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( R ) ETAIL ( R ) EVOLUTION etail is retail is etail’s free Monthly Trend Briefing May 2012

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DESCRIPTION's May 2012 Trend Briefing features (R)ETAIL (R)EVOLUTION: how e-commerce is transforming ALL shopping behavior. Both on and offline. From (M)ETAIL to ETAIL-TAINMENT, with examples from brands like Zara, Ticketmaster, Facebook, KLM and more...



(R)etail (R)evolutionetail is retail is etail’s free Monthly trend BriefingMay 2012


(R)etail (R)evolutionwww. t rendwatch ing . com 2

Exactly as predicted by e-gurus 15 years ago, e-commerce is hotter than

ever. Whether in mature markets, where consumer spending is shifting

online, or in growth markets where rapid urbanization and increasing

(mobile) internet penetration are unlocking new shopping habits, shoppers

are ‘e-commercing’ it up.

Now, consumers’ current ‘online’ experiences are of course fundamentally

different to those during the early dotcom boom: e-commerce is no longer

just about choice, price, convenience, reviews and ratings, but also about

everything that consumers look for in any purchase: status, the right

product and a compelling experience.


Some obligatory StatS:

• US e-commerce sales will grow 62% by 2016, to USD 327 billion (Source: Forrester, February 2012).

• european e-commerce sales will grow by 78% by 2016, to USD 230 billion (Source: Forrester, February 2012).

• brazilian e-commerce sales will grow 21.9% in 2012 to USD 18.7 billion (Source: eMarketer, January 2012).

• Chinese e-commerce sales were CNY 780 billion (USD 124 billion) in 2011, an increase of 66% from 2010. E-commerce is expected to rise from 3% of consumption to 7% by 2015 (Source: IDC, March 2012).

• india’s e-commerce market is expected to grow to USD 70 billion by 2020, from just USD 600 million in 2011 (Source: Technopak Advisors, February 2012).

• indonesian e-commerce sales are forecast to grow from USD 120 million in 2010 to USD 650 million by 2015 (Source: Frost & Sullivan, February 2012).


(R)etail (R)evolutionwww. t rendwatch ing . com 3

#1: e iS FoR eveRYWHeRe

#3: e(aSY) coMMeRce

#2: Metail

#4: oH tHat WondeRFul WeB

For consumers who are constantly connected, buying online is simply

another option, rather than a wholly separate and distinct medium.

Featuring sub-trends like: SCreeN CUltUre, all tHe Web’S a

(SHoP) WiNDoW and oN to oFF / oFF to oN.

All the barriers initially holding e-commerce back (e.g. correct fit, secure

payments, convenient deliveries) have been significantly reduced, if not

totally removed.

Featuring sub-trends PerFeCt Fit, DeliVery DeligHt, liFe:

SUbSCribeD and PerFeCt PaymeNtS..

Going ‘online’ now means immersing oneself in (and enthusiastically

adding to) a rich, personalized, social web.

Featuring sub-trends CaSHiNg iN oN CUratioN, Sell-yoUr-oWN

StoreS, retail iNVeStmeNt and at yoUr SerViCe.

Consumer expectations at large are now set online. Endless choice,

instant gratification, total transparency, seamless collaboration, the list

goes on…

Featuring sub-trends like NiCHe riCHe, CroWD CloUt, total

traNSPareNCy, etail-taiNmeNt and eXClUSiVe eXPerieNCeS.



(R)etail (R)evolutionwww. t rendwatch ing . com 4

ScReen cultuRe /

all tHe WeB’S a (SHoP) WindoW /

on to oFF /

oFF to on /

For consumers, the very act of navigating to a website, locating

and then buying a specific product is giving way to a world where

(e)commerce is always just a click (or a point, tap, swipe) away.

Indeed, e-commerce is rapidly being joined by ‘m-’ and ‘t-’ commerce

(via mobile, tablet and TV). Whatever the medium, consumers will use

any and every available technology that helps them find and buy the

right product, at the right price, in a manner they enjoy.

#1 e iS FoR eveRYWHeReFor consumers who are constantly connected, buying online is simply another option, rather than a wholly separate and distinct medium.


(R)etail (R)evolutionwww. t rendwatch ing . com 5

We looked at the all-pervasive SCREEN

CULTURE in our 12 Crucial Consumer trends

for 2012. Now, for (r)etailers, everything from

bus stops to TV programs can be an outlet, as

consumers armed with smartphones or tablets

embrace innovative new applications and

technologies to shop wherever and whenever*.

