Tag Archives: New Media

Auto Trader uses Facebook Timeline to promote ‘new car’ site

Motoring website Auto Trader is one of the first organisations to deploy an app for Facebook’s new Timeline.

Auto Trader said the app will provide people with a chance to tell their friends which cars they really “want”, bringing some of the benefits of social commerce to car buying. Commercially, it will be used to promote the “new cars” area of the company’s website, and will help people feel more comfortable in the decisions they make, said Ian MacDonald, head of consumer marketing at Auto Trader.

“Auto Trader runs sites for new and old car [sales]. The app is deployed on the new car part of the site, on the make and model page,” he said. “A user can click on the “want” button to update their timeline with their motoring aspirations, to share and reflect their motoring life. Their friends can offer their opinion by commenting or liking.”

MacDonald said Auto Trader developed and deployed the app within a week, using its in-house, multi-skilled development team.

Mobile Auto Trader

MacDonald said the company’s mobile app is on course to achieve two million unique users for January. The full website regularly gets more than 10 million unique users.

“In the past 12 months, the emergence of tablets and the launch of the iPad app has changed how consumers want to access content,” he said. On Auto Trader, the iPad experience is very different to the website, being “much more orientated to browsing”.

“On the iPad app, you can flick pages. The images are the hook, and there is less text. You can scroll through 20 or more pages very quickly,” said MacDonald.

At Auto Trader, the mobile site has a different role to play than the full website. “It increases response to car dealers. We can track dealer response and can demonstrate an incremental increase in responses. In fact, 40% of people accessing the site from their mobile device are actually on the forecourt at the time,” he said. “If they do not like the car they are looking at, they will search for cars at dealers nearby.”

Source: ComputerWeekly.com by Cliff Saran

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How the iPad Can Help Fashion Magazines

How many readers of fashion magazines treat them as catalogues? Magazine readers are known to seek out information from, and then buy products  featured in magazines. To accommodate, the modern magazine   has a catalogue-like structure:  it tells us  brand names and prices  and lists stockist details toward the back pages. New digital magazine formats could make this  system even more  user-friendly, by packaging magazines into iPad applications that not only allow us to find what we’re looking for but share what we’re into with our social networks.

Interview Magazine was the first fashion magazine to launch an application for the iPad, and  they did it particularly well. The application is unquestionably useful for readers, and hints towards bigger benefits for brands seeking product placement and advertising. The  app allows the imagery and text within the magazine to be enhanced with additional video and audio content,  enables direct linking to e-commerce sites, and offers the ability to share products via Facebook and Twitter. You can watch a demo of the magazine’s app here.

This technology can benefit featured brands by increasing exposure to social media channels, as readers are given the capability to easily ‘like’ or ‘tweet’ an item, obtaining greater reach than through readership numbers alone.

Product placement and advertising also becomes more accountable. Brands can receive data not only on impressions, but on ‘likes’, ‘shares,’ ‘tweets’ and emailing. They can also track the actions of incoming traffic to their e-commerce sites, which means a direct evaluation of the number of readers interested in a product. The end result: fashion magazines investing in iPad applications may become even more powerful vehicles for product placement and advertisements.

Magazines have achieved a similar effect through other digital platforms such as the iPhone and the web. The fashion retailer ASOS’s branded magazine has capitalized on the digital  format, displaying products in an editorial style and linking those products back to their online catalogue. Yet Interview’s Scott Lambert rates the iPad as superior, stating it to be a magazine’s showcase in its ‘purest form, slick, sexy and portable.’

Launching digitally on the iPad also ensures that readers pay for content by purchasing the iPad app. Interview charges 99c for the app, the same price as their subscription rates.

The advantages for both readers and brands are clear, and magazines have the potential to become powerful social catalogues.

[Image: Interview Magazine]

Source: Socialmedianz.com

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Social Media and Luxury Brands: A New Era

2692_socialmedia_medium

Stephane Galienni, founder and director of digital media experts BalistikArt, explains the leading digital marketing technologies and how they relate to luxury brands.

2010 was a turning point for luxury brands in their conquest of the digital world. With the new opportunities provided by social media – where the conversation takes place – and by the blogosphere – where opinions are voiced about brands – a major shift has occurred. From a society of communication, we have moved to a society of recommendation.

