Tech Bytes from Retail & Tech No 82

The latest tech news to inform and inspire

  • Fashion in the Metaverse. A string of luxury brands and retailers are taking part in this week’s Metaverse Fashion Week hosted by virtual social world Decentraland. The event, which runs from March 24 to 27, features runway shows, pop-up shops and after-parties on the Decentraland platform. Fashion brands such as Dolce&Gabbana, Dundas and Etro will present fashion shows, while digital fashion brands and NFT artists, including The Fabricant and FEWOCiOUS, will also present collections. In addition to the fashion shows, the runway will be surrounded by what Decentraland calls a luxury shopping area inspired by Avenue Montaigne in Paris. It will feature shopping experiences by brands such as Tommy Hilfiger, Dolce&Gabbana, Elie Saab, Etro, Dundas and Cavalli. While this is the first edition of Metaverse Fashion Week, avatar wearables launched on Decentraland in 2020. The avatar wearables generated $1m in sales in 2021. Decentraland is a decentralized virtual social platform that is powered by the Ethereum blockchain. The platform claims that it is unique in that it is owned by and governed by the people who use it.

  • Pinterest shopping. Pinterest is to launch new features aimed at making shopping more seamless on the platform. The company will launch a new shopping space customized to a user’s preferences, called Your Shop, and featuring content from creators and brands that is based on a user’s browsing history on the platform. The feature is currently in beta in the US and will launch in the country later this year. Pinterest will also launch a feature that allows shoppers to make purchases without leaving the platform.

  • RangeMe. UK-based e-commerce player Feelunique has partnered with online sourcing platform RangeMe to source new products. RangeMe is an online platform that aims to help buyers to find out about and purchase emerging products. Through the platform, suppliers have a profile in which they can showcase their products to potential buyers. Additionally, buyers can connect with brands and companies directly on RangeMe via a messaging feature. Buyers can also purchase products from a brand’s RangeMe digital storefront. RangeMe has offices in the US, Australia and the Netherlands. Last year, the company expanded to retailers in the UK, Europe and Asia-Pacific. RangeMe has some 15,000 retail buyers and 200,000 suppliers.

  • Beauty revival. Online Google searches in the US for beauty saw an uptick last month, ushering in a revival of the category, according to Spate’s Beauty Tracker, which compares searches from February 2022 to February 2021. With renewed attention, consumers are searching for products across categories, from products such as face moisturizer, eyeliner and fragrance, to more specific items, such as contour sticks and SPF setting spray.

  • Slowing down. The beauty industry in the UK saw a 27% drop in editorial earned media value (EMV) and a 9% decline in mentions across print, online and social media in 2021 compared to 2020, according to a report by UK-based mmi Analytics. Mmi tracks 1,250 beauty brands’ earned print, online and social media. The drop in media coverage meant that beauty mentions returned to 2019 levels, notes mmi, after a spike in 2020 at the height of the pandemic. The steepest decline in mentions was in make-up, followed by skincare. However, fragrance and haircare both saw increases. Looking at media types by EMV, data reflects the move to Instagram which makes up 68% of EMV. While online publications, ezines and blogs gained 12,385 mentions, YouTube mentions were down 34% on a like-for-like basis with its share of mentions dropping from 8% to 5%. Charlotte Tilbury ranked as the number-one brand in 2021 in the UK based on EMV. NARS came in second, followed by Dior and Huda Beauty.

  • Insta NFTs. Social-media platform Instagram is gearing up for the launch of a platform to host NFTs. Speaking at a SXSW conference last week, parent company Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Instagram plans to bring NFTs to the platform this year. In January, Twitter launched a feature that allows Twitter Blue subscribers to choose an NFT from their collection and set it as their profile picture.

  • TikTok creators. Partnering with creators on TikTok increases view-through rates for TikTok specific-ads by 193%, according to TikTok’s What’s Next 2022 report. Additionally, branded content from creator collaborations shows a 27% higher ad recall. TikTok users also find these creator collaborations more memorable. Some 62% of users say that creators are the best way for brands to connect with consumers. Additionally, 65% of TikTok users say that they enjoy creator posts about a product or brand. Another 35% of users say they discover products or brands from a creator, while 39% consider purchasing products while interacting with creator videos. Brands can partner with TikTok creators via the TikTok Creator Marketplace, where they can sift through creators based on industry, budget and business goals. Brands can also search for videos mentioning their brand to find creators who already know and enjoy their products. The TikTok Creator Marketplace currently has 100,000 creators from 24 markets.