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
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