Mode.ai’s Messenger Bot Can Suggest Similar-Looking Fashion Items That You Can Buy

What Happened
On Friday, retail recommendation engine and chatbot maker Mode.ai launches a bot on Facebook Messenger that can find similar-looking fashion apparel items for users based on photos they submit. Mode.ai trained the bot’s AI engine with millions of pictures of products from online retailers, and if you like what it suggests, the bot also lets you shop directly from a number of fashion retailers like Levi’s, Louis Vuitton, Ann Taylor, as well as Amazon. In addition to its own bot, Mode.ai plans to offer computer vision services to several retailers and fashion publishers to be announced during F8, the upcoming annual conference for Facebook developers.

What Brands Need To Do
This new Mode.ai bot is a good example of how product discovery may work in the near future where AI-powered smart assistants are able to use the camera of your mobile devices to see what you are seeing. The surging prominence of visual input is set to bring a new set of opportunities and challenges that brands will need to learn to navigate in order to adapt to the shifting consumer behaviors. As computer vision technology continues to mature, it opens up new use cases for brands to create new user experiences supercharged by cognitive ecommerce engines like Mode.ai.

How We Can Help
The Lab has extensive experience in building Alexa Skills and chatbots to reach consumers on conversational interfaces. So much so that we’ve built a dedicated conversational practice called Dialogue. The NiroBot we built in collaboration with Ansible for Kia is a good example of how Dialogue can help brands build a conversational customer experience, supercharged by our stack of technology partners with best-in-class solutions and an insights engine that extracts business intelligence from conversational data.

If you’d like to learn more about how to effectively reach consumers on conversational interfaces, or to leverage the Lab’s expertise to take on related client opportunities within the IPG Mediabrands, please contact our Client Services Director Samantha Barrett (samantha@ipglab.com) to schedule a visit to the Lab.

 


Source: VentureBeat

 

Rebecca Minkoff Debuts Handbags That Unlock Access To Fashion Show

What Happened
Ahead of its Fashion Week show taking place in L.A. last weekend, fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff launched 10 limited edition “Midnighter”-style, “connected” handbags at an exclusive pop-up shop at The Grove. Each handbag comes with a scannable tag that unlocks a ticket to the brand’s spring/summer 2017 runway event. This The initiative is one of the first products to come out the brand’s partnership with fashion branding service Avery Dennison and IoT platform EVRYTHNG, as a part of the companies’ #BornDigital concept that aims to digitize 10 billion items of clothing and accessories over the next three years.

What Brands Need To Do
This is the latest example of fashion brands leveraging IoT and wearable technologies to enhance their design and engage with digital-minded customers. Rebecca Minkoff has been consistently tech-forward in its marketing efforts, previously introducing a new line on Snapchat and leveraging VR and AR technologies to attract online shoppers and promote its Fashion Week event. While this “connected handbag” is admittedly very low-tech in comparison, it nevertheless showcases the tech-savvy marketing strategies the brand employs. More fashion and CPG brands can benefit from adopting a similar approach of using connectivity as a marketing hook and unlock added value for customers at a premium.

 


Source: Forbes

Google And Ivyrevel Developing App That Design Dresses Based On Personal Data

What Happened
Google is teaming up with Ivyrevel, an online-only women’s fashion brand backed by H&M, to develop an Android app that can design a dress for you based on your contextual and activity data, such as location, weather, and physical activity.

Dubbed “Data Dress,” the app will analyze the personal data input, including their activity data once the users opt in. Specifically, the app will use the Google’s Snapshot API to monitor the person’s daily activities, including things like where they went, where they eat dinner or hang out, how often they work out, and so on, for a week and come up with a dress design that best fits their lifestyle. Users will be able to buy the personalized dress directly from the app if they like what they see.

What Brands Need To Do
This app presents an interesting case of how brands can leverage machine learning to offer personalized products and services. For brands, especially those in fashion and retail, it is important to recognize the possibility that AI-powered solutions unleash, which very much relies on the kind of customer data that brands can supply. Therefore, brands should start thinking about what kind of customer data they can feed into machine learning services to gain consumer insights and supplement their targeting and personalization effort, as well as coming up with a clear value exchange they can offer consumers for that data.

