When it comes to global luxury groups, it can be hard to see past the endless sparring between the industry’s biggest players, KERING and LVMH. But with the burst of digital making its presence felt from East to West, the current marketplace is more open than you might think. Today, a number of newer groups are vying for attention – and, with some big acquisitions and unique strategy under their belts, 2015 could be the year you hear less from KERING and LVMH and more from some of the following names.
Do you shop at Zalando? The retailer sells branded shoes and clothing to 15 European countries, and is the continent’s largest online fashion retailer. After a well-documented struggle last year, the online powerhouse is back on top: just last month, it reported its first full-year profit, leading to a sale of 17.9 million shares that are now trading 13 percent higher than their listing price. The share sale will increase liquidity in the stock, and boost chances for the Berlin-based retailer to join Germany’s MDAX index. But what’s next for Amazon Fashion’s European cousin?
Two major trends stood out at this year’s South by Southwest, Engagement and Relevance and here’s the lowdown on how they will impact brands in 2015.
Topics: millenials, sxsw, e-commerce, tech, mobile, Innovation, mobile commerce, technology, omnichannel, fashion, retail, Weekly Stories, mcommerce, fashion tech, ecommerce, Online Shopping, Retailing
When you go to Eva Chen’s Instagram, you receive the usual riot of colour-coordinated #shoesies, brunches and CTAs to buy carefully arranged products that you’d expect from your favourite fashion bloggers. Except Eva Chen’s actually an editor-in-chief – heading up Lucky magazine for two years this June, the stylish editor and prolific social media poster has taken the magazine into a new era. The key shift, for many, is the introduction of Lucky Shops – the e-commerce platform that now forms part of the Lucky Group alongside the magazine. When the announcement was made last Autumn to spin off from Conde Nast and join forces with BeachMint for a heavy focus on e-commerce, trendwatchers were worried. With other traditional media companies having tried and failed at e-commerce, where does the marriage of commerce and publishing stand in 2015?
French beauty retailer Sephora is gunning to become a forerunner in digital beauty retailing with the launch of an innovation lab and four new digital initiatives.
Topics: e-commerce, mobile, Innovation, mobile commerce, technology, omnichannel, fashion, social media, retail, beauty, Weekly Stories, mcommerce, fashion tech, mobile apps, instagram, ecommerce, Online Shopping, Retailing
Decoded Fashion hits SXSW Interactive on March 13-17 – in the run-up, we’ll be posting content that gives you a sneak peek of what to expect: including panel sessions, special events and the return of our Mentorship Hub.
Topics: sxsw, e-commerce, wearable tech, wearables, Innovation, mobile commerce, apps, Wearable Technology, WearableTech, fashion, social media, retail, Weekly Stories, mcommerce, fashion tech, ecommerce, Retailing
“Excite the mind, and the hand will reach for the pocket.” So said Harry Gordon Selfridge, the famous founder of the eponymous London department store – the best in the world by popular vote. His own dedication to creating the best in-store experience for his customers demonstrated the kinds of innovative thinking that has been adopted by modern department stores ever since. Were he alive today, then, the originator of so many of our retail rules of thumb would certainly be making the most of new technologies – technologies which, in 2014, can enhance the retail experience beyond mere bricks & mortar. But with two weeks to go until the dedicated panel discussion on the subject at our NY summit, what exactly are the technologies that top retailers are embracing in a physical context today?
Recent months have seen a host of high and low-end brands placing hot-off-the-press technologies into the physical retail mix. Beacon technology is the one-to-get to know now – otherwise, the first you hear of it might be as a text alert on your next shopping trip. The technology implements imperceptible pieces of hardware around stores that can pinpoint the location of a consumer’s smartphone. This will allow the retailer to send offers and info to your mobile, with localised know-how. For example, if you pause (longingly) in front of some shoes, the store can send you a link to the latest reviews or info on stock levels. Remember Bluetooth? Us neither – but iBeacon works using a low-energy version of it, and shopping-savvy consumers can keep theirs on using their iPhones and Android phones for very little energy. One of the biggest proponents of this in-store technology, is, paradoxically, the oldest luxury, speciality-retail department store chain in the US: Lord & Taylor, whose investment in digital has seen a partnership rolled out with Beacon technology provider Swirl. Their SVP, Ryan Craver, will be sure to explain the company’s getting behind Beacons as he takes part in our panel discussion on November 18th.
