Decoded Fashion - Weekly Stories - Technology Brands

Image source: Essential Journal

With consumers spending 89% of their time on media through mobile apps (source: Nielsen), the potential of mobile commerce has not been lost on fashion brands. The move towards shoppable Instagram posts and Pinterest pins, as well as commerce-capable social networks like Net-A-Porter’s The Net Set, are all recent examples of brands getting on board with mobile. But is the incentive to gain profit being pursued at the expense of other ways of earning customer loyalty? In these fast-moving times, certain start-ups and retailers have realised that just saying “thank you” can be as valuable to fashion fans as giving them easier ways to shop.

One app leading the charge is Thanx, a mobile app for iOS and Android that allows you to automatically earn rewards from your favourite retailers. This might be your local bakery or gardening centre – or, interestingly, local fashion retailers that might not have a definitive online presence. If you have a favourite designer boutique in your neighbourhood, for instance, but can’t wait until sale season, the app will allow you to accrue rewards towards purchases and let you know when and what you’ve earned. It will even inform you when you’re near a certain merchant that is signed up to Thanx. As one user puts it: “Amazing that I don’t need to jump through a bunch of hoops or fumble through my wallet.” This comment says much about the value of frictionless sharing in all aspects of customer experiences: not only on social promotions or in the process of checking out, but also with regards to giving something back to the consumer.

The “thank you” effect is spreading across other m-commerce apps, too. The Urban Outfitters app allows customers to become an Urban On insider, unlocking exclusive rewards and getting first access to sales, new collections and events. Harvey Nichols launched a new app last month, Rewards by Harvey Nichols, which promises to reward customers for every pound they spend – an unusual move for a store where pounds spent could regularly number in the thousands. The ideas are simple – not much different to a physical loyalty card – but the digital environment gives far greater scope for the kind of customisation that could make a customer feel like you’re saying thanks to them personally.

Reported by Claire Healy

Image source: www.businessdestinations.com/

Before setting up in New York and Milan in the autumn, Decoded Fashion is heading East – on 9 July, we will be partnering with Condé Nast Japan to host our first Tokyo Summit. Bringing together the biggest names in luxury, fashion and retail technology in Japan and from the UK and the US, the day will see brands, publishers and technology start-ups presenting their case for how fashion can engage with tomorrow’s consumer in a digital world.

With founders and execs from Google, the Business of Fashion, Farfetch and AllSaints due to attend, some of the industry’s most successful storytellers will be bringing key insights to Tokyo – but what about the home-grown talent in the city? In Tokyo, where investors have been cautious to get behind start-ups, the beginnings of a retail technology scene have been slow to get up and running. But the scene has gained serious momentum in 2015, with exciting trends from the technology world colliding with the needs of retailers and consumers alike.

Here’s our rundown of the top trends coming out of Japan right now – and, if you’re local, you can book tickets to the summit here.

Social Media as E-Commerce? Line Got There First

With news of Instagram and Pinterest’s plans to make their platforms shoppable hitting the radar this month, it might surprise you to know that a popular Japanese messaging app got there first.

Big in Japan, Thailand, Taiwan and other Asian countries, Line’s initial launches were commerce-led pilots such as flash sales and a consumer-to-consumer standalone marketplace app, Line Mall. Last summer, Line Shop was launched – a standalone app that connects bricks-and-mortar and online brands with users. Earlier this year, the chat app even moved into delivering groceries in Southeast Asia, promoting various deals for the delivery of online-to-offline goods via the messaging app.

Tying the various shopping pilots together, Line Pay is the app’s payment service, allowing users to make payments via the chat app itself – spearheading the trend that companies like Facebook and Snapchat are now experimenting with.

Isetan Department Store is Embracing the Apple Watch

Alongside high-end, trendsetting stores Colette Paris and London’s Dover Street Market, Tokyo’s Isetan department store was among the first to sell the Apple Watch in April – further confirming the tech giant’s new edge when it comes to luxury strategy. Isetan has gone one step further by building a store specifically for the watch on the ground floor, nestled between Cartier and women’s high-fashion clothing.

Elsewhere in Japan, mobile carrier SoftBank will also sell the Apple Watch through its stores – but for the luxury gold editions, the trend-setting Isetan is the retail destination of choice. Catch Isetan’s president and CEO Hiroshi Onishi in conversation with Imran Ahmed (Business of Fashion) at the Tokyo Summit, where they will discuss the changing face of retail today.

M-Commerce has a Tokyo Trailblazer

New start-ups in Tokyo are beginning to disrupt the status quo on the retail scene, and one m-commerce company has recently hit the headlines for receiving the equivalent of $13.3m in series B funding.

