Image source: odd pears
On Wednesday’s evening, fashion and retail’s social-media savviest flocked to Twitter’s UK HQ for Decoded Fashion’s first London Meetup of the year. The topic of discussion was one surely to be at the forefront of many brand’s minds going into 2015: how can new technologies help brands turn content into cash? Well positioned to answer that question were the evening’s four speakers, who each offered their own insights as to how we can move beyond mere hashtags when it comes to making a return on digital investment (although, of course, there had to be a hashtag – check out #DFMeetUp for running commentary from our network). For those of you who couldn’t make it, here’s our highlights from the discussion: from #TwitterFashion, to deeplinking ads, to taggable video and shoppable Instagram.
So what kinds of technology can brands utilise to increase those sales? Online or offline, the trick is a melding of the digital and real world with no discernible difference – the customer’s journey is seamless at every point of contact (and, hopefully, every pay point). Shoppable videos, for example, are starting to gain traction as a more-than-viable way to convert browsers into shoppers. NY-based ‘touchable video’ specialists Cinematique reported an average 13% conversion rate earlier this year – a figure much higher than anything a banner ad could deliver. Wirewax’s taggable video work with Pepe Jeans, meanwhile, had 45% of users clicking an average of 3 times. The more brands engage with the technology, the more the tactic’s ROI can be proven – luxury brands like Gucci, who have already experimented in this area, might help kickstart the trend long-term.
Also bubbling under the digital strategies of fashion’s biggest players are augmented reality applications. Burberry was among the first to embrace AR back in 2011, celebrating its Beijing store opening with an AR catwalk show in which holographic models walked alongside real ones. But fast-forward to 2014, and branded phone apps are using layered realities to drive retail purchases in store. Plus, the universal cart – launched last year by London-based fashion site Lyst – is allowing users to buy luxury items all over the web, in one place. Spring, a new dedicated shopping app, also offers mobile users hundreds of brands at their fingertips.
Technologies like shoppable videos, in-store AR apps and universal carts work because they allow consumers to feel totally in charge of their own retail experience, all whilst increasing brand loyalty with their added ease and innovation. Our New York summit will play host to some of the industry’s most influential players in retail-oriented tech: speakers will include Alan Tisch, founder of Spring, along with a retail panel, headed up by Jared Schiffman (Perch Interactive) and Dan Garraway (Wirewax) focussing on the coolest tech – with the most tangible ROI – around.
Can’t wait that long? Our Milan summit is calling – a day dedicated to exploring the new possibilities of Omnichannel, on October 22nd.
Reported by Claire Healy