QR code ‘shopping walls’ have popped up

everywhere since Tesco Homeplus’ pilot in Korea.

The company has now extended the initiative to

20 bus stops in Seoul, after becoming the number

one shopping app in Korea with nearly one million


* Note: That’s it in this Trend Briefing for

m-commerce. Yes, the lines between mobile

and online are getting more blurred by the day,

especially for mobile-first consumers in emerging

markets, but to keep this manageable, for us and

you, we’ll save looking at all the m-commerce

developments for another Trend Briefing!

ScReen cultuRe

tesco Homeplus: QR code bus stop stores

During New York’s Fashion Week, Glamour

magazine partnered with L’Oreal to enable

passengers riding in selected cabs to buy

lancôme products they saw featured on the in-

cab TV screens.

Glamour & l’oreal:Fashion taxis


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eBay’s new iPad app includes ‘Watch With ebay’.

Users enter the channel they are viewing to see

relevant items available for purchase. For example,

sports fans watching a game can buy memorabilia

relevant to the teams on screen.

ScReen cultuRe

‘Watch with eBay’ iPad app

Other online brands deploying the stores include

eBay in both london and New york, PayPal in

Singapore, luxury fashion retailer Net-a-Porter,

and online grocery store ocado. Traditional

retailers such as toys”r”Us, Sears and Kmart, as

well as manufacturers such as Procter & gamble

have also deployed the ‘stores’. With their winning

combination of novelty, convenience and low

set-up costs, shopping walls could be one retail

innovation that runs and runs.

QR code virtual shops


(R)etail (R)evolutionwww. t rendwatch ing . com 7

all tHe WeB’S a (SHoP) WindoW

It’s not just offline that consumers are able

to seamlessly buy almost everything they

encounter (see our February/march 2012 trend

briefing on PoiNt-KNoW-bUy). Online too,

people can increasingly click, find, and then

buy items they see in images or videos*.

IKEA have been using ThingLink technology to

embed product links into the images on their

Swedish blog, enabling customers to shop directly

from the photos.

* As with many new technologies, some publishers won’t

be able to resist the temptation to blanket their photos and

videos with intrusive ads. You shouldn’t need us to tell you

to only embed subtle, helpful and most importantly welcome

product links. And no, aggressive pop-ups will never

become ‘cool’.

iKea & thinglink: Shoppable images

Stipple offers consumers the ability to discover,

and then purchase objects in images.

Stipple: image marketplace


(R)etail (R)evolutionwww. t rendwatch ing . com 8

Clickberry offers a number of solutions to make

videos interactive, by enabling publishers to add

clickable areas to their videos.

clickBerry: tag videos to make them interactive

Until PoiNt-KNoW-bUy technologies can

be accurately deployed by people merely

watching videos online, it’s up to brands to create

‘shoppable’ videos. Which is exactly what Gucci

have done to promote their Spring/Summer 2012


Gucci: Shop the Spring/Summer 2012 video

all tHe WeB’S a (SHoP) WindoW


(R)etail (R)evolutionwww. t rendwatch ing . com 9

on to oFF While virtually all consumers are now online,

sometimes it makes sense for even the

biggest online brands to branch out from

their virtual roots and reach out to customers

in the real world too.

In February 2012, industry blog Good E Reader

reported that Amazon would launch a retail store

in its hometown of Seattle, to showcase its branded

physical products such as the Kindle.

Because after all, as we observed in retail

reNaiSSaNCe, consumers will continue to

crave ‘real world’ experiences for a long time to


amazon: launching retail stores?

Following their pop-up Chromebook store in

London in October 2011, a planning application

in January 2012 led to rumors that Google was

planning to open a retail store in Dublin, Ireland.

Google: Rumored dublin store


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Groupon competitor Living Social opened 918 F

Street, a 28,000 square foot, six story building

in Washington DC. The space is used to host the

experiences that the site sells online, such as

cooking, painting and yoga classes.

living Social: 918 F Street

Daily deal site groupon launched interactive

kiosks in Chicago in January 2012, enabling

people to buy deals for local businesses direct

from the machines.

Groupon: available at kiosks in chicago

on to oFF


(R)etail (R)evolutionwww. t rendwatch ing . com 11

Personalized online accessory subscription service

StylistPick opened a pop-up store in London’s

Westfield shopping center in February 2012, where

fans could meet the celebrity curators behind their


StylistPick: Meet the curators at pop-up store

Threadless, the crowdsourced t-shirt site that

became one of the web’s most successful retailers,

launched a collaboration with GAP in February

2012. The partnership saw 25 t-shirt designs from

the online brand available in selected GAP stores

and online.

threadless & GaP: online retailer’s t-shirts sold in stores

on to oFF


(R)etail (R)evolutionwww. t rendwatch ing . com 12

oFF to on Just as consumers enjoy finding previously

online-only brands offline, they also expect

the offline to be accessible online. Now,

while there’s obviously nothing new about

brands selling online, these recent OFF TO ON

innovations stand out:

turnhills is a crowdsourced online photo directory

of real store windows. Launched in December

2011, the site currently covers New York.

turnhills: Window shop online

google’s Catalogs tablet app brings real world

catalogs online. The app features digital catalogs

from brands such as Bloomingdale’s, Neiman

Marcus, Nordstrom, Sephora and Williams-

Sonoma. Users can search for products within and

across catalogs, and either buy online or locate

in-store products.

Google catalogs: app offers digital versions of store catalogs store


(R)etail (R)evolutionwww. t rendwatch ing . com 13

January 2012 also saw the launch of Plink, a

loyalty program where participants are rewarded

with Facebook Credits for shopping and dining

offline. Participating establishments include Taco

Bell, 7-Eleven and Dunkin’ Donuts, with over

25,000 locations available across the US.

Plink: Facebook credits for offline purchases

Japan based PanoPlaza launched in January

2012. The site creates virtual versions of bricks-

and-mortar stores using 360-degree panoramic

photos, complete with ‘hotspots’ where products

are available for purchase. The technology has

been used in Tokyo for a department store, a

bookshop, and a sweet shop.

PanoPlaza: online shopping in real stores

oFF to on


(R)etail (R)evolutionwww. t rendwatch ing . com 14

caSHinG in on cuRation /

Sell-YouR-oWn StoReS /

Retail inveStMent /

at YouR SeRvice /

Giving customers a uniquely personalized or tailored experience is

something that successful e-commerce sites from Amazon onwards

have always focused on. But now, consumers sit at the center (and

indeed actively contribute to) a far richer and more deeply personal

and personalized online experience - meaning e-tail is increasingly


Expect the trend for all forms of of personalization and curation to

continue, as consumers embrace everything that enables them to

display their style and good taste (as on social ‘pinning’ site Pinterest),

or to receive selected, high quality picks from trusted curators (as with

independent, design-focused

#2 (M)etailGoing ‘online’ now means immersing oneself in (and enthusiastically adding to) a rich, personalized, social web.


(R)etail (R)evolutionwww. t rendwatch ing . com 15

caSHinG in on cuRation

The status boost that comes from discovering,

compiling, commenting, recommending and

sharing desirable, inspiring or useful products

and services means that the trend for

consumers to become curators will run and

run. And while many consumers won’t need

any encouragement to become SoCial-liteS,

Users of rNKD are awarded points for uploading

photos of clothes and accessories in their closet.

The more points a user has, the better their

chances of winning a prize, with rewards including

Zappos gift cards.

they will also welcome brands or platforms that

reward them for their sharing.

But be warned, this isn’t about bribing people

to tweet about you or ‘like’ you. Smart brands

will be those that encourage or incentivize

existing consumer behavior in a genuine

and natural way.

RnKd: Winning wardrobes

Customers of Vancl, one of China’s largest fashion

e-tailers, can set up their own personal stores

as part of the brand’s VaNCl Star initiative.

Customers can upload photos of themselves

wearing Vancl products, and as well as highlighting

potential combinations and styles, they get 10% of

sales generated from their pages.

vancl Star: Share your style and earn


(R)etail (R)evolutionwww. t rendwatch ing . com 16 is an Indian startup where

consumers get discounts for sharing potential

purchases with their social networks. The more

friends a user has, the lower the price they pay. Friend-based discounts

caSHinG in on cuRation

Brands too can easily tap into this trend. Zara’s

People! initiative asks fans of the brand to upload

photos of themselves wearing at least two items

from the Spring/Summer 2012 collection. Each

week, a selection of photos are published on the

brand’s website, with featured contributors winning

EUR 300.

Zara People!


(R)etail (R)evolutionwww. t rendwatch ing . com 17

Sell-YouR-oWn StoReS

Consumers will always be attracted to both

the perfect fit and prestige of personalized or

bespoke products, and, hurrah, e-commerce,

with its separation of order and fulfillment, has

long promised to deliver mass customization.

And of course, the mega-trend for consumers

to become producers continues apace.

Opened to selected testers from December

2011, Converse made by is a Facebook app

that enables users to design their own Converse

sneakers and sell them to their friends on the social

network and via their own virtual store, with users

who sell enough pairs being rewarded with free

pairs of Converse shoes.

Yet, while some early pioneer brands and

entrepreneurs have been letting consumers

create, design, tweak or edit their products for

years, social networks make it easier than ever

for these customer-producers to then sell (and

therefore profit from) their own creations


converse Made By Facebook app

Launched in December 2011, uFlavor offers

consumers the chance to concoct their own soft

drinks. Customers can choose from a list of 100

flavors and upload images to create personalized

labels. Drinks are available to buy online via the

uFlavor marketplace, and creators are rewarded

for each sale.

uFlavor: Make-and-sell-your-drinks


(R)etail (R)evolutionwww. t rendwatch ing . com 18

In June 2011, UK band Kaiser Chiefs released

their album “The Future is Medieval”. The band

produced twenty tracks, and fans could choose

ten to create their own version of the album,

which they were then actively encouraged to sell.

Creators received GBP 1 for each album they sold

for GBP 7.50.

Kaiser chiefs: Make-your-own album

Glasgow-based Scottish Whisky blender enables

visitors to design their own custom whiskey blends,

by choosing from seven hand-picked whiskies.

Customers’ creations are also entered into the

brand’s archive and available for sale by anyone

with the unique code.

Scottish Whisky Blender

Sell-YouR-oWn StoReS


(R)etail (R)evolutionwww. t rendwatch ing . com 19

Retail inveStMent

The opacity of production and distribution

meant that customers were often left with

products that someone else (i.e. distant brands)

thought they wanted.

Now increased transparency and collaboration

on social networks mean that consumers can

help support production of specific items or

projects that attract their attention. Platforms

like Kickstarter enable entrepreneurs, designers

Chicago design firm MINIMAL created TikToc, a

watch-strap attachment for the iPod Nano that

raised over USD 900,000 from 13,500 people on

Kickstarter. Nearly 1,500 people pledged USD 150

or more for editions laser-signed by the designer.

and creators to pitch products directly to


And the near-infinite flexibility of e-commerce

has allowed tiered pricing to move way

beyond boxed sets or limited editions.

Consumers looking for ever-valuable StatUS

StorieS are often able to support favored

projects not just with a purchase but a

significant investment. Learn from:

tiktok: iPod nano watch-strap

The inventors of Coffee Joulies, metal ‘coffee

beans‘ containing a thermodynamic material that

cools excessively hot drinks, and then maintains

the heat as the drink cools, put the project on

Kickstarter hoping to raise USD 9,500. Nearly

5,000 people pledged over USD 300,000.

coffee Joulies


(R)etail (R)evolutionwww. t rendwatch ing . com 20

Benefeitoria is a Brazilian crowdfunding platform

similar to Kickstarter. A recent sVuccessful project

saw auire Prisma, a scanner for visually impaired

people that could ‘read’ notes and say which

denomination they are, get funded and go into


Give us half a day of your time, and leave the

room knowing about every consumer trend,

insight and innovation that needs to be on your


Benfeitoria: auire Prisma bill identifier for the blind

not always enough time to read our trend Briefings?

Retail inveStMent

Check out our exclusive yet affordable

Global trend Seminars(aug-oct 2012)13 cities, 11 countries. Don’t miss out.


(R)etail (R)evolutionwww. t rendwatch ing . com 21

at YouR SeRvice

One of the benefits of shopping in-store is

the ability to speak with shop assistants and

get advice. But e-tailers too can now take

advantage of the widespread adoption of social

technologies to unlock innovative ways to

replicate, if not enhance, these ways to serve

online shoppers.

February 2012 saw British fashion e-tailer aSoS

offer customers free ‘Style Sessions’ via Skype.

Selected participants could ask ASOS’ Style

Advisors questions about ASOS apparel and seek

out advice on purchases they were considering.

From tapping into publicly available if not

volunteered information, or connecting

consumers with other consumers to get

better recommendations, there are endless

online services that make it possible to find

the perfect product. Take inspiration from the

examples below:

aSoS Skype Style Sessions

Needle enables companies to use loyal brand

aficionados to assist in live online chats with

customers, in return for points which can be

redeemed for gifts. By discussing how they use the

product in their daily lives for example.

needle: customer-powered customer service


(R)etail (R)evolutionwww. t rendwatch ing . com 22

Latvian service filters Twitter traffic

to show hotels tweets from people who have

expressed an interest in traveling to a particular

city. travel leads via twitter for hotels

Chinese travel site CTrip launched an automated

‘robot’ in Februrary 2012 that could automatically

and instantly respond to Weibo messages directed

at it, such as about flight prices, or hotel rates in

specific destinations.

ctrip: automated Weibo concierge

at YouR SeRvice


(R)etail (R)evolutionwww. t rendwatch ing . com 23

The Ticketmaster timeline app for Facebook

suggests recommended gigs for fans based on

their Spotify listening history. The app can also tell

users where their friends’ tickets are located to

enable people to sit together.

ticketmaster: Recommended gigs based on listening history

Karma is an app that enables users to easily

give spur of the moment gifts. Connecting the

app with Facebook also enables users to receive

notifications about which of their friends they

might want to give a gift to, by highlighting friends

who have recently experienced something worth


Karma: Gift giving made easy

at YouR SeRvice


(R)etail (R)evolutionwww. t rendwatch ing . com 24

PeRFect Fit /

deliveRY deliGHt /

liFe: SuBScRiBed /

PeRFect PaYMentS /

Clothes, shoes, furniture, groceries. All things that were widely

predicted to be impossible to sell online, yet increasingly added to

millions of virtual baskets around the world. The following sub-trends

show why, with the right infrastructure, anything that is bought, will

be bought online too.

#3 e(aSY)-coMMeRceAll the barriers initially holding e-commerce back (e.g. correct fit, secure payments, convenient deliveries) have been significantly reduced, if not totally removed.


(R)etail (R)evolutionwww. t rendwatch ing . com 25

PeRFect Fit Buying something that can’t be seen, touched

or tested will forever be a barrier. Many popular

e-tailers have borne the risk of returns in an

attempt to overcome shoppers’ fears, but new

With Berlin based Upcload, shoppers stand in

front of their webcams holding a CD as pictured,

to generate a personalized size profile that can

be used when purchasing apparel products. The

North Face is currently trialing the system in the


technologies mean that customers can be ever

more confident that they are making a perfect

purchase first time.

upcload: Sizing via a cd and webcam

UK based Bodymetrics launched its livingroom

fitting product at CES 2012. The PrimeSense 3D

technology can map a user’s body using Kinect-

like 3D sensors. When attvached to a TV, shoppers

can virtually ‘try on’ clothes and see how they will

fit on their body shape.

Bodymetrics: living room to fitting room


(R)etail (R)evolutionwww. t rendwatch ing . com 26

Israel’s brayola, which launched in February 2012,

aims to help women buy perfectly fitting bras

online. Rather than using measurements, the site

asks women which bras they already own that are

comfortable, and then matches them against its

database to recommend similarly fitting bras.

Brayola: find perfect bra size

Launched in December 2011, US based Zazzle’s

realview enables users to upload their own

photographs to the site in order to visualize how

the DIY e-tailer’s prints and artwork would look in

their own home.

Zazzle: visualize art on the walls

PeRFect Fit


(R)etail (R)evolutionwww. t rendwatch ing . com 27

deliveRY deliGHt

With customers’ NoWiSm and lust for instant

gratification (and combined with the frequent

difficulties in receiving goods bought online),

making delivery seamless or even a delight

should be right at the forefront of every

e-entrepreneur’s or e-tailer’s mind.

UK based Shutl offer deliveries in as little as 90

minutes across much of the UK. In March 2012, the

brand announced that they were partnering with

Maplin, an electronics retailer, to offer delivery in

over 40 cities.

And while ‘click and collect’ services

remain popular with online shoppers, also

check out these recent innovations:

Shutl offers speedy deliveries

Italian fashion e-tailer Yoox offers customers in

China enhanced delivery services when they order

from the dedicated Chinese version of its luxury

multi-brand site, the Corner. In partnership with

FedEx, Chinese shoppers can expect delivery staff

to wait while they look over their purchases, try

them on and decide whether they want to keep or

return them.

the corner & Fedex: try-while-they-wait-commerce


(R)etail (R)evolutionwww. t rendwatch ing . com 28

And it’s not just physical goods that are ripe for

innovation. giftwhip aims to make receiving online

gift cards, vouchers or virtual goods more exciting.

The service creates a virtual present, which

recipients can’t open or view until the ‘unwrap date’

set by the giver.

Giftwhip: virtual gift wrapping

Slice enables users to track all their online

purchases in one place. In December 2011, the

company rolled out their ‘track With Friends’

feature, enabling recipients to track their gifts

without revealing what they are or how much they


Slice: Keep the surprise while tracking online gifts

deliveRY deliGHt


(R)etail (R)evolutionwww. t rendwatch ing . com 29

liFe: SuBScRiBed

We first looked at the rise of subscription-

based sites last year, but with their winning

combination of convenience and curation

ensure that this is one ‘trend’ that you should be

sure to sign up to ;-)

The emergence of a platform is always a sure sign

that a trend is booming, and memberly, a platform

that provides a back-end administration panel and

payment handling for online subscription services,

is no exception.

Memberly: Run-your-own subscription service

Frank & oak offers a twist on the fashion

subscription model. Based in Montreal, members

of the site’s Hunt Club are sent a monthly email

with that month’s fashion selections. Customers

select between one and four items that they wish

to receive by post, and unwanted items can be

returned free of charge.

Frank & oak: only pay for what you keep


(R)etail (R)evolutionwww. t rendwatch ing . com 30

In October 2011, French farm, La Ferme des

Echancées made its ‘Contrat Poule’ (‘Chicken

Contract’) service available to 50 towns.

‘Subscribers’ receive packages of eggs for one

year, and at the end of the nesting season they can

opt to have the carcass delivered to them to cook.

la Ferme des echancées: ‘contrat Poule’

los Paderos is a Brazilian site that sends

subscribers three loaves of half-baked artisan

bread each week. Customers can then store the

loaves in the fridge for up to two weeks; when

they’re ready to eat them, they simply finish baking


los Paderos: artisan breads in Brazil

liFe: SuBScRiBed


(R)etail (R)evolutionwww. t rendwatch ing . com 31

PeRFect PaYMentS

Most internet users are now (fairly) comfortable

with shopping online. Yes, concerns remain, but

online sales continue to significantly outpace

all other spending, despite the occasional

well-publicized glitch. However, the checkout

Citing the high abandonment rate when consumers

are required to register at a new site to complete

a purchase, eBay launched its PayPal access

product in October 2011. The initiative allows

consumers to login to, and pay at participating

e-tailers without having to register a new account.

PayPal access: Single sign-in

Facebook announced in February 2012 that it

had partnered with a number of the largest mobile

operators, including AT&T, Deutsche Telekom,

Orange, Telefónica, T-Mobile USA, Verizon and

Vodafone, to enable users to make Facebook

Credit purchases via mobile operator billing (i.e.

see the charge appear on their mobile phone bill).

Facebook credits: an alternative currency?

process too often remains far from seamless,

creating opportunities for any innovation

that makes paying online quicker, more

convenient, or more secure.


(R)etail (R)evolutionwww. t rendwatch ing . com 32

PeRFect PaYMentS

American Express launched its Sync initiative

in March 2012. Cardholders can link their credit

cards to their Twitter accounts, to receive coupons

and discounts for tweeting certain hashtags. For

example, users who tweeted #amexWholefoods

received a USD 20 credit on purchases of over

USD 75. Participating brands include H&M,

McDonalds, Best Buy and Zappos.

amex: Sync with twitter

Indian online shoppers often face issues with

payment gateways, perhaps explaining why many

e-commerce transactions are still settled with

cash on delivery. Hoping to smooth the payment

process, Flipkart, India’s answer to Amazon,

introduced a feature where customers could

deposit up to INR 10,000 (USD 190) in an online

‘wallet’, enabling users to check out quickly

without having to re-enter their credit card details.

Flipkart: virtual ‘wallet’


(R)etail (R)evolutionwww. t rendwatch ing . com 33

nicHe RicHe /

cRoWd clout /

total tRanSPaRencY /

etail-tainMent /

eXcluSive e-XPeRienceS /

Certain factors (taste, smell, and physical interaction to name just a

few) still compel people to continue to shop in the ‘real world’. But

the online world has its advantages too, especially when it comes to

things such as collaboration, accessibility, reach, transparency and


in fact, consumers now expect the online experience to not just

match the offline experience, but to improve on it in ways that are

difficult if not impossible to replicate offline.

#4 oH WHat a WondeRFul WeBConsumer expectations at large are now set online. Endless choice, instant gratification, total transparency, seamless collaboration, the list goes on…


(R)etail (R)evolutionwww. t rendwatch ing . com 34

nicHe RicHe E-commerce is an endless aisle, in which

consumers can shop niche products from all

over the world as well as in the online mega-

malls such as eBay and Amazon.

