14 December 2011

The marriage of shopping and technology was a long time coming; they didn’t keep their relationship under wraps, although they tried. Marriage has been a bumpy ride for these two, as they attempted to keep their physical retail counterparts happy and content, while profiting from the “dot com boom.” Now stronger than ever, with new innovations being unveiled daily, shopping and technology go hand and hand, and the only way for the physical store to survive is to accept its solo demise and join in on the established union.

The Future of Shopping,” a recent articleI, Shopping, take you Technology, To Have And To Hold From This Day Forward published in the Harvard Business Review, penned by retail consultant Darrell Rigby, details the ups and downs and soaring opportunities for ecommerce. With more than 9% of all retail sales happening online (a 5% increase from last year), he pinpoints that we are far past the “dot com” shopping era, and are now fully involved in “Omnichannel retailing,” which includes websites, stores, kiosks, catalogs, call centers, social media, mobile devises, gamming consoles, televisions, networked appliances, and home services, to name a few (kidding). This Omnichannel binds every shopping counterpart together, causing all to work together to excel the exposure, accessibility, and profit of a given brand or product, under the roof of digital technology, which Rigby defines precisely:

“Digital technology—in the form of tablets, for example—can also give sales associates nearly infinite information about customers, describing the way they like to be treated and creating precise models of their homes or body types that enable perfect choices. It can change pricing and promotions accurately and instantaneously. It can provide customized recommendations. Virtual mirrors accelerate and enliven the dressing room experience by connecting customers with trusted friends. Technology can eliminate checkout lines, capture transaction receipts, file rebate claims, and speed returns. It can give a call center operator full access to a customer’s purchase and complaint history.”

The best advice for all shoppers out there, is to become savvy with apps that offer everything from shopping tips, perks, coupons, and advise., the leading innovator of online shopping, putting several companies out of business every day, has taken further steps to give themselves an almost unfair advantage. Amazon’s Price Check App will allow you to take cell phone photos of an item you want to purchase inside any physical store, and submit them to receive a 5% discount offer off that very product on their site. Apps such as Amazon’s, can easily demolish the small business in due time.

According to the Harvard Business Review’s calculations, by 2014 every cell phone user will own a smartphone. Because of these truths, displayed urgently during this year’s Holiday shopping splurge, The Vogue City will unveil a ‘Technology’ tab, offering shopper’s insights and suggestions on what application to download, what website to visit, and essentially the latest technology that will benefit your wallet.

Returning to Rigby’s insights, he insists there is hope for the physical store. Shoppers enjoy being able to touch their product prior to purchasing, and like being tended to by salespeople, therefore with the right strategy and integrated technology trends, the physical store will have no problem surviving.  “As a visually-oriented shopper who also values my freedom to browse, I am one who dislikes the targeted marketing approach (“Here is a deal for YOU!”). However, I do think the concept of “filtering” has merit in shopping:  Present me with options in general that I am likely to enjoy  – similar to browsing a department or style within a store – and I am more likely to buy from a position of ownership and economy,” a commenter on the Harvard Business Review’s website explains.

We’ve come to accept that our planet has been swallowed by technology. Understanding and learning one advancement at a time, is the only way to avoid becoming overwhelmed by your innumerable options. With social media, and the overtaking of the “app,” taking advantage of all the options these modernizations have to offer is the only way to save money, diminish shopping stress, and guarantee securing the best possible product for you. Apps such as Foursquare make it fun to save by “checking in” and racking up points in order to beat your friends in a friendly game. With that, and as brands revamp their stores to become interactive and “an experience,” trying to maintain a balance of physical and electronic, shopping can become more entertaining than you could have ever imagined. Keep on top of things and bookmark The Vogue City’s technology tab to remain omniscient on Omnichannel retailing.

By Caitlin Colford

Posted by Caitlin Colford at 09:15 AM
bargain news , Products , Trends |

18 January 2011

We love to see technology and beauty getting in bed together, with the result being products that actually deliver. The most recent creation of such a mix is the “make-up stimulator”, a product created by Shiseido.Shiseido Magic Mirror It allows you to try on make-up and compare colors, without actually trying on their lipsticks and eye-shadows.

Although I personally haven’t tried it yet, it sounds like a lot of fun. I am not the exhibitionist type. The last thing I want is to sit in one of those high chairs, and have a make-up artist apply different products – while complete strangers stare at my less than perfect complexion.

The digital mirror creates a virtual image of you that goes through the embarrassing process, so you don’t have to. A very easy process involves staring into the built-in camera; that allows the face recognition software to recreate you into a digital format. Once the digital image is created, click on any of colors on the mapping system. That’s it; the new colors appear on you. If you don’t like something, click another color. For more information, check the UK Glamour page. I am looking forward to Shiseido bringing this little miracle to the US. As most, if not all, store makeup artists are mainly salespeople for that brand/store; I really wonder if they will let us make the decision as opposed to being pushed to the purchase by a salesperson.

Posted by Mirela Gluck at 12:34 AM
bargain news , BEAUTY , Products |

20 December 2010

At the end of the year, there are all kind of round-ups and lists. This is based on an article published in WWD under the title “Breakthrough Product of the Year”, that lists the most meaningful innovations in the realm of beauty. As always, WWD breaks down the results in two major categories – Prestige and Mass. And we will do the same, starting this week with the first category. Side note, we strongly believe that the line between these two categories is getting increasingly blurry, as there are no significant differentiations in price, benefit and presentation between the two.


Chanel Rouge Coco Hydrating Crème Lip Colour

The full-coverage formula, available in 30 shades (each named after a part of Coco Chanel’s life) delivered as both hydration and long wear. Chanel is expecting the Rouge Coco to become an “iconic new makeup pillar”. And the sales so far seem to confirm their expectations.

Skin Care
Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus Wrinkle & UV Damage Corrector

Powered by three patented repair enzymes encapsulated in a liposome-delivery system, Repairwear Laser Focus ties into a growing trend of products providing similar results to dermatologist procedures – an area that Clinique began pursuing last year with its best-selling “Even Better Skin Tone Corrector”.

Hair Care
L’Oréal Professionnel Inoa

No Ammonia professional hair color? L’Oreal is celebrating their anniversary with another technological break-through: the first professional ammonia-free hair color that lightens up to three levels, covers gray and has true-to-tone color results.

Womanity by Thierry Mugler
The scent juxtaposes sweet (think fruit) and savory (caviar). In a recurring theme, structure is provided by the woodsy elements. The linchpin of Womanity, according to Clarins executives, is the evolving quest of women to express themselves and their ideas.

Posted by Mirela Gluck at 11:02 AM
bargain news , BEAUTY |

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