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Instagram is no longer just a place for celebrity selfies and FOMO-inducing travel snaps.
Now with 500m monthly active users, it offers an unbeatable marketing opportunity for brands of all kinds.
In the world of luxury clothing brands, there are two that stand out: Burberry and Hermes.
Both brands are longstanding international status symbols at the forefront of the fashion industry - each featuring distinct and exceptional product lines.
But where they differ greatly is in their digital commerce offerings.
The start of a new month means it’s time for our regular roundup of news stories and campaigns from the world of social media.
As always it’s necessary to add in the caveat that you won’t find any hard metrics or ROI in this post.
It occurred to me that amongst the Econsultancy blog team we certainly have our favourite companies as far as digital ambition and execution are concerned.
So I'm simply going to round up some companies that have done good things on this front and see if our readers get annoyed by any omissions or, indeed, inclusions.
So, here are 18 digital trailblazers. A lot of them are involved solely in ecommerce but not all of them.
N.B. I've deliberately excluded agencies and what I think of as tech companies, though that distinction is a little difficult to make in some areas.
As a new month begins it’s time to look back and round up some of the most noteworthy social campaigns we’ve seen in the last 30 days or so.
This time it includes Burberry, Topshop, Peugeot, Paddy Power, Stonewall, Grant's Whisky and new Instagram ads.
Paddy Power is among the brands that will be speaking at Econsultancy's Festival of Marketing in November. The two-day celebration of the modern marketing industry also features speakers from LEGO, Tesco, Barclays, FT.com and more.
It's Friday, so it's time for the ever-popular internet statistics round up.
This week it includes London Fashion Week, digital natives, travel bookings on mobile, video gaming, and the impact of both duplicate and quality content on Google rankings.
For more great stats, download the Econsultancy Internet Statistics Compendium...
London Fashion Week is over for another year, and what a week it's been.
The Econsultancy content team have been to exactly zero catwalk shows and no glitzy parties, and quite frankly we're exhausted.
Thankfully our friends in the world of fashion were kind enough to share all the glamour via social media, so we have a fair idea of what went on at the major fashion shows.
Data from Hotwire PR shows that Burberry managed to drive the most conversations around its show with 21,958 tweets, while Topshop came a distant second with 9,108.
This is likely because they're two of Britain's most recognised fashion brands, but both have also engaged in some interesting social activity around London Fashion Week.
Let's take a look at who is using this technology in retail.
I'm not looking at payment here, which NFC has been mired in, merely how the shopping experience can be enhanced.
I'll get a few things off my chest about what works and what doesn't. First, a super quick differentiation between the two technologies.
Near field communication (NFC) is capable of two way communication, so payment (a debit and credit) for example, or even in medicine (a tag in your skin could send vital signs to your smartphone), and it works only at short distances. NFC can be used more basically, to simply transmit set information to a phone or tablet.
Radio frequency identification (RFID) has been around for yonks, the tags only transmit information, to an RFID reader (an NFC enabled phone or tablet such as an Android can be used as a reader, but for an iPhone a separate reader is required). These tags have been traditionally used in stock control.
There's bluetooth low energy (e.g. iBeacons) in the mix, too. However, many of the uses of beacons have been for push messaging to customers.
In this piece I'm not going to be talking about geofencing which can be done with RFID, GPS or low energy bluetooth (iBeacons). I'll be focusing on active rather than passive engagement, though I'll discuss iBeacons in my conclusion (as they're rapidly taking hold in many of the same scenarios).
Right, now that's taken care of, let's dive in...
With almost 400m active users and a growing global audience, Tencent’s WeChat app is the new king of Chinese social media.
Often touted as the Chinese alternative to WhatsApp, WeChat actually offers a far broader range of features and tools.
Alongside text, video and voice messaging, users in China can make mobile payments, browse ecommerce stores, play games, or book a taxi. It even offers access to an online investment fund.
All this, coupled with the fact that the messaging app offers a veil of privacy cherished by young Chinese, makes it easy to see why WeChat has become central to its users’ lives.
Which in turn made it inevitable that marketers would seek to get in on the act, with official brand accounts first being made available around September 2012.
In the early days of social media luxury brands attracted huge followings simply because people liked to be associated with aspirational companies.
I naively thought that those days had passed, but it would appear that luxury fashion brands are still a big draw on social.
It could be that the likes of Chanel and Dior have outstanding content and are excellent at engaging with their fans, but I thought it would be interesting to see if they’re getting by on reputation alone.
According to data from Socialbakers, luxury brands account for four of the top six most-popular fashion labels on YouTube.
Victoria’s Secret is far and away the most popular (453,000 subscribers), followed by Chanel (250,000), Dior (124,000), Quiksilver (117,000), Burberry (110,000) and Louis Vuitton (74,000).
Here’s a look at what these four high-end fashion labels are getting right on YouTube. Or for more on this topic, read our posts looking at Burberry's social strategy and examining five great luxury ecommerce sites.
Multichannel retailing involves offering customers a variety of experiences and ways to buy, including brick-and-mortar stores, online shops, telesales, mobile and tablet commerce.
It covers transactions from browsing to buying and returning, as well as pre and post-sale service. For luxury retailers, this means more channels and more devices, across which quality, service and experience must be communicated.
The transition from bricks-and-mortar to clicks-and-mortar, although full of opportunity, is not without its challenges.
In addition to the generic challenges that come with updating a business model, the luxury sector, and indeed the department store luxury market, has its own set of unique challenges.