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China Digital Roundup | Google Glass, eBay’s Online Mall, WeChat, Alibaba

A roundup on how digital is transforming our life and business – both in China and the rest of the world through January 24th.

L'Oreal Matrix Google Glass

L’Oreal’s Matrix Offers Stylist’s-Eye View with Google Glass

By BrandChannel

Google Glass may still be a novelty of sorts for just about everyone outside its “Explorer” program, but that’s not stopping global beauty brand L’Oreal from incorporating the futuristic specs into its personal care brands. According to Retailing Today, L’Oréal subsidiary Matrix is using Google Glass to help teach hairstylists how to do better work. Called “Matrix Class for Glass,” the initiative will include blogger video series, a salon professional education platform, and an app that “will house an exclusive library of content that can be downloaded by consumers and professionals.”

 

eBay said to open online mall to lure fancy brands

By CNET

Word has it that eBay has plans to open an online marketplace that caters to various brands, according to The Wall Street Journal. Rather than using the eBay moniker, this site is said to be called “The Plaza.” On “The Plaza,” it’s said that brands will be able to sell directly to consumers — just like with eBay — but won’t have to be listed next to second-hand items or possible knock-offs. It said that with the rumored online mall, merchants could sell their goods through eBay but not have “to worry about weakening their brand.”

 

Next WeChat 5.2 update show LinkedIn integration and a makeover for Android

By Tech In Asia

China’s most popular messaging app and social network WeChat’s upcoming version 5.2 update will likely come with LinkedIn integration and a new interface for Android users, according to Pingwest. The following screenshots come from a private beta version, so the updates aren’t final, yet. This is a major move early in LinkedIn’s official Chinese career, especially since it doesn’t even have a Chinese-language site yet. LinkedIn first revealed it had plans to officially expand to China last week when the professional networking site announced it hired a new president for LinkedIn China in the form of Derek Shen. Company shares rose strongly on the news.

 

Alibaba on Tour: the China’s Tech Giant draws a crowd in Amazon and Microsoft land

By GeekWire

Alibaba may not be a household name in the United States yet, but the company is a giant in China — with a dominant e-commerce platform, growing cloud computing system, smartphone operating system and even a finance business. It’s sometimes described as Amazon, PayPal and eBay combined, with a bit of Google thrown in for good measure. And the company is widely expected to make a headline-grabbing IPO this year. So we jumped at the opportunity to sit down with Wang Jian, Alibaba’s chief technology officer, as part of a visit by some of the company’s top executives to the Seattle region this week.

 

Asians spend 257% more on brands they follow online

By Red Luxury

A new study from Waggener Edstrom Communications found that Asian consumers spend up to 257 percent more on brands they follow online. “This study shows that in 2014 digital-driven brand storytelling is central to successful communications. Consumers want to be engaged by brands online,” said Matthew Lackie, Senior Vice President at Waggener Edstrom. “We are seeing that B2B and B2C companies will be rewarded in 2014 with larger spends, engagement rates, and higher levels of brand advocacy when they provide their audiences with great content.”

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.