And the appeal of small-scale, artisan shops

is just as strong online as it is offline. Indeed

online consumers can now easily discover

(whether via personal tips or via trusted

curators) even the smallest, most obscure store

With love from brooklyn is an online retailer that

only sells items created by local artisans. The site’s

products range from the iconic Brooklyn Cruiser,

to locally made food, drinks and preserves, to the

works of local artists.

selling quirky, unique or storied products that

perfectly align with their particular interest or


On the business side too, it’s easier than ever

to open an online store, as there are now

endless platforms and solutions that make it

virtually effortless, from Shopify, Payvment,

eBay Xcommerce to taobao and more.

With love from Brooklyn: Your local online store is based in Indonesia and

exclusively stocks Indonesian high-fashion

designers, with a goal of supporting and promoting

local brands on a global stage. An online

magazine also features photo shoots, interviews

and pictures of Indonesian ‘street style’. indonesian fashion portal


(R)etail (R)evolutionwww. t rendwatch ing . com 35

Launched in January 2012, Cuelcinha is a

Brazilian site that sells fine lingerie collections for

men. Products include high quality boxers and

panties made with fine fabrics, animal prints and

lace inserts. Pieces are designed to fit the male

anatomy in comfort, with elasticated detailing.

cuelcinha: Male lingerie in Brazil

Launched in December 2011, Never liked it

anyway is a marketplace where users can sell

items connected to past romantic relationships. A

wide variety of products are available on the site,

generally at a discounted ‘break-up’ price, with

many unwanted gifts such as jewelry, or items

connected with engagements or marriages like

wedding dresses.

never liked it anyway: Post-break up sales

nicHe RicHe


(R)etail (R)evolutionwww. t rendwatch ing . com 36

cRoWd clout One of the things that comes easily online is

mass collaboration, and the crowdsourcing

trend is one that we’ve been watching for a

while (check out our first look at CroWD CloUt

way back in 2007!).

While e-commerce often promises low prices,

sometimes finding the best price can be difficult

and/or time-consuming. Australian site FlightFox

allows travelers to set up a contest where online

travel experts can compete to find the best

available prices for future trips. Users pay an AUD

29 ‘finders fee’ (refundable if a cheaper flight is

found within 48 hours), and the site claims to save

people AUD 369 per trip on average.

Now, with more consumers than ever pretty

much constantly online and plugged into social

networks, it’s never been easier for shoppers

to harness the power of the crowd in new and

innovative ways.

FlightFox: Human-powered flight deals

Launched in China during December 2011, deal

site invites users to submit ideas

for products they would like to see on its virtual

shelves, and suggest how much they want to pay

for them. Users can then vote for the deal, and if it

proves popular, Handsup staff contact the brand

or business in question to try and arrange the

promotion. crowdsourced daily deals


(R)etail (R)evolutionwww. t rendwatch ing . com 37

cRoWd clout

Launched in September 2011, Greek website

galoo allows users to suggest the price they are

willing to pay for an item, and invite friends to

‘strengthen’ their negotiating position. If a seller

agrees to the suggested price, the two parties

organize payment and delivery.

Galoo: Greek ‘reverse buying’ platform

In November 2011, amazon asked its Facebook

fans to vote on which discounts they should offer

during the Black Friday to Cyber Monday period

(two popular days for shopping in the US). The

30% discounts were available on the e-tailer’s

specialist sites,,,


amazon: vote for Black Friday deals


(R)etail (R)evolutionwww. t rendwatch ing . com 38

total tRanSPaRencY

We’ve looked on a number of occasions at

traNSPareNCy triUmPH, and how the

availability of online information is reshaping

consumer expectations and corporate behavior

(check out our recent Trend Briefing on

FlaWSome ;-).

If transparency 1.0 was all about the excitement

at being able to see exactly what other (real!)

Launched in Belgium in January 2012, Honest

by is a sustainable, fully transparent apparel

brand and e-tailer. For every product available

on the Honest By site, full information is available

on manufacturing (including working conditions),

material and supplier sources, pricing, and ethical

or organic certifications.

people thought about products or services;

transparency 2.0 saw this become just a

default element of decision-making; now

transparency 3.0 will be about making almost

all aspects of the transaction and experience

transparent: manufacturing, pricing, reviews,

popularity, and even personal relevance.

Honest By: transparent fashion

February 2012 saw KLM roll out its meet & Seat

initiative. The optional service allows passengers

to link their booking to their Facebook or LinkedIn

profile and select a seat next to the individuals they

find most interesting.

