Spikes & Dips May 2016: State of E-commerce in the US

What is our Spikes & Dips Series?

Intelligence Node’s Spikes & Dips series tracks the retail price change of a basket of products spread across online retailers using our real-time retail analytics software. ‘Spikes & Dips’ covers the top 1000+ leading North American e-commerce retailers and is continuously monitored by proprietary market-monitoring algorithms. Intelligence Node’s algorithm processes approximately 750mn products daily and are taken from real-time, live data. All benchmark indexes are tracked in real-time, however, updates will be published in our monthly State of E-commerce newsletter.

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Retail trends and prospects in the world of luxury items

Luxury is relative, they say. By all definitions, luxury is also exclusive. In times when the West discovered new routes to the East, it was in search of this same luxury. The pepper trade, the silk trade, diamonds- they came with a huge price tag. And the ones who were capable of paying for it, flaunted it with pride.

There has always been a basic concept about luxury- from the traders’ point of view. Exchanging a high quality or rare piece of merchandise for the highest price. And for centuries, the high end retail market, that accounted for 390 USD in 2012 (BCG), has been following this system.
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Of Art, Music, Awards & Style – Fashion industry evolving !


In order to be irreplaceable,

One must always be Different!

-Coco Chanel

 


 

We agree! Fashion may be evolutionary, but style, well, it never goes out of style! And NOW, today, this is becoming apparent. The precepts of fashion are evolving; no longer is it confined to the ‘hallowed’ runways. Now, fashion is created everywhere- and consumed with the same enthusiasm as on the ramp.

The fashion pundits don’t sit in workrooms sketching and stitching for hours. They travel, they celebrate, they party and they create. Be it the famous Coachella Music and Arts Festival or the MTV Movie Awards; style is a staple!

No longer do people wear what the jet set is wearing. Because they are ‘global’ citizens. The internet gives them access to ideas from all over the world. And they know that they can pick anything from anywhere and call it ‘their style.’

So anyway, whenever we hear music festivals, we think floral prints, or loose clothes, flower headbands, or punk afros; well you get the picture. And they are fun, colorful, energetic places to be in. Art and music always attracts an eclectic crowd- which is ready to try ‘hippie’ or ‘never before went together’ stuff.

And Coachella does not disappoint. The thing we love about Coachella and other such events is their live feed we get online. Especially their Snapchat feed- where Snapchat debuted new dynamic filters, just for the event! Adds a whole new dimension to “advertising” when all those people willingly share info about your coolness, non? In fact it changed our perception in some ways.

Anyway, what is style, but another art form, right?! And the street style at Coachella is worth tweeting about, instagraming, etc. So here’s what we liked, till now;

Floral headbands, give way to ‘Floral Hats!’


 

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We saw a lot of lace and a lot of fringe too. And we saw interesting hair- with music and arts- it was a given. But we liked the ‘just woken up to party’ look a LOT, anyway.


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Oh! and capes are in…


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And of course, since it is all about it’s about fashion and at Indio, California; we saw Kendall Jenner channeling her fashionable, inner hippie with the rest. We heart the accessories and the boots in her outfit though!


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And speaking of fashion, the MTV Movie Awards on 12th April managed to wow us some more. So MTV is not really a typical and conventional organization. And the awards were as whacky as could be. Award categories included – Best Kiss (Ansel Elgort+Shailene Woodley-The Fault in our Stars), Best WTF Moment (Rose Byrne- Neighbours), Best Shirtless Performance (Zac Efron- Neighbors), etc! A collection of sarcastic, witty, humorous episodes dotted the award night. And the ‘Blue’ Carpet saw some seriously different fashion.

Bold, beautiful, bling, bl-eh…! The Blue Carpet saw it all. Like Bae Ling with her ‘unique’ dragon garment.


 

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And Kelly Osbourne with her studded clutch and the purple Mohawk.


 

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We heart the striped pumps that Bea Miller wore.


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And this plaid raincoat dress worn by Charli XCX is, well, so MTV!


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We think JLo looked stunning in this Versace number, with all those gold accents!


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There are multiple perspectives on style being presented, when we see the style at Coachella and the Blue Carpet. But all of these have ONE common factor. They grab attention. Or interest. And you, dear retailer, have the ginormous task of translating this into trendy, hip, wearable apparel that people all over the world will want to grab.

We see the opportunity that these events present. Yes, we see the HUGE retail opportunity. Which means that we also know how you can unearth the best cues that will tell you the next play your consumer will use. Retail Analysis seems like a difficult task that you need huge resources ans especially, huge purses to operate.