 


Source: TechCrunch

 

Header image courtesy of Ivyrevel

Lingerie Brand Gets Intimate With Customers With A Holiday Campaign On WhatsApp

What Happened
Lingerie brand Agent Provocateur has launched an innovative holiday campaign that leverages the private nature of messaging apps to connect with shoppers in an intimate way. Customers are invited to add Agent Provocateur’s number in WhatsApp and start a group chat with their partners and an Agent Provocateur agent, who will guide the couples through a conversation to help uncover their holiday wish list and recommend items from the Agent Provocateur Christmas collection that best suit their personality. As part of its “Naughty or Nice” holiday campaign, the brand also created a themed interactive video that showcases the dual styles of its products and lets viewers tap on the screen to switch between the dual perspectives.

What Brands Should Do
This campaign serves as a good example of brands using messaging apps as a marketing channel to connect with customers in an intimate environment. While Facebook still has only just started to make WhatsApp more brand-friendly, this campaign shows that brands can find a way to tap into the millions of users on the popular messaging app. Given the intimate nature of this campaign, it makes sense for Agent Provocateur to opt for a human agent rather than a chatbot. In most cases, however, chatbots present a much more viable and scalable solution for brands looking to reach customers on messaging apps that are popular among mobile users.

The Lab has extensive knowledge about reaching consumers on mobile messaging apps and building branded chatbots. The new NiroBot we build in collaboration with Ansible for Kia delivers comprehensive product information about the all-new Niro model via friendly chats. If you’re interested in reaching your audience on messaging apps and better serving them with a chatbot, please contact our Client Services Director Samantha Holland (samantha@ipglab.com) for more information or to schedule a visit to the Lab.

 


Source: Mobile Marketing Magazine

Designer Brands Are Turning To On-Demand Fashion Rental Services For Data

What Happened
Designer fashion brands are increasingly turning to on-demand rental services like Rent the Runway and Armarium to reach new customers and figure out what they like. By tapping into the customer data from on-demand services, designer brands are able to detect trendy items and designs of the season and customize part of their collections. Working with rental services also helps designers appeal to their users, who typically have yet to develop brand loyalty to any particular fashion brand and therefore represent a valuable audience segment for brands to target.

What Brands Should Do
The ongoing collaboration between designer brands and fashion rental services highlights one way brands can leverage the booming popularity of on-demand services to expand their audience reach and gather customer insights. More brands can benefit from similar collaborations by enabling a wider audience to sample their products and services and getting a better read on their preferences.

To learn more about how brands can make use of the digital tools available to reach shoppers across channels, check out the Boundless Retail section of our Outlook 2016.

 


Source: Glossy

Why Coach Ditched Its iOS App For An iMessage App

What Happened
Luxury fashion brand Coach has pulled its iOS app as part of a new mobile strategy to connect with consumers. After a few years of slumping sales, Coach is looking to right its course by going where consumers already are. The company revamped its website to make it mobile compatible and launched an iMessage app called Coachmoji to drive mobile engagement. Coachmoji, consisting of images from Coach’s collection grouped by themes, lets users share “inspiration boards” in chat. The company is planning to allow users to shop directly from the iMessage app.

What Brands Should Do
Coach’s strategy mirrors the ongoing trend of brands establishing a presence and reaching customers on emerging platforms. Other early-adopting brands such as Burger King, Disney, and Toyota have created branded stickers for iMessage. While it remains to be seen how Coach will execute its plan to add an ecommerce component to its iMessage app, it is commendable for adopting a mobile strategy that reflects the reality in mobile user behavior. While Smartphone users spend almost 90% of their time on devices using mobile apps, 90% of branded apps have fewer than 10,000 downloads. In contrast, eMarketer predicts that messaging apps will reach 80% of global smartphone users by 2018. With more and more people choosing messaging apps as their primary means of communication, more brands should start exploring the marketing potential of messaging platforms.

 


Source: Glossy

 

Kik Introduces Concierge Bots That Chime In To Help You Shop

What Happened
Kik users will soon find themselves talking to more than one chatbot in one conversation as the popular messaging app launches “concierge bots” today. Designed to be like a friend helping you shop for clothing or makeup, Kik users can enlist their help when they are talking to chatbots from brands such as H&M, Sephora, and Victoria’s Secret. The concierge bots will chime in and offer suggestions based on celebrity styles, the occasions that the user is shopping for, and the inventory of the brand whose chatbot started the conversation.

