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Archive for June, 2013

Goodbye Google Reader

June 30, 2013 Leave a comment
Brett Molina, USA TODAY4:17 p.m. EDT June 30, 2013
 

On Monday, fans of Google’s popular Reader application will bid farewell.

Google shuts down Reader on July 1, citing a drop in usage and a shift toward a smaller selection of Google services.

If you’re a Google Reader user, now’s the time to export your subscriptions. Users can do this by going to Settings, Import/Export and follow the steps to export your subscriptions through Google Takeout, which will download to a computer in a ZIP folder. Most RSS readers will let you import subscriptions (saved as an XML file) easily.

 

Since Google announced Reader’s demise in March, several other options have emerged to potentially fulfill your RSS needs. Here are five alternatives to consider.

Feedly. As of right now, this is the best option in a Google Reader free world. It’s flexible, so users can opt for the traditional Google Reader list appearance, or go for a more dynamic magazine view. Feedly also offers the best selection of sharing options, including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Pocket, Instapaper and Evernote. Users can click a Save For Later bookmark as well for reading directly on the app. The service works great as a browser extension on Chrome, Firefox or Safari (and standalone Web client), and features a native app for Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android.

The Old Reader. For those users seeking just the basics, The Old Reader is a strong choice. Designed to look very similar to Google Reader, The Old Reader is simple and easy to use. Importing and adding feeds is easy, but it seems sharing is limited to the service. So, it’s tough to directly share to social networks. But for users who want feeds on the go, Old Reader will work with the iOS app Feeddler.

Flipboard. The mobile app for iOS and Android opts for a more visual approach to story syndication, presenting feeds in a magazine-style format. Along with RSS feeds, users can add updates from social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr, “flipping” pages with simple swipes on the touchscreen. Simiilar to notetaking app Evernote, Flipboard allows users to clip content from the Web to display in a digital magazine for their mobile devices. The big drawback to Flipboard is users can’t read their feeds on a desktop or laptop. It’s for smartphones and tablets only.

AOL Reader. One of two new entrants into the RSS reader market, AOL Reader has promise. Several views are available, from a traditional list to a pane view similar to the Microsoft Outlook email client. Users can share stories to Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn, as well as star items for later reading. However, I couldn’t find any options for saving to offline services such as Pocket. Also, feeds didn’t seem to update as quickly as other options, but that should improve over time. A native Android and iOS app is coming soon, the reader still functions nicely on a mobile browser. Among other options AOL plans to add soon: Search, Notifications and sharing with other AOL Reader users.

Digg Reader. It’s only 24 hours old, but the newest RSS reader from Digg is a clean, simple choice. Sharing is limited to Twitter and Facebook, but users can set up connections to Pocket, Instapaper or Readability to view content later. Users can “Digg” stories, which bolsters a cool Popular section that breaks down the most popular stories appearing on your RSS. There are some important functions missing, such as “Mark as Unread” and “View Unread Items Only” options, but Digg says they plan to add those features quickly.

Readers, have you made the switch from Google Reader? What do you use?

Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @bam923.

Categories: Uncategorized

Featuring Suppliers with Low Minimums!

June 30, 2013 Leave a comment

Featuring Suppliers with Low Minimums!

 AM4U has NO Minimums http://am4u.com/

SEMINAR SCHEDULE / July 22, 23, 24 – 2013
NOTE: the dg expo Fabric & Trim Exhibits/Show is TUESDAY & WEDENESDAY ONLY – there are no exhibits on Monday – Seminars only.
Seminars take place in the Madison Room on the 18th Floor adjacent to the Exhibit Floor (Penntop and Skytop Ballrooms) at the Hotel Pennsylvania – 401 Seventh Avenue, between 32nd and 33rd Streets.
REGISTER NOW for seminars
Monday, July 2210:30AM – 11:45AM Monday

