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China Digital Roundup I Mark & Spencer, Tiffany, Instagram, Alibaba

A roundup on how digital is transforming our life and business – both in China and the rest of the world through December 19th.

Mark & Spencer embraces new shopping technology, by Fashion United

Mark & Spencer Technogy store

Retailers including John Lewis and Marks & Spencer are embracing new technology, including mobile point-of-sale tablets, Google mapping and enhanced self-service terminals in a bid to make shopping even more convenient for its customers.

Department store John Lewis is trialling mobile point-of-sale over the Christmas period in three stores, Cheadle, Brent Cross and Peter Jones, as it embraces its use of shopping technology. Each store will use transactional tablets that allow customers to skip the queues at till banks and make their purchases directly with the member of staff on the shop floor who advised them.

Each tablet will be fully linked to the shop’s till systems, allowing customers to fully complete their purchase in the shop or arrange home delivery, in a development that the retailer states is a UK first. In addition to offering payment assistance the tablets will also give shoppers and the assistants access to a range of product information including customer ratings and reviews on johnlewis.com. Initially, the tablets will be trialled in a number of departments including technology and white goods.

 

Tiffany debuts Tiffany Diamond in Beijing with original music score, by Luxury Daily

Diamond Beijing Tiffany & Cie

Jeweler Tiffany & Co. employed Chinese composer Tan Dun to create a piece that sets the tone for the brand among affluent consumers.

Mr. Dun’s composition was inspired by the jeweler’s Tiffany Diamond, a 128-karat yellow diamond that made its debut in China early in December. Tapping a local, yet world-renowned, musician will help Tiffany appeal to affluent Chinese consumers with a penchant for modern classical music.

“This composition by Mr. Dun creates excellent content for Tiffany to use in various forms of social and digital media to reach a large audience of followers and to attract new followers in China,” said Ron Kurtz, president of the American Affluence Research Center, Atlanta.

 

Hong Kong’s Luxury IFC Mall to Launch E-Commerce Site, by Red Luxury

IFC Mall China

Retail has been forever changed by e-commerce and a more connected consumer. In a nod to a growing trend that merges online and offline channels, Hong Kong’s IFC shopping mall is going online, the first time for a Hong Kong mall operator.

IFC Mall will launch an e-commerce website that allows shoppers to access products offered by its luxury brand tenants.

“The internet is changing the way in which people live, and we now have to run a business in ways that we never imagined before,” said a source. “It will not create direct competition with tenants, but help to reach out to more potential customers.”

 

What Instagram Direct Means for Fashion Brands, by Fashionista

Instagram Direct Feature

On Thursday, Instagram unveiled Instagram Direct, a new feature that allows users to message photos and videos to up to 15 of their friends at a time, rather than all of their followers.

It’s like Snapchat, but with a richer featureset: Images and videos don’t disappear seconds after viewing them, and you and your friends can have private conversations about the messages you send to each other in a comments section.

By limiting messages to 15 people at a time, the opportunity Instagram Direct offers for fashion brands and retailers — which generally want to reach as large an audience as possible — may not be obvious.

 

What Chinese Shopped on Alibaba Marketplaces in 2013, by Technode

alibaba online platform

The ever-growing online shopping market in China helped transactions on the past Nov 11th, the annual online shopping day created by Alibaba, reach a record high.

Nearly 6,000 people in wealthy areas of China spent more than RMB 1 million (about $164,000) each on Taobao platforms in 2013, as buying cars, land-use rights, expensive vacations on Taobao became available in the year.

Alibaba released a report on Alibaba Group’s Taobao Marketplace, Tmall and group-buying service Juhuasuan this year.

China Digital Roundup I Martell, Bomoda, Snap Fashion

A roundup on how digital is transforming our life and business – both in China and the rest of the world through December 5th.

