Archive | November, 2012

eBay opens social shopping experience in London’s Covent Garden – pictures

30 Nov photo 5

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eBay is hosting a “social shopping” pop-up in London over the weekend to tie in with what it predicts to be its busiest online shopping day of the year in the UK. Over six million people are expected to log on to its site this Sunday, and a significant number of those are likely to come from mobile, it says.

No surprise then, the Covent Garden setup is built around how to make the most of eBay using your smartphone or tablet, recognising at the same time how important social media is in that space too.

I just went along to check it out, as the pictures above and below show. On display is a real-time barometer of the most talked about gifts and products over Twitter, an augmented reality experience highlighting this year’s must-have toys (note the Furby in the below shot), an example of its image recognition technology in action, and more.

That latter one sees a number of fashion bloggers pictured on the wall alongside a fabric swatch they’ve picked out. Each one can be scanned using the eBay fashion app to bring up similar colours and items available across the site. We trialled our scarves to double check they weren’t preloaded results – it did of course work wonderful.

eBay says mobile technologies such as this, as well as augmented reality and 3D, will present the UK retail industry with a potential boost of £2.4bn by 2014.

Carrie Bienkowski, head of buyer experience at eBay, said it’s changing the way we shop. “Consumers now carry a global showroom in their pocket and are increasingly as inclined to seek recommendations online and shop mobile as visit the high street. At eBay we expect 2012 to be our most successful mobile Christmas ever with around 30% of the most popular Christmas products being bought through a smartphone.”

eBay’s social shopping pop-up space is open from today until Sunday – if you’re in the area, check it out.

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Digital snippets: adidas, Nars, Hermès, Cole Haan, Wall Street Journal, F-commerce

29 Nov adidas

Some more great stories from around the web surrounding all things fashion and digital over the past week:

  • adidas gives Facebook users personalised version of Ebenezer Snoop holiday campaign [PSFK]
  • Nars creates a digital journey into the world of Andy Warhol [L2 Think Tank]
  • Hermès launches on Tumblr and Pinterest [Hermès]
  • Tumblr unveils accessories spotlight section sponsored by Cole Haan [Mashable]
  • Wall Street Journal launches shoppable holiday gift guide [AdAge]
  • F-commerce ‘too soon’ for retailers, says Facebook’s retail director [Marketing Magazine]
  • The end of the smartphone era is coming thanks to computerised glasses [BusinessInsider]
  • EyeSee store mannequins gather intelligence on shoppers [Gizmag]
  • Ready to download your next pair of shoes? How 3D printing is turning bits into atoms [BusinessInsider]
  • Facebook aims for luxury brands with study into how the rich use social [Econsultancy]

New start-up Tapestry gives shop floor a digital identity, signs Diesel as pilot partner

28 Nov

It goes without saying that mobile is set to play an ever-increasing role in the future of retail – be it for payment, loyalty and rewards, social content or more.

Enter then, Tapestry, a new start-up from the team behind London-based digital agency Guided Collective, that very nicely ties all those things together.

Launched in a pilot partnership with Diesel in the UK, this iPhone and Android app helps to provide shoppers with a 360 degree online-meets-offline experience.

Trialling at Diesel’s Westfield London store until December 21, it allows consumers to curate a collection of all the items they like as they shop by scanning existing barcodes (or by using NFC in enabled Android devices). From there, they can see information about each piece such as size, colour and price, as well as the digital content that surrounds it – expert reviews from bloggers for instance, alongside videos, runway shows and more.

In essence, it’s a physical or real-world bookmarking tool for the fashion industry.

Those bookmark sets – known as Tapestries of course – can then be shared across social networks, but better yet be bought straight from the smartphone too. There’s also the possibility for notifications on things like promotions and rewards.

Referring to itself as a mobile loyalty service, the Tapestry write-up reads: “On the one hand it links content and promotions directly to physical products via a consumer’s mobile. On the other hand it links all physical items in store to the retailer’s ecommerce site, re-shaping the retail experience both in and out of store.”

Simply put, it gives a retailer’s physical inventory a digital identity, something Sam Reid, founder of Tapestry, refers to as “joining up the dots”. Based on a cloud platform, it also does so simply and at scale, he explains. And the app is to be funded on that basis, with retailers paying a subscription fee for the service.

In addition, it gives retailers permission-based real-time access to consumer interests, and therefore data. “The user is saying ‘I’m interested in these shoes, this t-shirt and this dress. Let me know when they’re on sale, or if stock is close to selling out, or if you’ve some interesting content to share,” the Tapestry description explains.

It’s hoped more retailers will follow in Diesel’s footsteps, says Reid, suggesting others are already in talks. This makes the concept all-the-more interesting – rather than just being about one brand’s clothing items consumers might save and explore, it becomes about their entire shopping trip. Imagine being able to recall everything you’ve seen, read reviews around them, and pick and choose which ones you want to buy at a later date. It’d certainly simplify those occasions when you regret something you should have purchased and you can’t find it online.

Another interesting part for the future will be seeing this app develop alongside NFC. With this, consumers only need to tap items (hence the clever Tapestry name) to bring them up on their phone – effortless. As this technology becomes more commonplace across devices, that behaviour is likely to see a huge spike in uptake in the retail space, blurring the digital and physical lines ever more.

It’s worth checking out blogger Liberty London Girl’s exclusive link up with Diesel for the Tapestry launch too. And watching the video demonstrating Tapestry in action, below:

Valentino updates virtual museum, launches in-browser

27 Nov

You may remember Valentino launched a virtual museum in December 2011. Designed as a downloadable desktop app, it was met with somewhat lukewarm reception in terms of its design and more importantly, its technical ability.

It’s great to hear therefore, the team has launched a browser verison. At www.valentinogaravanimuseum.com, users can now explore the archives of the designer within their internet journey. There are still a couple of hoops to jump, such as downloading a plug-in, but the overall result is simpler, more appealing and should help up traffic.

At the original launch last year, Valentino Garavani’s business partner Giancarlo Giammetti spoke about keeping the virtual concept exciting by staying abreast of technological change. He also promised frequent content updates to the museum, including new drawings and videos.

That is finally happening with the web browser launch too. Two new videos have been added: one from Valentino’s collaboration with the New York City Ballet (as below), and the other of the recent presentation of his Commandeur de l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres, in Paris. Hopefully there’ll be more to follow.

The site also has a dedicated homepage (before the plug-in) featuring news, pics of the week and an ‘In the Press’ section – nice for SEO and further suggestive of more regular content updates.

Offline, Valentino’s couture archive specifically is the subject of a new exhibition at Somerset House in London, opening this Thursday, November 29.

Jean Paul Gaultier celebrates grown-up ‘enfants terribles’ with digital advent calendar

27 Nov

Jean Paul Gaultier has launched an online campaign for the festive period centred on a digital advent calendar.

Created with digital agency Isobar, and housed on jeanpaulgaultier.com, the calendar’s 24 dates appear as the inside pockets of Father Christmas’ coat (in this case with Jean Paul Gaultier playing the role).

Each one reveals a variety of games, entertainment and prizes to be won. Designed for “grown-up enfants terribles“ (Gaultier’s own long-standing nickname), and celebrating “the Christmas of naughty children”, it features animations including sexy reindeers and naughty elves, and names such as “Shake your snowball” and “Eat the log”.

“Once upon a time, it was a Christmas unlike any other. An alternative Christmas, an upside down Christmas, a new slant on Christmas, as only Jean Paul Gaultier could imagine it, “ reads the write-up.

Users will be able to open three pockets at random each day, followed by a further three when they share the experience with their Facebook or Twitter friends. Prizes include bottles and boxsets of fragrance, Jean Paul Gaultier stuffed animals and a special gift due to be revealed on Christmas Eve.

Check out the intro video below:

Physical Pinterest board pops up at Westfield UTC mall

26 Nov

How’s this for a nice example of digital meets physical… Pinterest has set up a life-size pop-up board in San Diego to help celebrate the renovated Westfield UTC mall.

The outdoor concept sees a billboard-like frame housing both images and actual products as though they’re pins. Various brands and retailers from the mall are represented, with the same shown online on the WestfieldUTC Escape Everyday Pinterest page.

Fans are then invited to create their own board for a chance to win all the items (as shown with the rules below). Included is a pair of Oakley sunglasses, a $500 Splendid shopping spree, a $500 J.Crew gift card with a personal shopper, an ArcLight private screening for 20 people with refreshments, a Seasons 52 Chef’s Table for eight with wine pairings and more.

[LaJollaMom]

H&M teases digital content ahead of & Other Stories line launch

23 Nov

There’s some nice digital content going on to seed the launch of H&M’s new upmarket concept, & Other Stories.

The womenswear line, which will include ready-to-wear, shoes, bags and accessories, was teased through a one-minute video on Vogue.co.uk this week (as below).

The “Shoes & Other Stories” spot sees a series of polariod frames streamed one after the other as though a slideshow. It features a woman walking around Paris barefoot until she receives a delivery of & Other Stories footwear.

“Documentary-like snapshots tell the story of a day in the life of a Parisian girl while giving glimpses of & Other Stories’ concept and SS/13 collection,” reads the write-up.

