Business of Fashion published an Op Ed by Ari Bloom of A2B Ventures on the importance of physical retail vs e-commerce, despite us being in a digital age.
…While Emarketer predicts that e-commerce in the apparel and accessories market will grow at an astounding 17.2 percent annually between now and 2017, one would be hard-pressed to find reliable projections that show offline sales accounting for less than 75 percent of total apparel and accessories sales for the foreseeable future.
Fashion, especially at a higher price point and in its broadest sense, is an industry that relies on brand experience and “value for money” (not actual cost, but the value exchange). Brands are more than just the products they sell, they are the reason people are prepared to pay more for one than another, to collect and covet, to spend time and money. And though e-tail and digital presence have improved significantly over recent years (slower than in other industries, I hasten to add) the experience in store still offers the ultimate experience of the brand and emotional sell necessary. That’s the “value”, rather than the actual amount of money being spent - not to mention the immediate gratification.
But considering any of your marketing and sales channels in isolation from each other is a mistake – immediate store sales and branded bags prompt other purchasers to act, being an advertising medium in themselves. And digital is increasingly part of the sales experience in store, as much as brands are seeing retail as experiential spaces not just sales locations. Hence emergence of stores like Burberry and their interactive changing rooms and music venue, 10 Corso Como and their bookshop and cafe spaces, or Louis Vuitton and their exhibitions and collections of modern art.
Ultimately, fashion brands, whether they are born online or offline, should harness and integrate the strengths of both channels to create a better consumer experience and build more effective businesses.
Read more at Business of Fashion.
Timeline of the Far Future, by iibStudio for BBC Future.
Mapping China according to Chinese stereotype, as reported by Baidu – China’s most used search engine, highlights some really interesting points of view (Taiwan being “unwilling to return” seems both confrontational and resigned to the fact; Guangdong “eats monkeys” shows that local racism still abounds; Tibet “no results” is of course indicative of the political situation)
Foreign Policy has published the map, following on from The Atlantic’s one of America according to Google’s Autocomplete, for China – a country with 22 provinces, 5 autonomous regions, and countless deeply held and unhealthy schisms and regional stereotyping.
Of course, the results will change over time, and the above map reflect recent violent attacks and natural disasters.
Read more at Foreign Policy
Western media continue to refer to out of date portrayals of luxury customers in China, and it’s leaving businesses susceptible to a raft of misconceptions.
Timothy Parent is a Shanghai resident of 9 years, and he debunks the myths for Business of Fashion. Click, or read on below.
The problem with fashion films is fundamentally that they rarely say anything. They don’t apply the principals of social media. They are beautiful, well shot, have great names associated, but rarely have the edge needed to encourage sharing. The above film by Swell in NYC, for CR Fashion Book certainly is a more interesting look-book for both the models and the clothes, and indeed a good advert for post production capabilities… but there’s not enough edge, surprise, or dare I say, interest to make it really stand out. But then again, maybe – given the standard of fashion films – it does stand out enough. It’s certainly made me write about it, which is more than most.
Read more about it on Trendland.
Below is a better example of a fashion look-book, created for my new brand obsession, Acronym. I think they could have done even more to the concept, but the sleight of hand element, the attention to detail and the continuation of their principals (Acronymjutsu – the art of movement in and of their clothes ) are plain to see, and have piqued my interest as a consumer. Fundamental.
More on fashion films here.
The Power of the Millennial Male from Digiday on Vimeo.
How to lose audiences in seconds.
Rich Antoniello heads up Complex Media network, and talks about how brands so often get “branded content” wrong because they see it as part of a campaign, not an ongoing conversation. Given that the network has 90m monthly readers and 931m monthly page views, I think he’s worth listening to.
Spread positive appreciation for a retail experience via QR codes at the bottom of a receipt (or via e-receipt). Codes offer discounts and more for second visit to store, but not for yourself – pass them to a friend as a present. Impromptu giving results in positive social reinforcement, and drives traffic to your store.
thanks Advertual for the inspiration.