6 Retail Updates you Need to Know Today

Smart sneakers, artificial intelligence and shoppable social – these are just a few things we explore in today’s Retail Wrap Up. We’ve scoured the web and hand-picked our favourite retail news stories from the week. We’d love your thoughts so comment away!


1) Barneys embraces shoppable social commerce

A few weeks ago we mentioned that Instagram is introducing shoppable sponsored content to their platform. The social network has had a big win this week with Barneys, an American luxury department chain, jumping on board. Users can now click through to Barneys‘ website from their Instagram feed to shop goodies. What a time to be alive! http://goo.gl/fKlkTR

2) Smart sneakers

Confession time – put your hands up if you’ve ever loved a pair of shoes so much you’ve bought them in multiple colours. Answered yes? Good. If you’re like us, you’ll be happy to hear +rehabstudio has designed a pair of sneakers that can change colour. Before you get too excited please note it’s still in conceptual phases (for now). The Shift Sneaker has LEDs woven into its fabric – all you need to do is click your heels together to initiate a random sequence or pick a specific colour via a smartphone app. Sneakerheads, this is not a drill – we repeat, this is NOT a drill: http://goo.gl/46yfyd

3) Alibaba sells its US e-commerce site 

Alibaba are rethinking their entry into the U.S. They’ve made the decision to sell their US site 11 Main to Open Sky, a social shopping marketplace. Regarding the deal a spokesperson said, “We believe together the combined business will be a strong and healthy independent company in which Alibaba will continue to have a significant equity stake.” It seems the success it’s experienced in China can’t be replicated in the U.S. market: http://goo.gl/h4DTTE

4) The future of retail is mobile

Online retailers are increasingly turning to mobile to enhance the shopping experience and for good reason – it works. Criteo’s Q2 Mobile Commerce Report states that, within the US, 30% of e-commerce transactions among online retailers are now driven by mobile. This is predicted to jump to 33% by the end of the year: http://goo.gl/e0LImd

5) Amazon turns to AI to improve review system

Amazon is combating fake reviews and inflated ratings with the assistance of artificial intelligence. Built in house, the machine learning system will boost verified reviews marked helpful by other customers. While this may seem like a small thing, it’s a very clever move that will build customer confidence and loyalty. Shoppers can now rest assured that the advice given on the site is verified and trustworthy: http://goo.gl/aSDSge

6) Virtual reality and retail

Virtual retail reality is well on its way according to Reuters. In a recent article they reveal developers are focusing on ways to transform the customer experience. Sanjay Mistry, Director of Architecture at Unity, said, “People are still going to want to physically buy something in a store, but virtual reality is the experience where they can envisage (the item), and use it more as a planning tool than a purchasing tool.” Have a read of all of the cool ways it’s being envisioned herehttp://goo.gl/Hiy9fR


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