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Easy-access AR brings luxury to life, local data powers new Sainsbury’s convenience concept and 2019 was the biggest year for vinyl records since 1988.

Burberry and Google launch instant luxury AR

Burberry AR shopping tool through Google Image Search

London – The British luxury brand has introduced an augmented reality (AR) shopping tool that uses Google Search technology.

When consumers search for Burberry items using Google Search on their smartphone, they will now have the option to view them using AR against their immediate surroundings. At present, the AR tool is available when searching for the Burberry Black TB bag or Arthur Check. A tap of 'view in 3D' in Google Search results instantly displays the luxury goods in 3D in the viewers’ own environment, simulating the physical shopping experience without the need for an app.

Shoppers are showing an appetite for more exciting and tech-enabled approaches to product discovery, according to Burberry. Although the AR tool is only available in the UK and the US for now, the brand plans a global roll-out for a variety of products over the coming months and will continue to experiment with new applications of AR in luxury commerce.

By allowing shoppers to simulate the experience of products in their own environment, Burberry is embracing digitisation as a new route for consumers to engage with fashion brands.

Amazon is making reality tv shoppable

Making the Cut on Amazon Making the Cut on Amazon
Making the Cut on Amazon Making the Cut on Amazon

US – Making the Cut is a Prime Video show that makes fashion items instantly shoppable.

Launched by Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn, previously known as hosts of Project Runway, the Amazon Original series will follow 12 aspiring fashion designers and entrepreneurs who compete in design and business challenges. In the finale stage, the winner of the reality show will secure an opportunity to create an exclusive apparel line with Amazon Fashion.

The partnership with Amazon allows Making the Cut to become instantly shoppable, with limited editions of the winning look from each episode available to buy immediately on Amazon Fashion. ‘For the first time, finally, our audience can shop,’ says Klum. ‘You see something, you want it, but you can’t have it. So here, you have a winning look every week and people can buy it around the world.’

While this is not the first shoppable series to hit screens, Making the Cut shows how the Amazon mega-system can intertwine its retail, manufacturing and entertainment divisions to create a more streamlined – and scalable – retail-tainment offering.

This grab-and-go store format taps local data

London – Sainsbury’s has unveiled its new convenience store concept, which uses data to meet the needs of local shoppers in city centres.

Combining fresh and prepared food and drink with convenient ways to shop, the Sainsbury’s Mansion House store is the retailer’s first On The Go format. Almost 90% of the store’s products are stocked using local data and analytics, and have been curated especially for Mansion House customers.

The On The Go concept marks the evolution of the retailer’s neighbourhood convenience stores. A range of digital services, such as the ability to make till-free purchases using the SmartShop mobile app, also help customers shop quickly and easily.

‘Convenience is a growing part of our business and we have greater capability than ever to truly tailor Local stores to local needs – across our products, formats, services and operations,’ says Graham Biggart, Sainsbury’s director of commercial operations. With this responsive approach to inventory and streamlined purchasing processes, Sainsbury’s highlights how the frictionless future of grocery retail will rely on consumer data profiles.

Sainsbury's, On the Go Sainsbury's, On the Go

Stat: Vinyl experiences its biggest year since 1988

Vinyl records have experienced their biggest year for revenue since 1988, according to a recent US study by the RIAA.

The annual report found that – although its sales make up just 4.5% of all music revenue in the US – the vinyl LP market rose 19% between 2018 and 2019, with a total revenue worth £389.3m ($504m, €446.5m).

Although vinyl sales have seen 14 years of consistent growth, the report also highlights the continuing rise in paid subscriptions to on-demand streaming services, which increased by 29% over the past year to reach a total of 60.4m subscriptions.

While digital music services are growing at an exponential rate, brands should not forget the vinyl renaissance, however. As more people engage with audio as a way to decelerate from the pace of life, they are turning to spaces such as Listening Clubs to access music in new, more thoughtful ways.

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