There’s also a Tumblr page in action showcasing all manner of inspiration and product shots (including some from the film), as well as a couple of what looks like the & Other Stories team at work in the atelier.

Facebook, Twitter and a website have also launched, the latter inviting fans to sign-up in order to “receive tons of inspiration on a regular basis because we love to share our secrets, tips and tricks with you”.

The line aims, it says, to inspire women to create their personal style, or story. It will launch for spring 2013 in stores and online in selected European countries. Expect lots more to come…

Japan photo booth prints lifelike 3D sculptures

23 Nov

In case you didn’t already spot this, the world’s first 3D printing photo booth just popped up in Japan. Yes, photo booth – in you step, the camera scanner goes off, and out pops a 3D figure of yourself.

Omote 3D Shashin Kan, as it’s called, is being shown in Harajuku’s Eye of Gyre art gallery from this weekend through January 14. It uses rapid prototyping technology to gather accurate data from its subjects over a 15-minute period, including their posture, shape, size, hair colour and even clothing. The data is uploaded to create a CAD design which is then printed into lifelike miniature sculptures in your choice of 10cm, 15cm or 20cm tall.

For now, they’re not particularly cheap – $258, $393 and $516 respectively – nor are they necessarily 100% accurate; according to Dazed Digital, movement, light reflection or intricate textures could throw up unusable results.

But, they’re another great indication of the direction this technology is moving.

Ok so who actually wants a 3D sculpture of themselves you might ask (quite a few people actually, but that’s by the by). For argument’s sake, then, imagine this concept taken further in the future and applied to fashion consumption…

In you step with your favourite but super worn pair of jeans on, the prototyping does its work (you choose fabric as you go and such like), and out you come with a brand new pair, perfectly shaped to fit. Or how about that coat from three seasons ago that’s falling apart at the seams, or a dress you’ve been desperate to replicate in another colour? After all, this bikini reportedly just became the first completely 3D-printed article of clothing.

Not so unfeasible now, is it.

Farfetch celebrates Christmas with designer augmented reality wrapping paper

22 Nov

Farfetch.com’s augmented reality gift wrap by (left to right) Meadham Kirchhoff, Melinda Gibson, Margot Bowman and Gary Card

Online marketplace Farfetch.com is launching augmented reality gift wrap for the holiday season using image recognition technology from Aurasma.

Based on exclusive illustrations from four emerging creatives, the wrapping paper can be scanned using the Aurasma app on smartphone or tablet devices to reveal behind-the-scenes videos of the respective design process.

These fly-on-the-wall films document the gift wrap from sketchpad to sign-off, alongside interviews with each of the four creatives: design duo Meadham Kirchhoff (film shown below), photographer Melinda Gibson, artist and DJ Margot Bowman, and set designer and illustrator Gary Card.

The designs will be printed on 40,000 reams of wrapping paper and dispatched with all Farfetch orders from now until December 19.

CEO and founder of Farfetch.com, Jose Neves, said: “We are delighted to be collaborating with four dynamic names from the worlds of art and design, bringing these one-off creations to our online platform and sharing with a worldwide, fashion-forward audience. The campaign as a whole will offer users and customers exclusive access to the entire ‘Unwrap’ journey, creating what we hope will be an unrivalled online shopping experience.”

That ‘Unwrap’ concept will also see each design featured as wallpaper on the site (as with Meadham Kirchoff below) for a week, and a social Pass the Parcel game. Here, consumers are invited to click to win daily designer gifts and then share the parcel with their friends to gain more entries into the grand prize draw. The game also includes a world map that features a live feed of players around the globe.

In another phyiscal translation of the campaign, the Meadham Kirchoff print is also wrapping two London taxis (also shown below) from November 26 for a week. Passengers jumping in for a ride will receive festive cakes from food blogger April Carter of Rhubarb & Rose, and another chance to win designer gifts from Farfetch.com.

Digital snippets: Georg Jensen, Macy’s, Muji, Sanctuary Spa, Marc Jacobs, Pinterest

21 Nov

Some more great stories from around the web surrounding all things fashion and digital over the past week:

  • Holition and Georg Jensen create 3D augmented reality app (as pictured) [Retail Jeweller]
  • Macy’s Twitter and Facebook pages overrun with anti-Trump comments [Mashable]
  • Muji to push knitwear via e-paper tallies of Facebook likes [Nikkei]
  • Marc Jacobs launches new luxury, e-commerce experience [InsideFMM]
  • Pinterest launches business pages to get cozy with brands [AdAge]
  • Deciphering the devices: tablets versus smartphones [WWD]
  • Most e-commerce froth since 2000 stirs up investor doubts: tech [Boomberg]
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