What Brands Need To Do
This interesting new feature is illustrative of the potential capability of conversational commerce. By bringing in another chatbot, Kik is making the in-chat shopping experience more social and closer to a real-world shopping experience. As consumers increasingly turn to messaging apps as their primary channels of communication, it is important that brands follow the customers to reach them. To learn more about what chatbots can do for brands, check out our Medium post on chatbots.

The Lab has extensive knowledge about building chatbots. If you’re interested in reaching your audience on messaging apps and better serving them with a chatbot, please contact our Client Services Director Samantha Holland (samantha@ipglab.com) for more information or to schedule a visit to the Lab.

 


Source: AdWeek

Hermès Launches Pop-Up Laundromat To Attract Luxury Shoppers

What Happened
Hermès has launched a series of pop-up laundromats in Strasbourg, Amsterdam, Munich, and Kyoto to attract luxury shoppers with a free scarf-cleaning service. Customers can bring in their old silk scarves to the so-called Hermèsmatic for cleaning and a dye-job. Each pop-up also features a store selling scarves in signature patterns from the brand.

What Brands Should Do
This is a prime example in brands offering a useful service to capture customers and elevate brand equity. This campaign provides Hermès with a physical space to not only plug their scarf line but also a chance to connect with customers beyond products. Taco Bell’s pop-up VR arcade in New York last week also followed a similar strategy. In the age of Peak Distraction and Ad Avoidance, more brands can truly benefit from this brand-as-a-service approach and connect with consumers today with services that align with their brand message.

If you would like to learn how your brand can adopt emerging technologies to develop branded services to engage customers, please contact our Client Services Director Samantha Holland (samantha@ipglab.com) to schedule a visit to the Lab.

 


Source: WWD

British Fashion Brand Uses HoloLens To Showcase New Collection

What Happened
Martine Jarlgaard London found an interesting way to showcase its new collection during London Fashion Week. Instead of a typical runway show, attendees will enter a seemingly empty space and strap on a Microsoft HoloLens headset to see the new collection populate the space as holograms. This will allow attendees to walk around and check out the items from all angles. Working with the Fashion Innovation Agency and 3D capturing company DoubleMe, the brand hopes the use of HoloLens can help reimagine the runway and remove “the barrier between the physical location and the audience.”

What Brands Need To Do
This initiative is the latest example of an early-adopting brand exploring augmented and mixed reality to showcase their products and content in an innovative way. The viral success of Pokémon Go has been familiarizing millions of consumers worldwide with augmented reality technologies, and brands that wish to stay ahead of the curve should consider partnering with tech providers and content creators to start working on augmented and mixed reality now.

The Lab has extensive experience with AR technologies and how they apply to marketing. For anyone that has yet to experience augmented reality, the Lab has a HoloLens that is ready for demo. Please get in touch with our Client Services Director Samantha Holland (samantha@ipglab.com) if you’d like to request a HoloLens demo or have a client opportunity.

 


Sources: Forbes

Header image courtesy of Martine Jarlgaard London’s Twitter

How Rebecca Minkoff Used VR And AR To Promote Its New Line

What Happened
Rebecca Minkoff leveraged virtual and augmented reality technologies to engage online shoppers and promote its Fashion Week event. The NYC-based fashion brand broadcast a 360-degree live video to allow fashion lovers to experience its fall preview show at Fashion Week this past Saturday from the front row. Viewers could also see how new items would look on themselves thanks to integration with AR try-on app Zeekit. Fans could upload a full-body photo of themselves and Zeekit would overlay selected items on them based on the color and size they chose.

What Brands Need To Do
The fashion industry has been quick to embrace 360-degree videos and live streaming to reach a wider audience for their fashion shows. Brands such as Balenciaga, Hussein Chalayan, and Dior have all tried their hands with 360-degree videos or live streams to reach customers. The partnership with Zeekit brings some interactivity to Rebecca Minkoff’s online experience to further engage fans.

The Lab has extensive experience in designing interactive experiences for beauty and fashion brands. Our recent work with NYX Cosmetics includes a digital beauty bar that uses AR technology to create a virtual sampling experience. If you’d like to advance your strategy to incorporate new technologies and further engage shoppers, please contact our Client Services Director Samantha Holland (samantha@ipglab.com) to schedule a visit to the Lab.

 


Source: TechCrunch

Header image courtesy of Rebecca Minkoff’s YouTube video