Today we are experiencing a mobile and social Internet, ruled by the notion of “every time, everywhere” in which the C-to-C conversation becomes permanent and real-time and is held in a written mode. A French proverb says: “Words are fleeting, writings remain” and Google is always there to remind us of this. Social media can become uncontrollable for prestigious houses, as was recently experienced by Guerlain.

To ignore what is happening in social media is like delegating the brand’s power of expression to the first passerby. Digital strategy in luxury is not about a marketing operation using a 2.0 “Swiss army knife” with its array of gadgets. It is a true anticipation of the future communication challenges for the luxury industry.

Twitter, how to reflect timelessness in real time

Early 2009, no luxury house was to be found on Twitter. Today, they almost all have their Twitter feed, with the difficulty of reflecting their rich heritage in 140 characters. Why is writing the story of an esteemed brand in real time so complicated? Literary inspirations and creative storytelling can enrich the live feed of a luxury house. Imagine the experience of discovering an unfolding story around the Hermès “Echappée belle” ad campaign, or regular telegraphs sent by a Vuitton traveller.

Facebook, luxury masstige

Facebook, with its 580 million members around the world, is a further godsend to luxury masstige and in particular for fragrance and small leather goods. The dream becomes accessible to all with one click, from fan page to e-commerce. The hundreds of thousands of fans who join the pages of luxury brands are voluntary and motivated, but unlike the customers who enter a store, there is often no one to say: “Hello, can I help you?”

Social Relationship Management, or SRM, is an initial response to social media strategies, because luxury is primarily a matter of customer service. Social Relationship Managers can provide a daily service similar to that of a butler or concierge, listening and providing personal advice for each of its customers or fans.

Front Row Bloggers

It is now common practice to have bloggers in the front row of fashion shows, as they are the first to tweet live and quick to post articles on a new collection. Bloggers are content creators, passionate and technically savvy, capable of getting the word out on Google faster than online magazines. The paradox of embargoed press releases and information leakage on the blogosphere is a new issue of communication timing in a digital environment. PR departments have to rethink their methods so that they can address different audiences simultaneously by developing a form of transversal storytelling.

What is next? If social media was the trend in 2010, in particular with the spectacular acceleration of Facebook, 2011 will be the year of the mobile web. The QR code technology, for example, opens new opportunities for luxury advertising as it provides content to mobile users from a billboard or a point of sale. With a pocket internet connection and geolocation-based services, the media is closer than ever to the end user and offers a fabulous new perspective on brand content.

Source: Luxurysociety.com

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Fashion Cocktail of Tradition & Technology

In the dynamic world of fashion, what is the current trend? Inaugurating technology with the alluring concepts of fashion!

Fashion retailing is a complex business with growing competition among the retailers. Augmentation of trends has revolutionized the retail business; amicable to all that fashion is an integral part of the retail industry as well as brands. Fashion retailers today, are more concerned, with technology as their new sales mantra. Brands and retailers focus on new and attention grabbing techniques to allure the customers. The latest progress in the retail field is the application of various technological processes to attract, convince and sell to the customers.

Digital Fashion Magazines:

Gone are the times, when one flips through the pages of a fashion magazine to get a glimpse of the latest trends and styles. The novel digital market offers the fashion savvy shoppers with all the perks of print media, along with the nearness and information of the current days technological advancements. Discounted apparels and other fashion accessories can be found online proving a distinguished successful market for fashion clothing and other accessories. This makes shopping, an easier task with astute styles of apparels ready and available for buying.

3D Body Scanning Application in Apparel Making:
3D Body scanning technology produces a 3D model through scanning. An individual stands in the scanners view, while it captures his body image and produces 3D images within seconds. The scanner uses a series of light sensors to produce a 3D image. Images are captured in 360 degrees within a short period of time along with body measurements and human body surface. This data is then forwarded to the manufacturer who uses his creativeness and creates the garment in a very short time with the exact measurements that matches the consumer.

This technology provides real time information to the apparel industry, wherein clothes will be manufactured with attached labels mentioning the bust, waist, and hip sizes thereby guiding the consumers to select a garment with perfect fittings.

Virtual Try-on Solutions:

This process provides the customer with a virtual image of how he or she will look in a particular garment. General information about the consumer like, small waist, narrow shoulders, long hair etc is entered in the computer. The software in the computer develops an image of the consumer based on these descriptions and displays it on the screen.