What’s more, a truly successful in-store/on-line strategy might mean more than giving customers a truly personalised experience; as start-ups in the field are increasingly realising, the brands need more personalisation, too. That is, as start-ups target store retailers with their solutions for bespoke customer experience, the brands themselves continue to desire complete control and customisation over the shopping experience proposed by an app. Spring, launched in August of this year, is the much-hyped shopping app with a difference: going further than other tried-and-failed apps of the same genre, Spring integrates with retailer’s existing e-commerce systems to allow products to be purchased by users with a single swipe. Everything on Spring is shoppable, and it seamlessly integrates brand’s existing in-store environment into its Pinterest-style lifestyle shots. Co-founder Alan Tisch will be on hand to discuss the case for apps helping old-fashioned bricks & mortar thrive in years to come.
When it comes to implementing retail technologies today – in-store or at-home – the key is to accompany the customer every step of the way. With iBeacons, innovative apps, digitised SKUs (stock keeping units) and more secure payment methods, there have never been so many reasons to innovate.
Reported by Claire Healy
No one shops completely offline anymore. Even if you don’t buy online, the choices you make are affected by information that is available via online channels. A recent report from Custora took a look at how we prefer to go about online shopping. We pulled out some of their most interesting omnichannel findings:
We’re not social: People aren’t interested in ‘shopping with friends’ (at least not virtually!): social media drives the fewest conversions - by far. This is true for sales generated on desktops, tablets and mobile phones alike. We don’t visit Facebook to shop, just like we wouldn’t want a generic department store café to be the venue for our birthday party.
We won’t cross-device with everyone: Many of the survey interviewees admitted that they don’t like making first purchases via tablets or mobile - apparently, the majority of us are only comfortable shopping via these two channels if we are purchasing via brands or retailers that we have used before (and feel we can trust). It seems that desktops act as a ‘first base’ for subsequent shopping via other channels.
We take ‘risks’ on a whim: Mobiles generate much lower conversion rates than desktops or tablets do - even though mobile browsing has experienced a substantial increase over the past two years. The average order value of orders placed via mobile phones is also much lower than that of tablets and desktops. People are still getting acquainted with the idea of purchasing through small screens; we browse eagerly while on the move, but making purchases via our phones often feels risky or unintuitive.
It therefore seems somewhat illogical that email marketing is the second-largest driver of mobile conversions. In fact, people purchase via email click-through on their mobile more than they do on their tablets or desktops - impulse shopping at it’s best, despite our reluctance to shop via mobile!
Perhaps there’s a sequence to it:
1. We enter into a relationship with a retailer or brand by stepping on the first base, the desktop.
2. If we like what we get, we may sign up to their online communications and visit their site directly to shop. We may even decide to go further and make a purchase from our tablet.
3. When we are in a trusting relationship with the brand or retailer, we may just go to third base and buy one of their products on impulse, on-the-go on our mobiles, or when enticed by their email marketing.
3. If all goes well, we’ll continue to use different channels and hence become cross-device customers. According to the Custora report, the average customer lifetime value of cross-device shoppers is much higher than that of individuals who shop via just one channel. Homerun for the retailer!
So it seems that the winners are those who cultivate the relationship with their shoppers to such an extent that they turn them into cross-channel shoppers. The only obstacle is finding out who these shoppers are and collecting data about them - join us in Milan for more on ominchannel retail.
Reported by Anna Abrell