Seminar 01 / Tips & Services for Designers/Entrepreneurs
Moderator: Frances Harder with Henry Cherner, Steve Greenberg, Susan Power
Get information about affordable options you have for Software, Publications, and other tools to aid you in managing your business, and to assist you in the creative process.  Seminar Fee $20.12:30PM -1:30PM Monday
Seminar 02 / Fabric Printing, Dyeing and Finishing
presented by: Suzette McHugh (bio) / Textile Technology Center
Learn how patterns are printed onto fabrics and all there is to know about the dyeing process.  We’ll discuss synthetic fabric printing options like sublimation and digital printing versus natural fiber printing techniques, as well as the different dyeing methods for fabrics and how design costs and fabric performance are impacted by dye selection.  Learn about how chemical treatments can be applied to fabric surfaces to alter or improve fabric performance.  Seminar Fee $30
2:00PM-4:00PM Monday
Seminar 03 / Textiles 101: Get Smart About Textiles
presented by: Suzette McHugh (bio) / Textile Technology Center
Starting with an introduction to key textile terms and concepts – this two hour textile class is for anyone who wants to learn about fibers, yarns, knits, wovens, non-wovens, dyeing & finishing techniques, and fabric testing.  We’ll cover the fundamentals along with highlighting new textile product developments. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn all about Textiles at dg expo.  Seminar Fee $55.4:30PM-6:00PM Monday
Seminar 04 / Starting & Growing A Successful Fashion Business: What A Designer/Entrepreneur Needs to Know!
Presented by: Frances Harder (bioFashion Business Inc Fashion for Profit 
One of the many tempting things about the apparel industry is that it does not require a lot of money to form your own business. A good idea and the right market niche can lead to your ultimate dream of running a successful business. However, it is a multifaceted industry with many important components that should be fully understood before taking that leap of faith. One missing link could mean failure. Knowledge is empowering and could save your savings! This important seminar will cover all you should understand when starting an apparel business. From investigating your market niche, designing a line, business set-up (including the legal licensing requirements), finance needs, production, costing, branding and marketing, through to the final sale. This seminar is based on Frances’ best selling book – Fashion for Profit. This book is a must have reference guide for start-ups and those considering producing fashion items – apparel, accessories, or home furnishings!  A Question & Answer session  follows the presentation. Seminar Fee $30.
Tuesday, July 23
8:45AM-10:00AM Tuesday
Seminar 05 / Made in the USA: Production Sourcing
Moderator: Frances Harder (bioFashion Business Inc Fashion for Profit
This seminar will address where to find the resources to produce a sewn product in the USA.  What questions to ask and how to prepare to get your product made how YOU want it to look when finished.  Prepare to save you money and valuable time.  Meet domestic cut & sew contractors, some with factories in the USA and in China.  Find out how they can work with you to get the quantities you need as you grow your business.  Seminar Fee $20.12:30PM – 2:00PM Tuesday
Seminar 06 / Textiles 101: Get Smart About Textiles
presented by: Suzette McHugh (bio) / Textile Technology Center
Come learn about key textile terms and concepts. This 90 minute textile class is for anyone who wants to learn about fibers, yarns, knits, wovens, non-wovens, dyeing & finishing techniques, and fabric testing.  We’ll cover the fundamentals along with highlighting new textile product developments. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn all about Textiles at dg expo.  Seminar Fee $55.6:00PM-7:00PM Tuesday
Seminar 07 / Marketing Your Line – from Reps to Tradeshows
Moderator: Frances Harder (bioFashion Business Inc Fashion for Profit
This panel discussion is about bringing your product to market.  We will discuss how to find the best sales rep for you – and what they are looking for in a new brand! Connecting to the right representative can make or break a line.  We’ll also discuss exhibiting at tradeshows – what you need to consider, and how to select the right show for your line. Seminar Fee: $20.
Wednesday, July 24
8:30AM-9:30AM Wednesday
Seminar 08 / Emerging New Fibers& Fabrics
presented by: Suzette McHugh (bio) / Textile Technology Center
Come hear about some of the newest fibers and fabrics –both natural and synthetic.  This presentation will be a compilation of interesting products and technologies, that have been recently announced —and that have potential future applicability to the apparel, home fashions and the performance fabrics markets. Seminar Fee: $20.
12:30PM -1:30PM Wednesday
Seminar 09 / Building a Company, Branding a Line 
Frances Harder (bioFashion Business Inc Fashion for Profit
This seminar examines the various steps a new company should take to begin the important brand building process. It will be important to understand the different stages of creating a strong image for your brand, as well as reveal the many possible opportunities that are available to help create a valuable brand name in today’s global market.

Seminar Fee $20.

