Posts in technology
THE BILLION-DOLLAR GREY MARKET IN WATCHES UPSETS BIG BRANDS

No one is immune to a bargain — not even those who can spend GBP 30,000 on a watch. At Watches of Switzerland, an authorised dealer, an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak automatic in rose gold sells for GBP 42,600, but the same watch is on offer at "grey market" website Chrono24 from US dealer Watch My Diamonds for USD 34,850 (GBP 27,227). It is impossible to ignore that the grey market is becoming a powerful force in the watch industry, which is worth USD 62.5bn, according to Euromonitor.

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DELIVERY-ONLY GHOST RESTAURANTS ARE CHANGING TAKEOUT

Tech-backed delivery start-ups, in the form of UberEATS, AmazonGrubhub, Deliveroo, Foodora and other on-demand services, have long been changing the access to restaurants. Now, restaurant owners are tweaking the industry business model, moving away from brick-and-mortar dining rooms and trying their hand at delivery-only services, known as virtual restaurants. 

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SNEAKER RESALE HEATS UP

After the announcement of LVMH Luxury Ventures investing into Stadium GoodsGOAT, the world’s leading digital sneaker marketplace, today released a public statement revealing a merger with sneaker consignment pioneer Flight Club. The merger brings together two leading brands in the sneaker space that combined, will deliver unparalleled mobile, web and retail shopping experiences. 

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THE BIG BUSINESS OF SECOND-HAND CLOTHES

Depop was launched in 2011 when Simon Beckerman, an Italian entrepreneur, decided to make a new, hip online marketplace by creating an app that merged editorial and sales. He realised most of the decision-making in buying fashion was based on social references. So, his team designed the app with Instagram-style features, with “follow” and “like” buttons, comments and chat, already familiar to social media users.

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WHAT DREW AMAZON, ALIBABA & CO. TO BRICKS-AND-MORTAR

The world’s online shopping giants are following smaller web retailers into what might appear to be the merchandising past. Amazon, Alibaba and most recently JD.com, are operating brick-and-mortar stores, joining companies such as the formerly web-only Warby Parker and Outdoor Voices and reoccurring pop-up events by the likes of Gymshark and Aday. Even Tencent, the Chinese games and social media giant, is doing deals in retail.

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PERSONALIZATION IS KEY FOR RETAILERS AND E-COMMERCE ALIKE

Call it the brick-and-mortar versus e-commerce problem. However, merging the two offers an opportunity to create a truly personalised experience both online and offline, which is why personalization is a top priority for organizations in 2018. Research shows that nearly three out of four consumers responding to personalized offers, recommendations or experiences.

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HIGHSNOBIETY RAISES USD 8.5 MILLION VENTURE ROUND

Investor interest in the streetwear space is growing rapidly. After Supreme joined forces with The Carlye Group, highly influential streetwear and youth culture title Highsnobiety has raised an USD 8.5 million Series A round led by London-based venture firm Felix Capital, with additional details on the deal remaining undisclosed. Highsnobiety plans to use the new funding to help scale its branded content, e-commerce and events businesses. 

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A BREAKOUT BRANDING MASTER CLASS FROM GLOSSIER, SWEETGREEN, AWAY, AND WALKER & CO.

Salad. Suitcases. Razors. Face wash. None of these products typically race eyebrows and inspire enthusiasm. However, when associated with certain fast-growing ventures, the reactions may change. Sweetgreen’s Nicolas Jammet, Away’s Jen Rubio, Walker & Company’s Tristan Walker, and Glossier’s Emily Weiss talk to Fast Company about creating products that provoke passion.

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INSIDE THE FURNITURE STARTUP BELOVED BY INSTAGRAM, PINTEREST, CASPER, AND EVERLANE

In 2005 Petrus Palmér co-founded the studio Form Us With Love straight out of design school in Sweden. By 2012, FUWL’s clients already included Ikea, Cappellini, and Muuto. It was hard to imagine how things could go better, but Palmér felt a nagging discontent in what he was doing. He was stuck between designing for the biggest mass market imaginable or for the 1% who could afford a USD 10.000 couch.

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HOW INSTAGRAM IS CREATING ITS OWN MARKETPLACE

An Instagrammer with over 1,000 followers can get paid upwards of GBP 130 for a single promotional post. Big social media stars with hundreds of thousands of followers can make thousands from one post. Being an Insta influencer is now a bona fide career. More so, as Instagram has started to allow its user to shop-as-you-scroll by adding a new level tools and nurture the Instagram’s billion-dollar influencer economy.

