday season, have been focused on individual communications.

Vogue started a short-lived Whatsapp group chat in 2016
Vogue started a short-lived Whatsapp group chat in 2016

This sits alongside the likes of WeChat in China by comparison, where payments are already integrated and many users have their bank accounts linked to the service. Luxury brands in this space are still new to the idea of selling directly, with just a fraction of them offering it according to research firm L2, but there’s scope there for uptake.

At this point, YNAP says it is still testing its plans for Whatsapp and has no scheduled release date. Marchetti declined to give details on how payments might work on the platform, but stored client details might be the simplest method without a significant technology development. In other words, manually ringing up e-commerce via existing accounts as an option following the clienteling side of the private personal shopper conversations on the app.

There are also learnings already out there from other businesses. In the US, Nordstrom for instance launched a service called TextStyle that allowed customer to buy directly from sales associates via messaging, simply by replying “buy” and entering a unique code. The purchase is completed using the customer’s Nordstrom.com account information.

Meanwhile, we’ve also started to see the move to e-commerce within platforms like Facebook Messenger off the back of the growth of chatbot services. The likes of Everlane, Sephora, Burberry and others have been using it as both a content-sharing and customer service tool. Payments are also possible, hinting at what could be rolled out to Whatsapp down the line.

That said, Everlane recently announced it is pulling back from using the platform as a notification option, returning instead to email. When the partnership first started in 2015, CEO Michael Preysman said: “Over time we think this will become a way to not only build stronger relationships with customers, but to ultimately drive demand and new purchases.” It looks like that may not have happened, Recode reports.

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

What you missed: Mobile 2.0, Raf Simons for Calvin Klein, plastic bottle fashion

What you missed - mobile 2.0, Raf Simons for Calvin Klein
Raf Simons’ debut for Calvin Klein

An absolute must-read this week (away from fashion specifically but heavily based around tech and consumer behaviour and therefore highly relevant to anyone in this space), is this view on “mobile 2.0” from Benedict Evans of Andreessen Horowitz. If there are a billion people with high-end smartphones now, what assumptions can we leave behind in terms of what that means, and what does the future look like accordingly? With AR and machine learning, it’s a pretty fascinating one.

Elsewhere, the latest news is of course geared to New York Fashion Week, with everything from Raf Simons’ successful debut for Calvin Klein and ongoing analysis of what exactly a see-now, buy-now model looks for those partaking. There’s also an update on new features from Pinterest and a big push from Instagram for its Live tool during the shows.


TOP STORIES
  • Benedict Evas on the Mobile 2.0 era [Ben-Evans]
  • Fashion shows adopted a see-now, buy-now model. Has it worked? [NY Times]
  • Raf Simons’ Calvin Klein debut is a hit on social media [Glossy]
  • Lone bidder Boohoo snags bankrupt Nasty Gal for $20m [Retail Dive]
  • H&M’s new Conscious Exclusive Collection turns discarded plastic into evening gowns with Bionic Yarn [Vogue]
  • What see now-buy now means for the production side of fashion [Apparel]

BUSINESS
  • Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent shine for Kering [Reuters]
  • Prada revenue falls again as house attempts to revamp [The Fashion Law]
  • Ethics controversy grows over Trump-Nordstrom spat [WWD]
  • Yoox Net-a-Porter on the downswing, FarFetch on the up [LeanLuxe]
  • Tiffany CEO Cumenal exits following sales slump [Retail Dive]
  • Sophisticated shoplifting gangs are costing US retailers $30 billion a year [Quartz]

SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Instagram Live makes fashion week debut [WWD]
  • Pinterest bets visual search can drive shoppers from inspiration to purchase [Internet Retailer]

MARKETING
  • Fendi just launched a new digital platform targeting millennials [Fashionista]
  • These five fashionable brands have mastered content that sells [Fast Company]
  • Barneys takes powerful stance on female equality, empowerment [Luxury Daily]
  • Adidas’ latest Y-3 fashion film is inspired by a futuristic dystopia [LS:N Global]
  • See Nike’s stirring ‘equality’ ad from the Grammys [AdAge]

RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • Should Amazon challenge Hudson’s Bay for Macy’s? [BoF]
  • New Neiman Marcus in Fort Worth built with tech and convenience layered on top of art and fashion [Dallas News]
  • Nifty app links with New York Couture Fashion Week [WWD]
  • Mon Purse CEO Lana Hopkins: “We’re treating Bloomingdale’s, Selfridges as marketing and branding opportunities” [LeanLuxe]

TECHNOLOGY
  • Why fashion brands should think more like tech companies [Fast Company]
  • Magic Leap’s patented an augmented reality price-checker [The Verge]
  • New York designer Ab[Screenwear] combines fashion with light-responsive holographic panels and operable touchscreens [BrandChannel]

START-UPS
  • Techstars Q&A: How start-ups can accelerate retail innovation [Retail Dive]
  • Rêve en Vert to launch £300,000 crowdfunding campaign [The Industry]
Categories
business data digital snippets e-commerce Editor's pick mobile social media Startups sustainability technology

What you missed: Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Zara’s data recipe, a chatbot deep-dive

Black Friday
Black Friday

This week’s news is of course dominated by the Black Friday weekend results. Online sales reached new highs in the US on Black Friday itself, up 21.6% year-on-year to $3.34bn. Unsurprisingly, mobile was a significant part of that growth, generating 36% of total digital sales, in a 33% rise from 2015, and 55% of all mobile shopping visits, according to Adobe. It was a similar story for Cyber Monday, with mobile generating 53% of online visits and 35% of sales.

In the UK, meanwhile, over 57% of traffic came from mobile devices on Black Friday rising to 75% at certain times of day. Overall online sales were only up 6.7% year-on-year however, yet footfall in stores was also up 2.8%, despite an expected 5% drop. “This demonstrates the fact that customers want a balance. Between online and physical shopping experiences, the high street isn’t as obsolete as some might think,” said Rupal Karia, managing director for retail and hospitality, UK and Ireland, at Fujitsu.

We’ve otherwise rounded up some of the best stories to read summarising everything that happened below. Also worth checking out from this week past is a deep-dive on Zara’s recipe for success, further updates on everything Instagram versus Snapchat, and an ultimate guide to chatbots.


BLACK FRIDAY / CYBER MONDAY UPDATE
  • Cyber Monday sales surge to record $3.45bn in the US [Retail Dive]
  • The US winners and losers of Black Friday 2016 [Retail Dive]
  • Black Friday online sales growth falls short in the UK but shop visits rise [Sky]
  • About 10 million more Americans shopped online than in stores over Black Friday weekend [Fortune]
  • How did Manhattan’s luxury stores fare on Black Friday? [Bloomberg]
  • Patagonia donated 100% of Black Friday sales to eco-causes [Ecouterre]
  • We might look back on 2016 as the year Black Friday hit an inflection point [LeanLuxe]

OTHER TOP STORIES
  • Zara’s recipe for success: more data, fewer bosses [Yahoo!]
  • Gap’s CEO missed the brand’s biggest problem when he called creative directors “false messiahs” [Quartz]
  • Email outpacing social media in e-commerce, stoking innovation [WWD]

BUSINESS
  • Yoox Net-A-Porter Group to launch in the Middle East [Fashionista]
  • Matchesfashion.com launches 90-minute delivery service in London [WWD]
  • Is e-commerce really better for the environment than traditional retail? [BoF]

SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Is Snapchat the next Facebook, or the next Twitter? [WWD]
  • Instagram is now letting users stream Live videos that disappear as soon as they end [Wired]
  • How this quirky clothing brand uses Snapchat to sell more shorts [Venture Beat]
  • Spyder using NFC to connect with customers through social media [WWD]

RETAIL
  • Missguided unveils first standalone store in Westfield Stratford [The Industry]

TECHNOLOGY
  • The ultimate guide to Chatbots: Why they’re disrupting UX and best practices for building [Medium]
  • Uniqlo is experimenting with MindMeld’s ‘smarter bots’ on Facebook [Engadget]
  • These new adidas shoes are made from lab-grown spider silk [Motherboard]
  • Scientists have created a solar-powered fabric that would let you charge your phone with your jacket [Quartz]
  • Soon you can scan a garment’s label to find out how sustainable it is [NY Observer]

START-UPS
  • How Stitch Fix blends AI and human expertise [HBR]