KlM: Meet & Seat


(R)etail (R)evolutionwww. t rendwatch ing . com 39

igluu is a free Brazilian service that lets consumers

browse multiple sites and create virtual shopping

lists (online or on their smartphones). For each

item, the service shows users which participating

store offers the cheapest price, and once they’ve

picked the store to order from, Igluu transfers their

shopping cart to that retailer to arrange delivery.

igluu: Shop for groceries across multiple stores recently implemented a feature that

showed visitors to its site how many times the hotel

they were viewing had been booked in the past 24

hours. notify how many people have booked in past day

total tRanSPaRencY


(R)etail (R)evolutionwww. t rendwatch ing . com 40


Successful retailers in the ‘offline’ world are

often those that make a store visit an enjoyable

or exciting event (including those, as we

showed in retail reNaiSSaNCe, who use

technology to enhance the experience and

bring the benefits of online to the offline world).

Launched in the UK in October 2011, Fantasy

Shopper is a social shopping game that gives

users fantasy money to browse, style and

‘purchase’ clothes from over 300 real stores.

Players can unlock major world shopping

destinations, and complete challenges to boost

their ‘fashionista reputation’, all while earning real

discount codes and vouchers for participating


Rather than trying to replicate the offline

experience, e-tailers can deploy new

techniques that make e-commerce ‘fun’ in

ways that physical retail can’t match, such as

allowing consumers to collaborate, compete

and turn shopping into a (virtual) game.

Fantasy Shopper: Fantasy Football, with clothes ;-)

Mimicking Japanese department stores’ ‘fukurburo’

(lucky bag) sales, shoppers with little black bag

receive a mystery bag with a selection of fashion

and beauty products every month. They then

have a week to trade with other users to make

their perfect collection. To further increase the

excitement, selected bags contain prizes worth 4

to 5 times the value of the bags.

little Black Bag: take or trade


(R)etail (R)evolutionwww. t rendwatch ing . com 41

eXcluSive e-XPeRienceS

Online, everything is available to everyone, so

the story goes. Yet for consumers, anything

scarce or exclusive instantly makes it that much

more attractive.

Flash sale sites have played on this for years,

with sites like vente-privee and gilt limiting

access to members only, even if membership

Fashion PR firm KCD launched Digital Fashion

Shows at New York’s Fashion Week in February

2012. The site hosts virtual fashion shows,

streamed only to invited guests.

has simply been an email address away.

Now a number of brands and entrepreneurs

are seeking to introduce true e-commerce

exclusivity, and thus tap into consumers’

desire for unique or memorable experiences

(and the great StatUS StorieS that come

with them).

icB: invite-only digital fashion show

Swedish rapper Adam Tensta released his latest

single ‘Pass it On’ via a Facebook app. The catch?

Only one copy of the track exists, and users are

required to sign up to join the queue to listen to

it. Once they reach the front of the ‘queue’, users

have one hour to listen to the track.

adam tensta: Pass it on


(R)etail (R)evolutionwww. t rendwatch ing . com 42

November 2011 saw daily deal site gilt Groupe

offer members the chance to rent a Virgin America

Airbus A320 plane (seating up to 145 people). The

deal was priced at USD 60,000, and individuals

could choose a name for the plane and have this

painted on the side of the Airbus.

Gilt Groupe offers deal on airplane rental

Celebrity chef Heston Blumental’s Fat Duck

restaurant is famous for its immersive experiences,

and from February 2012, diners who succeeded

in getting a reservation received an email inviting

them to view an exclusive animated stereo

experience. The link could be accessed four times


Fat duck Restaurant: Kid in a Sweetshop experience

eXcluSive e-XPeRienceS


(R)etail (R)evolutionwww. t rendwatch ing . com 43

Even in this monster Trend Briefing, with its four big themes and various

sub-trends, we’ve only scratched the surface of (R)ETAIL (R)EVOLUTION:

content commerce, celebrity curators, Facebook’s ‘want’ and ‘own’

buttons, shopping from the newsfeed, paying with tweets, cash on

delivery, online pop-ups and more were left on the cutting room floor.

But our biggest challenge? Trying to stick to just ‘e-commerce’. Because, as

we showed in our Trend Briefing on retail reNaiSSaNCe (and touching

on it again here in e iS For eVeryWHere), all shopping increasingly

takes place within an e-commerce ecosystem that includes not just online

and offline, but mobiles, tablets and TVs too.


Hence (R)ETAIL (R)EVOLUTION: all commerce is being affected by

e-commerce, and in return e-commerce will be affected by the same

general trends that define consumer behavior across all mediums, online

and in traditional retail.

So keep watching, keep learning, and most importantly keep (or start!) doing!

In the meantime, we’ll be hard at work on our next Trend Briefing! Make sure

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