3:00PM – 3:30PM Wednesday
Seminar 10 / Sourcing Tips for Designers & Buyers
Presented by: Susan Power  (bio) / AboutSourcesdg expo corp
Suggestions, tips for sourcing the  the fabrics & trims you want – in the quantities you need.  Find Resource for Supplies, Finishers, & Manufacturing, and tips on How to Ask for What You Want and Get a Positive Response! Seminar Fee: $10.6:00PM -7:30PM Wednesday
Seminar 11 / Sourcing Production for Designers & Start Ups
Presented by: Anna Livermore (bioV Mora
with Susan Power AboutSources, dg expo corp
Anna will walk you through the production process – including samples, dups, tech packs, to production runs.  What designers and starts need to consider in order to get their designs produced with the quality, fit, and quantities they need.  Susan will share tips for sourcing the fabrics & trims you want in the quantities you need (this is the same material covered in Seminar 10 – you shouldn’t register for Seminar 10 if you will be attending Seminar 11!).  Question & Answer session is included during the 1-1/2 hour program. Seminar Fee: $25.
Categories: Uncategorized

Time for a New Apparel Profit Revolution

June 30, 2013 Leave a comment

download

OPEN THIS LINK    Apparel Made For You inc

 June 2013

There has never been a better time since the beginning of the industrial revolution to rebuild the apparel industry in North America.  This time we can build on more than patriotism, we can build on profits!  The time is perfect for the expansion of digital decoration technology into the mainstream of the fashion apparel market.  For a whole laundry list of reasons the fashion apparel industry needs a new domestic solution.

Ominous headlines are forecasting dangerous waters ahead for the fashion apparel industry.  Environmental pressure, new selling platforms and increasing offshore costs are churning the structure of the multi hundred billion dollar industry.  This tempest has opened the opportunity for one of the world’s most historically inflexible industries to navigate a new course.

The fashion apparel world is facing a “perfect storm”.  Dark clouds are on the horizon and the seas are getting rougher everyday.  The industry faces three major challenges: first, the change in fiber content that driving performance and fashion products to an increased use of manmade fibers.  These fibers are much more difficult to color and require increasingly more active dye compounds and processes.  These processes use more toxic chemicals and more water… a very bad direction in today’s environmentally sensitive market.  Second, the retail market has been flooded by the entry of hundreds of non-­‐traditional online sites.  The outlets have destabilized traditional retailers and brands and created uncertainty in marketing plans throughout the industry.  Third, major retailers and brands are running out of undeveloped countries with sufficient water and cheap labor to support the traditional offshore mass production strategy.

Most fabric dyeing and printing requires mass production through multiple factories, which often results in excess fabric from over-­‐forecasting production. This supply and demand model and the desire to squeeze every drop of profit out of the manufacturing process has created an unsustainable structure of over production, discount and dump in today’s apparel market.

Attack the Losses and Stabilize the Costs 

Meanwhile in another world far away from the chatter of 7th Avenue and the red carpets of Hollywood, hundreds of small specialized domestic apparel companies are pioneering a new approach to the economics of apparel production.  Instead of spending thousands of dollars purchasing volume based overseas production, they are producing value based personalized apparel on demand for individual consumers and retail customers.  This demand approach to retail stocking is focused on removing the loss of profit caused by unsold inventory.  By removing profit stealers like inventory costs, carrying charges, tariffs and transportation and most markdowns, these demand based retailers can double or triple gross margins.  The dramatic increase in retained profit more than makes up for the increased cost of production in a domestic factory.

Digital Decoration fueled by online sales is growing at an accelerating pace while traditional fashion based apparel is encountering flat growth and increasing market and supply chain instability.  The industries relative sizes however are so vastly different that a technology splash in the pond of digital decoration sends ripples across the entire surface, but the waves dissipate in the vast sea of overproduction inherent to today’s fashion apparel supply chains.  The irony of this comparison is that, the relatively small splash of digital technology represents the best hope for the renewal of stability and growth for the massive fashion apparel trade.

Digital prepress and printing, allow today’s online manufacturers of bike jerseys, rash guards, uniforms, performance wear and other apparel products to dye, print and imprint only the amount of apparel needed, all at one location. This is a much quicker schedule than a designer placing forecasted orders overseas, months in advance, to separate dye houses and printing companies.

