Decoded Fashion - Weekly Stories - Shoppable Content
Image source: odd pears

With Pinterest and Instagram set to roll out ‘buy’ buttons and shoppable video tech disrupting your YouTube transmissions, the question isn’t so much whether truly shoppable content is possible – it’s whether it’s a good choice for the future of your brand.

What’s the real conversion rate of this technology? While there’s convincing evidence of real ROI on certain shoppable content in use today, brands also need to consider whether consumers might want to keep their engagement with Pinterest and Instagram free from retail. At Decoded Fashion’s New York Summit, an expert panel will weigh in on the shoppable content debate – but for now, let’s take a look at the current state of play.

With fashionable consumers spending long periods of time browsing personally curated content on their Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr accounts, the reasons why brands would want to engage with those sites are obvious. The desire to make the world more shoppable has disrupted the world of video, with platforms like Wirewax allowing any brand to make interactive videos. No doubt attracted by an average click-through rate of 18.8%, Lacoste, Pepe Jeans and Coach are just some of the big names to have used the service. And if you’ve been dreaming of digitised wardrobes ever since Cher in Clueless got dressed for her school day, then you’ll appreciate the new trending smartphone tools for curated closet displays. Smartphone apps like Closetspace replace racks and hangers through geo-tagging and customised styling suggestions.

But there’s certainly a case against making anything shoppable just for the sake of it – by making it all about instant purchasing, you could risk reducing brand loyalty by putting off devotees. As a result, certain brands are pursuing an alternative kind of user engagement that taps into their tendency to browse for inspiration in a different way. After all, Pinterest and Instagram are about displaying a certain lifestyle that goes against the digital: vintage magazine scans, interiors inspiration and slow-cook recipes.

On Aesop’s website, for example, branded content doesn’t mean getting people to buy soap – instead, the company produces an online bi-monthly literary magazine, The Fabulist, which features fiction, non-fiction and interviews from emerging writers. It’s a tactic that takes a leaf out of Prada’s book: the brand’s global writing contest is in its third year, and its new Wes Anderson-designed café, Bar Luce, has been designed with Instagram suitability firmly in mind.

While shoppable content is here to stay, the world of branded content doesn’t need to end there. For some brands, conversion rates might be harder to track – but brand loyalty will stick like glue.

You can book your ticket to the NYC Summit here.

Reported by Claire Healy


“While it’s been less than three months since Eva Chen, Lucky magazine’s former editor in chief, confirmed she was departing the glossy, she already has a plush new gig. On Friday morning, the publishing industry veteran announced she will be joining Instagram as its head of fashion partnerships. “

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Instagram x Eva Chen

Decoded Fashion - Weekly Stories - YouTube Newswire
Image source: Google

YouTube’s new channel Newswire keeps viewers up to date on breaking news with a verified and curated stream of eyewitness videos. YouTube’s parent organisation Google has partnered with Storyful, a social news agency that verifies social content, to launch the project.

In recent months, both Twitter and Instagram have announced updates to their services that will give users more efficient access to news. Twitter’s Project Lightning will be a feed of curated stories from specific events that are drawing users’ attention, such as the Super Bowl or the Oscars. Similar to Snapchat’s Live Stories, which started in 2014, Twitter will try to process news more easily and allow users to keep on top of live global events as they unfold.

Likewise, Instagram recently added a whole new ‘search and explore’ feature, wherein trending tags highlight popular themes and events across the platform. Instagram has also added customised recommendations on who to follow, as well as an option to search by location, all of which help users discover content beyond their immediate interests.

Social media outlets are progressing beyond breaking news and surfacing trends through what their global users are sharing in their millions. Tighter curation and discovery tools such as these will enable them to engage in sustained events and news coverage by filtering the masses of information. In effect, the platforms are working towards being real-time current events networks with the power to hold users’ attention, rather than prompting them to seek more information elsewhere.

Guest post by Thomas Goulde


“More than 300 million people use Instagram. They share more than 70 million photos a day. But for most of us, those gigantic numbers don’t mean much: We live in our own little Instabubbles, where we only see images from people we’ve chosen to follow. And even if other people are sharing great stuff, there hasn’t been any obvious way to locate most of it.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Instagram

“Olapic, which helps brands boost sales with user-generated images from social media, has raised $15 million in new funding. Olapic aggregates images submitted by users on various social media channels such as Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily -  Olapic x Instagram

“If Instagram is the fashionista’s choice communication, (in case you’re wondering, yes it is), then Nike is towering head and shoulders above its stiletto-shod competition.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily -  Instagram

“It was only a matter of time before Instagram allowed advertisers to sell products through its app — long a source of frustration for fashion brands and retailers on the platform. On Tuesday, Instagram announced that it will begin testing a variety of new ad formats, allowing advertisers to sell products, solicit website sign-ups and prompt app downloads, all within Instagram.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily -  Instagram

H&M’s Coachella 2015 collection

Now a major marriage of music and fashion, the annual Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California – held over two consecutive weekends in April, 11/12 and 18/19 – renewed its reputation as a prime hotspot for retailers to seduce a relatively captive audience. Beyond the festival, too, retailers are remotely trading on the event’s buzz to boost sales before and during the festivities.

