Daily Archives: May 30, 2012

RECYCLABLE LUGGAGE: ‘Cardboard Baggage’ by Chiara Goose

Chiara Goose’s ‘Cardboard Baggage’ is a fun way to put recycled cardboard to good use. It’s the same size as regular luggage, but it reconfigures by tying the laces and unfolding into a storage box for your shoes and clothes. A very practical idea!

‘Cardboard Baggage’ looks pretty legit. It’s the same size as regular luggage, but it reconfigures to look even cooler than said regular luggage. Hopefully it is waterproof—I’d hate to get my clothes ruined by a few drops of rain. I guess wet clothes would be worth it to save the world.

Source: Trend Hunter, 16 April May 2010

BLOOMINGDALE’S: The Art of the Shopping Bag

Our goal was to make the shopping bag a symbol of Bloomingdale’s sense of confidence and creative output. So we changed the art of the bag 3 to 4 times a year; each became an instant collector’s item.- John C. Jay, Bloomingdale’s creative director.

Source: SuperRadNow,  4 May 2012

THE BODY SHOP: Boarding Pass Branding to Express an International Standard

It takes an imaginative designer to truly think outside of the box in terms of conceiving a brand’s identity, and Body Shop ticket packaging is a brilliant example of visual merchandizing that leaves the Earth entirely.

Sam Stringer wished to highlight the international flavor of the fragrant cosmetics line through which the high quality ingredients of each product is referenced in the label in terms of geographical origin. The concept of importing exotic infusions is emphasized in the stickers on each container which are designed to look like airline boarding passes from a range of African countries arriving in the UK. Custom-stamped with “Support Human Rights” and “Standard Humane Cosmetic,” Body Shop ticket packaging also expresses a purity that’s fit to cross borders.

Source: Trend Hunter, 10 November 2011

Bloggers provide growth opportunities for fashion companies

Forget actresses and models. Fashion companies that wish to appeal to a broader audience should focus on fashion bloggers. The takeover of the bloggers’ network Fashion Networks International (FNI) by Fairchild Fashion Media (FFN) – a Condé Nast subsidiary – confirmed a growing trend. What started off as a hobby for fashion lovers who wanted to showcase their outfits on internet has turned into a serious marketing tool, providing plenty of opportunities for brands and (online) retailers.

Suddenly they were everywhere: the Isabel Marant sneakers with built-in heel. A typical example of a trend that was created because fashion bloggers were writing about it, generating a buzz that led to endless waiting lists and remakes by high street chains like Topshop. Twenty years ago only a fashion magazine such as Vogue or Elle could have unleashed such a trend, but in recent years the baton has passed to bloggers. Bloggers are real women who actually wear the outfits they choose to portray, as opposed to the contrived fashion shoots where models sport the latest catwalk looks set against some idyllic island backdrop. And that is something consumers can more easily identify with.

Fashion companies have also discovered the influence of bloggers. Brands send them free clothes and shoes, invite them to their fashion shows or use them to front an advertisement campaign, in the hope that they will write about them in their blogs. Thousands – and in some cases millions – of fashion blog readers are between 15 and 35 years old, have an above average interest in fashion and a corresponding budget. In short, they are the ideal target
audience for a fashion company with growth plans.

Just like Isabel Marant, US fashion label Proenza Schouler enjoyed a spike in sales thanks to fashion bloggers’ coverage. “The fact that blogs have written about us and those articles have spread over the internet has had a remarkable impact on our business,” said a spokesman for the brand. When Marc by Marc Jacobs featured Swedish blogger Elin Kling as the face of a campagne and advertised on Nowmanifest, of which blogs by Kling, Rumi Neely and Bryanboy are a part, the brand’s website enjoyed an additional 94,000 hits in the space of one week.

More and more retailers are also joining the fray. Net-a-porter recently asked Kling to front a campaign photographed by world renowned photographer Patrick Demarchelier and the blogger has also launched her own fashion line in collaboration with Nelly.com. The first collection sold out completely last fall and the second collection was recently launched. Fellow bloggers Angelica Blick and Sandra Hagelstam have also joined forces with Nelly to work on new collaborations. The webshop enjoys working with bloggers, because they are trendsetters. “They signal new things and are the voice of the people: they know exactly what the general public likes and what it wants to buy. Many women first consult the blogs to see what they think of clothes and shoes, before they go out and buy it themselves. That makes our goal – selling clothes and shoes – much easier,” says Peter Lindholm, spokesman for Nelly.

