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“Apple will debut its first boards on Pinterest today, a two-fold collaboration that also marks the latest iteration of the Rich Pin, or pins that include information like real-time pricing of a product, where to buy something or maps, addresses and phone numbers.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily -  Apple x Pinterest
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“Machine learning is all the rage these days, but it’s more than just a buzzword: Companies that smartly harness algorithmic intelligence in just the right way stand to make some serious money. That’s exactly what Pinterest is going for with its latest acquisition.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Pinterest

Decoded Fashion - Weekly Stories - Cosign
Image source: cosign.co

While 2014 saw every social network going integrate advertising into their design – notably, even Instagram and Snapchat users saw promoted content introduced into their daily browse – it seemed that the worlds of e-commerce and social networks still hadn’t fully hit it off. The year to come might just change all that, in 2015 the key for retailers will be striking the right balance between all channels- whilst engaging their audience, and hitting the right KPIs. Brands take heed, in this brave new world of social commerce, #hashtags just aren’t going to cut it.

One recent development that may prove a challenge to brands is Facebook’s policy change with regards brand visibility. The days when having a large following on your brand’s page was enough are long gone – instead, Facebook is encouraging brands to use its paid social ads, meaning that organic posts won’t be able to reach fans in the same way. In a tentative e-commerce push, Facebook and Twitter even began testing “buy” buttons this year (Decoded Fashion reported); Burberry was one of the first big-name brands to sign up to Twitter’s service, allowing users to buy products without leaving the Twitter platform at all.

The ones to watch may be image-based social media platforms such as Pinterest – combining scale and niche at the same time, the highly engaged, predominantly female audience should be where fashion brands look to bring their social spending. On Jan 1st, Pinterest announced that it would open its Promoted Pins advertising to all marketers. Brands such as Gap, and Target have already been experimenting with promoted pins. Through the ‘do-it-yourself’ advertising service, brands can bid to appear alongside search results and – key to the ‘pin-board’ aesthetic – within feeds dedicated to specific niche categories.

As Twitter and Pinterest’s advertising potential shows, harnessing user’s online beyond a mere ‘Like’ will be key to ROI in 2015. Indeed, some brands are creating their own micro platforms that, incorporating aspects of platforms such as Instagram, are spearheading social commerce on their own terms. The ASOS As Seen On Me gallery, for example, allows users to share photos on their usual social sites wearing ASOS products and tag them #asseenonme. ASOS’s stand-alone site then displays the user-generated images in a Pinterest-styled gallery, linking out to the relevant products for an ultra-quick sales conversion. You can also directly ‘shop the look’ on Topshop’s #topshopstyle platform- whether such a model works as well for luxury fashion brands is harder to tell.

Another way to incentivize social sharing that might gain a foothold in the luxury fashion world is to financially reward consumers for featuring and tagging products in social media posts. Companies such as CoSign (currently in Beta) and Stylebored allow users to accrue points for views and likes, which they can then cash in for gift cards, prizes or even a percentage of commission for sending a consumer directly to a retailer through their social network. Monetizing users’ social influence in this way might sound slightly terrifying – we’ve all got that ‘personally branded’ friend who has 3000+ Facebook friends, right? – But it could work well for mid-range designer fashion. Bloomingdales, Nordstrom and Swarovski have signed up to CoSign, while Donna Karan and Belstaff are betting on StyleBored. In what is looking more and more like a ‘pay-to-play’ social world, neat innovations such as these- are getting closer to the user’s organic posting practices than ever –suggest that this could play a huge part in social commerce success in 2015.

For more on social ROI, join us at Twitter’s London HQ for our first #DFMeetup of 2015.

Reported by Claire Healy

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“Pinterest is venturing into the editorial space, having launched last night a new collection of the company’s “favorite things,” which will be updated weekly. This collection, called Pin Picks, is aggregated under Pinterest’s official account at Pinterest.com/pinterest/pin-picks, and is built in conjunction with content partners, whose pins Pinterest features here.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Pin Picks
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“The new messaging feature is an extension of the Send a Pin feature, and it’s a long-overdue step in the direction of turning the site into a proper social network.”

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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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“The “do-it-yourself” Promoted Pins tool allows marketers to promote their pins and access more detailed analytics about how consumers interact with their content.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Pinterest
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“Last fall, Pinterest announced it would begin experimenting with advertisements on its service in the form of “Promoted Pins,” which would be featured placements from select retailers and other businesses. Today, the company says that it’s expanding on these earlier tests with the rollout of a paid test of Promoted Pins. These pins will only appear on the search and category feeds, says Pinterest.
A small number of brands from across different industries are participating at launch, including ABC Family, Banana Republic, Expedia, GAP, General Mills, Kraft, lululemon athletica, Nestle (select brands), Old Navy, Target, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts and Ziploc.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Pinterest

Benefit

1. Gucci brings museum experience to global audience with new website

Italian fashion label Gucci has created a digital hub for its bricks-and-mortar museum to expand the audience of its art and fashion displays.

2. Benefit Cosmetics Taskrabbit

Benefit and TaskRabbit are teaming up to cure your post-St Patrick’s Day Hangover.

3. How the Shopping Mail Died

What was once Americans’ favourite pastime is on its way to becoming a historic relic.

4. Sephora Picks Up Where Pinterest Left Off

Sephora’s user-generated pinboard “Beauty Board” went live today under the Inspire Me tab on the brand site. I

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