The consumer can make modifications on the displayed virtual image so as to match it with himself. The computer then displays various types of garments on the screen. The consumer chooses different types of clothing and tries them on his virtual image available on the computer screen.

The computer applies this clothing image on the virtual image of the consumer created and displays the picture on the screen. The image is also rotated in 360 degrees so that the consumer can get a perfect idea of the fitting. The computer highlights areas of good and bad fit, and guides the consumer to select the most appropriate apparel.

Mobile Point of Sale (POS):

Point of Sale (POS) is a location where customers pay and buy the goods. Generally during peak sales period, there would a long queue of customers waiting for their turn to pay the bill. Sales counters are of fixed size, and hence support limited number of customers forcing them to endure long lines.
Mobile POS stations are being set up with handheld computers, printers, and scanners with credit card readers. Salesmen with these mobile POS terminals can be positioned in small tables, accelerating the buying process. Merchandise is scanned with a barcode scanner and a ticket is printed with prices and a master barcode on it. When the customer reaches the checkout counter, the ticket is scanned, and cash is collected, thus completing the transaction without the checkout clerk needing the process each item individually.

RFID in Apparel Retailing:

During the peak seasons of sales, manual process break down. Staff members become besieged, and cannot be replenished. RFID enables the retailers to confirm the items that need to be refilled, and makes sure that the apparels are available on the store racks when customers want to buy them.

Retailers today are making optimum utilization of the internet and leveraging its social benefits. Though their techno savoir-faire is utilized in novel methods, shoppers will be motivated to buy only according to their requirements. Hence it is also important for the retailers to keep abreast of the customer psychology knowing their current choices and preferences to as to retain their customers in the years to come.

Source: Fibre2fashion.com

To read more about RFID, what it is, does and the benefits for the apparel industry, check this article: RFID in Apparel Industry: What is it, How it Works and the Benefits.

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10 Reasons Your Business Should Have a Custom Facebook Landing Page

If your business is on Facebook, adding a custom landing page can have a big impact on your presence there. A custom landing page can help drive web traffic, add value to your online marketing efforts and increase sales.

If you’re considering the types of benefits a custom landing page can create, this post will help make up your mind.

A custom Facebook landing page can:

1. HIGHLIGHT A CALL TO ACTION.

One of the biggest points about your landing page should be to direct your audience to do something, whether its signing up for your newsletter, downloading a coupon or requesting a free sample. You can use a custom landing page as a way to extend the reach of your lead generating efforts.

2. DRIVE INTEREST IN CURRENT PROMOTIONS, EVENTS AND PRODUCTS.

A landing page can be a great flexible feature area for your web presence. You can generate a buzz around new products there or break news about sales and promotions. Heck, you might even want to test out breaking new information there first to see if it helps grow your network.

3. DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT.

There are several touted best practices for a Facebook landing page, and several companies that are heralded as having some of the best ones out there. Unfortunately, this spurns a lot of copycats. Try to take cues from what you see as a best practice and add your own dose of originality.

4. PERSONALIZE YOUR COMPANY IN AN IMPERSONAL WORLD.

Facebook profiles without customization can be bland and formulaic. A well-designed landing page will help your page stand out in a land of static templates. A thought out landing page can also help you personally connect to your audience and further brand your platform. Be careful not to simply recreate your web design. Remember, your customers are there to get something unique.

5. WELCOME VISITORS TO YOUR PAGE.

On Facebook, new fan pages and groups pop up every day. There can be confusion as to whether or not you are on the “official” page of the brand, celebrity or organization you are searching for. A landing page will lend credibility to your platform and reassure your audience they are in the right place. And it’s a pretty cool welcome mat, too.

6. DETERMINE ROI WITH IFRAMED LANDING PAGE TABS.

We’ve got news for your accounting department — you can now determine whether or not your Facebook page is directly leading to sales. Several socially savvy companies have caught on to this. JCPenny, Delta and Threadless all have shopping carts iFramed into their Facebook pages. Whether you’re booking public storage spaces or selling software, your Facebook page can act as another direct sales channel.

7. HIGHLIGHT SPECIAL OFFERS FOR “LIKING” YOUR PAGE.

Once you actually get someone to your Facebook page, there’s no guarantee you’re going to get them to actually click that “Like” button. Use a landing page to give them that incentive. Think about special discounts, coupons or other rewards you can give to your network to thank them for their loyalty.