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ALIBABA HAS AMBITIOUS, AMAZON-LIKE OFFLINE PLANS

Speaking of the death of retail and the end of physical shopping experiences, in late November Alibaba was investing announced that it invested nearly $3 billion for a 36% stake in China hypermart operator Sun Art Retail. It looked like the Chinese e-commerce titan was copying a page from Amazon’s strategy plan, after Jeff Bezos’ company stunned U.S. supermarket operators by acquiring high-end grocer Whole Foods for more than $13 billion.

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THE HIDDEN PLAYER SPURRING A WAVE OF CHEAP CONSUMER DEVICES: AMAZON

To understand Amazon’s role, let’s take a closer look at how WyzeCam leveraged the power of Amazon. Wyze’s device sells for $20 plus shipping if you buy directly from the company’s website or $30 on Amazon, where members of the company’s Prime service can get it delivered within two days. Nest’s and Netgear’s comparable indoor cameras sell for around $200 each. Similar to its branded competitors, Wyze Labs' gadget is a small, internet-connected video camera, which one might use for security or to keep an eye on your dog or your baby. The single biggest difference is that it is being sold for an unbelievably low price of $20.

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DEATH OF RETAIL? RISE OF LUXURY E-COMMERCE.

As 2017 was heralded to see the death of retail, as boutiques and department stores were closing its doors driven by changing consumer habits, price wars and the threat of Amazon, high-end e-commerce remains a bright spot in the shopping landscape. Online luxury sales jumped by 24 percent this year, according to a recent study by the consulting firm Bain & Co. and the online sales of personal luxury goods are expected to make up 25 percent of the market by 2025.

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THE BUSINESS OF BELONGING

Belonging has always been an essential ingredient in the business of brand building. However, as attention spans decline, the use of multiple screens rises and fragmentation grows, this fundamental need has been increasingly on our minds. What does this erosion of “belonging-ness” mean for individuals, society and businesses? How have and will these shifts change people’s expectations of brand experiences and the role brands play in their lives?

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HOW MILLENNIALS ARE SHAPING THE FUTURE OF TRAVEL AND TOURISM

Technology-savvy Millennials are seen by many in the travel and tourism industry as the new key segment to generate much of the targeted growth in the coming years. And, those 1.8 billion people worldwide do display particular characteristics that will heavily influence the future. According to recent data, Millennials are more optimistic and plan to travel more frequently and spend more on travel than boomers in the next five years. This global generation seeks authenticity and is very adaptable yet also has come of age with a built-in expectation of having control of their activities. They want to experience new cultures, blend experiences across different types of trips, encounter and engage with local people and have authentic experiences.

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WHAT PEOPLE REALLY WANT FROM PERSONALIZED MARKETING

What customers want and what businesses think they want are often two different things, which is why personalization can be a huge advantage for businesses and consumers alike. Targeted communications that are relevant and useful can create long-lasting positive customer experiences and impact the business revenue growth of up to 30 percent. Customers see value as a function of how relevant and timely a message is in relation to how much it costs. In other words, how much personal information has to be shared and how much personal effort does it take to receive useful content.

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IN SEARCH OF SILENCE

“You never find a place that is total silence,” Mr. Kagge said. “I’ve been looking, and I have not found it.” Erling Kagge is a 54-year-old Norwegian explorer, author and publisher. The closest he came was trekking to the South Pole, which he reached in early 1993. He was alone in frozen isolation for 50 nights and days. Given a radio to make emergency calls, he’d tossed the batteries on Day 1. “When you start, you have all the noise in your head,” Mr. Kagge said, but by the end “you feel your brain is wider than the sky. You’re a guy being part of this bigness, this greatness. To be alone and experience the silence feels very safe, very meaningful.”

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BCG 2017 M&A REPORT: THE TECHNOLOGY TAKEOVER

Tech is not just for tech companies anymore. Nearly every industry has been affected by digital and mobile technologies disrupting their market and no company can afford to ignore the impact of technology, starting with supply chains to customer engagement, and continuous with even more advanced technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things. The question is, how do companies rapidly access the technologies that can advance their businesses and integrate them successfully with their current operations?

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