Peter Cobb, cofounder and senior vice president of eBags, knows a thing or two about e-commerce.
The e-tailer has sold more than 14 million bags since its inception more than 13 years ago, and eBags.com carries 585 brands and 48,000 styles. It’s been profitable for a decade, but perhaps the most telling statistic for Cobb is that the site has seen 2.4 million product reviews from its outspoken consumer base.
“It was social commerce before social commerce,” Cobb said of the engaged shopping community, highlighting a specific backpack that garnered 1,811 reviews — both good and bad. When a user gives a product a “thumbs down,” this automatically alerts a customer service representative, who contacts the consumer (and the brand if a certain item gets several of the same negative complaints or comments).
However, in terms of actually selling product on social channels, eBags is still figuring out how to monetize in the space. The e-tailer has nearly 120,000 fans on the platform, but it still only accounts for less than one percent of overall sales.
For Cobb, there are several trends in online retail — the aforementioned user-generated content element, as well as large imagery, curation and personalization, scarcity leading to conversion and the innovations of tech giants. He believes that mobile shopping is “where it’s at,” and that many are underestimating the power of transaction on this channel.
He calls Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple the “four tech titans,” citing that 47 percent of global Web users visit Google every day, 43 percent visit Facebook, one third of Internet shoppers begin research on Amazon and 21 percent of iPhone users and 49 percent of iPad users shop on their devices.
According to Cobb, it’s features such as Amazon’s same-day delivery that will force other e-tailers to innovate in the same category. Having this shipping option is a “unique advantage” and he expects Macy’s, Wal-Mart, Target and Staples to follow suit.
Video is another area that Cobb wants to expand on the site. Currently, there are 800 videos, but Cobb plans to ramp this number up to the thousands in the near future.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast