mobile apps

applewatch

As most schoolchildren are told from a young age, A stands for Apple; April, on the other hand, surely stands for the Apple Watch. The industry’s most hotly-anticipated wearable has been preceded by months of speculation – could it sell as well as the iPad on its launch? Will it provide a natural fit for fashion editorials? Now, on the eve of its launch, keen industry-watchers are looking to Baselworld (the watch industry’s international trade fair) for possible rivals. There, a crop of new announcements are proving themselves worthy contenders to the smart watch throne – one which, as we should remind ourselves, Apple hasn’t ascended to quite yet.

 

Coming from the other side of the bridge where technology meets luxury fashion, TAG Heuer have announced their plans this week to release a smart watch by this Christmas. In a significant move against Apple’s projected domination, the first smart watch from the world-famous Swiss watch brand will run on Google’s Android operating system – on a processor, moreover, created by keen wearables power player Intel. You’ll have to wait to find out more, though. At the Baselworld conference, chief executive Jean-Claude Biver told the crowd, “We don’t want the competition to know what we are going to do.”

 

Never easily dismissed, the irrepressible musician-turned-technologist will.i.am also announced a new partnership at Baselworld. KERING-owned Gucci, which recently changed hands from the Gianninis to Alessandro Michele, will also bring its timepieces into a new era through a collaboration with willi.i.am’s range of wearables.

 

For those of you still convinced that Apple’s the only brand that will get you telling the time more smartly, there’s not long to wait: the official release date is slated for UK stores on 24 April, but you’ll be able to order from the 10th. But if Baselworld is anything to go by, the smartwatch marketplace is about to get very interesting.

Writer: Claire Healy

sephora

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.

Billed as an incubation hub for the ideation, development and testing of new digital initiatives, the lab – based in a San Francisco warehouse – will also host a monthly internal Think Tank team, charged with grooming the next generation of Sephora digital leaders, and predicting the shopping landscape five years from now. Additionally, it will house ‘Idea Central’ – a programme that sources and delivers ideas from employees, regardless of rank or role.

To coincide with the launch, Sephora has also prepared a number of key digital initiatives:

  • Devised in collaboration with New York-based, cross-platform beauty app Map My Beauty, Pocket Contour is a virtual make-up artist application for contouring. The app identifies face shapes and provides a personalised, step-by-step guide on how to create a contoured look. The tool can be accessed via Sephora’s website (on mobiles) or the app.
  • In April 2015, it will launch its first augmented reality (AR) experience via its existing Sephora-to-Go mobile app for iPhones. Users will be able to unlock digital content – including interviews with beauty experts, product videos and product pages on Sephora.com – by hovering over the faces of nine beauty brand founders, including US-based Laura Mercier, which are featured in windows and in-store display cases.
  • Bluetooth beacons are to be rolled out in Sephora stores across the US, delivering personalised alerts to the mobile devices of customers who have opted in to the service (see Sales-Boosting Beacons for more on how this works). When shoppers are either in or close to a branch, they can be notified when new demonstrations or activities are happening in-store, and receive birthday alerts or loyalty programme updates.
  • Lastly, frequent shoppers can sign up for Flash, which grants two-day shipping on all online products ordered within the US. The service is free for Rouge Beauty Insider members (the top tier of Sephora’s three-tier loyalty rewards programme), or $10 per year for all non-members

Guest post Stylus.com by Alison Gough, EditorKatie Baron, Head of Retail

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“According to their CEO Rich Riley, Shazam matches 20 million songs a day and it is doing that faster than ever before. The app accounts for 7-10 percent of online sales and their data is also a strong predictor of what will be on Billboard charts three weeks in advance.”

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“Neiman Marcus teamed up with the mobile strategy firm BestFit Mobile to build its location-based messaging campaign using the company’s ProxDK proximity platform.”

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“Gleam, a fashion consumer app startup on iOS and Android that acts a discovery tool for new fashion and links to shops, has now launched a back-end B2B platform. Gleam raised a seed investment round of €940,000 from Faber Investments and Portugal Ventures in July last year.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Gleam
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“Hermès today is launching a mobile app for its tie enthusiasts, Tie Break, targeting a man on the go.”

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“Partnering with a co-owner of specialty retail chain American Rag Cie and a former president of Gemstar-TV Guide Interactive, the actress is launching an app called Style Thief that lets people snap a photo, do an image search for a fashion item and buy it through a couple of clicks. Touting the tag line of “Snap & Steal,” the app is tapping into the popularity of street style, as well as the addictive habit of taking photos on phones and the growing importance of mobile commerce.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Kate Bosworth Style Thief
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“Hair and makeup services at the push of a button; this may literally be a dream come true for some women. And what better city to launch in than the city where everyone is constantly busy, but there is also a high standard to look great all the time? After being up and running for six months in New York, this service is getting ready to expand, first to Los Angeles, and then onto other regions nationwide.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Glam Squad

Decoded Fashion - News - beacons

Just last month, it was announced that 100 stores on Regent Street in London have already implemented beacon technology. If used in the right way, beacon technology can serve to create a brick-and-mortar shopping experience optimised for today’s omnichannel consumers. It makes indoor navigation, automatic store check-ins, contactless payments and location-based marketing possible. It also allows for more accurate collection of visitor information.

But what is ‘the right way’? Like any hardware, beacons need to be used in conjunction with the right software. After all, a ship won’t sail if the sails aren’t set right. It’s not difficult to decide whether to invest in beacon hardware –but it is hard to decide how to use it.

Several startups have appeared on the scene, with a focus on the use of beacon technology. Here’s a rundown of some of the biggest players:

Bealder: Based in Paris, Bealder sell their own beacons with a platform that allows remote management. They also provide resources needed for integrating the beacon software into an already-existing app (API, SDK and documentation). Alternatively, the retailer can use the startup’s HappyBeacon app, or have Bealder develop an app for them. The HappyBeacon app was showcased at our first Paris Meetup back in March.

Swirl: This is an ‘end-to-end iBeacon Marketing Platform.’ They have trademarked their so-called SecureCast beacons, and they also offer a cloud-based service for beacon-based marketing campaigns and a mobile SDK. Fashion retailers such as Timberland and Kenneth Cole have onboarded.

Upnext: This startup’s offer includes beacon hardware, a platform, a mobile wallet solution and bespoke app development with ‘continuous support.’ The founder, Marley Fabisiewicz, will be speaking at our Berlin DFMeetup today.

Tagpoints: This Brighton-based startup doesn’t provide any hardware, but they have an extensive software and service offering: app development or integration (or alternatively retailers can use the TagPoints App), a cloud marketing platform and Tag Target, a tool to engage with customers in real-time (more info here).

Estimote: Founded in 2012, this startup offers beacon hardware which they refer to as ‘mote’s. Retailers are given a code snippet for each mote, which they can then integrate into their app to enable in-store navigation.

Want to know more about the ins and outs of beacon technology? Check out today’s Berlin Meetup at the Premium Trade Show, more info here.

Reported by Anna Abrell

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“The RealReal has a new app that’s like a Kelley Blue Book-type service for high-end products. Customers can shop from thousands of items, and can also use it to find the market value for a designer piece lurking in the back of their closet.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - TheRealReal
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