Martell’s Savvy WeChat Campaign Engages China’s Frequent Flyers, by JingDaily

Martell WeChat

Travelers making their way through Beijing and Shanghai airports this fall can participate in an innovative new ad campaign by Martell Noblige Cognac that combined mobile and offline marketing with a focus on interactive participation by consumers. The campaign, entitled Dangdai MingshiYingxiang Xun Lu (当代名士•映像寻旅) in Chinese translated as “Modern Elites and their Journey of New Elegance”, sent famous photographer Justin Jin to 6 Chinese cities to photograph “men of elegance” .

The Beijing and Shanghai airports both featured interactive exhibition of Jin’s photography with a special QR code below each photo. Scanning the QR code allowed users to access the brand’s WeChat page and access profiles of each “elegant man” with audio descriptions of their accomplishments. The campaign also featured a free plane ticket giveaway to winning participants, and those who were not physically in the airport can send a number or voice command via WeChat in order to be entered in the drawing.

 

Bomoda Launches Mobile App Aimed at China’s Connected Fashionistas, by JingDaily

Popular - BOMODA

Since its launch in May 2012, New York City-based online community Bomoda has been building up a quarter-million strong network of China’s most discerning luxury shoppers through its Chinese-language online fashion and lifestyle newsletter. In the past two months, the curatorial site has embarked on a new chapter with the launch of its new mobile app and social sharing site, enlisting major brands, retailers, and key opinion leaders (KOLs) to promote a new interactive platform that is the first of its kind in the China market.

The new mobile app, launched on November 18 for the iPhone, allows for the sharing of images through the company’s new Pinterest-like social site that was unveiled in October. On the site, users have the opportunity to upload, share, collect, and repost their favorite fashion-related images, as well as share on major Chinese social media sites including WeChat Moments, Weibo, Tencent, QQ, and Tencent Weibo. Its high-fashion aesthetic makes it the first of its kind in China, standing out from other more mass-market Pinterest-like sites such as Meilishuo and Huaban.

 

Stores Offer Click & Collect to Attract Consumers this Holiday Season, by Luxury Daily

Click & Collect

Bricks-and-mortar retailers are having to compete with online retailers such as Amazon for the holiday shopping season, and they are finding new ways to get consumers to shop with them. A number of department stores offer click-and-collect services where consumers can order items online and pick them up in-person in-store and, in most cases, with no delivery fee. By doing this, stores are able to merge the ease of online shopping with speedier return, getting consumers to visit their stores in-person for convenience.

Click-and-collect is becoming more popular as it allows the customer the convenience of shopping from home, but [with] the instant gratification of receiving the purchase virtually instantaneously,” said Robert Cuthbertson, senior manager at Boston Retail Partners. “Customers can avoid long lines, busy fitting rooms, being overwhelmed with roaming racks and racks of clothes and product.”

 

Snap Fashion and Styloko: Search Using Images to Find The Perfect (and Cheapest) Wardrobe, by Metro

Snap Fashion app

Snap Fashion just might be your secret weapon this party season – the website is the perfect tool for finding the exact item a celebrity is wearing. You can also use its phone app to snap an image of a dress you find in a shop to browse for similar alternatives, or to find the perfect heels to match.

The technology trawls through thousands of possibilities to find you that exact item, before redirecting you to the retailer’s site to purchase. Or it will present you with styles similar to the item snapped, from a range of different brands and price points.

 

How Ready is Southeast Asia for Online Payments? by Tech In Asia

Online Payment APAC

Rapid economic expansion, a young population, and low-cost smartphones and tablets are creating tech-savvy generations across Southeast Asia. Major e-commerce players such as GrouponeBayRocket Internet, and LivingSocial have ventured into Southeast Asia, making significant investments into these markets. With increasing penetration of e-commerce into Southeast Asia, global payment companies such as PayPal are investing in the region. But as they do, stiff competition is being demonstrated from a number of local players.

While the industry’s potential is obvious, technology investors and global payment providers should be wary of rushing into these markets without understanding the cultural and regulatory differences of each country, which affect how merchants and consumers behave. A tailored strategy then, which considers the unique stages of each market’s development, factoring in technology, infrastructure, consumer preferences, and regulatory environment, is far superior to a regionalized blueprint approach.