While mobile has become an increasingly popular tool for retailers — both as a marketing method and as a purchase platform (in-app payments rose 57% this year) — retailers have struggled to perfect their mobile experience.
A retailer’s aim should be to have a mobile app that is not only widely popular but also widely used. But that may be hard to track considering that almost two-thirds of smartphone users hang on to ones that they don’t touch.
For an entrepreneur who had recently struggled to impress investors without a new technology, Weiss was hitting upon something at once obvious and revolutionary. Her customers lived on social, and her products are visual by design, which meant that, with the right tools in place, sites like Instagram could become Glossier’s R&D lab and marketing platform. So first, she ensured that customers would feel heard on Instagram -- having her marketing, editorial and customer service teams take turns responding to all comments publicly or by direct message. (This still happens today.) And then, critically, the company began using Instagram to build mini focus groups and quickly create products based on what they learn. One post in February 2016, for example, asked followers what they wanted most in a heavy-duty moisturizer. More than 1,000 people responded; the company took that feedback and used it to build a product called Priming Moisturizer Rich, which it released in January.
Virtual reality companies have slowly been learning that just because you have a 360-degree camera, doesn’t mean the subject matter is interesting enough to use it. While visually dynamic environments like a protest or beautiful landscape may be a great place to step inside a 360 visual sphere, Google seems to have learned that people don’t really get anything out of watching an I/O keynote while wearing a VR headset.
The idea of mass customization was spearheaded by the sneaker industry — specifically, Nike, which started offering custom footwear to shoppers with the launch of NikeID in 2012. Adidas followed suit with the opening of its first robot-operated Speedfactory facility last year; its hope is the factories will “allow people to participate to some degree in the creation process,” James Carney, vp of global brand strategy, told Glossy in May.
Today, even Amazon has its sights set on custom fashion. In April, it was awarded a patent for an on-demand apparel manufacturing system able to facilitate five-day production of made-to-order styles, including dresses and shirts.
AI has been around for many years, but recent advancements have moved AI out of the realm of science fiction and made it a business imperative. The game changers: powerful new GPUs, dedicated hardware, new algorithms, and platforms for deep learning. These enable massive data inputs to be calculated quickly and made actionable, as technology powers new algorithms that dramatically increase the speed and depth of learning. In mere seconds, deep learning can reach across billions of data points with thousands of signals and dozens of layers.
The researchers have commercialized the product as Entrupy Inc., a startup founded by Ashlesh Sharma, an NYU doctoral graduate, Vidyuth Srinivasan and Professor Subramanian. You can even buy the product now and run a few dozen authentications per month.
The system is non-invasive and does not damage the merchandise. Because it uses a “dataset of three million images” you can assess a material almost instantly. It takes about 15 seconds to test a product and it can distinguish fabrics, leather, pills, shoes and toys. It can even tell if electronics are authentic.
Salesfloor's new messaging feature plays a similar role as online chat, but using SMS, which just about every mobile phone owner uses to some extent, and by integrating with major messaging platforms, Salesfloor could help its retailers support many more customers on a communications platform they likely use every day. And those connections could potentially occur much more often than website chat features.
As everything from once-mighty department stores to niche clothing chains announce plans to shutter hundreds of locations, and retailers file for bankruptcies at a record pace, builders are pouring growing sums into retail projects.
Across the country, construction spending on shopping centers topped $1.6 billion in June, the largest amount since 2008 and the Great Recession. Builders have been especially busy working on malls, spending $404 million in April. In nominal terms, that’s the second highest monthly total ever according to Census data, coming in behind July 2008.
Katherine Power, CEO Clique Media Group (CMG) (the media and commerce company behind the three popular websites: WhoWhatWear.com, Byrdie.com, and MyDomaine.com, as well as the omni-channel social content brand, Obsessee, joins Liz Bacelar (global expert in the intersection of fashion and technology) for this installment of TopTalk and an in-depth interview presented by Fashion Is Your Business at Shoptalk 2017 in Las Vegas.
The physical store will always have a place in the omni-channel ecosystem and that retailers can optimize this revenue channel while still focusing on e-commerce. Yet the look, size and function of the store will have to change. Retailers and brands will have to “rightsize” their physical store footprint and adopt in-store mobile technology to become more effective to serve and satisfy customer needs to drive loyalty and repeat purchase.