Besides the usual press events for traditional media, Dutch high street shoe chain Sacha even organises special events for fashion bloggers. The shoe retailer views bloggers as a way of getting close to its target audience. “Through them we have a direct line to our target audience. The effect of having bloggers write about us after an event is noticeable. The number of hits on our website increases as a result of blogger coverage,” says Sacha spokeswoman Nathalie Gadeyne.

Source: Fashion United, 16 May 2012

Fashion director & fashion icon Anna dello Russo to design accessories for H&M

Anna Dello Russo e H&M. L’icona modaiola e il marchio dei prezzi bassi per eccellenza. Insieme per una collezione speciale di accessori disegnati dalla famosa fashion director.

“Sono eccitata per questa collaborazione -racconta Anna Dello Russo- è la prima volta che H&M coinvolge una fashion director in un progetto speciale. È il segnale di una importante evoluzione nella moda, e sono elettrizzata e orgogliosa di essere la persona scelta per aprire la via. Ho voluto creare una serie di pezzi che è impossibile trovare in giro. Come stylist, so che accessoriare è un momento essenziale del dressing up: è il tocco personale su ogni outfit. Con questi pezzi, tutti si potranno divertire, trasformando un giorno qualunque in un fantastico fashion day”.

Disponibile dal 4 Ottobre 2012, al culmine del tour stagionale delle fashion week, in circa 140 negozi nel mondo e online, la collezione include gioielli, occhiali da sole, scarpe, borse e un trolley.

“È stata una esperienza estremamente eccitante coinvolgere Anna Dello Russo in questo progetto, che è totalmente diverso da quanto abbiamo fatto in passato -spiega Margareta van den Bosch, Creative Advisor H&M – Ha un occhio fantastico e un gusto infallibile, ed è anche una fashion icon. Anna ha creato una esuberante linea di accessori che elettrizzerà i clienti H&M e tutti quanti amano la moda. La collezione è una celebrazione di fantasia, eccesso, gusto per il decoro”.

Source: Blog Corriere, 3 May 2012

UNO DE 50 revamps its image

Uno de 50, one of Spain’s top international jewellery brands has just released its campaign image for the coming season. The originality that has been its hallmark since it was created in 1996 and is a key element in its success, makes its presence felt in this highly sophisticated image update. Uno de 50 has broken away from its previous history, launching an image that picks up on its essence, where a strong, sophisticated woman caresses a Spanish lynx — symbolising the “Made in Spain” element that is so much a part of the brand — and the exclusivity which its designs seek to communicate.

Global growth
After opening in Los Angeles and Tampa, Uno de 50 continues to grow in the Americas, having recently arrived in Mexico.

On 13 April, it opened for business in the Angelópolis mall in Puebla where all its collections are now available. The new boutique maintains the brand’s signature décor, where steel and wood contrast with mink-coloured walls and old oak floors.In the US, Uno de 50 also has short-term plans for its first shop in Hawaii. The Big Apple is also on the cards and the Spanish brand is currently looking for premises.

Uno de 50 has 24 shops of its own in Spain, 11 in the rest of the world, 28 retail corners in El Corte Inglés and a select choice of multi-brand retailers all over the world.

Source: Fashion from Spain, 7 May 2012

What’s the Value Proposition of Your Ecommerce Company?

La plateforme We are the shops, qui vient d’être lancée, permet aux clients de vérifier en ligne la disponibilité de modèles en magasin, de les réserver pour 24h avant d’aller en boutique.

Your company’s value proposition is the reason consumers buy your products or services. You may have more than one value proposition, as every customer segment you serve may derive value from different aspects of your offer. You should be able to explain it in 30 seconds — the so-called elevator pitch.

