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Considering how much time we all spend on social media, it’s quite surprising that it’s our least favourite online channel to shop on. This might be to do with the fact that these channels are not fully optimised for in-site shopping -at least not yet. However, recently there’s been a flurry of news stories cropping up about imminent monetisation efforts of large social media channels – could this be the beginning of a social shopping era?

Google Plus found a remedy to this issue by offering shoppable Google Hangouts. This allowed Topman to make their January AW14 catwalk show shoppable (263 people watched), and ASOS to host a shoppable Nike Airmax hangout back in March (376 people watched). Yet the participation numbers are still relatively low, especially considering how large the customer base is for both Topman and ASOS.

Unlike Google Plus, Facebook do not offer a way of directly selling items via their platform – but we can expect this to change soon. Last week they announced that they will start offering merchants the option of adding a ‘buy’ button to their promotional newsfeed and page posts, meaning users can stay on the platform to make their purchases. Though the social media giant is currently not taking commissions on this, it could be expected that they may, particularly if the button becomes available for non-promotional posting.

Twitter seems to have gone to the greatest lengths in this space. They tested out ‘buy now’ buttons with the retailer Fancy (info about this here), and they launched an analytics services to help brands and retailers track the success of their promotional campaigns. Beyond this, they acquired the tablet and mobile retargeting startup TapCommerce, and are also to acquire the online payments startup CardSpring. Looks like they mean business!

Pinterest is still lagging somewhat, with their first step into shoppable social coming in the guise of a partnership with Shopify. All Shopify merchants can now pin ‘Rich Pins’ on to Pinterest, which syncs images and info on items to availability in the vendors’ store. It consequently makes shopping via Pinterest easier, and does other nifty things such as emails the person who ‘pinned’ a Rich Pin, if that item has been reduced in price.

Are social media channels finally cooking up a viable remedy to their monetisation issues, or are these acquisitions and partnerships merely a recipe for disaster? Only time will tell, once these technologies have been fully onboarded – but it sure looks like the process is on its way to being streamlined.

Reported by Anna Abrell

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“Novartis and Google Inc. are joining forces to work on a smart contact lens that monitors blood-sugar levels and corrects vision in a new way, the latest in a series of technology products designed to monitor body functions.”

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“2014 has been the year of wearables and with the UK launch of Google Glass and Amazon’s new Wearable Technology Store, the sector is maturing at a very rapid rate.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily

This week saw the launch of two pieces of wearable tech that we actually want to wear. The normal geek piece has gone from zero to hero in just a matter of days.

Decoded Fashion - News - Withings Activite Wearable Fitness Tracker

First up WithingsActivité, this health technology company launched a fitness tracker that looks just like an analog watch. Its aesthetics were designed by a team in Paris and it was manufactured using Swiss craftsmanship. At $390 USD a piece, it syncs with a smartphone app to monitor fitness activity during the day and sleep cycles during the night. Thanks to information it receives from the users’ phone, it will also always indicate the right time and time zone for ones’ location.

Decoded Fashion - News - Motorola Moto360 Smartwatch

Later in the week came Motorola’s Moto360, the first wearable that runs Android Wear and has a round display. Other Android Wear devices set to become available in early July are rectangular and still look more like one of those old-school Casio watches that would double-up as a calculator (more about them here). The Moto360 is undoubtedly the more covetable option. In terms of motivations behind its design, David Pierce revealed that “Motorola executives […] asked a bunch of children to draw a watch. They all drew round ones, so Motorola had its design.” According to the snazzy product site, we will be able to purchase one of these in a selection of styles this summer. Minuum have also already created a keyboard app for it.

Are the times of boxy wrist wearables coming to an end? Do we no longer need to out ourselves as fitness freaks or geeks by opting for one of these devices? Perhaps the iWatch debut, supposedly taking place in October, will shed more light on this. We’re also eager to see who will enter collaborations with fashion or luxury timepiece brands in this space.

Reported by Anna Abrell

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“Google Glass smartglasses are finally available in the UK for £1,000, two years after they were extravagantly launched by skydivers in the US.”

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Decoded Fashion - FashionTech Daily - Google Glass in the UK
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“Google launched a new initiative called Made With Code, aimed at getting young women excited about learning to code and close the gender gap in the tech industry. The idea behind it is to show young girls that the things they love, from apps on their smartphones to their favorite movies are made with code, and they can apply the skills they learn to their own individual passions.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Google Made With Code
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“Google released a new tool that alerts users if a nearby store carries an item they searched for. The announcement on the Google+ blog coincides with Google’s launch of same-day delivery in New York City and Los Angeles, showing the search king’s determination to capture a larger share of e-commerce. If the new development catches on, Google Now’s app will give retailers an opportunity to drive shoppers (or just passersby) to their brick-and-mortar stores.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Perfecto Mobile

 

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“A new feature lets a retailer take a shopper directly to a page within its mobile app, rather than to a page on a mobile web site. For now, it only works on Android phones, as Google knows which apps an Android user has installed. Google says it will add the service to other phones, although one expert says that could take a while.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily