Weekly Industry Brief: 7.25.2016

I guess everyone’s busy launching BTS and closing out their quarter because I’d say it was a relatively quiet week in the industry. Unless you are Dollar Shave Club. Or Yahoo. Sources can be found in the hyperlinked text after the headline.

Brand/Retailer:

  • Unilever buys Dollar Shave Club. Link
  • WalMart beefs up online assortment with new sellers. Link
  • eBay is planning to totally overhaul its marketplace. Link
  • Birkenstock to stop selling on Amazon. Link
  • The reason Urban Outfitters bought a pizza chain. Link
  • LVMH sells Donna Karen for $650M. Link
  • Chanel buys four companies to secure high-end silk supplies. Link
  • Verizon announces $4.8B deal to buy Yahoo’s internet business. Link
  • How Eileen Fisher and the CFDA are propelling the next generation toward a more sustainable future. Link
  • Aeropostale and Sycamore Partners headed to trial. Link

Marketing/Social:

  • Birchbox tests Snapchat for customer service. Link
  • P&G starts online subscription service for Tide pods. Link
  • How sponsored content is becoming king in the Facebook world. Link
  • Sephora launches first ever Tinder ad campaign. Link
  • Tiffany & Co. taps celebrity faces for the first time. Link
  • Modelez strikes deal with Fox to innovate ad models. Link
  • Coke content VP leaves to start his own company. Link
  • Warby Parker offering snapchat-exclusive sunglasses. Link
  • TopShop launches fall campaign with Taylor Hill. Link

Start Up:

  • Rocket Internet-backed Global Fashion Group raises $364M. Link
  • India Hicks on start-up lessons learned, growing her ecommerce business. Link

International:

  • Alibaba recruits apparel sellers in South Korea. Link
  • Russian retail sales fall amid tigher economic times. Link
  • With Live-Streaming, US brands bring July 4th to China. Link
  • Amazon set to increase bet on Italy’s digital turnaround plan. Link
  • With growing worries of deflation, concern that Australia is becoming desensitized to sales. Link
  • India clears path for Apple to open its first retail store. Link
  • China’s lingerie market has doubled since 2011. Link
  • Google faces new round of antitrust charges in Europe. Link

Mobile/Emerging Tech:

  • Amazon sees street lights as drone docking stations. Link
  • Virtual reality waits for the music industry to catch up. Link
  • Macy’s is testing artificial intelligence with IBM. Link
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Quick Hits: What Revolve is Doing SO Right, Right Now

If you haven’t been seeing content from Revolve lately, then I’ll assume you aren’t in or interested in this industry because it’s otherwise unavoidable.

Revolve has been doing things so, so right, hitting on every consumer trend in an authentic way. The experience economy, check. Travel, check. Exclusivity, check. Influencers, big and small, check. On-trend products, check. Content, check, check, check.

All of that and it’s still providing a solid website experience too. Which is, after all, Revolve’s only store.

Here are 6 ways I see Revolve killing it these days.

Revolve Social Club

  • Invite-only, members-only
  • Some are pop-up (Shanghai), some are permanent (LA)
  • According to Racked, the entire store can be curated into a personalized shopping experience using Revolve’s data-driven merchandising algorithims combined with its world-class styling team.
  • Exclusive events, meals, parties (collab launch parties, for example)
  • Also serves as a place for influencers to pick out clothes before events

 

Revolve Social Club

Revolve Social Club LA [photo from Racked]

#RevolveAroundTheWorld

  • In this experience economy world, travel is pretty much a non-negotiable line item in the budget of a millennial. Revolve’s been taking their squad around the world, so to speak, staying in amazing houses in places like Croatia, Hawaii, and Miami. They invite all the top bloggers and influencers who come together (wearing looks from Revolve) to create a content gold mine. They also got a house for Coachella this year, inviting people like Kendall Jenner to their numerous parties.  Below are some ‘grams shared on Revolve trips from Jessica Stein, aka @tuulavintage who has 2.3M Instagram followers and, even more impressively, Chiara Ferragni aka @theblondesalad who has over 6M followers. Content magic, shared with way more than Revolve’s own 1.2M followers.

#RevolveinTheHamptons

  • A location-specific version of #RevolveAroundtheWorld
  • This summer, Revolve has staged a huge, beautiful house in the Hamptons, as the setting for a constant flow of parties. Key bloggers and influencers frolic about the parties decked out in Revolve apparel at the parties that are typically co-sponsored with another brand and occasionally hosted by big names like Kim Kardashian and Chrissy Teigan.
  • Revolve ties it all together with a shop on its website to buy what the influencers wore in the Hamptons.

Dinners, Brunches

…all the time. Usually co-hosted with a brand or a collab and always at a swoon-worthy venue because…. more content!

 

Shipping and Returns Wars

Revolve shuts this down real quick. Free Shipping. Free Returns.

Their Store, the Website

Revolve Website

 

  • New Arrivals Every. Damn. Day.
    • You can shop the new arrivals by DATE.
    • This is the best way to get people to visit your website more often, even more relevant for a mobile site or an app. I love this feature so much.
  • Content is ACTUALLY integrated into the site. Most companies struggle with this. They keep their blog separate; they don’t know how to monetize Instagram without just a shoppable feed; they work with influencers but don’t feature their pics in the shopping path. On Revolve’s site, it use actual images from events or influencers that are shoppable. Check out the festival section here where you can pick a celeb from Revolve’s Coachella event and shop her look. Duh.
storytelling on website

Seamless integration of content in the shopping path…look, it’s The Blonde Salad in a product image!

  • Product Tagging. In addition to all the things you’d expect to see on a product detail page (recommendations, related looks, social content, etc.) Revolve also has an easy-to-use tagging feature that lets users “Discover” more mini dresses, for example. This means all of the products are smartly tagged with shopping-relevant attributes beyond just the brand name.
  • Wedding Shop….for the bride, bridesmaid and guest. Because, we all have ten plus weddings per year right now.
  • Super relevant shops and storytelling – something every retailer is trying to be and to do…but Revolve is nailing it. They use the same language as their customer and provide solid “complete this look” and “shop this look” experiences.Examples: “Brunch Life”, 20 Outfits to Beat the Heat (today’s high in NYC is 96 degrees, so), etc.  There is also the Hot List which is the first section in the top nav (prime real estate!) with tons of stories to shop, from festivals to collabs to trends.
  • International in general–
    • Shipping and returns rates are super competitive
    • Language and currency options
    • Localized customer support for a variety of countries, including China, Korea and Russia
revolve shanghai

Revolve incorporated an international shipping announcement in a #RevolveAroundtheWorld Instagram post. Nice.

 

A quick note on the app – a behemoth of a topic. This is one spot where I’m not AS impressed. I expect more from Revolve with the app – more innovation, more content— so there seems to be lots of opportunity here. But to end on a positive, I do love the “quiet time” preferences for push notifications. And, I signed up for emails and I’ve gotten none but when I signed up for push notifications I got two in one day.

revolve push.png

The second push notification I received from Revolve. The first was a promo code to use in the app.

 

Excited to see where they go next…figuratively and literally.

P.S. Revolve is profitable.

 

Weekly Industry Brief: 7.18.2016

Here’s the industry news I’ve collected over the last week.  Sources can be found in the hyperlinked text after the headline.

Brand/Retailer:

  • Burberry’s Christopher Baily replaced as CEO by Marco Gobbetti. Link
  • Musicians explore new markets with fashion. Link
  • Amazon’s Prime Day orders up 60% over the previous year. Link
  • Is Birchbox on the rocks because the boxes just sucked? Link
  • Millennials only want to spend money on one thing and it’s killing Macy’s. Link
  • Alexa Chung to launch her own fashion brand. Link
  • How Gentle Monster road the KPop wave to $160M. Link
  • Swatch first half profit slumps as much as 60%. Link
  • Free People expands into beauty and wellness. Link
  • Inside BraHaus, Nike and Bandier’s customized pop-up shop. Link
  • Hermes takes minority stake in Pierre Hardy. Link
  • Mall owners push out department stores in favor of specialty shops and restaurants. Link
  • These were the top-selling non-Amazon items on Prime Day from around the world. Link
  • The one retail sector that need not fear Amazon. Link
  • Urban Outfitters profits from Trump backlash with tshirts. Link
  • Aeropostale seeks to auction assets in bankruptcy wind-down. Link
  • Former Toys ‘R’ Us site in Times Square Is being re-imagined. Link

Marketing/Social:

  • Google launches smarter, more visual ads timed for holiday shopping. Link
  • Instagram’s Eva Chen: It’s not a numbers game. Link
  • Twitter has inked another live-streaming deal, this time with Bloomberg. Link
  • Ralph Lauren scaling back on advertising spend. Link
  • Buzzfeed releases a chatbot for the RNC. Link
  • Facebook adds refined targeting for app download ads. Link
  • With back-to-school approaching, Gap seeks new grip on shoppers. Link

Start Up:

  • Sizing technology company True Fit raises $25M. Link
  • This startup lets you buy Snapchat geo-filters from a collection of artists. Link
  • PointerPointer points to your pointer. Link
  • That one was a test to see if you read this? (But it also made me chuckle)

International:

  • Nike uses high-energy video to sell sport in India. Link
  • China’s ecommerce addiction has real market potential. Link
  • British department store John Lewis to tie up with Myer in Australia. Link
  • Burberry puts new UK facility on hold amid Brexit fallout. Link

Mobile/Emerging Tech:

  • Ikea Canada uses RFID to engage customers. Link
  • Amazon is developing a 3D modeling system to solve online clothes shopping’s biggest problem. Link
  • Chatbots edge out apps as teens prefer messaging. Link
  • Alibaba will let consumers shop the world’s stores via virtual reality. Link
  • Virtual reality is coming for weddings. Link
  • Five ways shoppers are using mobile to influence purchase decisions, according to Google. Link

Weekly Industry Brief: 7.11.2016

FYI, there are actually some other things going on besides Pokemon GO…

Here is a recap of industry news over the last week.  Sources can be found in the hyperlinked text after the headline.

Brand/Retailer:

  • How software is reshaping fashion’s back end. Link
  • Target’s future will be decided by kids. Link
  • Urban Outfitters debuts minimalist line that’s extremely un-fast fashion. Link
  • Wal-Mart expands mobile payment app to all US stores. Link
  • The Limited looks to technology to drive retail sales. Link
  • Reed Krakoff to design accessories for Tiffany’s. Link
  • How Yoox and Net-a-porter group plans to outpace the online luxury market through 2020. Link
  • Why Barnes & Noble is getting into beauty. Link
  • Amazon reportedly picks NYC for first East Coast store. Link
  • Ralph Lauren’s turnaround plan has parallels of Ford Motor’s road map. Link
  • Adidas expands its copyright infringement suit against Skechers. Link
  • How China and Amazon are changing the future of retail. Link
  • Levi’s supported by direct-to-consumer and international in second quarter. Link
  • Walmart takes on Amazon Prime with week-long free shipping deal. Link
  • Gap’s June sales top estimates, boosted by Old Navy. Link

Marketing/Social:

  • When did shipping boxes get pretty? In the age of unboxing, the box matters. Link
  • Line raises $1.1B in IPO. Link
  • Snapchat’s new ‘Memories’ feature lets you save snaps indefinitely. Link
  • Nike just does it – keeping an eye on the customer. Link
  • Pinterest takes a shot at camera search technology. Link
  • Why advertisers are forking over big bucks for custom Snapchat lenses. Link
  • In less than a week, Pokemon Go has over 6 million mentions on Twitter. Link
  • Baidu, Alibaba face profit hit from new rules on search ads. Link

Start Up:

  • Meet MikMak, the mobile shopping network that sells via video. Link
  • Nordstrom buys stake in software firm. Link
  • Musicians are now curating care packages for fans with help from this startup. Link
  • eBay acquires SalesPredict in attempt to be more like Amazon. Link

International:

  • H&M to launch first two stores in Mumbai in August. Link
  • BoConcept enters India. Link
  • Pantaloons parent acquires Forever 21 in India, shifts to fast fashion. Link
  • Ireland’s thriving retail landlords face threat from Brexit. Link
  • Apple in no rush to open retail stores in India despite government relaxing sourcing norms. Link
  • China targets online advertising practices with new regulations. Link

Mobile/Emerging Tech:

  • Amazon turns its Alexa virtual assistant into a Prime Day personal shopper. Link
  • JCPenny redesigns app for ease-of-use, adds same-day pickup. Link
  • Pokemon Go may prove that AR is more mainstream than VR. Link
  • 5 emerging apps making travel easier and cheaper. Link

Weekly Industry Brief: 7.5.2016

Happy Tuesday! Here is your weekly industry recap of news from the last week.  Sources can be found in the hyperlinked text after the headline.

Brand/Retailer:

  • Online shopping forces shift in inventory strategies. Link
  • Nordstrom to integrate Trunk Club ops, cut jobs. Link
  • Walmart squares up against Amazon with 2-day delivery across the U.S. Link
  • Amazon Prime day is back on July 12. Link
  • Adidas and Kanye West expand their partnership with planned sports gear and Yeezy retail stores. Link
  • VF Corp sells contemporary brands segment for $120 million. Link
  • Mac’s new initiative aims to expand the brand’s relationship with fashion. Link
  • Zalando driving innovation with diversity. Link
  • Synthetic spider silk could be the biggest technological advance in clothing since nylon. Link
  • Amazon is quietly eliminating list prices. Link
  • Netflix is coming to Comcast cable TV. Link
  • LVMH is looking for startups to bring personalization to its brands. Link
  • Nike co-founder Phil Knight retires from board. Link
  • Reformation is opening new stores, first up in San Francisco. Link
  • Amazon begins selling perishable private-label foods. Link
  • Victoria’s Secret promotes bras without padding as it responds to athleisure trend. Link
  • UPS adds locker locations for shipment pickups. Link

Marketing/Social:

  • Instagram’s evolution as a business platform. Link
  • How Time Inc’s new video-only platform hopes to unearth the next big digital star. Link
  • Farfetch teams with Apple on music channel for fashion site. Link
  • Chipotle launches loyalty program to get customers and data. Link
  • Facebook puts friends above publishers in “News Feed Values” and ranking change. Link
  • Twitter is putting together a team focused on VR and AR. Link
  • Pinterest is soon launching a way to search for products with your smartphone camera. Link
  • Twitter estimates that it has 10 million users in China. Link

Start Up:

  • A drone start-up explores underwater. Link
  • HourlyNerd, the Uber of business consultants, snags $22M. Link
  • Mattress startup Casper to sell via West Elm and internationally. Link

International:

  • A South Korean copy of Snapchat takes off in Asia. Link
  • Brexit gives Europeans $15,000 discount on Cartier watch. Link
  • China’s JD.com says Brexit could boost imports of British goods. Link
  • Brexit vote sends tourists flocking to London to purchase luxury goods. Link
  • eCommerce winners and losers in the wake of Brexit. Link
  • The consolidation of India’s overcrowded e-commerce sector has begun. Link
  • Alibaba has a new online system to remove fake goods from its site. Link
  • JD.com loses luster as hedge funds backpedal amid slowing growth. Link
  • Alibaba’s plans for online to offline go off track. Link

Mobile/Emerging Tech:

  • NBC will offer 85 hours of VR Olympics programming, courtesy of Samsung. Link
  • Wireless generation: why sports bras and bralettes are disrupting women’s underwear. Link
  • Rimmel’s new augmented reality app lets users nab real life makeup looks. Link
  • How augmented reality and iOT will recreate business environments. Link