This high profit demand manufacturing technology called “ZIP”(Zero Inventory Production) is the opposite of the mass manufacturing left over from the industrial revolution.  Once you tie the manufacturing production directly to consumer purchases, there’s no extra production. Digital apparel manufacturers can produce a one-­‐off for online sale at competitive prices without mass production.  Today with conventional production, four out of every five blouses produced overseas are not sold at retail price. That means we’ve produced four blouses more than we need for the marketplace, and the water used for coloring is somewhere between 100 to 150 gallons of water per blouse, so if we don’t produce four of them because the technology is tied to the consumer demand, we’ve saved water and pollution, inventory costs, transportation costs, markdowns and lost profits.  Expanding the demand based role of digital design, prepress and production will rebuild the domestic apparel manufacturing base by restoring lost profits to the retail and manufacturing sector.

The leverage of digital technology in relation to moving the mass of the apparel industry is based on the capability of digital technology to “change-­‐on-­‐the-­‐fly”.  This ability to change colors and designs without time consuming cleanup or setup allows digital printing and dyeing to operate without minimums.  Preserving this fundamental digital asset while increasing the scope and speed of products can allow the apparel world to leverage change with increased wholesale and retail profits.  In fact the mixing of key parts of current digital decoration technology with the vast flow of the tides of fashion will create a sea of sustainable new jobs and domestic manufacturing.

Why havent conventional and digital apparel production joined in one big happy family??

Here are some of disconnects inhibiting this union 

Color Issues

The single largest issue defining the difference between the digital decoration and the conventional apparel world is the difficulty in merging the worlds of process color and spot colors.  Process color built from dots of cyan, magenta, yellow and black is the staple color system for digital devices.  This color technology, also called CMYK, is widely accepted for printing on smooth stable substrates.  The problem of course is that most textile fabrics are neither smooth nor stable.  This substrate surface problem has caused many conventional textile printers to shy away from process color based equipment like inkjets.  Because process color equipment prints dots and much of the surface of textiles is made up of unprintable air space between the knitted or woven yarn in the fabric construction. Many of the color dots are lost because they are deposited in air.  This is especially a problem for high-­‐resolution graphics and also for solids.  The solution for high resolution is to select the best dot pattern for the fabric construction or lower the resolution to bridge the voids in the fabric.

One of the basic rules of colored fabric production is that the transition from process color to spot color is a one-­‐way street.  Fortunately it travels in the right direction.  When translating colors it is infinitely easier to go from process to spot than to go from spot to process.  This direction is important because low production process color digital sampling and custom product sales have very low prepress cost compared to conventional spot color separations, screens and printing.  Matching a process color with a spot color can provide a dramatic production cost advantage for when a design builds demand and can support conventional production setup costs. The newest technology is pioneering the use of both spot and process color in the same garment at the same time.  This coloration process allows the apparel to be dyed, printed and even individually labeled all in one pass.  This technology uses a process the can produce black bodies with colorful white and other light colors without the use of opaque white or other registration based undercolor removal.  The technology can also use high visibility colors that are difficult to produce using process color based printers.   Since all of these new color technologies and techniques have the ability to change on the fly.  They all maintain the advantages of demand manufacturing fundamental to high profit digital manufacturing.

Understanding Real Cost Issues

In the world of fashion apparel the key ingredient of cost control has always been the idea that if you could get to market faster you could some how capture more profits.  This idea was so widely accepted that in the 1990’s the government spent a reported $220 million on a project called Demand Activated Manufacturing Architecture or DAMA.  The project decreased the time and cost from design to order but did not address the technology of printing or dyeing fabric. The project co-­‐sponsored by the Department of Energy produced significant changes in the design and sampling process, which resulted in the increase of product choices. The impact however was more pressure on the textile dye and print industry to produce shorter runs with more color changes, which in turn produced more pollution and additional use of water and energy. The additional product choices increased the finished goods inventory and decreased profits due to holding costs and markdowns at retail.  The additional pollution drove up regulatory costs and forced I the industry to move off-shore countries with less demanding pollution standards and reduce costs through less regulated work rules.  This focus on cost increased mass production caused increased over production increasing markdowns and inventory costs.

