The Net Set
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“The doors are finally open; from today anybody can join Net-A-Porter.com’s social shopping network, The Net Set. A word of warning though: as model and the app’s ambassador, Poppy Delevingne cautions, it could be really bad news for your credit card.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily -  Poppy Delevingne x The Net Set

Decoded Fashion - Weekly Stories - Uber
Image source: Uber Rush

With a proposed $50bn valuation around the corner and rides in London alone growing at 5x to 6x per year, Uber’s position as the benchmark for creating real-life convenience from mobile technology has been firmly cemented. As the taxi service continues to expand at mind-boggling speed, other industries are looking for ways to Uber their own offerings. How can fashion retailers capitalise on the growing opportunities of the new convenience economy? This is one of the questions that panellists will work towards answering for audience members at our New York Summit this October.

Among those panellists will be Orkun Atik, the founder of a new start-up that promises to make personal shopping as smart as getting around the city. Currently in beta and invitation-only, Mona is an app that helps users find personalised real-time deals. A standout feature is ‘Mission’, which aims to emulate how individuals tend to shop in real life. Are you the kind of person who sets out onto the high street with a specific shopping goal? The app keeps you up to date on exactly what you’re looking for, so you can avoid rifling through the racks.

Mona is just one of a growing list of shopping apps that hope to meet consumers’ growing expectations for ultimate convenience through personalisation. Grabble emphasises the “hand-picked” nature of its shopping recommendations, as though you were shopping with a real stylist. Meanwhile, Net-A-Porter’s new social network The Net Set has a Shazam-like feature that recognises images – for instance, a photo of a dress you spotted someone wearing in a café and uploaded – and then matches the look to an item sold on its website. You can also upload your inspiration pictures – flowers, a beach scene – and the app will channel that into recommendations for clothes and accessories that fit the mood.

Let’s not forget Uber itself, which is making a play for the home delivery market with super-speedy service Uber Rush. Currently available in NYC, the service lets you request, track and confirm deliveries from A to B as easily as if you were requesting a car. While it’s not a direct target for the fashion retail market, it reflects the industry’s current battle for the quickest at-home delivery. Could next-day delivery soon be one-hour delivery? Matches and Net-A-Porter are currently leading the way, offering same-day delivery for their offerings. But with Amazon proposing its own slice of airspace for its high-speed aerial drone deliveries this week, the future of high-speed deliveries could play out in the skies rather than on the roads.

Registrations are now open for Decoded Fashion’s NYC Summit. Check out the full agenda here and reserve your place.

Reported by Claire Healy

In 2015, the gap between social networks and e-commerce is narrowing. Not content with likes, retweets and pins, some of the biggest social media players announced trials of ‘Buy It’ and ‘Shop Now’ buttons as part of the architecture of their platforms this week. Aiming to monetise your clicks with more immediacy than ever, Pinterest and Instagram are the first social networking platforms to put their money where their mouths are. Over at Google, according to Mashable, senior vice-president Omid Kordeastani has confirmed plans to introduce a “buy” button sometime in the future. So why are all your favourite social media platforms so keen to get you shopping – and why now?

Pinterest and Instagram’s natural affinity towards images of products – clothes, make-up, shoes – has led many to describe such photo-focused platforms as ‘shopping without the shopping’. Pinterest, for instance, with its pinboard element, is the modern-day version of circling fashion items in magazines with no intention of ever buying them. But if you could buy said item with just one click, perhaps you’d be more likely to. The move is also in these companies’ interests for other reasons. For Pinterest, the ‘Buy’ button offers a direct route to justifying its $11bn valuation; for Instagram, it’s a way to start bringing money in for parent company Facebook. What this means for external start-ups that have already started to fill the e-commerce gap on these platforms – such as LiketoKnowIt, which allows you to shop Instagram feeds – remains to be seen.

The trend towards social shopping among big social networks is on track to disrupt the power of existing e-commerce platforms. Not one to be left behind, however, Net-a-Porter has thrown its hat into the social networking ring. The Net Set, the first social shopping network from the designer label powerhouse, is currently available to test on a first come, first served basis. A one-stop high fashion shop with social networking elements thrown in, it features brand profiles, community interaction and, in a neat twist, replaces Twitter’s ‘Followers/Following’ dynamic by letting you ‘Admire’ others, or be ‘Admired’ yourself. If the app proves successful, we could see sites like FarFetch and Matches opening more social shops alongside their regular sites.

Overall, social shopping is a trend that doesn’t look to be going anywhere in the next few years. Whether social media users will take the bait remains to be seen – for some, efforts to monetise their browsing could prove too blatant to keep them loyal to the platform. On the other hand, apps like the Net Set, which inject social into the shopping experience of an already dedicated community, could prove more successful by adding utility and play to the e-commerce experience. Naturally, however, such apps will have less of a universal reach, and serve a more niche community where commerce is already the aim of the game.

Reported by Claire Healy