As an ecommerce storeowner, the products or services you sell are a key component of your value proposition. But it is more than just those products or services. Other elements of value you provide include your pricing strategies, promotions, volume discounts, rewards points, free shipping, customer services, product content, availability, return policies, industry knowledge and expertise, and many other factors.

In this article, I’ll examine some of these elements and evaluate how they combine to form your overall value proposition.

Choosing Products and Pricing Strategies

The most important element of your product strategy is to make sure those products meet the needs of your target consumers. If you sell fashion accessories and your target market is 18 to 25 year old females, you may want to choose products that are affordable, trendy, and affiliated with younger celebrities. If your customers are price sensitive, you may carry generic brands or private label items with a lower retail prices.

If your target market is 40 to 55, professional, and has an income of more than $100,000 per year, your product selections may be more conservative, exclusive, branded, and affiliated with styles worn by leaders. You may be able sell your products closer to list price, as this target customer may be less price sensitive.

Once you select a product mix to meet your consumers’ needs, be sure to research who else is selling the same products. See how easily those companies are found, how they present their merchandise, what their pricing strategies are, and their overall product availability. Observe what other products they sell. Try to determine their value proposition. Are they the low price leader? Do they offer the widest selection of a given product? Do they offer substitute products that meet the same needs? Can you offer the same product for a better value to compel the buyer to choose your store instead of competitors’ stores?

Commodity-type items are widely available today in comparison-shopping engines and from marketplaces like Amazon and eBay. Pricing is likely to be discounted and you will need to be competitive on those items. For comparison-shopping engines, the goal is to make sure you get a click-through from those sites to your own. At that point, you will need other elements of your value proposition to differentiate your offer and your store.

Beyond Products and Pricing

Once you select your products or services, evaluate other elements that impact buying decisions. Start with your website itself. If you are selling high-end, expensive products to fashion-sensitive consumers, you may want an artistic, elegant theme with lots of rich content. If price is not a buying factor, it may be the least prominent part of your offer. Conversely, if you are selling commodities and looking for volume purchases, you may want to emphasize your pricing and little else. In either case, your shopping environment should match the needs of your target market.

Another example is electronics components. For high-end audio equipment, consumers will likely want information — from product specifications to detailed pictures to professional and consumer reviews. Conversely, for inexpensive ear bud replacement headphones, you can probably get away with just the price and a picture.

If your products and your website meet the needs of your target consumer, there are still other factors that impact your value proposition.

Free shipping. Do you offer free shipping? If your competitors do and you don’t, you may be at a disadvantage if your pricing strategies are similar.
Return policy. What is your return policy? Do you charge a restocking fee? Offer free return shipping? If you sell shoes, for example, you need to know that Zappos.com accepts all returns, anytime, and pays for the return shipping.
Reward points. Do you offer customer rewards? Stores increasingly offer rewards points. Some offer discount coupons for future orders. These strategies encourage customer loyalty.
Product availability. Are your items generally in stock? If not, can a customer still place an order? It can be frustrating to place an order, only to find out later that the item is out of stock. That will impact your customer satisfaction and customer loyalty
Customer service. What if the shopper has questions? Do you have an 800 number, online chat, or a system for opening a case online? It may impact buying decisions if shoppers cannot resolve problems or get product support.
Trust and authenticity. Can your store be trusted? Do you have product reviews and testimonials on your website? Is your website secure and can customers be confident you will not compromise their data or share their email? All of these factors impact buying decisions.

Source: Pratical Ecommerce website, 3 May 2012

MAKE YOUR SHOP POP: Tips, Trends and Techniques

Considering a retail revamp? Look no further. We asked some of the experts and players in the visual merchandising space to weigh in on today’s top trends. Here, we count ’em down so you can do it up.

1. Mann Up
“Make room to put mannequins in your store,” recommends Reggie Medford of Grand + Benedicts, who adds that even while out hiking, people want to look good, but may not know what good is until they see it. “To visually show people how these things look being used or on your body is important.” Between forms, partial and full-body mannequins, different sizes and styles, there are many ways to display a pulled-together ensemble. Don’t have the full-on space for these silent salespeople? A T-shirt-clad form can go up on a wall and a torso mannequin can sit atop a rounder and hang from a face out or the end of a four way. “With these smaller mannequins, you can put them up high,” Medford mentions. “Put a shelf above the wall system and put a mannequin up high. That’s something that really changes up the look of your store and shows a bit more of a lifestyle product presentation.”