Pre-Event Momentum
US department store chain Nordstrom has launched an online and in-store temporary pop-in shop called Magic Hour selling festival-inspired goods including sunglasses, sandals, T-shirts and flasks. The product edit was curated by Nordstrom’s director of creative projects, Olivia Kim, who also commissioned an exclusive soundtrack, which is being streamed via the pop-up website. Luxury fashion e-tailer Net-a-Porter has also launched a Coachella hub collection of festival-ready items.

Anywhere Retailing
California-based fashion e-tailer Revolve Clothing is offering same-day shipping to the festival. Website and mobile orders (mobile sales now constitute approximately 15% of Revolve Clothing’s total turnover) made before noon are being delivered by vans to the site and the surrounding area.

Instagram Moments
Swedish fast-fashion retailer H&M, which is an official sponsor of the event, is hosting a tent equipped with a 360-degree mirrored selfie station for taking and sending the now-ubiquitous self-portraits via social media; an ‘aura camera’, billed as capturing the user’s aura colours (the electromagnetic fields that surround the human body); and the chance to try out Oculus virtual reality headsets – immersive gaming technology capable of virtually transporting users to other environments.

Three weeks before the event H&M also launched the first fashion collection to be officially co-branded with the festival, online and in stores globally.

French beauty retailer Sephora is hosting a do-it-yourself make-up bar with its private-label beauty brand, together with a vending machine that dispenses free products to people that post images to Instagram with the hashtag: #SephoraCoachella.

Mag-Tail Pop-Ups
Following a successful pop-up at the 2014 event, the US edition of Harper’s Bazaar magazine is hosting another ShopBAZAAR pop-up retail experience at Coachella. For the initial weekend US lifestyle website Popsugar is partnering with multi-brand e-commerce site ShopStyle for a three-day takeover of the Avalon Hotel (in neighbouring Palm Springs) to offer styling experiences with US designers Mara Hoffman and Cynthia Vincent, flower crown making, a braid bar, make-up station, and custom screen printings.

Guest post by Alison Gough, Editor & Katie Baron, Head of Retail


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.

First Heritage Brands Limited Paris

Headed up by Jean-Marc Loubier, First Heritage Brands is the investment arm of the Fung group which oversees shoemaker Robert Clergerie and luxury leather brand Delvaux. The aim, for the Hong Kong based Fung Group, was to invest in established European luxury houses in need of a boost – and, in tandem, to develop their international potential back home in China. First Heritage was behind the recently relaunched Sonia Rykiel, with its new artistic director and fresh look.

Cheil Industries Fashion Division Seoul

Seoul-based Cheil Industries might have a domestic focus, but that’s no reason to underestimate this leading investor. At the helm is Lee Seo-Hyun, the daughter of Samsung’s chairman and powerful, Parsons school-educated businesswoman in her own right. South Korean brands to watch under the Cheil umbrella include Juun J, Beanpole and 8 Seconds, while the recently acquired Italian crocodile handbag house Colombo Via Della Spiga demonstrates the group’s international ambitions.


Famous for its portfolio of iconic British luxury brands, Labelux was integrated into the JAB Holding Company in July 2014. Originally founded in 2007, the progressive group boasts well-known lifestyle brands rooted in leather goods and accessories – think Jimmy Choo, Bally, Belstaff and Zagliani.

Come May, Labelux Group Multichannel Director Harriet Williams and Bally’s Global eCommerce Director, Kirsty Garrish will be speaking at our London Summit about omnichannel strategy – to find out how seamlessly blur digital and retail, catch their talk on the 20th.


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?


While independent magazine publishing ostensibly booms, those traditionally at the top find it hard to compete in the global market. Just last week, Nylon Media Inc. announced that it was shutting down the U.S. print edition of its men’s magazine, Nylon Guys. According to statistics from MediaFinder, 190 new magazines launched in the US and Canada in 2014, but magazine closures were also on the up – 43 more magazines closed this year than last, bringing the total to 99.


One answer to the fashion magazine industry’s woes that’s been floated most often has been e-commerce. But not everyone has been as lucky as Eva Chen and her team’s social media-driven adventures in e-commerce – although, as it should be remembered, Lucky Shops is still in its early days. Condé Nast has been accused of reacting too slowly to the shifting landscape in their own industry, leaving them trailing behind. But their own e-commerce efforts will ramp up this year. Franck Zayan (formerly e-commerce director at Galeries Lafayette) is heading up a dedicated division at the media powerhouse, which is set to finally start selling products to its readers this year. Bridging commerce and content is something e-commerce companies have been doing for years – Net-a-Porter and ASOS, with their dedicated magazines, are of course primary examples – and it looks like the magazine industry’s biggest player is finally catching up.


Bolstered by the notion that consumers want their online commerce to be content-driven, the drive for e-commerce in publishing continues apace. Just this week, Condé Nast owned Glamour announced that it will begin some kind of e-commerce initiative this year – beginning first in the US and UK before branching out to all its international markets. It will be interesting to see whether consumers respond in the way that the editors at the top are hoping – which means, for Eva Chen and others, turning an Instagram like, or a turn of a magazine page, into an online purchase or two.

Written by: Claire Healy

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