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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WEEKLY INDUSTRY ROUND UP: 11.10.2014

My recap of top industry news from last week.  All sources can be found in the hyperlink after the headline:

Retailer + Brand News:

  • Target partners with Story for the holidays. Link
  • USPS adding Sunday deliveries in some areas for holidays. Link
  • H&M’s Alexander Wang collection selling out and crashing the website. Link and Link
  • Magazines turning to ecommerce. Link
  • ShopRunner beefs up retail partnerships. Link
  • Home Depot hackers also snagged 53 million customer email addresses. Link
  • Amazon introduces Echo, a voice controlled speaker. Link
  • Marc Jacobs x Urban Ears headphones can be thrown in the wash like a t-shirt. Link
  • The head of Google Same-Day delivery joins Uber. Link
  • Living Social lays off 20% of staff. Link
  • 8Tracks launches DJ analytics and better music recommendations. Link
  • Amazon is testing taxis for deliveries. Link
  • American Eagle wants to be outfitter for your dog this holiday season. Link
  • Amazon Prime’s new perk: unlimited cloud photo storage. Link
  • TopShop unveils 5th Ave flagship. Link
  • Two dozen retailers that will not open on Thanksgiving. Link
  • Ellen Degeneres launching ecommerce site and interior design book. Link
  • Bringing online retail products into a real life apartment. Link

Social Media + Marketing:

  • Facebook hands over more control of the newsfeed to users. Link
  • Tumbler expands merchandise offering. Link
  • Verizon Wireless under fire for ad targeting program. Link
  • Marc Jacobs beauty makes Instagram shoppable. Link
  • New app attempts to better organize tweets around events. Link
  • How StyleHaul built a YouTube network on branded entertainment, not Google Ads. Link
  • What’s next for Instagram: Discovery, Accessibility, and “Time Spent.” Link
  • Facebook bans brands from trading “likes” for incentives. Link
  • Adidas leverages athletic star power in winter sports campaign. Link
  • Facebook launches a donate button for Ebola. Link
  • Kohl’s ups TV spend for holiday campaign. Link
  • Dollar Shave Club takes to TV in a big way with new campaign. Link
  • The next frontier in digital media will be physical products. Link
  • Lowe’s new vines offer up helpful DIY tips in six seconds. Link

Start-ups:

  • Powa raises $80M to launch its mobile, ecommerce payments in U.S. Link
  • Spark Capital’s new growth fund aims to catch the ones that got away. Link
  • Blurb launches Dream Team talent network to help authors improve and complete their books. Link
  • Ten exciting early stage startups to look out for. Link
  • Kidizen, mobile marketplace for secondhand kids’ stuff raises $500K. Link

International:

[APAC]

  • Ecommerce is so huge in China, some brands skip opening an actual store. Link
  • Gap speeds up China expansion. Link
  • China gears up for world’s biggest shopping day. Link
  • Why Twitter is opening an office in Hong Kong despite being blocked in China. Link
  • Small boutique ecommerce startup is undaunted by fashion giants like Zalora. Link

[EU]

  • Crew expanding presence in Europe. Link
  • Online retail growth speeds up in Russia. Link

[CA]

  • Amazon’s same-day delivery comes to Canada. Link

Mobile, Tablet, + Wearables:

  • Free People launches a redesigned mobile site. Link
  • Android Lollipop hit by battery life problem. Link
  • Marketers embracing beacons will have competitive advantage this holiday season. Link
  • Android Lollipop is grown-up and accessible. Link
  • Macy’s takes letters from Santa mobile. Link
  • WalMart beefs up mobile app features for the holidays. Link
  • Apple now lets you deregister phone numbers from iMessage. Link
  • The Economist launches Espresso, a daily news roundup for mobile readers. Link
  • Momofuku’s David Chang launching food delivery app in NYC. Link
  • Groupon launches new app, Getaways, for travel and hotel offers. Link

Other:

  • Trends that will revolutionize the retail industry. Link
  • Macs hit market share milestone in the US. Link
  • Square passes 1 Billion payments. Link
  • Tom’s influences another humanitarian brand. Link
  • Can teen retailers turn things around? Link

WEEKLY INDUSTRY ROUND UP: 11.4.2014

My recap of top industry news from last week.  All sources can be found in the hyperlink after the headline:

Retailer + Brand News:

  • Starbucks to start delivering in 2015. Link
  • Neiman Marcus launches MyNM to personalize ecommerce. Link
  • Aeropostale launches collection with social media stars. Link
  • Coach exceeds estimates as it grows overseas, curbs discounting. Link
  • Vente-Privee to shut U.S. venture. Link
  • Alibaba eyes payments tie-up with Apple. Link
  • Lululemon founder’s family bets on casual luxury with new retail venture. Link
  • Why online retailers continue to open brick-and-mortar stores. Link
  • Retailers and shippers retool for the holiday season. Link
  • Amazon opens pop-up store to push its Fire smartphones. Link
  • Burger King to accept PayPal. Link
  • Amazon launches crowdsourced publishing program. Link
  • Beyonce and Topshop team for Ath-Leisure brand. Link
  • Timberland’s newest partnership: Tires. Link
  • Target quietly testing mobile payment app to rival Apple Pay. Link
  • Sophia Coppola directs Gap’s holiday ads. Link
  • American Express and Etsy partner to support small businesses. Link
  • CNET launches a print magazine. Link
  • Ralph Lauren uses interactive windows to launch line at Harrods. Link

Social Media + Marketing:

  • Gap’s interactive holiday campaign: Play your Stripes. Link
  • Youtube weighing new subscription service. Link
  • Bing now lets you search by emoji. Link
  • Publicis snaps up Sapient for $3.7B to build a digital media powerhouse. Link
  • Instagram video ads are finally live. Link
  • Luxury brands are still casting a leery eye toward social media. Link
  • Digital to overtake TV ad spending in two years, says Forrester. Link
  • Snapchat discussing new ad type that’s similar to live TV. Link
  • Nobody beats Amazon when it comes to subscription services. Link
  • Michelle Phan is building a beauty empire. Link
  • SheKnows acquires BlogHer. Link
  • Alex from Target rises to internet fame. Link
  • Heineken partners with brands to create exclusive luxury goods. Link
  • Reddit opens a crowdfunding site. Link

Start-ups:

  • Cloth is where Instagram and your closet collide. Link
  • Deliv widens same-day delivery, following Google. Link
  • Changing the rules of ecommerce. Link
  • Slack is now worth over $1B. Link
  • Crowdsourced design marketplace Minted raises $38M more, adds fabrics and home décor. Link

International:

[APAC]

  • China’s JD.com starts operations in $1B warehouse. Link
  • Investment in Tokopedia may be the boost Indonesian ecommerce needs. Link
  • China’s economic growth falls to lowest in 5 years. Link
  • Amazon’s strategy for India: stick to the concept of sister site. Link

[EU]

  • London pop-up mall blends digital and physical retail. Link
  • UK arm of Ikea to embark on price cutting program. Link

[CA]

  • Ikea Canada boss aims for a revamp as competition heats up. Link

[A/ME]

  • Macy’s to open in Abu Dhabi. Link

[LATAM]

  • Mexico enters the fashion limelight. Link

Mobile, Tablet, + Wearables:

  • Neiman Marcus makes it easier for mobile shoppers to buy items they spot on the street. Link
  • Marriott woos millennials with mobile apps and wireless charging. Link
  • Microsoft unveils fitness smart band that understands voice commands. Link
  • PopSugar plays fave with data in new shopping app. Link
  • In 72 hours, ApplePay is already the wireless payment leader in the US. Link
  • Google launches Android 5.0 Lollipop. Link
  • Amazon voice search leads the way in mcommerce. Link
  • Neiman Marcus simplifies purchase process with mobile photo feature. Link  
  • How Aeropostale and Asos are getting mobile right with millennials. Link
  • Google’s redesigned calendar app combines brains and beauty. Link
  • Starbucks to offer delivery service via new app. Link
  • Hotels try smartphone apps as room keys. Link

Apple Pay Coverage:

  • Apple Pay isn’t ready to replace your wallet. Link
  • What are anti-Apple Pay merchants afraid of? Link
  • More US banks switch on Apple Pay support. Link
  • Apple Pay rival, Current C, says it’s misunderstood. Link
  • The worm in Apple Pay. Link

Other:

  • Four brands that built empires without traditional advertising. Link
  • Isabel Murant says build strong base and stay focused. Link
  • Sour Patch Kids opens Brooklyn house for touring bands. Link
  • Taylor Swift pulls all her albums from Spotify. Link
  • The Arrivals: A line of coats from a venture capitalist and an architect. Link

Weekly Industry Round Up: 10.27.2014

My recap of top industry news from last week.  All sources can be found in the hyperlink after the headline:

Retailer + Brand News:

  • Target eyes holiday turnaround on free shipping and faux fur. Link
  • Retail’s new battleground: The I want what I want when I want it generation. Link
  • Trunk Club to open first brick-and-mortar store on Madison Avenue. Link
  • Under Armour’s rising sneaker sales have yet to tread on Nike. Link
  • Gilt names former Starwood Hotels exec as chief marketing officer. Link
  • Etsy launches card reader for in-person payments. Link
  • Amazon posts largest quarterly loss in 14 years. Link
  • Macy’s links with Google to show mobile users what’s in stock nearby. Link
  • Rakuten, Japan’s Amazon, launches fashion site in the U.S. Link
  • Staples is the latest retailer to be hit by hackers. Link
  • Apple shutting down Beats Music app and rolling it into iTunes. Link
  • J.Crew says it will sit out athletic trend. Link
  • Sears said to be closing 77 stores. Link
  • Groupon’s site now has dedicated pages for 7 million businesses across the US. Link
  • Bloomingdale’s equips fitting rooms with iPads for smart shopping. Link
  • Anthropologie may open in AT&T’s former NYC headquarters. Link
  • Asos sees future payoff from 2014 investments. Link
  • FedEx, UPS make plans for better holiday season. Link

Social Media + Marketing:

  • Ello bans advertising and raises $5.5M in new funding. Link
  • Facebook launches new Rooms app that harkens back to early days of Internet chatrooms. Link
  • Groupon channels Yelp with new listings service. Link
  • Behind Twitter’s move to become a mobile-services shop. Link
  • Tumblr to make over $100M in revenue next year. Link
  • How Facebook is changing the way its users consumer journalism. Link
  • New Target CEO makes mark on holiday efforts. Link
  • Pandora gives musicians a data dashboard to see where their fans are. Link
  • North America holds tight to world’s largest ad spending share. Link
  • Haul videos influence holiday shopping. Link
  • Snapchat rolls out first advertiser. Link

Start-ups:

  • Glamsquad raises $7M for on-demand styling and beauty services. Link
  • Tindr to take a swipe at monetization with new premium dating upgrade. Link
  • Digital lockers will take parcels and clean laundry. Link

International:

[APAC]

  • Zalora opens first offline shop. Link
  • India’s Snapdeal forays into premium designer segment. Link
  • China’s Alipay offers ePass payment service for U.S. retail websites. Link
  • Apple set to open 25 new stores in China by end of 2016. Link
  • Zara stumbes in India. Link
  • Taobao Marketplace launches click-and-collect in Singapore. Link

[AU/NZ]

  • Sydney’s Big Commerce takes on Amazon with Alibaba deal. Link

[EU]

  • American Eagle lands in UK. Link
  • Amazon web services to open German center. Link
  • Primark prepares to make entrance in U.S. Link

[CA]

  • Target Canada to experiment with overstocking in turnaround effort. Link

Mobile, Tablet, + Wearables:

  • Urban Outfitters tackles in-app product search challenge. Link
  • Google wants to organize your life with new email app. Link
  • TestFlight Beta testing goes live for all iOS developers. Link
  • Amazon takes retail approach to push flagging Fire phone. Link
  • Google wants Inbox to be your email system for the next decade. Link
  • Amazon quietly launches app store within its main Android app. Link
  • Square launches app marketplace to make third-party integration painless for businesses. Link
  • Twitter unveils Fabric, a welcome gift to mobile developers. Link
  • Fitbit announces new fitness trackers, including its first smartwatch. Link
  • Microsoft makes progress with phone and tablet sales. Link
  • Nike sees brighter wearables future with Apple. Link