2. Space Out
Another strategy for the spatially-challenged: Use fewer, higher-capacity displays. To avoid looking cluttered, Medford proposes that retailers increase their floor space by using a big workhorse, four way or any other means of merchandising more over less store. Along those lines, Displayit Inc.’s Kim Shultz adds that we’ll see a lot of stationary and rolling gondolas in terms of fixturing. “As the workhorse for showcasing product, these displays create a larger space for merchandising and selling.”

“As always, the paradox is good presentation versus sardine can storage to max out the dollars- per-square-foot of sales,” suggests Sk8ology’s Mark Schmid. “At the most recent Sacred Craft surfboard show, nearly every exhibitor was using the Surfworks V-Stand to show their latest surfboards. Bordz-Up, out of Connecticut, is making a very innovative snowboard rack with its patented gravity suspension technology that allows for both good presentation and inventory organization,” he reports, also mentioning an option for skate deck walls, Sk8ology’s patented floating display system. These space-saving solutions also speak to another trend Schmid sees, that of “retailers treating their inventory more like art than commodity product.”

3. Artful Aesthetic
“Incorporating stimulating visuals into displays,” tops the list for UDIZINE’s Kym Ben-Ivgi, who says customers are looking for more aesthetic presentations. “It is the visuals that are critical for outdoor visual merchandising to set the tone and atmosphere and provide a stimulating environment for the customer. Exciting visuals can create a vibrant environment for sports enthusiasts that stimulates the senses and appeals to this typically high-energy customer.”

“Multiple channels are attempting to draw the attention of a consumer, so the ante needs to be upped in multiple ways,” reports Founder/CEO of Merchandising Matters, Robin Enright. She suggests taking footwear off slotwalls and having some fun with its product placement, along with more playful methods of placing eyewear and socks to differentiate among choices. “Creativity is essential for the retailer that wants to stand apart. For example, rather than leaning skis or SUP boards against a slotwall, why not help them stand out with colorful graphics or high wall displays and integrate them into apparel displays? Perhaps even utilize them as works of art throughout the store. Every retail environment is different, and every store should spotlight that uniqueness and difference in its merchandising.” While it may prove more difficult at times, incorporating a found item or two can play up a store’s locality, according to Medford. “It creates an eclectic, fun look, and I think it allows that retailer to really connect with its clients in the area.”

4. Material World
“The trends that we see are gritty/earthy finishes, as well as metallic,” according to Ken Stolls, Lifestyle-Trimco. “Raw Mache, cement-style, cork and wood are all in play.” As additional examples of on-trend finishes, Stolls names distressed canvas forms, along with the company’s Grafix series that incorporates an image-transfer process. Lynn Banovez of OPTO International Inc. points out a shift to more wood and laminate casework with metal complementing the design, whereas in the past, metal has been the favorite. To achieve more of a natural look, Medford mentions forms with burlap over them, concealing the founding fiberglass—a material, he says, that’s on the decline. “A lot of people are going to polyurethane mannequins because they can easily be recycled.”

5. Conscious Construction
“People are using more natural, recyclable, renewable types of materials in their stores,” Medford reports. More than just a cool thing to do, the awareness level of and sensitivity to this subject is heightened all the time, especially in outdoor stores with customers particularly receptive to preserving the very place that affords them their activity. “Those people are active outdoor people who respect the environment, and I think if they see that a retailer is respecting that as well, then they feel better about shopping there.”

In some cases, showcasing sustainability may be simple, with a lot of the steel displays these days having lived previously as something else. “And if it hasn’t been recycled, it certainly is going to be at the end of its life,” Medford goes on. “Same thing with woods; a lot of what we’re using are woods that grow fast—bamboo, obviously, is something that’s more and more common.”

“As the action sports market continues to expand, so has the aesthetic diversity and marketing ingenuity in areas of design,” states Shultz, Displayit. “Current popular trends we are seeing revolve around reclaimed, recycled and raw materials that strike a chord with the environmentally-concerned consumer.”

