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The Vue On Sundays – October 28, 2018


The Vue on Sundays

Welcome to another edition of The Vue On Sundays, a bi-monthly feature of all the news that’s shaking up retail. Think of The Vue On Sundays as us catching up with the retail industry over coffee and cookies. Everything we discuss will be from the perspective of small-medium businesses and as always, we are open to feedback so please leave a comment or get in touch if you have anything to say! Without any further ado, here’s what we’re talking about this week – 

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Brand Loyalty? What’s That?

The end of 2018 and consequently, the holidays, retail’s busiest and most important season has crept up on us already! Forbes magazine has revealed quite a few surprising trends – including the fact that more shoppers will be coming to brick and mortar stores for Black Friday as opposed to shopping online. The most surprising, though, was that fewer and fewer shoppers are expressing Brand Loyalty. Nearly one-quarter of shoppers said they tend to make purchasing decisions in the moment, depending on new products and services, price, promotions and recommendations.” says the article. While it’s easy to interpret this pessimistically, we say the retail glass is actually half full – customers are far more fluid and open to new products and experiences than ever before, so the focus isn’t on your brand or whether it’s big or small – it’s only about the product and how you’re selling it. For the complete story, do read the Forbes Magazine article about 7 of the Scariest Retail Trends of The Holiday Season

Experience is Everything

Yes, we harp a lot about Customer Experience on Vue45, but that’s because it’s the undeniable truth of the retail industry today. The New York Times reports that despite the number of casualties that the retail apocalypse is taking, there are a number of stores that are thriving because they’ve learned to adapt. The secret is, “almost anything, it seems, that keeps shoppers on their toes is viable. That includes exclusive merchandise (will this location carry that handbag?), pop-up shops (will this store be here next week?) and experiences (can I eat or drink or post as well as shop?)”. Retail brands need to get smarter not only about what they sell, but also how they sell it – whether it is through careful curation or by offering unique lifestyle experiences. The hangout, is just as important as what’s hanging on the racks. To get the full picture on why Getting Shoppers Into Stores Takes More Than Inventory, read the story from The New York Times, here. 

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How Victoria’s Secret Is Getting Upstaged By Data

The average woman owns 16 Bras at any given time and buys 4 a year. And yet, heritage lingerie brands like Victoria’s Secret are falling behind because they have failed to understand an entire segment of their customer base. Victoria’s Secret designs have always been young and sexy with mid-range pricing (between $25-$40), which is popular among women in their twenties, but this design strategy completely alienates the working woman who is looking for a cleaner, more practical upgrade but aren’t ready for the luxury pricing of brands like La Perla, which retail at $200. Heidi Zak, the founder of Third Love , which makes ‘bras and underwear for every body‘ used a combination of data about women’s breast sizes and production innovation (they offer half sizes, which is unheard of in the lingerie industry) to create well made, form-fitting bras. With five years in the industry and now, $160 million in expected sales and a $750 million valuation, Heidi Zak’s story of innovation and understanding customer needs is one that anyone and everyone in the retail industry should read!

Crazy Rich Asians

Yoox Net-A-Porter, the world’s biggest luxury e-commerce group announced two days ago that it will partner with Chinese E-Commerce behemoth AliBaba, to sell luxury goods on the chinese platform. Phew. Take a breath now, because we get it, this is massive news. The partnership looks to harvest the best of both groups – the massive brand roster that Yoox Net-A-Porter has, which includes Christian Louboutin, Prada, Jimmy Choo and more, with the superior logistics support that AliBaba is now synonymous with. The Chinese account for a whopping 32% of luxury consumption worldwide, which is more than any other nationality in the world and AliBaba has been trying to shed its image of being a platform for fake and counterfeit goods, so it is obvious to see how this deal is a win-win for both parties. What’s the takeaway for the small business owner? The power of collaboration, of course! Two heads are always, always, better than one. You can read all about the YNAP/AliBaba (Yoox-A-Baba? Ali-A-Porter? Porter-Baba) deal, here.

Do Robots Dream of Prada?

Amazon has just, rather secretively, launched “Echo Look‘, a device that can, among other things, analyze your outfit and tell you how to style it better based on what you already own, and recommend new items based on your existing style. “The real point of fashion”, writes Jess Cartner-Morley for The Guardian, “isn’t the fabric or the clothes themselves; it is how we think and feel about those clothes”. And it is this feeling that Artificial Intelligence is now trying to tap. Let’s get real here for a second – AI can do a number of amazing things for the fashion industry, from automation to computer-generated models, but can AI create and encourage something as unique and personal as style? Or will it, with its algorithms and data patterns, end up killing it? Read the story on The Guardian, here, to find out

And that’s it for this week! If you’ve been reading something interesting about retail, do let us know!


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