WEEKLY INDUSTRY BRIEF: 12.29.2014

Hi there! This is my last weekly recap of 2014– crazy!  I hope everyone has a very happy and healthy 2015.

Below is a recap of news in fashion, retail, and technology over the last week. All sources can be found in the hyper-linked text after each headline:

Holiday:

  • Five retailers who nailed it this holiday season. Link
  • Amazon reveals holiday gift list, Elsa dolls number one. Link
  • Holiday selling spikes late in the game. Link
  • Amazon sorts itself out for holiday. Link
  • UPS and FedEx cap holiday deliveries amid late surge. Link
  • The best holiday sales growth in three years. Link
  • Retailers playing nice with after-Christmas returns. Link
  • It was a very mobile Christmas. Link

Retailer + Brand News:

  • Demand for L.L. Bean boots soar. Link
  • Urban Outfitters moving to super-size store in Chicago. Link
  • Inside eBay’s secret retail lab. Link
  • How Starbucks makes every store feel unique. Link
  • American Apparel investor says board withheld key information. Link
  • Wal-Mart and Macy’s strive for inventory optimization. Link
  • Wal-Mart tests gift card exchange program. Link
  • Delia’s store closings are happening and gift cards only valid through January. Link  
  • Google fights Marriott’s plan to block wi-fi hotspots. Link
  • Shoe customization gains traction. Link
  • ASOS ordering system crashes as shoppers seek bargains. Link

Social Media + Marketing:

  • Facebook’s popularity among teens dips again. Link
  • Pinterest will open promoted pins to all advertisers following success of beta program. Link
  • Ten most innovative digital ad products of 2014. Link
  • Brands that scored big in social media this year. Link
  • Beauty marketers spent 23% more on digital in 2014. Link
  • New sales channel – Shop Spot – will let you purchase a product directly from any media source. Link
  • Facebook must face lawsuit over scanning of users messages. Link
  • Twitter users experience log in problems due to authentication issue. Link
  • Netflix primes Tumblr service. Link

Start-ups:

  • eCommerce platform adds social good outcome to every purchase. Link
  • Crowd-funding startups are looking to refashion the business of fashion. Link
  • Xiaomi raises $1.1B at $45B valuation. Link

International:

[APAC]

  • China finally closes the ‘third party’ Gmail loophole. Link
  • India’s online retailers truly arrived in 2014. How much will they grow? Link
  • Japanese retailers gearing up for New Year’s sales. Link

[EU]

  • Russian shoppers want imports even after the Ruble’s fall. Link

Mobile, Tablet, + Wearables:

  • $30 smartphones are here and they’re getting better every day. Link
  • Dr. Pepper, Wal-Mart engage mobile shoppers ahead of college football playoffs. Link
  • Amazon sees nearly 60% of consumers shop for holidays on mobile. Link
  • The strategy behind Airbnb’s mobile web redesign. Link
  • Will 2015 be the experimentation year for mobile payments? Link
  • Why 2015 may be the year of multiple mobile apps on one screen. Link

Other:

  • LG partners with Mercedes-Benz to develop a system to power self-driving cars. Link
  • The Interview nets $15M in online sales during opening four days. Link
  • Understanding the Christmas attacks on xBox and PlayStation networks. Link
  • Amazon details new features for its collaboration tool. Link
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Weekly Industry Brief: 12.22.2014

Hi there! Below is a recap of news in fashion, retail, and technology over the last week. All sources can be found in the hyper-linked text after each headline:

Holiday:

  • Banana Republic offering same-day delivery for holiday. Link
  • Beacons pop up in stores ahead of holidays. Link
  • Why post-Christmas shopping may be up this year. Link
  • Holiday shipments seen at risk in U.S. port labor strife. Link
  • Christmas shopping becomes a big deal in Asia, Middle East. Link
  • Merchants work to draw in last-minute shoppers. Link
  • Online holiday shopping up 15% from last year. Link

Retailer + Brand News:

  • Google plans to enhance its shopping site with features that challenge Amazon. Link
  • Apple stops online sales in Russia over Ruble fluctuations. Link
  • Puma owner Kering said to have explored sports firm sale. Link
  • Apple stores are recruiting fashion/luxury experts ahead of Apple Watch debut. Link
  • Zara launches home store format. Link
  • Etsy links online marketplace to social commerce. Link
  • Staples says 1.16M credit cards compromised by hackers. Link
  • Net-a-porter buys My Wardrobe domain. Link
  • Rent-the-Runway raises $60M to open more stores. Link
  • Amazon launches ‘superfast’ deliver in NYC, with one and two-hour delivery options. Link
  • ASOS raises its free shipping minimum again. Link
  • Estee Lauder purchases Glamglow. Link
  • Amazon and the art of distribution. Link
  • Rihanna is the new creative director of Puma. Link
  • Fedex to buy product-return firm Genco in ecommerce push. Link

Social Media + Marketing:

  • Brandy Melville, Instagram’s first retail success. Link
  • Bethany Mota is 2014’s most Googled fashion designer, ahead of Kate Spade and Valentino. Link
  • Here are the brands whose follower counts were hit hardest in Instagram’s spam purge. Link
  • Google’s making it easier to figure out if online ads actually drive in-store traffic. Link
  • Instagram is now worth $35B. Link
  • Facebook caves to Russian censorship, blocks page supporting Putin critic. Link
  • The lesson of the Sony hack: we should all jump to the ‘erasable internet.’ Link
  • Paypal Global Strategy Chief jumps to Facebook. Link
  • Video ads are performing well on Facebook, but YouTube still accounts for more views. Link
  • Why does lifestyle branding sell more than luxury. Link
  • Top brand tweets of 2014. Link
  • Snapchat reportedly buys Google Glass-like startup, Vergence Labs. Link

Start-ups:

  • Food startup Hampton Creek raises $90M. Link
  • Clever raises $30M for ‘single login’ education-tech app. Link

International:

[APAC]

  • Inside Taiwanese retailers’ amped-up race to delivery your packages. Link
  • Who needs Amazon or Wal-Mart? China cuts out the middleman, buy direct from factory. Link
  • Advertising on smartphones embraced in China. Link
  • Alibaba was the most-searched IPO of 2014. Link
  • Burberry beauty box heads to Asia. Link
  • Wal-Mart bullish over Sam’s Club in China. Link

[CA]

  • Ikea to open string of smaller stores across Canada, primarily for ecommerce pick-ups. Link

[EU]

  • Europe’s internet use surges. Link

Mobile, Tablet, + Wearables:

  • Airbnb updates its mobile site with responsive design and larger images in search results. Link
  • Apple Pay claimed 1% of November’s digital payment dollars. Link
  • Messaging app Line’s first acquisition: music streaming service MixRadio. Link
  • Why retailers must succeed in introducing mobile payment systems. Link
  • Dozens more companies sign up for Apple Pay. Link
  • Samsung boots up its smart home division. Link
  • Facebook launches major speed improvements in Messenger app. Link
  • Blackberry turns back clock with classic QWERTY keyboard. Link
  • Samsung hopes to secure top spot on Internet of Things revolution. Link
  • T-Mobile allows subscribers to hold on to unused mobile data. Link
  • Samsung may be planning Apple Pay-like service. Link
  • How mobile is shifting shopping patterns. Link

Other:

  • Millennials choose to buy differently. Link
  • The most important web design trends for 2015. Link

Weekly Industry Brief 12.15.2014

Hi there! Below is a recap of news in fashion, retail, and technology over the last week. All sources can be found in the hyper-linked text after each headline:

Holiday:

  • Behind the holiday trend of self-gifting. Link
  • Best Buy offers free two-day shipping to lure holiday shoppers. Link
  • Retailers grapple with shifting holiday patterns. Link
  • Meet the secret army of meteorologists who keep your holiday deliveries on time. Link
  • Amazon drives more holiday web retail traffic than biggest TV ad spender. Link

Retailer + Brand News:

  • Amazon introduces “Make an Offer” option. Link
  • Gucci, Coach tie for top spot in L2 digital study. Link
  • Amazon launches Surprise!, a Facebook-powered app for sending personalized e-cards. Link
  • The buzziest beauty brands of 2014. Link
  • ASOS sales soar in the UK, not so much everywhere else. Link
  • In the next few weeks, U.S. retailers can add the Shop Now button to their pages. Link
  • Online retailer Frank & Oak opens Canadian flagship. Link
  • Digital kiosks fuse in-store and online shopping. Link
  • Gucci CEO and Creative Director step down. Link
  • H&M taps Olivia Wilde as conscious ambassador. Link
  • Nordstrom partnering with eBay for smart fitting rooms. Link
  • Marriott debuts hotel brand for millennials in New Orleans. Link
  • How Tommy Hilfiger had its biggest year ever. Link
  • Bloomingdale’s social shopping experiment, Zoomingdales. Link

Social Media + Marketing:

  • Instagram hits 300 Million users. Link
  • JC Penny has store shoppers surprise complete strangers with gifts. Link
  • The new co-op isn’t retail ad budgets, it’s audience data. Link
  • LinkedIn rolls out a simplified homepage with analytics and news feed front and center. Link
  • Polyvore reveals the most searched fashion brands. Link
  • The worst corporate tweets of 2014. Link
  • Lowe’s explores native tools on Vine and Instagram. Link
  • YouTube’s most popular ads of 2014. Link
  • The most discussed topics on Facebook in 2014. Link
  • Snapchat poaches start tech banker from Credit Suisse. Link
  • Facebook search can now find specific posts. Link
  • The most viral tweets of 2014. Link
  • Brands can now turn positive reviews into native ads and only pay when people share them. Link
  • How Hendrick’s gin has found creative ways to fluently speak to hard-to-reach hipsters. Link
  • Facebook dumps Bing, will introduce its own search tool. Link
  • Apple store online now accepts PayPal in US and UK. Link
  • Google Plus lets you define your own gender. Link
  • Under Armour is Ad Age’s marketer of the year. Link

Start-ups:

  • Tinder competitor Hinge raises $12M to bring its friends-of-friends dating app abroad. Link
  • Chef’d uses crowdfunding to roll out recipe-and-ingredient delivery service for gourmet meals. Link
  • Facebook’s Oculus buys two startups for virtual reality gestures, 3D. Link
  • Change.org raises $25 M from big names to go global and mobile. Link
  • Guy-oriented web content startup Woven Digital raises $18M in funding. Link

International:

[APAC]

  • India’s SnapDeal acquires Wishpicker to deliver better product recommendations. Link
  • Southeast Asia gets own online shopping festival. Link
  • Apple to open research site in Japan. Link
  • China’s Baidu set to partner with Uber and reportedly invest up to $600M. Link
  • Is Asia setting the trend on selfies? Link

[EU]

  • Google News shut down in Spain. Link
  • Amazon UK glitch sells thousands of products for a penny. Link

Mobile, Tablet, + Wearables:

  • Android Wear adds customizable faces to its smartwatches. Link
  • eBay draws inspiration from Pinterest for iPad commerce app. Link
  • Iowa is building the nation’s first smartphone driver’s license. Link
  • Shazam launches new version of mobile app. Link
  • Chicago and New York officials look to build Uber-like apps for taxis. Link
  • Invasion of wearable in the workforce. Link
  • Snap Fashion extends its visual search engine app into men’s clothing. Link
  • App detects when your friends are nearby and immediately silences your phone. Link
  • Hulu offers free streaming on Android over the holidays. Link
  • Whatsapp may be working on a web version of its popular messaging app. Link
  • Venmo lets users sign in using bank account log in. Link

Other:

  • 2015 technology trends to watch. Link
  • McDonald’s seeks help wooing millennials. Link
  • TV disruption on display as Netflix and Amazon go head-to-head at Golden Globes. Link
  • Analysts claim teens still prefer print books. Link

Weekly Industry Brief: 12.8.2014

Holiday:

  • Cyber Monday online sales rose 17% to $2B. Link
  • Targeting customers on mobile during holiday shopping season. Link
  • Walmart reports 70% of Thanksgiving traffic from mobile. Link
  • Walmart has record Cyber Monday as shoppers seek deals. Link
  • Target turns its stores into one big mobile game this holiday season. Link
  • Black Friday: Whose advertising made you spend? Link
  • Cyber Monday shoppers may want to check out these YouTube channels. Link
  • Cyber Monday, Green Monday and the impact worldwide. Link
  • Brands get creative with holiday pop-up stores. Link

Retailer + Brand News:

  • Amazon gets $5M from New York to being 500 jobs to Manhattan. Link
  • Starbucks, facing saturated market, looks to the high end. Link
  • Aeropostale to close 75 stores. Link
  • Amazon unveils its own line of diapers. Link
  • Khol’s online profitability less than half of that in stores. Link
  • Simon Malls and eBay partner for “connected” mall experience. Link
  • Smal retailers jump on the subscription bandwagon. Link
  • Bebe confirms payment card data breach. Link
  • Poshmark hits $100M in annual revenue for its fashion resell business, begins luxury goods authentication. Link
  • Amazon goes after Honest.com with Elements, a prime-only lineup of ethical home essentials. Link
  • eBay debuts “Innovators Collective,” a tech-focused section featuring new lifestyle products, electronics and more. Link
  • Intel teams with Luxottica to build the future of smart eyewear. Link
  • Gap’s sales go into a 3-month slide following ‘dress normal’ ad campaign failure. Link
  • Deb stores files for bankruptcy. Link
  • Retailers adjust as lines between in store and digital shopping blurs. Link
  • Unraveling Anthropologie’s intoxicating store experience. Link
  • American Eagle profits fell 63% this quarter. Link
  • You can now rent ugly holiday sweaters on Rent the Runway. Link

Social Media + Marketing:

  • Say Media buys out investors as it exits the media business and focuses on its publishing platform. Link
  • Facebook relaunches Slingshot as a Snapchat stories-style lifecasting app. Link
  • Connexity (formerly Shopzille) buys Become.com to grow its price comparison business. Link
  • Saavn partners with Twitter to bring tweet-powered radio to its streaming service. Link
  • Gangnam style has been viewed so many times it broke YouTube’s code. Link
  • Twitter improves tools for users to report harassment. Link
  • Google’s new target audience: kids. Link
  • Tumblr now has ‘buy,’ ‘pledge,’ and ‘get involved’ buttons. Link
  • Twitter copies Instagram with new adjustable photo filters. Link
  • Liberty London turns Instagram likes into loyalty perks. Link
  • REI’s great customer service hits the big screen. Link

Start-ups:

  • Uber confirms new $1.2B funding round at $40B valuation. Link
  • Shoes of Prey raises $5.5M for custom footwear. Link
  • Fit.me buys Clothes horse, consolidating the clothing-fit technology sector. Link
  • Stripe raises $70M. Link

International:

[APAC]

  • L’Occitane launches online shop on Alibaba’s Tmall site. Link
  • Tujia.com aims to be more than online vacation rental portal. Link

[AU]

  • Sephora launches in Sydney. Link

Mobile, Tablet, + Wearables:

  • How Starbucks will build on mobile order to launch delivery service in 2015. Link
  • Yahoo will pass Twitter in mobile ad revenue next year. Link
  • Six drivers of the $7B mobile internet. Link
  • App Annie now tracks user demographics, sentiment and more. Link
  • Line Pay, the new messaging app’s mobile payment service will make its global debut soon. Link
  • Square launches iOS app for food delivery service Caviar. Link
  • Uber hires a mobile team in Amsterdam to staff a new mobile dev shop in the city. Link
  • Starbucks brews iBeacon strategy to support premium coffee play. Link
  • Skype founder launches new messaging app, Wire. Link
  • The softer and more wearable future of wearables. Link

Other:

  • Comcast makes it more and more difficult to opt out of internet sharing. Link
  • Amazon has launched a GrubHub rival for food takeout and delivery. Link
  • Eye scanner may replace password logins. Link

Weekly Industry Brief: 12.1.2014

Happy Cyber Monday! Below is a recap of news in fashion, retail, and technology over the last week. All sources can be found in the hyper-linked text after each headline:

Holiday:

  • Black Friday ecommerce spending up 26%. Link
  • On Twitter, twice as many people talking about Black Friday this year. Link
  • Best Buy’s website down for about 90 minutes on Black Friday. Link
  • WalMart, Target report strong Thanksgiving Day traffic. Link
  • Kohl’s, Walmart, Apple see Black Friday social buzz. Link
  • Black Friday online sales up 8.5% over last year, 20% of sales from iOS. Link
  • Online sales set Black Friday record. Link
  • Yoox group posts record sales on Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Link
  • Macy’s previews Cyber Monday on Sunday. Link
  • Mobile role in holiday shopping expected to grow. Link
  • Net-a-porter sale crashes part of site. Link

Retailer + Brand News:

  • Ebay Now pulled from App Store as company rethinks same-day delivery plans. Link
  • Gap sets deal with Germany’s Zalando. Link
  • NY Subway riders can now shop on Amazon while underground. Link
  • How Target identifies the hottest retail tech 18 months before it’s cool. Link
  • Nordstrom partners with eBay for smarter fitting rooms. Link
  • Zady to open three airport pop-up shops for the holidays. Link
  • These robots are processing Amazon orders. Link
  • Milennials to fuel growth of sporty brands. Link
  • Urban Outfitters, Nicole Miller in Wanelo “buy” button launch. Link
  • Nasty Gal’s first brick-and-mortar store encourages selfies. Link

Social Media + Marketing:

  • Twitter now lets brands tweet deals to users with a new offer button. Link
  • American Girl pledges to give up to 1,000 dolls a day. Link
  • Facebook is intensifying its efforts to filter out status updates posted by businesses. Link
  • Twitter is tracking users’ installed apps for ad targeting. Link
  • Buzzfeed crosses $100M in revenue. Link
  • Twitter adds coupons to its commerce plans. Link
  • Vloggers paid for promotions urged to include clear labeling. Link
  • Twitter experiments with engagement stats directly in tweets. Link

Start-ups:

  • Anonymous messaging app Yik Yak said to raise $62M. Link
  • Parcel aims to end missed packages after hours. Link
  • Pop-up shop startup, Appear Here, raises $7.5M. Link

International:

[APAC]

  • Fitbit gears up for Asia expansion. Link
  • Lazada, Rocket Internet’s Amazon clone in Southeast Asia, raises $250M. Link

[EU]

  • Macy’s Black Friday arrives in the UK as American retailer unveils online shopping deals. Link
  • Wired and Buzzfeed give Germany a try. Link
  • Black Friday takes hold in UK. Link

[AU]

  • Amazon tipped to open Aussie warehouse. Link
  • H&M sister brand COS opens first Australian store. Link

[A/ME]

  • Jumia raises $150M for its African ecommerce business. Link

Mobile, Tablet, + Wearables:

  • Smartphones spur growth of Thanksgiving couch commerce. Link
  • Top 10 best Android fashion apps. Link
  • Xiaomi’s cheap smartphones make a splash in Indonesia. Link
  • Ralph Lauren introduces leather bag with internal LED and built-in USB charger. Link
  • Luxury watchmakers crack down on copycat Android Wear watch faces. Link
  • Neiman Marcus now in Apple Passbook. Link
  • Hammacher Schlemmer tests augmented reality catalog for holiday. Link

Other:

  • Girl Scouts to sell cookies online. Link