While the fashion apparel industry has continued to fruitlessly pursue mass manufacturing technology as an answer to the decay in profits, the digital decoration industry has created a path to some of the highest and sustainable gross margins in apparel history. The key to demand manufacturing is no minimum “change-­‐on-­‐the-­‐fly” coloration that has appeared in many forms. Whether in the form of transfer, sublimation or direct print the industry is now evolving to exploit the Internet’s booming online apparel business. Custom decoration will soon be joined by custom dyeing technology and 3D CAD body scanning and fitting to create the ultimate personalized product offering. This highly profitable demand approach links manufacturing and sales to a single production schedule and is measured in “cost per unit sold” rather than “cost per unit”.

Production Scaling the Technology

The apparel world’s first business objection to digital printing technology is always the same, “where is the mass production scale?”  The apparel fashion industry cannot visualize any possible scenario where the relatively slow speed of inkjets, heat presses and single ply cutters can ever produce the volume needed to support the market.  The Point-of-Purchase industry said the same thing years ago and the paint industry said the same thing until consumers started getting digitally matched colors without inventory costs.  In fact when was the last time you saw an ad for an inventory reduction sale in paint.  The answer to the “scale” objection is hundreds of specialized mini-­‐factories that will capture the manufacturing in segments and provide the same kind of personalized custom service the paint counter at your local home center provides.  Every product made will be sold and gross margins will double or triple at retail. Look at the online custom t-­‐shirt or bicycle jersey business where digital demand manufacturing has built small screen printing operations into powerful multi million dollar apparel companies.

Building The Future

The next step will be to create a technology bridge that integrates the CAD languages of the apparel world and the postscript language of the print world into one seamless stream between patterns and prints.  Although both languages have the ability to use both vector and bitmap information their end product can differ dramatically in since one produces a 2D image and the other a 3D image.

On the immediate horizon is the development and adoption of new digital dyeing technologies using energy instead of chemistry to permanently dye the performance textiles that dominate of both the active wear and fashion apparel segments.  The ability to permanently dye man made fabric without the use of water or harsh chemicals can allow small specialized vertical factories to capture a higher level of gross margins by dyeing and printing of apparel fabrics.  These “fabric to finished product” mini-­‐factories can operate without production minimums or regulatory controls of water use and produce no toxic byproducts.

The final step will be the expansion of the vertical online direct sales specialty companies that manufacture and sell directly to the consumer.  These manufacturing/e-­‐tailers represent the next big wave of change in the apparel industry.  Today most of these online companies are limited by their inability to vertically combine in-­‐house dye, print, cut and sew with online customer input to produce various garments directly from white goods.

 

The capability of digital dyeing and decoration will expand online companies to products previously the private domain of traditional producers of action sports, technical apparel, commercial uniforms, resort and recreation activewear and casual fashion.

Summary

The use of digital information to convert data into product on demand can revolutionize domestic industries and flip the supply and demand economics that has driven manufacturing since the industrial revolution.  Now is the perfect time to maximize the leverage of our domestic consumer base and switch to a demand and supply economic model. There are many digital decoration and technology sources that have addressed parts of this complex integration conundrum.  In future issues we will highlight the projects and companies that are addressing the future of digital fashion and apparel.

Categories: Uncategorized

Benefits of Made in USA label wear thin

June 30, 2013 Leave a comment

Los Angeles Times Sun, June 30, 2013

Patriotism isn’t easy. Just ask Los Angeles’ garment makers.

Three years after combining their names to create Venley, a company that produces T-shirts and other basics in a downtown LA factory, onetime fraternity brothers Nick Ventura and Kevin Gressley find manufacturing clothes in the U.S. to be an expensive and frustrating undertaking.

Like many other apparel executives in the U.S., the pair pay more than the minimum wage, Ventura said. Sometimes, the same amount of money Venley shells out for locally made fabric gets Wal-Mart Stores Inc. an entire outfit sewed abroad.

But in light of the sub- standard conditions at a Bangladesh garment factory that collapsed in April, killing more than 1,000 workers, the idea of using overseas labor makes Ventura’s “blood boil.”

“The social benefits of staying local have come to the forefront for us,” the 26-year-old entrepreneur said.

Venley is part of a contingent of clothing companies, including American Apparel Inc. and 7 For All Mankind, that follow a hyper-local manufacturing policy.

