The hottest digital real estate is still up for grabs.
The competition is fierce to control the mall in consumers’ pockets and the victor — should one player gain a commanding share of the mobile market — will be in prime position to shape the next phase of commerce.
Tech giants and brands alike are scrambling to develop apps and optimize their Web sites to accommodate an on-the-go consumer who expects a seamless experience. The rush to control the channel has been front and center this week. First, Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s @WalmartLabs bought shopping app Stylr in its drive to improve its mobile commerce. Then, on Wednesday, Amazon entered the ultracompetitive fray by launching its own smartphone, the Fire. For Amazon, the goal is less about the device than it is to grab a greater share of mobile commerce.
And no wonder — mobile is on course to dominate digital traffic. Cisco’s state of the Internet report this month said mobile devices would make up 57 percent of all Internet traffic by 2018, up from 33 percent last year.
“No one has really won mobile yet,” John Mulligan, Target Corp.’s interim chief executive officer, said during an appearance on Bloomberg TV last month.
Mulligan said that is where Target believes it can gain an edge over the likes of Amazon — although Amazon clearly won’t cede any ground easily. Jeff Bezos, founder and ceo of the e-commerce giant, introduced the Fire, which ships on July 25 and is available in 32GB and 64GB versions retailing for $199 and $299, respectively. The phone features a 4.7-inch screen, unlimited storage of photos in Amazon Cloud Drive and a Firefly tool that uses the phone’s camera to identify things in the physical world, such as QR codes, books and games.
The company already has a strong position in mobile, at one time controlling up to a third of mobile commerce, according to reports. But as smartphone adoption soared and more retailers enhanced their mobile experience, Amazon’s share has declined, according to Matthew Nemer, an analyst at Wells Fargo. He estimated Amazon and eBay each command about 20 percent of mobile sales, and that eBay is now “pretty close” behind Amazon.
EBay’s Marketplaces and PayPal each exceeded $20 billion in mobile volume; Amazon, which didn’t respond to a request for comment, doesn’t break down sales by channel.
Based on a study earlier this year in cooperation with Forrester Research, Shop.org on Wednesday singled out the mobile “movers and shakers,” pointing to Amazon, Facebook, Wal-Mart, Starbucks, Rue La La, ModCloth, eBay and Groupon. The diversity shows that there are many ways for businesses to use mobile to attract customers.
The most-buzzed-about mobile player is Uber — established as a mobile-first transportation company in 2009 that is valued at $18 billion — even as it hits some road bumps in expanding into Europe.
Then there’s Domino’s, which is seen as implementing forward-thinking strategies in mobile that have helped make the 54-year-old pizza chain more relevant.
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)
@Pharrell and his wife Helen Lasichanh were among the stars that came out to celebrate @rimowa’s first pop-up concept shop. The space, which is located on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, draws inspiration from airport luggage carousels and lounge areas – and features the company’s luggage and accessories. If the pop-up is successful it could pave the way for addition temporary shops throughout the world. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA)
@carineroitfeld celebrated @crfashionbook’s first calendar last night with a dinner party at Spring Place in Manhattan. Photographed by @stevenkleinstudio, the calendar takes on a fitness theme and features @joansmalls, @gigihadid, @danielle_herrington_ – pictured here – and more. “[Carine Roitfeld] wanted me to feel sexy and she wanted me to be myself and feel it out on my own and do what I felt was right,” said Herrington, aka Miss October. #wwdeye
@saintrecords and @virgilabloh last night at @americanexpress’ “A Night With Success Makers” event. “I always bring it back to community because without that I wouldn’t have the courage,” said Knowles when asked how she has gotten where she is now. Read more highlights from their conversation on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lizdoupnik)
This Just In: Industry sources have told WWD that Anastasia Soare is rumored to be considering selling her beauty business, @anastasiabeverlyhills. According to those sources, Soare has tapped investment bank Imperial Capital to explore sale options for her eponymous beauty brand –– and with at least $340 million in net sales, this would be a big deal. Put in context of other recent transactions for makeup companies, Soare’s price tag could be in the billions if she were to sell the whole thing. #wwdnews #wwdbeauty (📷: @clint_spaulding)
@assouline’s latest book, “The Spirit of Bentley: Be Extraordinary” captures the adventurous attitudes and opulent lifestyles of @bentleymotors’ most creative owners and enthusiasts throughout the U.K. The 292-page hardcover has a section dedicated to showing its team of skilled artisans and photos of its most colorful owners, from George Bamford to designer @alicetemperley, pictured here by Aline Coquelle. #wwdeye
@google released its report on the most popular search terms this year. For fashion brands, the list was led by @gucci, the luxury brand that stunned the market last October when it pledged to stop using fur. Runner ups were @supremenewyork and @fashionnova, along with more established brands like @louisvuitton, @chanelofficial and @ysl. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)