Source: Action Outdoor & Bike, 2 April 2012

STUDY: strengths and weaknesses of clothing ecommerce websites

Pour la troisième année consécutive, la société Yuseo publie son Observatoire e-commerce des sites de prêt-à-porter. Etabli à partir d’interrogatoires et de tests d’utilisation réalisés par 1500 cyberacheteuses françaises de 20 à 50 ans, l’Observatoire passe au crible les sites marchands d’une douzaine d’enseignes en magasins et pure players: 3suisses.fr, Asos, Berschka, Camaïeu, Etam, Kiabi, Pimkie, Marks & Spencer, Promod, H&M, La Redoute et Zara.

 Kiabi est bien placé concernant les promotions

Au niveau de ses enseignements généraux, il confirme les motivations principales des acheteuses en ligne: la quête de promotions intéressantes se détache nettement parmi les motivations, devant la largeur de gamme, puis la qualité des visuels et la fiabilité de livraison. Les trois enseignes qui se distinguent sur la question des promotions sont Kiabi, La Redoute et 3 Suisses, respectivement appréciées sur cet item par 82%, 76% et 75% des internautes, contre une moyenne de 61% toutes enseignes confondues. A l’opposé, Zara est la lanterne rouge des promos avec seulement 32% de clientes du site qui apprécient ses offres !

En matière de largeur d’assortiment, c’est logiquement le pure player Asos qui sort du lot, avec 62% de clientes qui le mettent en avant. Promod arrive en tête pour la qualité des visuels (57%), juste devant Pimkie et Zara. Les images des sites généralistes de la vente à distance et de Kiabi séduisent beaucoup moins, avec seulement 32% et 33% pour La Redoute et 3 Suisses, 35% pour Kiabi. Métier oblige, 3 Suisses et La Redoute sont à l’inverse en pointe sur la fiabilité des livraisons, avec respectivement 63% et 62% de clientes satisfaites, contre 33% pour Etam et Camaïeu.

Source: Fashion Mag, 22 May 2012

WE ARE THE SHOPS: bets on pre-shopping

La plateforme We are the shops, qui vient d’être lancée, permet aux clients de vérifier en ligne la disponibilité de modèles en magasin, de les réserver pour 24h avant d’aller en boutique.

Pour un shopping efficace et sans déception, le site “We are the shops” ne compte pas sur la vente en ligne, mais sur le pré-shopping. Il permet en quelque sorte au visiteur d’avoir un œil sur le stock des boutiques afin de savoir dans quel magasin se rendre. Un concept basé sur le principe du ROPO: Research online, purchase offline. L’objectif est d’emmener la personne en boutique, en lui indiquant précisément où trouver l’article qu’elle recherche, et surtout s’il est disponible », explique Victor Aumaître, qui a fondé le site avec ses deux associés. Il veut se distinguer des annuaires communautaires de boutiques, en offrant notamment un service de réservation d’articles, qui peuvent être mis de côté pendant une journée dans la boutique ciblée par le client.

Le projet, lancé il y a un an et demi, et mis en ligne il y a trois mois, est motivé par le lien parfois sous-estimé entre internautes et boutiques physiques. En 2010, 25 millions de Français ont utilisé Internet pour préparer une virée shopping, et 20% des ventes réalisées en magasin ont été motivées par une recherche préalable sur Internet (chiffres McKinsey, Google).

We are the shops est un service gratuit, et le site est mis à jour quotidiennement. Le défi est est de passer à une gestion en live. L’équipe a pour l’instant réussi à convaincre une douzaine de marques comme Berenice, Antik Batik, Gérard Darel, ou Ekjo. L’objectif est de réunir 50 marques au bout d’un an d’activité, et à terme totaliser 150 labels partenaires. Nous souhaitons aussi intégrer des boutiques de multimarques indépendants, et référencer leurs produits, poursuit Victor Aumaître. Prochaine étape? La sortie de l’application iPhone de la plateforme, qui devrait être disponible dans quelques semaines.

Source: Fashion Daily News website, 10 May 2012