8. DRAW ATTENTION TO YOUR “LIKE” BUTTON.

Let me peface this by saying that I’ve never had a problem locating a “Like” button on a business page. However, there are still valid reasons to embed them in a landing page. Mobile devices, like smart phones and tablets, are quickly evolving into the primary tools people use to access the Internet. It’s now much more difficult to gauge what will appear above and below the fold. Strategically embedding a “Like” button in another spot may make it more likely a visitor will follow your call to action. But don’t go overboard.

9. SHOWCASE YOUR CREATIVITY OR HUMOR WITH UNIQUE CONTENT.

A landing page is a place where companies can step outside of their stilted corporate persona and connect with an audience from one human to another. Think of something “off the wall” (Oh, no I didn’t. Yes, I did.) to display the personalities within your organization. Humor is a no brainer. Taco Bell (another company that is mentioned frequently in social media marketing) currently uses its landing page as a Superhero video comic strip. This is the kind of unique value customers are seeking when they become a part of your network.

10. CALL ATTENTION TO YOUR VALUE PROPOSITIONS.

By now, your brand has established its value propositions. Without duplicating your website content, use the landing page as a flexible channel to bring attention to the benefits your company offers. One thing to note when you do this however is to not be overly promotional. Eyes will glaze. Back buttons will be clicked.

Source: Sexysocialmedia.com

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Gucci’s Digital Flagship: Crafting an Intensively Attentive Online Environment

On the eve of Gucci’s 90th anniversary as a luxury retailer, the firm’s CEO, Patrizio di Marco, describes why digital innovation is more than just a matter of relevance and modernity.

2681_patriziodimarco_mediumBesides being one of the most active luxury brands in the social media space – with nearly 3.2 million Facebook fans and a host of online initiatives including the live streaming of its catwalk shows and smart phone applications – Gucci is also the first luxury brand to launch a digital flagship.

“Gucci was in fact a pioneer when it launched its US e-commerce site in 2002 and we [still] believe that new media and new technologies represent a valuable complementary communication and business channel.”

“ The digital flagship is destined to become our highest volume store in the world ”

According to Di Marco, Gucci’s new online retail destination takes advantage of the most innovative technologies available today, integrating rich content, shopping and social networking to provide the site’s monthly 2.5 million unique visitors with an aesthetic and customer-oriented experience that replicates the one customers have when immersed in one of the brand’s signature flagships stores in Rome, New York, London or Shanghai.

From a strategic perspective, Gucci’s recent aggressive foray into digital media channels is a concerted effort to drive the digital flagship to outperform all brick-and-mortar store sales.

“The digital flagship is destined to become our highest volume store in the world, and should be the final destination for any search on the net: whether you are seeking out Gucci through a search engine, or are one of our 3.2 million Facebook fans, or are one of the over 840,000 people who have downloaded our Gucci App or are one of our 32,000 Twitter followers.”

While traditional luxury marketing focused on the protected environment of exclusive networks and publications, Gucci has been at the forefront of the movement which challenges the status quo by utilizing the web to expose the brand. In September of 2010, for instance, the brand invited its fans to virtually join the womenswear fashion show and even showcased the commentary and digital content of fans on a global site alongside the show’s live stream.

“One of the reasons Gucci has been successful in reaching new customers is because of the attention we have paid to the internet… The current site operates in 17 countries in 8 different languages, while e-commerce is offered in 12 countries with over 2000 skus available online.”

The brand has also integrated social media into the heart of the online shopping experience. A live Twitter feed, an interface with the Gucci official Facebook fan page and product page link to ready-to-wear items straight off the catwalk, allows visitors to truly engage with the brand.

Di Marco, together with Frida Giannini, Gucci’s creative director, have championed social networks as an integral part of the new site, suggesting they are a natural extension of the fashion shopping experience in the real world which is often shared and enjoyed with friends as well.

With such an active role in digital media, Gucci is not only using these channels as a very direct and content-rich form of outreach to tap into a broader audience but also to uncover metrics and insight on the site’s visitors in order to become a more attentive luxury brand – something which is difficult to do with customers entering brick-and-mortar stores.

“[Digital] is allowing us to develop more personal and constant relationships with current and prospective consumers. We are also able to understand the desires and attitudes of our customers more quickly and easily through the information that is available to us, which is helping us to be more responsive. Ultimately, our aim is to offer the same values and experience to an online customer or visitor as we do in our stores.”

Source: Luxurysociety.com

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