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“Twitter is planning to unveil its new video product in the next few weeks, according to sources familiar with the company’s plans. The feature, which will allow users to shoot, edit and post video directly through the app, is Twitter’s attempt to get more clips on the service — and more engagement. Right now, the only way for regular Twitter users (that is, not advertisers, or certain publishers and celebrities) to share video is to do so through Vine, Twitter’s standalone, six-second video app.”

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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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“Burberry followers can tweet requests for advice under the #BurberryGifts hashtag, which will be monitored by the fashion brand’s customer service staff 24 hours a day. They will then reply to individual users with personalised suggestions. It isn’t clear whether Burberry will respond publicly or via a direct message.”

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KENZO

Image source: tmagazine.tumblr.com

“Boredom is the biggest problem in fashion”, pronounced JW Anderson after his womenswear debut for heritage fashion house Loewe this week. It’s a sentiment reflected, for many onlookers, in fashion’s ongoing obsession with all things tech. From communication to (e)commerce, the designers who kept things fresh this fashion month were those who found a meaningful way to employ technologies in their show formats – here’s our pick of the best.

New York

Shopping looks straight from the catwalk – whether on the label’s own e-commerce site or through third party retailers – has been a FROW presence for a few seasons now. The problem, so far, has been getting enough people to watch the shows to make the necessary technical construction worthwhile. A live stream will never get the same dedicated ‘footfall’ of Instagram, for example. Exclusive to BCBG Max Azria and sister brand Hervé Leger this season was precisely that – an app called LiketoKnow:It, from Reward Style, that made Instagram shoppable. Once signed up, users could shop straight from the runway photos of various Instagram influencers.

London

Think London Fashion Week, think Burberry. Or should that be #burberry. The Brit stalwarts teamed up with Twitter for their Burberry Prorsum show for SS15, with the launch of the site’s click-to-buy button. The move allowed customers in the US to buy nail polish worn by the models in the show directly from a tweet. Long considered the zeitgeist in its embracing of tech, Burberry’s Twitter exclusive ensured its place at the head of the pack.

Paris

Kenzo’s hot-of-the-press SS15 show took place on the outskirts of Paris – in a skate park. Disgruntled editors in the suburbs aside, the show’s giant digital screens depicting talking avatars were equally eye-raising. “Kenzo would like to remind you that there is no Planet B, protect what is precious.” Humberto Leon and Carol Lim like to wear their ecological messages on their statement sweater sleeves; their cyber-aesthetic set design was PFW’s most brilliantly Instagrammable statement of intent. As Humberto told Susie Bubble after the show, “We’re definitely embracing technology and looking at what is our vision for the future – cleanliness, purity, the right energy and being responsible.”

Reported by Claire Healy

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“Commerce has been on Twitter’s roadmap for a while now, but on Monday morning the company announced on its blog that it has finally taken the plunge. The team has begun rolling out “buy” buttons in posts to a small group of users to test the waters, with just under 30 merchants signed on at the outset.”

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“Twitter has acquired image search startup Madbits for an undisclosed amount.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Madbits Twitter acquisition

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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“This news is the latest in a recent series of major monetization moves by Twitter, including a new “buy now” button for tweets, the acquisition of ad-tech company TapCommerce, the global launch of app-install ads, and the naming of a new chief financial officer, Anthony Noto.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Cardspring and Twitter
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“A new “Buy now” button appeared on multiple tweets Monday, all of which included products that link back to a shopping site called Fancy.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Twitter Buy Now
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“Shoppers who link their Amazon.com and Twitter accounts can add items to their Amazon carts by using the hashtag #AmazonCart. The move could help the e-retailer boost the tiny amount of traffic it receives from Twitter.”

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