They do it to support a nationalistic ideal or to keep a closer eye on production. Many feel a renewed sense of purpose after the Bangladesh tragedy. But the feeling is tempered by skepticism that their ranks will grow any time soon.

Many customers are still enamored with so-called fast fashion, preferring inexpensive foreign-made shirts to domestic options priced at a premium.

Less than 5 percent of apparel sold in the U.S. is made here, compared with 95 percent in 1960, according to advocacy group Save the Garment Center.

“Companies are driven by what consumers buy, and nobody’s buying U.S.A. even though consumers preach about it all day,” Ventura said.

It’s a far cry from the post-World War II era, when the Southern California garment industry emerged. With immigrant seamstresses from Mexico, Europe and Asia offering a steady source of labor and with hippie culture and grunge wear driving the popularity of California casual, the West Coast fashion empire steadily expanded.

Then the North American Free Trade Agreement blasted open trade barriers in the 1990s. Cheaper clothing imports flooded across borders, conditioning companies to search for even more affordable manufacturing in Asia once China emerged on the world stage.

Garment workers in the U.S. can command as much as $14 an hour, according to the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights. Even after recent minimum-wage increases overseas, their counterparts earn the equivalent of only 21 cents an hour in Bangladesh and $2.45 in Guangzhou, a hub of apparel manufacturing in China, government figures show.

In the U.S., more than 600 textile mills have closed since 1997.

American Apparel Chief Executive Dov Charney, an outspoken advocate for the Made in the U.S.A. movement, lambasted companies that advertise very inexpensive clothing as selling “virtually stolen goods” made by underpaid workers abroad. American Apparel’s items are significantly pricier — tennis skirts for $54, short-sleeved crew-neck shirts for $20.

“It could be that over time, things will be made in a better fashion throughout the industry,” Charney said. “But there will be a big cost increase.”

The LA apparel market these days is built on smaller, entrepreneurial companies, said Ilse Metchek, president of the California Fashion Association. The local garment scene hasn’t died; “it’s just different,” she said. “We’re the little guy in the corner.”

Fashion labels Splendid and Ella Moss, for instance, relocated their headquarters in early June to a stylish 82,000-square-foot space in downtown LA. The two do 90 percent of their production in the LA area.

In some industries, more American companies are considering a return to U.S. production, partly as a reaction to rising wages abroad as well as swelling costs to ship goods. On the home front, technological advances, especially in the auto and machinery sectors, have helped offset the high cost of U.S. labor.

But in the fashion world, tight margins and the need for human hands to drape and sew continue to make foreign factories appealing.

And working with a local contractor doesn’t guarantee humane employment practices. In December, federal regulators said they uncovered endemic “sweatshoplike” conditions in the downtown LA fashion district, including underpaid wages and lax or fake record-keeping.

Categories: Uncategorized

TESTING Designing for Greater Experience

June 29, 2013 Leave a comment

Image

WATCH VIDEO:

http://www.wbresearch.com/etailusaeast/usability-testing.aspx

OR READ SCRIPT

So, you often hear about left versus right brain, and even in the way that it is talked
about, it is like they are at war. Well, what we tried to do at Blinds.com is make them
work together, have very, very creative ideas, but then run it through a way to examine
whether or not it is actually going to work for the consumer, and also not get into this
place where we are looking at it only. We want consumers to be looking at what we are
designing, telling us what works, and really making our conversion go up. So, what we
have done to do this is really made experimentation a part of our company culture, not
just within marketing though. You can see that it is a very big place within marketing.
We even consider ourselves a little bit of mad scientists. We call ourselves the idea lab,
and we just try to bring that into every day of what we talk about, but it is across our
company. Experimenting without fear of failure is one of our core values. It is one of the
biggest ones that we talk about, and we believe in it from our customer service and sales
to accounting across the board.
The things that we will be talking about today are a few of these things: Testing one-onone, making it a part of your culture. So, I heard a couple of people say we are in a small
company, what do we do to test? And there are so many things that you can do to test;
the usability testing, A/B testing, talking to your customers. Once you launched
something though, I prefer to do it prior to launching something when you can. But it
does not matter how small you are. You can still test. Avoiding testing pitfalls, now
obviously there is a lot more than I can go through today, that would be a whole day, but
a few things that if you are starting out, it will help you know what you should test. For
the ones that we will go through are how small is too small to test, how big is too big to
test, and how many times should I fail before I give up, and finally testing prioritization,
just because you should test it does not mean you should test it right now, and trying to
figure out when you should test it.
So, making it a part of your company culture when it comes to testing, you should ask
your employees. They are the ones that are on the front lines if you have a brick and
mortar, in our case, we have a massive customer service and sales department. We have

