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Can Amazon solve online retail’s biggest problem with its 3D sizing system?

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One of the most important issue that online fashion retailers face is that of returns. Amazon is no different, but the difference between Amazon and other online fashion retailers is that, Amazon is fighting the issue head on. According to a research report by IHL, retailers lose out on billions of dollars, due to returned clothes and shoes. Amazon, which is become one of the largest clothing retailer in the US, is designing a system to cope with this very costly problem.

The system will ensure that the customers get the right size of the item they ordered in the the first place, so they don’t need to return or exchange. The way the system works is that, it gives customers suggestions based on a ‘reference item’. The reference item is a piece of clothing or a pair of shoes that fits the customer perfectly. Amazon plans to use a device to measure the internal measurements of a garment to determine the right fit, and make suggestions for future purchases accordingly. The patent has been filed by Amazon for the sizing system, which is actually a continuation of the sizing system by Shoefitr, Inc., a sizing technology company acquired by Amazon.

Image Source: qz.com

CAN POKEMONGO BECOME THE NEXT GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY FOR LOCAL FASHION BUSINESSES?

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Chances are that you have heard some one mention the name Pokémon GO in the past few days, unless you have been living under a rock or a total media blackout. Wondering why fashion retailers should be interested in a gaming app? A little background information first, Pokemon by Nintendo is a free augmented reality mobile game.

The Android version of the mobile game app has been installed on more than 5% of all Android devices in the US within the span of two days of its release. The game has been installed more than the dating app Tinder and has more daily active users than Twitter. Even bigger news is that Pokemon players  are extremely engaged, spending way more time on the app than some of the most social media apps like Whatsapp, Instagram and Snapchat.

What this means for fashion brands who are looking to include the mobile app in their marketing efforts, you may now wonder. Pokemon GO uses AR technology that superimposes computer generated imagery onto the real world when looked at through a portable device like a mobile or tablet. In layman terms, Pokemon GO draws its players to Pokémon Gyms and PokéStops, which can be real-life locations like fashion retail stores, museums or any other kind of local business .

IconoCLAD, Fox 13, The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art are some of the initial businesses having benefited from having a PokéStop in their locations, attracting new customers to buy their products or services additionally to progressing in their game. Brands can’t currently select to become PokéStops for Pokemon marketing, but if the rave for the game is not short lived, it can become a golden opportunity for marketers and local fashion business owners.

SuitApp – New SIRI for your Wardrobe

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A team from MaGIC startup acceleration program released personal stylist service.

SuitApp has a new approach to style recommendations. It uses both unique computer algorithms created by mutual work of mathematicians, professional stylists and developers, and human experts’ opinion. Moreover, in the second version of our app we will add a feature to try these outfits on your avatar and see how they suit you.

SuitApp has a unique proposition – STYLING FAIRY that creates magic in fashion world! It can determine colors, prints and styles of clothes, shoes and accessories, combine them in outfits, and place on your avatar. Our Fairy is constantly learning your styling preferences!

The project was started 2 years ago in Siberia (Russia). It was founded by two girls, keen on fresh and creative ideas, fashion and technologies. After some time a talented developer joined the team to become a CTO. In March 2016 the project was chosen to be participate in startup acceleration program in Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Center. In May 2016 the whole team moved to Kuala Lumpur; and now they are developing the project in a very friendly, dynamic and amazing atmosphere of Malaysia. Magic happens every day!

 


What SuitApp can do:

  • Send you personalized styling recommendations;
  • Offer different looks according to your specific preferences and body shape;
  • Send looks from various stylists;
  • Help to buy clothes online.

Upcoming features

  • Connect you online with stylists to consult on your existing wardrobe;
  • Let you try the offered outfits on (online fitting room).
  • SuitApp is not only for those who are looking for trendy looks, it’s a platform for everyone who’s keen on fashion:
  • Stylists can meet here new customers;
  • Fashionistas can get acquainted with the leading stylists and boutique managers;
  • Online shops can find new loyal customers and agents;
  • Fashion bloggers can increase their audience.

 


Guest Author

Jen-GrebenschikovaJen Grebenschikova is the co-founder of SuitApp.my. She has a degree in Linguistics & Economics and has worked as a head of international department at a wallpaper factory, dealing mostly with European designers.

Online Fashion Sales – Fraud Patterns

Riskified recently released an interesting Infographc about fraud in the fashion vertical. They have shared insights about fraud patterns in online fashion sales, along with some useful tips on managing fraud for both retail and high-end fashion merchants.

Key take aways

  • Vast Majority of Online Fashion Orders are valid
  • Both Consumer & Luxury Fashion Merchants should be accepting 9/10 payments
  • The fraud rate of luxury fashion merchants is 2 x higher than for consumer fashion merchants
  • In online luxury, more items in cart = more frauds
  • Take advantage of Chinese buying power
  • The consumer fashion items most targeted by Fraudsters are Sneakers & Watches
  • Fraud Rates are actually lower on Black Friday & Cyber Monday
  • 3 out of 4 declines are false positives

Islamic Modest Fashion: Billions Yet to be Made?

Billions to be made in Islamic Modest Fashion

Just finished reading this article about D&G’s Abaya collection while doing some research for one of our client. I feel amazed to see how much money is to be made in the Islamic ‘modest fashion’ business. There is huge gap that is yet to be filled by multitude of online fashion retailers who can appeal to the untapped millions of ‘actual’ muslim fashion buyers living in different countries of the world.

Optoro: Changing What Happens to the items Returned to Online Retailers?

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The festive season might be over, the retailers’ job is done, but for companies like Optoro the work has just begun. Optoro is a big name in the reverse logistics industry. It aims to reduce the financial and environmental expenses of the retailers by managing the returns in an efficient manner. It might come as a surprise but Americans returned $260 billion of the merchandise purchased by them in 2015 which is 66% up from five years ago.

Most Ecommerce websites offer their customers a free shipping policy, which is become somewhat of a norm for companies offering apparel to electronics and everything in between. What most people don’t know is that a lot of the products that are returned by them don’t end up with the retailers they bought them from. The products are end up with liquidators, wholesalers and resellers or sometimes even garbage trucks. Companies like Optoro are trying to change this inefficient, environment unfriendly way of treatment of the returned items.

Danielle Ribner’s brand Loup: Made in Newyork, Inspired by Paris

Loup Danielle Ribner fashion ecommerceYou might have not heard of Danielle Ribner’s brand Loup, but she intends it that way. Her motto from the very beginning was to keep an organic approach. Danielle Ribner largely draws inspiration from Parisian art, fashion and film. The designs are classic cuts with hints of vintage and contemporary. Most customers stumble upon Loup through social media platforms like Instagram. Women use #loupspiration along with their posts which are great sources of outfit and style inspiration for potential customers.

Ribner attended fashion design at Parsons, after which she worked as a design assistant at Jones Apparel Group. She learned the business side of fashion on the job after which she decided to start her own brand, but without any outside funding. “It’s ok to stay small if you’re doing it in the right way and you can grow that way.” she believes. The high-waisted, cropped, wide-leg Sabrina pants and low key tailored overalls are Loup’s current bestsellers, among other clothing which is all priced under $200. Loup tries to make clothing trendy yet wearable, it might open a brick and mortar store in the future.

How Estee Lauder is using Digital and Word Of Mouth Advertising in a Financially Efficient Manner

Estee Lauder fashion ecommerceEstee Lauder is a global brand, which is using more and more of grassroots, word-of-mouth marketing and less and less of traditional marketing. It has brands like Bobbi Brown, Mac, Tom Ford, Rodin Olio Lusso, Le Labo, Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle and Glamglow under its umbrella, which are all relying heavily on nontraditional forms of media and reaping huge benefits from it. Relying heavily on “The social advocacy model” and “User generated content” is becoming a new trend not just with Estee Lauder but many other brands.

Print and TV advertising has been replaced by social media marketing, sponsored content and influencer marketing. The interesting aspect is that not only are brands shifting advertising dollars to social media and influencer marketing but also cutting down their advertising budgets considerably. Estée Lauder’s spent $2.84 billion for advertising, merchandising, sampling, promotion and production development in 2014 which was down to 2.77 billions in 2015. Customers especially the beauty industry ones are first finding products on platforms like Instagram instead of magazines. Digital campaigns are giving a more impact full presence to brands for a lesser amount in advertising dollars. Brands are hiring ecommerce/digital agencies like Fluid, Pulp and Kettle to handle all their marketing operations as its giving them more value for money than traditional advertising.

How eCommerce company Zalando is becoming a Specialist in Fashion Technology

Zalando Gentz fashion eccomerceRobert Gentz who heads Zalando, a multinational fashion ecommerce company, recently spoke at the WIRED Retail event. Gentz firmly believes that fashion and technology are deeply connected, it makes a lot of sense even commercially.  “We need radical change” he said at WIRED Retail, an annual event, where technologists, entrepreneurs and creatives participate and explore commerce, robotics, virtual reality and the future of services like home delivery. You can watch the video here.

Billion dollar valued Zalando, which started out in 2008 as a retail company is now a gearing up to become a fashion technology company. Inspired by the Chinese, who have a spectacularly connected style in terms of fashion ecommerce, Gentz has developed a Webshop very different from anything seen in Europe. The Chinese system allows consumers to connect with stylists through WeChat – an IM platform and discuss their choices with a stylist. It also allows them to order through an app and expect delivery within hours. Zalando now offers something similar to the Chinese system, Gentz believes creating an eco system like that is very important to enhance consumer experience.

How big Online Brands get the largest part of the Digital Traffic Pie

Ralph Lauren Burberry Fashion EcommerceThe big E commerce firms are taking the largest part of the digital traffic pie. Companies like Burberry, Coach, Michael Kors, Kate Spade and Tory Burch are some of the 10 of L2’s Inc.’s Digital IQ Index: Fashion. A study which studied 83 brands on different metrics of Web site and e-commerce like traffic, digital marketing, social media, and mobile. In simple terms the bigger firms are getting bigger and the smaller firms are staying afloat but with a lot of effort. The top 10 firms in the study are receiving two thirds of the online traffic. The top 10 sites drive an estimated sale of about 70 to 80% of the overall sales.

The conversion rates of the top 10 sites are high because most of them have better sites and operations which translate in more clicks and sales. The companies are taking it very seriously to maintain their top positions. Gucci has relaunched its website in North America incorporating richer imagery and more editorial content to increase consumer engagement and Chanel has started selling eyewear recently. It is a cycle that continues to work in favour of the bigger online players. “The people who invest and drive the traffic get to drive that traffic first. It’s a mad race to figure out every new tool.” explains Al Sambar, managing partner of Kurt Salmon.