Brands Pin Themselves to Pinterest

Have you hopped on Pinterest yet? The social service is like heaven for fashion retail, with hundreds of millions of views a month. In fact, it’s just one step behind Facebook and Twitter now.

Retailers are climbing aboard at record speed, too. This week, Sephora added the ability to pin any item in its online catalog to the service, along with online shopping for in-store checkout and more. Harrods is taking it one further, though, bringing in Pinterest as a key component in its new campaign for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Harrods is known for its fanciful and ornate window displays, the stuff of dreams for many creative types. Now Harrods is giving UK residents a chance to create their own window display, and it’s using Pinterest as its platforms. Fans who create a mood board on Pinterest. If they title it ‘Harrods Street Party Window’ and tweet the retailer, their board may serve as inspiration for one of the highest profile window displays in Harrods’ recent history.

Written by Nissa on April 18, 2012 – 5:01 pm -
Posted in Retail Applications | 1 Comment »

Timeline Coming to Facebook Pages

Just as we finally adjust to Facebook Timeline as individual users, the service starts to role out Timeline for Pages. What does this mean for you and your Facebook Page? Read on.

1. At-a-glance access to the most important content: This new design makes it far easier to get to page tabs, see like counts and access all the content that was once tucked away in the sidebar.

2. Wide page tabs: you’ll now have 810px width to work with for your page tabs, rather than the much cozier 520px. Most page tab apps are updating to support the new size, so start imagining what you can do with the extra space.

3. Out with the photo grid, in with the cover: If you’ve put time and effort into ensuring that the five photos that top your page are good ones, you won’t have that opportunity much longer. Similarly, your page’s userpic will shrink. Now you’ll need to make up a cover if you want to display anything. The cover is 850px wide by 315px tall. According to Facebook’s guidelines, this shouldn’t be used for advertisement or coupons, and shouldn’t include much text, so start thinking about how to make that cover image look good.

These things may be good or bad, depending on your point of view. There are some significant cons at the moment, however. According to WooBox, one app tab provider, it’s currently not possible to direct Facebook users that don’t like your page to a default landing tab, and once they do Like your page the content won’t automatically refresh to show them fan-only content. Ouch. Hopefully that will get fixed up soon.

Thankfully we don’t need to upgrade immediately. The site is giving Page owners until the end of March to preview the new look and make any necessary adjustments. If you visit your page, you should see a banner with the option to preview the changes. Take a look, but don’t hit “Publish” until you’re ready to switch and never go back.

How do you feel about this change? Are you looking forward to the new opportunities, or is it going to be far too disruptive to your Page?

Written by Nissa on February 29, 2012 – 2:04 pm -
Posted in Retail Applications, This Week's News | No Comments »

Walmart Finds Friends’ Unwritten Wishlists with Shopycat

I’ve spent the last few weeks agonizing over the perfect gifts for the people on my Christmas shopping lists. Walmart’s new social application Shopycat would have come in very handy, but I bet it will do even better for the people who are waiting for last minute shopping.

Shopycat is a brand-new Facebook application from the retail giant, and it claims to find you great gifts to buy for your friends. And Shopycat isn’t just pawing through your local Wal-Mart’s inventory — there are a number of other retailers on board whose products are on the recommendation list.

While it might seem a bit psychic, Shopycat’s trick is a lot more straightforward. It checks out the interests your friends have listed on their profile and offers related items. In my trial of it, it’s a bit too literal-minded (if I really love a show, I’ve probably seen seasons of it from a few years back and don’t need the DVD set), but it’s a great start. Not every gift it recommended for me or my Facebook compatriots was a winner, but more were good choices than not.

This is the theoretical good side of sharing your information to web services – unprecedented personalization. These services will only get better and more refined with time, and they might just make a fantastic bridge between social platforms and retail.

Want more details? Techcrunch has the scoop.

Written by Nissa on December 7, 2011 – 5:23 pm -
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Posted in Retail Applications | No Comments »

Bayshore’s New App Makes the Holidays Easier

Shopping center apps have made life much easier for shoppers, but could they go further? Bayshore Shopping Centre hopes so, with the upcoming launch of its E-STYLE campaign.

Part of the campaign is a virtual shopping application designed to make the shopping process much easier. One of its features is just perfect for the holidays – it includes a gift guide that offers a huge selection of gift ideas laid out for all ages and preferences. Not only that, the app will seek out the lowest price and nearest store to pick up your item.

“Over the past few years, more and more people have opted to do their Holiday shopping online,” says Angie Russell, Marketing Director for Bayshore. “The face of retail is changing quickly, and Bayshore is tremendously excited to lead the charge in adapting our services for the modern consumer.”

But not all consumers are quite that modern. Bayshore has them covered as well. While the app is going to be available on the web and on smart phones, it’s also going to be set up in the center’s state-of-the-art E-STYLE Lounge. For those looking for a more traditional customer service experience, E-STYLISTS armed with iPads will be on hand to help shoppers choose their gifts and locate them as efficiently and inexpensively as possible.

The app has been developed by Isca Solutions, and helping to build the campaign is high-tech mogul and business magnate, Sir Terry Matthews. Herieth Paul, the current face of Calvin Klein, features in campaign imagery.

Written by Nissa on November 9, 2011 – 4:15 pm -
Posted in Retail Applications, This Week's News | No Comments »

Fantasy Shopper Gamifies the Retail Experience

Social gaming is a ridiculously big industry. A big chunk of that industry is retail-oriented — games targeted at young women that are all about shopping, clothes, and consumption. Some of these games bring in a lot of money, usually from the purchase of virtual currency.

But here’s a new one: Fantasy Shopper, a brand new game developed by a UK startup, ties itself closely to the real life retail industry. Players use their in-game paydays to buy virtual representations of real clothes. The outfits they create are ranked by their friends, and at any point they (or their friends) can purchase the real thing from online retailers.

While it’s not getting shoppers into the mall, we’d certainly rather see that money going to fashion purchases over virtual currency. And it’s only a matter of time before brick-and-mortar gets in on this sort of gamification.

TechCrunch has more here, excerpted below:

“On Fantasy Shopper, users spend Fantasy Money to buy virtual clothing, create outfits and stock out their virtual wardrobe. Launching first in the UK with over 100,000 virtual items from 40 retailers in clothes, accessories and sports goods, the game takes the users from shopping in London to other major world destinations. The game is pretty social as users get to share their purchases and create outfits.”

Written by Nissa on October 19, 2011 – 12:58 pm -
Posted in Retail Applications | No Comments »

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