[Apple Pay coverage]:

  • Square encircled as Apple, Paypal aim for mobile payments. Link
  • Apple Pay threatens a competing approach to simplifying payments. Link
  • CVS and RiteAid disable Apple Pay. Link
  • CurrentC is the big retailers’ clunky attempt to kill Apple Pay and credit card fees. Link
  • Bank of America customers double-charged in Apple Pay snafu. Link
  • Jumio launches card-scanning mobile checkout for retailers’ iOS and Android apps. Link

Other:

  • How to turn your company into a movement. Link
  • The psychology of web design. Link
  • Roku could file for IPO soon, raises as much as $150M. Link

 

WEEKLY INDUSTRY ROUND UP: 9.8.2014

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

Retailer News:

  • eBay makes New York Fashion Week instantly shopable. Link
  • Nordstrom said to be first retailer to accept Apple mobile payments. Link
  • Neiman Marcus to open first NYC store. Link
  • Saks introduces user-generated content hub to propel purchases. Link
  • Opening Ceremony reveals Intel-powered smart bracelet. Link
  • Digital driving growth at Belk department stores. Link
  • eBay attracts top fashion brands to sell direct. Link
  • NastyGal lays off up to 10% of its workforce. Link
  • Saks Fifth Avenue takes steps ot build on its legacy. Link
  • Staples adds buy online, pick up in store. Link
  • Yahoo Style, a new digital magazine, arrives just in time for fashion week. Link
  • UPS plans to offer pickup points for online orders in New York City and Chicago. Link
  • Google pledges to fight the sale of fake Luis Vuitton bags online. Link
  • Starbucks to launch express stores. Link
  • Amazon taps USPS to deliver groceries in San Francisco. Link
  • Saks CMO explains sweeping changes. Link
  • DVF’s tech-savvy style. Link
  • Visa rolls out online payments campaign for NFL opening day. Link
  • Joe Zee is Old Navy’s fall style ambassador. Link
  • Crew’s sales picked up last quarter. Link
  • PayPal expands further into offline retail and mobile payments with new PayPal Here SDK. Link
  • It’s Uniqlo vs. Uniqlo at the US Open. Link
  • Path of stolen credit cards leads back to Home Depot stores. Link
  • ASOS seeks CIO. Link
  • Six ways competitors are trying to kill Amazon. Link

Social Media + Marketing:

  • Social activism becomes a thing for brands, thanks to the Ice Bucket Challenge. Link
  • Ikea pitches its 2015 catalog as the coolest gadget ever. Link
  • American Apparel ad banned in UK for sexualizing schoolgirls. Link
  • In social advertising, YouTube converts more customers than anyone else. Link
  • Photo app Twitpic shuts down over trademark spat with Twitter. Link
  • Facebook rolls out privacy checkups to all 1.3B users. Link
  • Hyperlapse is doing well so far. Link
  • How Venmo is turning into a hilarious social network. Link

Start-ups:

  • This startup aims to give everyone the shipping power of Amazon. Link
  • Yahoo buys photo ad network Luminate, shuts it down. Link
  • Food start up adds tech talent as Silicon Valley shakes up the food business. Link
  • Diageo looks to pour new tech into liquor with venture unit. Link
  • Uber strikes deal to build new headquarters in large expansion. Link
  • ASOS founder funds London expansion of New York-style blow dry bars. Link

International:

[APAC]

  • Fans form lines in Tokyo for expected iPhone launch. Link
  • Rakuten to buy eBates. Link
  • Baidu Eye prototype unveiled to rival Google Glass. Link
  • Emerging Asian designers hit New York Fashion Week. Link
  • House of Fraser completes sale to Chinese department store. Link

[AU/NZ]

  • The Iconic joins other fashion pureplays in international fashion merger. Link
  • H&M confirms two Sydney stores. Link

[EU]

  • Online shopping on mobile devices overtakes desktop in UK. Link
  • How Yoox turned the lucury-goods industry onto digital. Link

[A/ME]

  • Africa now has 100M Facebook users, 9% of the total population. Link

Mobile, Tablet, + Wearables:

  • Apple courts fashionistas as smartwatch expectations mount. Link
  • Motorola’s Moto 360 smartwatch arrives just days before Apple’s expected smartwatch announcement. Link
  • Apple’s big event on September 9th. Here’s what to expect. Link
  • Millennials are the largest group of smartphone owners and adoption is still growing. Link
  • Inside look at the Starbucks app, the most successful mobile payments system in the US. Link
  • Apple adds another high-profile hire with industrial designer Marc Newson. Link
  • The Galaxy Note Edge is Samsung’s new phablet with a new kind of curved display. Link
  • How beacons are changing the shopping experience. Link
  • Apple teaming up with Visa, MasterCard on iPhone wallet. Link
  • Rue La La anticipates bigger-than-ever mobile surge during upcoming holiday season. Link
  • Microsoft woos cost-conscious with new smartphones. Link
  • Why Apple’s iBeacon hasn’t taken off – yet. Link
  • Designers debut wearables at New York Fashion Week. Link

Other:

  • Following purge of tobacco products, CVS renames itself to CVS Health. Link
  • Starbucks announces two new store designs. Link
  • Millennials are saying no to credit cards. Link
  • Two Googlers take top White House tech jobs. Link

Weekly Industry Round Up: 9.2.2014

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

Retailer News:

  • Nordstrom introduces seamless Instagram shopping experience. Link
  • Rumors that eBay is set to buy ASOS. Link
  • Abercrombie to strip logo from clothing. Link
  • Refinery29 teams up with Simon Malls. Link
  • Evernote launches office gear on market ecommerce portal. Link
  • More and more, fashion designers are selling direct to customers. Link
  • Intel poised to launch luxury smart bracelet at Barneys. Link
  • Report card on back to school: the season’s trends and what they mean for retailers. Link
  • Newegg unleashes its own fleet of delivery vehicles for same day delivery in LA. Link
  • How REI blazes a digital trail. Link
  • Google is working on drone deliveries too. Link
  • Zara withdraws t-shirts after accusations online of anti-Semitism. Link
  • JustFab Inc., which includes ShoeDazzle and FabKids, is valued at $1B following $85M investment. Link
  • Zalando blends data with fashion. Link
  • Claire’s reveals new plan to right sluggish sales. Link
  • Macy’s new Bronx store: localization in action. Link
  • Apple sends invites for September 9th.Link
  • Teens favor tech over clothes. Link
  • Stuart Vevers’ first Coach collection hits Net-a-Porter. Link
  • Are things looking up for Target? Link
  • Uniqlo to open two Boston area stores. Link

Social Media + Marketing:

  • Tweet this hashtag in NYC and Reebok could run a pair of sneakers over to you. Link
  • Facebook introduces bandwidth targeting to match mobile ads to your network quality. Link
  • Introducing Hyperlapse, Instagram’s new time-lapse video app. Link
  • 12 marketers already experimenting with Hyperlapse. Link
  • Gap runs first social campaign for kids’ accounts. Link
  • Pinterest tests news tab on mobile. Link
  • Facebook boosts event visibility with new ad format. Link
  • Nordstrom wants you to shop on Instagram. Link
  • Vice Media sells a stake to A&E Network at $2.5B valuation. Link
  • What’s next for Twitter marketing real world innovation? Link
  • Twitter redesigns signup process to entice new users. Link
  • SnapChat said to have more than 100 million monthly active users. Link
  • Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett to start in H&M holiday campaign. Link

Start-ups:

  • Amazon buys Twitch, bets on content in a hub for gamers. Link
  • Mallzee makes move to become the go-to mobile shopping destination for clothes. Link
  • Honest Co., Jessica Alba’s ecommerce startup, raises $70M. Link
  • How a clothing company successfully turned salvaged trash into fashion. Link
  • Menswear brand will deliver fresh white shirt in less than 90 minutes. Link
  • 3 startups vying to become the “Uber for Beauty.” Link

International:

[APAC]

  • LuLuLemon’s Asia push. Link
  • WalMart looks online for Chinese growth. Link
  • Chinese are traveling more but shopping less. Link
  • Wanda, Tencent and Baidu take on Alibaba with $814M ecommerce deal. Link
  • Hermes first-half profit rises on Asia sales. Link
  • Apple’s opportunity in India. Link
  • Google to open new startup center in Seoul. Link
  • Why social ecommerce is a game changer for niche brands in China. Link 

[AU/NZ]

  • Williams-Sonoma arrives in Sydney. Link
  • Australian retailers ramp up. Link
  • Inside Google’s secret drone-delivery program in Australia. Link
  • TopShop partners with Uber to offer free rides to its AU flagship. Link

[EU]

  • Marks & Spencer hopes for halo effect with unifying brand campaign. Link
  • Online beauty brand BirchBox pops up in London. Link

[CA]

  • LuLuLemon founder’s wife and son open luxury t-shirt store Kit and Ace. Link

[LATAM]

  • Columbia open and ready for business. Link

Mobile, Tablet, + Wearables:

  • Zalando testing mobile clothing recognition app. Link
  • Apple rumored partnership with American Express, Visa and MasterCard for mobile payments. Link
  • NFC and wallet likely in next iPhone. Link
  • Tablet growth expected to be flat in North America and Europe this year. Link
  • Kenzo enhances Printemps pop-up with interactive mobile app. Link
  • Quirky Miu Miu mobile app makes mark at Venice Film Festival. Link
  • Pandora’s Google Glass app puts music controls on user’s face. Link
  • Another season, another app. Link
  • Macy’s offers digital wallet. Link
  • Full-screen ads are coming to the iPhone. Link
  • Rebecca Minkoff introducing wearable tech. Link
  • Storytelling app Steller becomes more of a social network. Link
  • Burger King ups ante on promoting apps with smartphone offer. Link
  • Ritz Carlton strive to improve customer stays with app upgrade. Link

Other:

  • Forbes’ 25 most innovative companies, including Hermes, Amazon, and Chipotle. Link
  • Report finds ecommerce draws hedge funds. Link
  • 22% of millennials feel they are under extreme financial stress. Link
  • The world’s most creative people in business. Link
  • How does internationalization work for online retailers? Link

 

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

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

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

In a Snap: Target’s Image Recognition App

In a mobile innovation and omni-channel play, Target introduced an image recognition app called In a Snap just in time for Back to School. The app is much like those we’ve seen before (as stand-alone  apps or as part of an of existing app) from brands like eBay Fashoin and startups like Toronto-based Slyce or London-based ASAP54.

The app allows users to snap a photo from Target’s ads in magazines like Real Simple or in their upcoming catalog.  Based on the image, the app then leads users to the website which allows them to add to their cart or try out Target’s new click and collect service.

The app comes just in time to compete with Amazon’s FireFly, an image recognition service that comes on its new Fire Phone. The visual search service can recognize over 100 million items from QR codes, bar codes, images and even song clips.

While Target’s app may be less “advanced,” it is still both buzz-worthy and useful, two important characteristics of a new app. The company reportedly built the app in 6-8 weeks in its Rapid Accelerated Development group and is currently collecting customer feedback and working on fixes.

My take: It’s awesome that Target is experimenting with mobile technology but it is even more awesome that they are investing in teams that can quickly develop customer-facing features. The continuous deliver, test and iterate model can make a huge impact at companies that are able to dedicate the resources (financial and human). By rapidly delivering this feature to customers, Target will have the quick feedback they need to improve the product and deliver even more value to their customers.  I don’t think visual search is going anywhere and anything to innovate print is pretty cool.

Target In a Snap App Target In a Snap App

Images from All Bullseye View

More coverage around the web:

The Target ‘In a Snap’ App Makes Shopping, Well, a Snap (Bustle)

New Target App Makes Shopping a Snap (PC Mag)

Target In A Snap Image Recognition App Aimed at Boosting Sales (International Business Times)

Target’s ‘In a Snap’ App Makes Catalogs, Ads Shoppable (ClickZ)