Categories: Uncategorized

Retailer Focus on Showrooming? Not So Much

June 29, 2013 Leave a comment
by , 6/28/13

For many retailers looking at commerce, more focus is on mobile websites and less on apps.

And based on a new study, showrooming is not at the top of retailers’ hit lists.

The survey by EpiServer was conducted at the annual Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition and included responses from CEOs, vice presidents, directors and e-commerce managers from 100 attending organizations including retailers, manufacturers, wholesalers, catalogers, online-only merchants and local retailers.

While the data may not be totally projectable, it is yet another indicator of the state of some mobile commerce thinking at retail.

In terms of investment in commerce, the majority (60%) plan to spend on their website with about a third (35%) investing in mobile apps.

A majority (78%) say less than 20% of their sales come through the mobile app.

In this particular case, retailers and consumers seem to be more or less on the same page.

A separate study from mobile software firm Netbiscuits this week found that most (79%) consumers prefer to have the option of using a mobile website while fewer (18%) were happy just using native apps.

In the EpiServer study, the majority (61%) say they have a mobile strategy and of those, most of the emphasis seems to be on mobile websites, with a relatively small number (22%) having an app.

What strikes me as more interesting is where the future direction is for this group.

It turns out there is less focus on using mobile for sales and more for customer loyalty. For current primary uses of mobile, more of the retail group (32%) targets customer loyalty while fewer (14%) focus on price comparison.

And then there is the showrroming issue. The idea that mobile shoppers are visiting stores and then either leaving to buy elsewhere or online doesn’t’ seem to faze this group.

As a primary mobile use, only 2% list showrooming and 8% list price comparison at the top of their lists.

Showrooming in the future also does not seem to be a major concern. Of those who plan to embrace mobile in the coming year, only 2% look to combat showrooming.

This is not to say showrooming is not happening or impacting retail, but it’s at the bottom of the list of current and future mobile issues for retailers.

What I find more striking is that a large number (39%) do not have a mobile strategy.

And of those who don’t have a strategy, almost half (45%) are either unsure or do not plan to embrace mobile in the coming year.

That group has a lot more to worry about than showrooming.

Categories: Uncategorized

Best Buy Besting Walmart, Target At Showrooming

June 27, 2013 Leave a comment

Minneapolis — Best Buy is doing a better job of thwarting showrooming than Walmart or Target, a new study suggests.

By Alan Wolf On Jun 27 2013 – 11:28am

According a report by market research firm Prosper Insights & Analytics, fewer in-store mobile customers defect to Amazon.com while shopping at Best Buy than they do while visiting Target or Walmart stores

ImageProsper’s May survey of 330 smartphone and tablet users showed that while shopping a Best Buy store, roughly 11 percent were more likely to make a CE purchase from Amazon than a Best Buy digital channel, compared with about 13 percent for Target and 14 percent for Walmart.

Broken out by gender, males appear to be more loyal to Best Buy, while females tend to favor Target. Male mobile users ages 18 and older only showed an 11 percent propensity to buy from Amazon while shopping Best Buy, compared with 15 percent for Target and Walmart. Conversely, only 11 percent of female mobile users ages 18 and older would defect from Target, compared with 12 percent who would showroom Best Buy or Walmart.

“Men are more prone to looking for a variety of brands, in-store experience, and the latest technology when shopping for electronics, whereas women are generally more focused on a budget-friendly price point,” said Prosper analyst Pam Goodfellow. “With Best Buy going to great efforts to improve its offerings and in-store customer experience, it’s not surprising that male mobile shoppers are showing a higher affinity to this store compared to discounters.”

Going forward, she said the challenge for Best Buy will be to “maintain a great experience and retain loyal shoppers because Amazon will continue to up the ante when it comes to winning over its competitors’ customers.”

Categories: Uncategorized
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