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Fits.me March 29, 2010

Filed under: Competition — silkebraems @ 10:52 am

Obviously, we are not the only ones who want to overcome the major problem the internet encounters when it comes to selling clothes: there is no online fitting room available for the customers. This year’s edition of the Plugg Startup Rally has been won by the Estonian company Fits.me that enables customers to virtually try on their clothes before buying them. They use robotic mannequins to mimic the shape and size of the customer and then show the customer photos of the mannequin wearing different sizes of clothing. Trial use by Quelle , a large online retailer in Germany, showed that this virtual fitting room increased sales of clothing items on average 3.1 times, and returns were reduced by 28%. Imagine what the impact could be on sales when customers can try on clothes on their own exact virtual image!

Source:

http://fits.me/

 

Matchmaker March 18, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — ruthdedecker @ 2:27 pm

After reading an article in Metro about a virtual stylist, I thought it could be a good idea to introduce a stylist-function on our pro-version of the website. Pinko , an apparel store, has developed a touch screen computer which gives the customers in-store clothing advice: the Store Stylist. We could create a similar application for our website. Because we will work with a partner with a collection that is available to fit virtually on a 3D-image of your body, it should not be a problem to develop a program that combines the different pieces of the collection and tells the members of our website what garments go good with each other.

Sources:

Metro, 26 February 2010
http://thefashpack.onsugar.com/Pinkos-Interactive-Store-Stylist-Perfect-Summer-Shopping-7667223#read-more

 

Shopping alone together March 14, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — aureliehoornaert @ 10:49 am

Do you pay any attention to the reviews listed for each book or CD when you’re browsing through sites like Amazon or Ebay? I surely do. And it seems I’m not the only one: a research by Opinion Research Corporation revealed that 61 percent of respondents first check online reviews, blogs and other online customer feedback before they buy a new product. Most of them make use of search engines to find more information about a specific product. Half of the respondents need 4 to 7 customer reviews before purchasing an item. More than eight out of 10 said this kind of evaluations had at least some influence on their purchasing behaviour.

Reviews can have a big impact on brands, there is no doubt about that! Recently, more and more retailers allow SNS users to link their profiles to the web shops. In this way, peer pressure and the opinions of our friends will play a large role in our purchasing decisions. Moreover, this may mean that in the near future almost every online site will have its own social-networking component. Online shopping will no longer be an individualistic activity as customers will be able to share their online shopping experiences.

Sources:

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/posttech/2008/05/the_allthingssocial_craze.html

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/posttech/2008/07/peer_pressure_in_online_shoppi.html?nav=rss_blog

 

Press releases: get the ball rolling!

Filed under: Marketing communications — lienvereecke @ 7:55 am

As we are a brand new business, it is very important that the world gets to know us, our social network site and our service. One, often forgotten, very effective way of doing this, is by issuing press releases. These are part of an important marketing strategy that will help our business to get the word out to all the right people and it allows the world to get a sneak peak at our new social network site and the services we offer.

For instance, it could be very interesting for us to issue a press release to announce our presence at big events, such as the Flair Shopping Day, where customers will be able to get to know us and our service. After all, it is well known that one of the most important things any start up can do, is getting good press coverage. In other words, issuing good press releases could be a great and easy way for us to get the ball rolling!

Sources:
http://www.allnetbusiness.info/2009/05/importance-of-press-releases.html
http://www.jdsblog.com/2008/03/31/the-importance-of-press-release/

 

European quality mark for web shops? March 11, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — silkebraems @ 5:01 pm

In order to make shopping on the internet more reliable Emota, the European E-commerce and Mail Order Trade Association, wants to establish a covering European quality mark for web shops. This means that online stores will need to stick to a series of sales rules. In this way the threshold should be lower for customers who want to shop online and the confidence in online shopping should increase. The plans to establish this quality mark are still in their infancy, but this is good news for us as an internet start-up. Customers need to know that shopping online is safe and that it comes with some benefits. If they are convinced this is the case, our company will have a bright future.

Source:

http://www.rendement.nl/marketing/nieuws/id921-wellicht-een-europees-keurmerk-voor-uw-webshop.html

 

Online measuring will be the future trend in e-shopping! March 9, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — ruthdedecker @ 6:31 pm

To expand our business, we are always looking for suitable partners to work with. Recently, I saw an interesting article in Metro about an Antwerp-based jewelry company, Atelier 11, who, just as us, found a solution to tackle the problem of fitting-difficulties accompanying online shopping . They have developed a simple way to measure what ring size you have, so that you can easily buy their rings online, without stopping by a brick-and-mortar shop. You just have to print out a form and follow the instructions to know your ring size.
Atelier 11 could be a perfect associate for us to work with, because buying jewelry can easily be combined with buying clothes. The web shop of Atelier 11 complements our web space where customers can virtually try on clothes. After putting together an outfit, our clients could search the Atelier 11 online shop to find the perfect matching jewelry.
Sources:
Metro, 26 April 2010
http://www.atelierelf.com/pdf/ringsize.pdf

 

Crisis Communication: To blog or not to blog March 2, 2010

Filed under: Marketing communications — aureliehoornaert @ 2:07 pm

There is no doubt that blogging has a serious impact on organizations. It’s not only an important tool of communication, blogging has also made the public more powerful than ever before. But can/should blogging be used during crises?

Crises situations and blogs can go together in two ways: (1) blogs can be responsible for the creation of the crisis or (2) they can offer the solution.

1.The first victim of a crisis created by a blog was Kryptonite, producer of bicycle locks. A blogger posted a video that showed how the locks could be opened by a pen. Kryptonite had to launch a massive lock exchange program. In cases like this one, researchers say that it is necessary to use the same channel that has been used to create the crisis in order to tackle the problem en rebuild the company image.

In an interview, Donna Tocci, Public Relations Manager for Kryptonite was asked how she would handle the same crisis right now. Her answer: “Now, I’ve spent the time to research what is going on online and have created relationships with some of the more influential bloggers. I’ve treated this like I would do with any traditional media representative. I’m confident that, should something else come up like it did in September ’04, I would be able to converse with a few of these folks and, should they choose, they could write about what is going on with us. That may include that Donna has left the building… kidding… but, you see my point. There is no way for a company to answer all of the individual blog posts or forum posts during a crisis. No way. There isn’t enough time in a day. Having your own blog or even a website that is easy to change information on, like we do, is a way to get out some information, but just like the traditional media, everyone wants their own quote that is unique to their blog or news coverage. Just like you! That is also why companies need to do the research I mentioned above now, before a crisis. Know who the influential bloggers are in your space and start a conversation. Create a relationship or two or ten.”

2. Sweetser & Metzgar believe that corporate blogs are effective and even necessary in crisis management. Their research showed that anti-crisis measures and messages given through corporate blogs let the viewers perceive a low level of crisis for the company in crisis. These results suggest that launching a blog in response to a crisis may indeed be an effective crisis management tool.

There is no doubt that blogging has become an important part of a company’s current and future marketing and public relations mix. However, I share the opinion of expert Dave Taylor: “blogging is by no means the only element, and it cannot become the only element however you spin it. Always remember that ultimately the company has to meet its market, too, not vice versa.”

Sources:

http://kundalik.wordpress.com/2010/01/07/the-impact-of-blogging-on-crisis-communication-management-in-public-relations/

http://www.intuitive.com/blog/debunking_the_myth_of_kryptonite_locks_and_the_blogosphere.html