But that is just a modern myth. Because you already have a great product, or at least an idea to get one out. Or ways to incorporate global trends. Get your consumers to like the international apparel. And yes, increase your revenue at the same time.

Every great product may not give you the returns you were hoping for, though. Unless the right strategy and right marketing is applied to ‘flaunt’ it. We say flaunt, because you need to tell people what an amazing product you have created. And about the work that went into it. The story and the authenticity that went into creating the perfect ‘dress’- people want to know it.

And retail analysis allows you to know exactly what area you need to focus on to provide the correct push- sales, margins, inventory, pricing, etc. Data can be deduced by anyone. But the right kind of data requires awareness, be it political, economical or even emotional. Because the right awareness- the right sense or direction will guide you, even with that data you possess.

In this ‘attention-challenged’ world, we need not only innovation, but the right kind of insights to add a little motivation. To nudge audiences so that they can see, feel, and comprehend that little extra. At IntelligenceNODE, we understand this intuitively. The right mix is never ‘generalized’. It is tailored for each one- according to his/her perspective. And all the more powerful because of that. We would like to sign off with a remark we know you resemble…


 

With my fellow Avengers, I advise you to dream big, work hard, keep your noses clean, be of service, and because you can, define your generation!

-Robert Downey Jr. On winning ‘Generation Award,’ @ the MTV Movie Awards 2015.

 


 

 

 

All that glitter is gold at the Lakme India Fashion Week

The way to a man’s heart is through is stomach, they say. And the way to a woman’s heart? Why diamonds of course!

Bling has always been a part of popular culture. From princess to pauper; and princes too; have always loved jewels. These portraits of the Indian kings and queen, princes and princesses, of as recently as the 1800s, show just how important a status symbol, these stones have become!

Ever since man discovered mining and metallurgy, making ornamentation to adorn the person has been a pursuit in perfection. And many crafters of fine jewellery today are held in high regard. Names like Cartier, Tiffany’s, Van Cleef & Arpels, Christies, etc, are famous, simply for their association with luxury jewels.

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Craft Stories, Not Products!

 

This is a picture of the back cover of Comedian, TV host, Ellen DeGeneres book, named ‘Seriously…I’m Kidding.’ We all read books- and the back cover actually is pretty instrumental when it comes to deciding whether to buy that book or not. And let’s admit it, just reading something so different on the back cover of a book is intriguing enough, that one’s curiosity is piqued. Ergo, let’s buy that!

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Does the Size Chart play an important role in Ecommerce Conversion?

Confused? So are we! Let’s put this into perspective- with ecommerce sales worldwide reaching $1.47 trillion in 2014 alone, we are talking of a HUGE number of people, who log in to shop online everyday!

Research shows that one of the major reasons for products to reach the wishlist but not the shopping cart, is size. In fact, recently consumers regularly shopping online were surveyed, on the parameters of why there are instances when they turn away from purchase- and their answers were, bluntly put, size and payment modes.

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Serenading the Senses- Designing Multi Sensory Experiences!

The latest fad on Instagram that has all the women (and quite a few men) swooning is this account called “Hot Dudes Reading.” The idea was simply an extension of daily observations. And only a couple of weeks after the account was created, it already had more than 300K followers!

#HotDudesReading is proof of the fact that we may have the most amazing technologies, but certain things, like a good paperback book, are a large part of the human imagination. In our interactions with retailers, we at Intelligence Node find that there are certain such things, or maybe sensations even, that unconsciously influence our decisions on the path to purchase.

We have been studying how the modern and very aware mind is also compelled by brilliant retailers, to think over a negative and purchase an item! A popular term now, ‘neuromarketing,’ is often used by large retailers to understand their consumers’ responses to marketing stimuli.

After associating with some of the progressive retail houses, we have also deduced that modern day retailers are taking neuromarketing to a new level. Now, it has become clear, that only 5% of our buying decisions are made consciously- the remaining and staggering 95%- are influenced!

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The Fashion “Evolution” from a Retailer’s Perspective

The ephemeral global apparel business is a challenge to stay in and adapt to. The size of the global apparel business is growing exponentially and is expected to generate double digit growth between now and 2020, much of it coming from developing markets.

In a world so saturated with choices, retailers and manufacturers are having to change their ideas about fashion with the speed of light, or perish!

As a Data Analytics Lab, specializing in retail, with a deep and intuitive understanding of the apparel- retail industry, we at IntelligenceNODE have been studying consumers of fashion for quite some time. And our observations have been very interesting, especially from a retailer’s perspective.

We discovered 3 main types of fashion consumers:

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