Origami, which has attracted more than 800 retailers to its platform since launching in April 2013, pioneers an online-to-offline model that allows retailers to bridge the digital and physical spaces of their shops. The mobile app allows users to follow retailers, receive updates on new items and, ultimately, purchase products in-app or in-store.

With new investment from SoftBank Group, the app will utilise the parent company’s CouponGATE technology, allowing retailers to distribute vouchers for product vouchers or discounts via physical voucher-issuing machines. Catch founder Yoshiki C. Yasui at the Tokyo Summit.

Meet Pepper the Robot

Also making an appearance at the Tokyo Summit, Pepper the Robot is Japan’s latest robotic star – except this one can be yours for 198,00 yen, or around £1,000. Developed by Softbank, it completely sold out in under a minute when it went on sale over the weekend. Why is everyone so excited? Pepper can detect human emotions such as anger, joy and sadness – check out our 4ft-high attendee for yourself at the summit next month.

Reported by Claire Healy

Decoded Fashion - News - Discovery Apps

Over the last year two distinct groups of fashion apps have emerged, and both use the element of discovery. Up first, the app that uses the intuitive ‘like’/dislike’ method and secondly, the image recognition app used to eliminate the need for semantic word searches. See if you’d like to get more closely acquainted with some of these:

Tinder-inspired browsing apps

Fashion startups have tried to leverage the intuitive game features of the hugely popular Tinder, whose concept was derived from ‘Hot or Not.’ The result: a new kind of product browsing and discovery experience.

Stylect: The self-proclaimed ‘Tinder for shoes.’ Users can browse through a wide array of shoes, having to decide whether they ‘like’ or ‘dislike’ the shoe before the next pair flashes up. Push notifications then indicate when ‘liked’ items go on sale (more about the app here).

Mallzee: This app also requires users to ‘accept or reject’ apparel. It then uses this information to construct a customer profile and recommend other items. A social voting system which only lets the user purchase an item if it is approved by their friends can also be put into place (read more about it here).

Moda Operandi app: The runway pre-order service makes it possible to ‘like’ or ‘dislike’ items straight off the runway. Push notifications then inform users if outfits they ‘liked’ become available for pre-order (read more about this here).

Visual discovery apps

Customers upload photographs of products they’ve seen, the app waves it’s “magic wand” using image recognition software to suggest an array of similar product.

Snap Fashion: Customers can upload an image of a piece of clothing and then browse similar items according to colour or brand. Partners include high street and luxury brands such as Forever21, Asos, Ted Baker and Net-A-Porter.

ASAP54: Again, users can take a picture of an item to find something similar. The visual search combs through over a million products from 150 different retailers. If the right item still isn’t found, a real-life in-house stylist can be called upon, who will then send five product suggestions within 24 hours (read more about the app here).

Style-Eyes: This app works with over 400 high street brands and retailers, allowing for the discovery of “real-girl budget” versions of designer pieces. Search results can be filtered by brand or price, and push notifications are sent when favourite pieces go on sale.

A challenge that all of these apps face is that different users have different motivations for using them. Whilst some want exact results, others might just be browsing; high accuracy may ruin the fun element of discovery. This leaves space for further diversification and specialisation.

As AKQA’s Ben Jones mentioned at Decoded Fashion London, “maybe [the key to success in mobile] is thinking about what people do on the phone, the context of what they’re doing on their phone and the context they are in when taking their phone out to access the brand; defining that experience in a completely different way.”

Reported by Anna Abrell


“L’Oréal digitally enhances its beauty offering with Makeup Genius, the brand new app that lets you virtually try before you buy.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - L'Oreal Makeup Mirror App

“Given Tinder’s viral success in the dating world, shopping apps are following suit with similar swipe to like app formats.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Tinder-like Shopping Apps

“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



“Since Tinder’s launch last October, a number of apps have begun to copy their swiping interface, so much so that other dating service companies have made arrangements to use the same technology. Moving your finger effortlessly across the screen to endorse or denounce a person, place, or thing has a seriously addictive quality to it. Developer Giacomo Summa felt that the addictive nature of that simple gesture was very similar to the way many women feel about shoes. Combining swipes with footwear, he created Stylect, a shoe-shopping app for the digital age.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Stylect


“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


“11% of U.K.retailers say more than half of their web sales in 2014 will occur on smartphones and tablets, according to a new survey by IMRG, a U.K. e-retail trade association. That’s a big jump from 4% last year.”

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Decoded Fashion Fashion Tech Daily


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