LET THE (VIDEO) E-BATTLE COMMENCE

This week we explore: what’s hot in the world of e-com apps and videos?

 A Pinterest shop is a-coming via video: 60% of Pinterest users check out boards for inspiration, which eventually leads to buying something. In contrast, less than 1% of Facebook users are in a shopping mode while catching up with friends’ boasting selfies. No wonder Pinterest is lining up their ammo to make e-commerce their own. Their new video, with ‘featured pins’ that advertisers can add to persuade visitors to buy, has arrived. Having already added a visual search, buyable pins and a shopping cart tool, Pinterest is clearly serious about becoming an e-store. We are so in love with the camping-with-dogs pins – would a video of camping with dogs and added pins with the equipment persuade us to buy a doggy sleeping bag for the next trip? You bet it would. The feature is rolling out shortly in the UK, then in Europe.

Insta stories steal Snapchat’s killer feature: Instagram has copied Snapchat with their 24hour-only stories, so now friends and brands can create less Photoshopped and more real and authentic posts that only last a day. You can see who the master of social media is – Instagram’s version is much better, as the navigation is simple, the context clear and anyone can use it #instantly, as opposed to ploughing their way through the imperceptible navigation of Snapchat – which only under 15s understand. The well-designed simple user interface nails it and opens the feature for grown-ups with an idiot-proof send button, rather than the swiping and chaotic drawing buttons so beloved by Snapchat. 5 stars.

It takes two to Duo: Not to be left behind, Google is taking over not just Facetime, but also Skype and Messenger. New video calling app Duo is coming with an awesome HD (up to 720p) and ability to politely ‘adjust’ to a poor Wi-Fi connection. No need for a Google account, just your phone number and contacts. It has end-to-end encryption (yay!) and a very useful ‘knock knock’ alert, which lets you check out what the caller is up to before answering the call. Duo may be useful for B2C product demos – if you want to buy a guitar, the online sales assistant could easily use the app as a real time two-way demo tool. If it’s reliable enough that is, as poor Facetime is just not sufficiently robust for pro use. One to watch. Literally.

Be careful what you wish for Zuck: Facebook is hugely responsible for this sudden interest in video formats across social platforms. March 2016 has seen a change in Facebook algorithms that now pushes video posts to the top of users’ feeds. This strategy appears to have been successful, as native videos are increasing in numbers and people are engaging with them. However, that also means that text posts and photos are being pushed down. Non-video updates are now getting very few likes or shares, making posting a lot less attractive to normal people who don’t feel like Spielberg on a daily basis. Beginning of the end?

Gaming Gucci: Guccio Gucci, the founder of the evergreen luxury Italian brand, must be turning in his grave. Plenty of fashion show videos are available on the Gucci app, but the fashion-forward crowd from Florence has now gone boldly into mobile games. The new creative director Alessandro Michele is holding on to horsey (their logo, of course) decorative elements but also moving the brand along by adding new icons like butterflies, roses and snakes. Yes, snakes. To make matters worse, the brand is now offering those new icons on their app. You can also download a DIY memory game with hidden (and hideous) bag decorations with pouting lips and more snake badges. Aimed mainly at Chinese consumers who are very fond of serpents and love personalisation, the app also makes increasingly frequent use of WeChat user interfaces, like shaking the phone to start the game. We suspect that to Europeans this all may be a step too far. Perhaps best to stick to their insanely soft loafers with the horse bit on.

For our European readers who are planning to pop into cheap post-Brexit London, make sure you don’t miss the new exhibition on Our Lives In Data at the Science Museum. Over 90% of all available human data has been recorded in the last two years and is already transforming the world around us. Find out what this all means. Open only till the end of August 2016, so hurry.

Internationally minded tech-savvy fashionista required. Our agency has a new role for a budding Marketing Coordinator based at our London-cum-Amsterdam agency. If you have fashion marketing experience, know a few languages, love social media and feel a passion for fashion, get in touch asap at hello@theretailpractice.com.