Weekly Industry Round Up: 8.25.2014

Top industry news from last week.  All sources can be found in the hyperlink after the headline:

Retailer News:

  • Nordstrom completes Trunk Club acquisition. Link
  • Office supply etailer Poppin raises another $17M in funding. Link
  • Home shopping site Wayfair files for IPO. Link
  • Thrillest: the newsletter that became a $100M men’s business. Link
  • How Tory Burch built a $1B brand so quickly. Link
  • Tom’s sells 50% stake to Bain Capital to fund sales growth. Link
  • ‘Athleisure’ trand booms as sweatpants leave the gym. Link
  • Retailers wait for shoppers to catch up. Link
  • Starbucks to test coffee-dispensing trucks at three colleges. Link
  • Why online retailers are turning to physical stores. Link
  • Ralph Lauren launches wearable tech apparel at the U.S. Open. Link
  • How Modcloth built a culture of tech experimentation. Link
  • Rocket Internet preps for IPO. Link
  • Zalando said to be on verge of IPO. Link
  • American Eagle comparable sales down. Link
  • Abercrombie & Fitch debuts its first collection featuring the color black. Link

Social Media + Marketing:

  • Tumblr partner will now scan photos for clues about brand affiliation. Link
  • Google makes it easier for advertisers to track which ads generate phone calls. Link
  • Apple’s ‘Misunderstood’ nabs 2014 Emmy for outstanding commercial. Link
  • What marketers can learn from the ALS ice bucket challenge. Link
  • Marketers are sizing up the millennials. Link
  • Amazon prepares online advertising program. Link
  • PacSun partners with StyleHaul for Back-to-School campaign. Link
  • Snapchat planning ‘discovery’ portal for news, ads. Link
  • Twitter will use Stripe to put the ‘Buy’ buttons in tweets. Link
  • Instagram adds tools for brands. Link

Start-ups:

  • How mixing fashion and data can make Rent the Runway tech’s next billion dollar star. Link
  • Website lets you name your price on high-end clothing. Link
  • Online delivery services still struggle to turn a profit. Link

International:

[APAC]

  • Gap to open 40 stores in India. Link
  • ASOS signs Digitas for China social media and digital marketing strategy. Link
  • India to be launch pad for Amazon’s plan to deliver packages using drones. Link
  • Amazon enters Shanghai free trade zone to boost China offering. Link
  • Baidu invests in artificial intelligence. Link
  • Victoria’s Secret in China expansion. Link
  • Western luxury goods go on sale in China. Link
  • Amazon expands its ‘Amazon Coins’ virtual currency to Japan & Australia. Link
  • New restrictions on online billing in India may impact international ecommerce companies. Link

[AU/NZ]

  • Australia’s Cotton On enters Brazil. Link
  • Surfstitch buys out majority holder Billabong, prepares potential IPO. Link
  • Zara opens tenth Australian store. Link

[EU]

  • H&M launches ecommerce in Spain. Link
  • Klarna, an online payment system popular in EU, eyes global expansion. Link
  • Groupon aims to shift from daily deals to retail marketplace in UK. Link

[CA]

  • Nordstrom bets on slow, cautious entry into Canada. Link
  • Elle Canada partners with Hudson’s Bay on ecommerce, video push. Link

[A/ME]

  • Blue Nile unveils Arabic language ecommerce site. Link

Mobile, Tablet, + Wearables:

  • Uber opens up API to integrate in other apps. Link
  • Gap focuses on mobile for fall campaign. Link
  • PayPal rolls out one-touch mobile checkout for apps. Link
  • Millennials say ‘Venmo Me’ to fuel mobile-payment surge. Link
  • Uber Corner Store turns the transit app into delivery service for daily staples. Link
  • Zappos boosts shoe sales with native integration in MapMyFitness app. Link
  • Talking on tablets: phablets on the rise in Asia. Link
  • Square expands its cash advance service. Link
  • Wireless location beacons are now the size of stickers. Link

Other:

  • Wells Fargo launches accelerator to promote innovation in financial services. Link
  • Vegas gets a vending machine for flat shoes. Link
  • UPS confirms security breach. Link
  • McDonald’s digital plans include music, mobile ordering. Link
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Weekly Industry Round Up: 8.18.2014

Top industry news from last week.  All sources can be found in the hyperlink after the headline:

Retailer News:

  • Urban Outfitters masters social by mimicking millennials’ behaviors. Link
  • Nordstrom stock drops after slow sales growth. Link
  • Editd tells retailers exactly what consumers want in real-time. Link
  • Etsy launches its wholesale platform for retailers, allowing independent boutiques to buy items from Etsy wholesalers. Link
  • Gilt Groupe co-founder takes aim at beauty business. Link
  • Weak retail sales point to slowdown in U.S. consumer spending. Link
  • Nordstrom launches charitable private-label brand. Link
  • Saks launches ecommerce activewear shop. Link
  • Amazon introduces credit card reader, taking on Square and PayPal. Link
  • Lucky Magazine merging with BeachMint. Link
  • The Kardashian’s launch jewelry line on ASOS. Link
  • Crew enters beauty with two scents. Link
  • Piperlime unveiled new website design and logo on Monday. Link
  • Steve Madden acquires Dolce Vita. Link
  • Nordstrom unveils price tag for Trunk Club: $350 Million. Link
  • The Grommet launches whole site. Link
  • Target to keep stores open later. Link
  • Online furniture king Wayfair files for IPO. Link
  • How Julep turned women’s self-blame into a hit new product. Link
  • Yahoo unveiled a new version of Yahoo Stores, aiming to boost revenues from ecommerce. Link
  • ASOS to sell erotic accessories range. Link
  • Matell to launch Barbie-inspired lines with Foever 21, Lord & Taylor, Wildfox this Fall. Link
  • ModCloth signs anti-Photoshop pledge. Link
  • Nike releases college-themed sneaker collection. Link

Social Media + Marketing:

  • More brands turning to Tweet-for-goodies campaigns. Link
  • Twitter adds video ads. Link
  • Twitter changes math on counting users who don’t see ads. Link
  • Old Navy’s tween web video push goes viral. Link
  • Facebook now tells whether mobile ads lead to desktop purchases. Link
  • Dell uses YouTube influencers to spread its back-to-school message to students. Link
  • Pinterest expands self-serve promoted pins platform to more businesses. Link
  • Groupon is adding 100 Snapchat followers a day. Link
  • Google buys Jetpac to give context to visual searches. Link
  • New Twitter experiment changes how favorites work. Link
  • Altuzarra for Target campaign plays up the Luxe factor. Link
  • Another look at LiketoKnowIt, the service making Instagram shoppable. Link

Start-ups:

  • Spring unveils Instagram-like shopping app. Link and Link
  • Into The Gloss heads into its next phase with a revamped team. Link
  • This app crawls the web to get you the best deal on almost any product. Link
  • Uber to test moving services in Atlanta and Nashville. Link
  • House Account makes independent boutiques shoppable via mobile. Link

International:

[APAC]

  • TopShop and Miss Selfridge to sell on China’s ShangPin. Link
  • Rakuten acquires online shopping service Slice. Link
  • Newegg now shipping to India and Singapore. Link
  • Meet Scoop Whoop, BuzzFeed’s fast-growing Indian clone. Link
  • Apple begins storing user data in China. Link
  • Ahead of Rocket Internet’s IPO, here are the numbers on its Southeast Asian ecommerce stores. Link
  • JD gets online shopping boost from WeChat, sees $10B in consumer sales in Q2. Link

[AU/NZ]

  • Forever 21 rumored to open first Australia store. Link
  • Global sports retailer Intersport springs into Australian market. Link
  • Sephora reveals the location of its first Australian store. Link

[EU]

  • Legendary UK menswear tailor sets up shop inside Bergdorf Goodman in the US. Link

[CA]

  • New head of Target Canada plots course for turnaround. Link

[A/ME]

  • Ikea to open Bahrain store. Link

[LATAM]

  • How Rocket Internet’s Dafiti is helping to shape the future of ecommerce in Latin America. Link

Mobile, Tablet, + Wearables:

  • OpenTable rolls out mobile payments in New York City. Link
  • Samsung acquires SmartThings, a fast-growing home automation startup. Link
  • eBags takes cues from Tinder for its ecommerce app. Link
  • Three trends that will make a difference in mobile payments. Link
  • Amazon’s Indian rival is proof that mobile shopping is taking over. Link
  • Apple’s sweet spot is the people who buy iPads and laptops together. Link
  • Amazon doubles the storage on its Kindle Paperwhite e-reader. Link
  • Carolina Herrera testing style app for luxury clients. Link

Other:

  • Starbucks’ secret to make every store feel unique. Link

Spring App – New Meaning for ‘Fast Fashion’

A new shopping app called Spring hit the market loudly this week.  Massive press coverage began right as the new app from Jello Labs appeared in the iTunes app store, with an impressive roster of sign-on partners including Alice + Olivia, Opening Ceremony, Warby Parker, Oscar de  la Renta, Levi’s and Nicole Miller.

The app lets users follow brands and designers, enabling a Instagram feed-like shopping experience from which customers can “like” products or check out right in the app without adding to a cart or going to another retailer’s site.  A more discovery-based experience is also enabled by browsing categories or shops not already followed.

From a user and design perspective the app is smooth…and for some maybe too smooth. Purchasing a $900 jacket becomes super easy, with a quick checkout process that includes an image-recognition credit card payment upload.

My take:  This app is definitely worth the download, even if just to get informed on all the buzz.  The app lives up to the hype of providing a new and innovative shopping experience, specifically in the luxury and designer market.  The fact that this new ecommerce experience started as app yet still maintains its high visual aesthetic really nails the market opportunity of mobile and ecommerce. It will be exciting to watch the app evolve, and perhaps to count the days for a curated brick-and-mortar experience complement to the business.

Check out some headlines from around the web:

Spring, Not Instagram, Unveils an Instagram with a Buy Button (Recode)

New Shopping App Spring Makes it Scary Easy to Buy Things with One Swipe (Business Insider)

Quick Purchases, Sleek Brands, No Social: How New App Spring Looks to Crack Mobile Shopping (Forbes)

This Shopping App Finally Makes the Mall Obsolete (Wired)

WEEKLY INDUSTRY ROUND UP: 8.11.2014

Top industry news from last week.  All sources can be found in the hyperlink after the headline:

Retailer News:

  • Amazon expands same day delivery to new markets. Link
  • Target’s latest designer partnership with Altuzarra. Link
  • Urban Outfitters said to be eyeing AU-based activewear company Lorna Jane. Link
  • Kenneth Cole’s fall campaign promotes social action. Link
  • Back to school: brick and mortar wins but discounts are key. Link
  • Urban Outfitters to open first Hawaii store on Black Friday. Link
  • New Jersey a launch pad for same day delivery. Link
  • Shift to online sales is prompting retailers to scale back more store openings. Link
  • Adidas to cut jobs, boost marketing spend. Link
  • Amazon favors brands like Burberry and Levi’s with “play to pay” strategy. Link
  • Banana Republic unveils new look under creative director Marissa Webb. Link
  • Dannijo to launch footwear. Link
  • Rent the Runway to launch first standalone store. Link
  • Ralph Lauren to launch Polo line for women. Link
  • Fossil to debut first-ever Men’s and Women’s fragrances. Link
  • NastyGal’s back to school lookbook. Link
  • Microsoft wants to make retail splash near Apple’s iconic 5th Avenue store. Link
  • Walmart redesigns website to better compete with Amazon. Link
  • Net-a-porter displays real-time sales in first outdoor media campaign. Link
  • New shopping website takes on local retailers. Link

Social Media + Marketing:

  • Twitter’s “payments and shipping” settings inside the Android app hint at ecommerce. Link
  • Google tests new music ads. Link
  • Wanelo tests in-app purchases to bid to be the Amazon for Millennials. Link
  • Google tests way to track consumers from mobile browsers to the apps they use. Link
  • Pinterest’s take on direct messages blows Twitter’s out of the water. Link
  • Twitter changes pricing model for advertisers. Link
  • Facebook bans incentivizing users to like pages. Link
  • For $100,000, GQ’s most elite readers will promote your brand. Link
  • Facebook Messenger privacy fears. Here’s what to know. Link

Start-ups:

  • Universal shopping cart Two Tap launches to compete in ecommerce with partners like Sephora and Free People. Link
  • Luxury consignment reseller Snobswap raises funds to bring brick-and-mortar shops online. Link
  • Sosh launches Concierge, the Uber of restaurant dining. Link
  • tt to raise funding for its social shopping app. Link
  • Buzzfeed closes $50M investment round to take its content beyond lists. Link
  • Vine competitor Groopie lets vloggers create TV-style shows together. Link
  • YouTube buys mobile video startup Directr. Link
  • Casper, an online mattress start-up raises $13.1M. Link
  • RocketInternet’s FoodPanda gets $60M in new funding. Link
  • Rally is an Etsy for sports fans. Link

International:

[APAC]

  • New breed of Singapore startups for men who hate to shop. Link
  • Amazon’s plan to invest in Indian market. Link
  • Six takeaways from Gap and Old Navy about brand building in China. Link
  • In Japan, Uber as travel agent. Link
  • Xiaomia tops Chinese smartphone market. Link
  • Ecommerce in China now takes up 10% of all retail. Link
  • China sales lift Coach. Link

[AU/NZ]

  • Uniqlo to open more Australian stores. Link

[EU]

  • Tesco to launch non-food social commerce platform. Link
  • UK internet usage highest in EU. Link

[CA]

  • Canada luxury shoppers gain U.S. chains’ favor. Link

Mobile, Tablet, + Wearables:

  • Apple to announce iPhone 6 on September 9th. Link
  • Simon expands iBeacon program to outfit more smart malls. Link
  • Epicurious teams up with Swirl for in-store beacon experience. Link
  • Vurb raises $8M to steal mobile search from Google. Link
  • Google to expand market share in wearable technology. Link
  • Foursquare now tracks users even when the app is closed. Link
  • PayPal uses music festivals to push mobile app. Link
  • After Whatsapp, now Facebook Messenger supports Android Wear. Link

Other:

  • General Electric wants to act like a startup. Link
  • ESPN adds Tilt’s group payment technology to fantasy football apps. Link
  • Why Fender’s interactive design team wireframes its site by hand. Link

Etsy Wholesale: The Growing Trend of Bringing Online Offline

As recorded in yesterday’s weekly industry round up, Etsy officially launched its wholesale business. Coming out of beta, the program enables small boutiques to purchase Etsy products to sell in their brick-and-mortar businesses.

According to Etsy’s official announcement post, if accepted into the program the makers (called “sellers”) pay a $100 fee at start followed by a 3.5% transaction fee paid to Etsy for all future purchase orders. For makers having trouble getting in front of the right independent shops, this is an amazing opportunity.  Etsy will essentially do all of the heavy lifting of marketing, PR, and tech systems that facilitate the order.  Similarly, small boutiques and shops can now easily find curated marketplace selections without having to attend trade shows or tirelessly search for that one gem that will delight customers.

My take:  First, the one thing the program doesn’t address (yet) is the big brand partnerships such as West Elm and Nordstrom. I’ve even seen Etsy products show up at Anthropologie stores.  I assume some iteration of this will become part of the program’s roadmap, if not its own program entirely.

Second, Etsy is joining the ranks of other successful online pureplays that are providing an offline experience (Birchbox, NastyGal, Warby Parker) as a complement to their core business. It speaks loudly to the current customer demand for tangible, IRL (in real life) experiences that engage more than just the sense of vision.  Online can (currently) only go so far and while pureplays have cried “old school” in the face of traditional retail, they are now returning to the basics of what it means to provide customers with more than just a transaction. This doesn’t mean throwing innovation in the garbage, it is just the same thing retailers had to do when customers went online: adapt or die.

Etsy is right to adapt.

Some coverage from around the web:

Etsy Launches ‘Etsy Wholesale,’ a Platform for Retailers (VentureBeat)

Etsy Wholesale Launches Out of Beta (Etsy Blog)

Etsy Wants to Get More Sellers’ Goods in Brick-and-Mortar Stores (Fashionista)

 

WEEKLY INDUSTRY ROUND UP: 8.4.2014

Top industry news from last week.  All sources can be found in the hyperlink after the headline:

Retailer News:

  • Zappos tests personal shopping assistant image recognition app. Link
  • PayPal’s “Bill Me Later” service becomes “PayPal Credit” as company expands credit products globally. Link
  • Lord & Taylor to test beacons in store. Link
  • Spanx stretches into new territory with jeans. Link
  • Online retailer Blue Nile to experiment with brick and mortar retail presence. Link
  • Diane Von Furstenburg to launch fashion jewelry line. Link
  • A guide to 11 Fashion Tech Labs, from Nordstrom, to Target, to Macy’s. Link
  • Gilt partners with HP on fashionable smartwatch. Link
  • Hollister’s first celebrity collaboration with Lucy Hale of Pretty Little Liars. Link
  • Patagonia releases new eco-friendly wetsuits. Link
  • Rue La La attracts Gilt Groupe for potential sale. Link
  • Converse x Missoni Chuck Taylor launching at Nordstrom. Link
  • Target names new CEO from outside the organization. Link
  • How Sephora plans to survive retail in a digital age. Link
  • Adidas virtual storefront concept uses interactive digital signage controlled with smartphones. Link
  • Uniqlo expands to MidWest. Link
  • Calvin Klein designs collection for Net-a-Porter. Link
  • WalMart continues small format expansion. Link
  • Ikea creates omnichannel shopping experience from favorite items in app. Link
  • Etsy set to launch wholesale business this week. Link
  • eBay to venture into online services. Link
  • Apple closes acquisition of Beats music. Link

Social Media + Marketing:

  • Coca Cola launches Tweet a Coke campaign. Link
  • Under Armour makes headlines with Misty Copeland ballerina ad. Link
  • Twitter buys image-search startup Madbits. Link
  • Instagram launches one-touch photo and video messaging app Bolt outside the US. Link
  • Google Shopping now features product ratings in ads. Link
  • Big brands are driving Twitter and Facebook’s mobile ad expansion. Link
  • Marc Jacobs’ fragrance installation asks shoppers to upload their dreams. Link
  • Facebook gives up on gifts. Link
  • Meet the first viral SnapChat stars. Link
  • Twitter testing easier-to-use hashtags. Link

Start-ups:

  • WalMart Labs acquires Luvocracy, a Pinterest-like marketplace for product recommendations. Link
  • BaubleBar raises $10M in new funding lead by Chris Burch’s Burch Creative Capital. Link
  • HelloWorld, an easier way to share your location with friends. Link
  • Hukkster online shopping tool shuts down. Link
  • Saffron Fix delivers Indian food ingredients and recipes. Link
  • Goodshop, the website that donates to your chosen nonprofit when you shop online launches iOS app. Link
  • Square said to be in talks to buy food delivery start up Caviar. Link
  • Groupon founder working on walking tour app. Link
  • AirBnB expands to business travel. Link

International:

  • Canada and Australia are top choice for cross-border ecommerce, followed by Japan and New Zealand. Link

[APAC]

  • Amazon to invest $2B in India. Link
  • Why China is “10 Years Ahead” of the world with social commerce. Link
  • Alibaba mulls investment in SnapChat. Link
  • US Retailers target Chinese shoppers with stores, products. Link
  • China’s malls add parks, playgrounds to attract big-spending parents. Link
  • Rakuten believes chat app Viber can completely cange its ecommerce business. Link

[AU/NZ]

  • Surfstitch in IPO talks. Link
  • The Iconic’s heavy mobile investment paying off. Link
  • New Zealand online shoppers spent $1.3B offshore. Link

[EU]

  • 3D printer company MakerBot opens EU office in Germany. Link
  • Zalando’s deal with TopShop. Link

[A/ME]

  • Rocket Internet’s Jumia goes deeper into Africa. Link
  • Facebook launches mobile app in Zambia with free Internet access. Link

Mobile, Tablet, + Wearables:

  • Android market share hits new record. Link
  • Hilton hotel rooms will soon unlock via iPhones. Link
  • Swatch to add personal fitness data to touch watch. Link
  • Starwood’s app-driven vision for the hotel of the future. Link
  • Buzzfeed to launch mobile app to be dedicated to serious news. Link
  • Best Buy CEO says tablets are crashing, has hope for PCs. Link
  • Square plans new chip-friendly credit card reader. Link
  • Mobile internet revenue to hit $700B in 4 years. Link
  • Polyvore launches new, simpler version of iPhone app. Link

Other:

  • New York Times runs a full-page medical marijuana ad for the first time ever. Link
  • Hotel gives guests virtual seeds to plant trees in fire-ravaged Chilean Patagonia. Link
  • At lunch with Michael Kors and Danny Meyer. Link