Tag Archives: Amazon

Vampyre: New Moon Now Available on Amazon

Apart from the realm of humans and far from the light of day, a complex structure hides from many eyes. Here Val, a vampyre that follows the path of the Vigilante draws blood in search of justice and a path that she can call her own. She is joined by her lover Henrik, a vampyre from another path and together they are drawn into a world of intrigue that threatens to tear the world they know apart.

Soon the pair finds themselves part of a conflict older than them both, forced to seek allies in people that seem should be mortal enemies. In a world with so many different monstrous individuals it seems that only unity and the strength of overcoming differences can prevail.

A hidden organization has shown itself, one that seems to have been pulling the strings for longer than anyone truly knows. This order seeks a war to keep the factions separate in order to find an evil power that threatens to destroy everything.

Can Val and her uneasy companions find the answers they seek in time to prevent a war and the end of everything, in both the darkness and the light?


Amazon, Stitch Fix already rank among the top online apparel sellers

Subscription services are ripe for growth in the fashion industry, but they’re also already drawing impressive sales, The NPD Group has found.

While only 15 percent of consumers surveyed by the firm said they have ordered apparel subscription boxes, 14 percent of shoppers who have not ordered them said they plan to. With services such as Trunk Club, Le Tote and Stitch Fix, shoppers receive a personalized assortment of clothing, and then they keep and buy what they like, and send the rest back.

Notably, 35 percent of those surveyed didn’t even know what these services are, NPD Group found, leaving much room for expansion and increased reach.


“We have entered a new world of retail where the traditional leaders are faced with unconventional channel competition, and subscription services are the newest player,” Marshal Cohen, an analyst with NPD Group, said in a statement.

But at least one of these players is already making headway in the apparel category. Last year, both Amazon.com and digital subscription service Stitch Fix were among the top 10 retailers selling apparel online, according to NPD Group, which used a receipt mining service to track companies’ sales.


“Consumers are more critical about the purchases they make today and no longer purchase just for the sake of purchasing. The personalized approach of subscription services complements the shift toward more prioritized spending,” Cohen said.

Stitch Fix has recently expanded its services to men’s apparel and has confidentially filed to go public, seeking a valuation of $3 billion to $4 billion in the offering, according to reports.

Meantime, Amazon is planning to roll out an apparel subscription service of its own, called Prime Wardrobe. If the new service takes off, traditional retailers could be left scrambling, Evercore ISI analyst Omar Saad wrote in an email to clients when it was announced.

“Already, stores of all stripes are struggling mightily to figure out the right combination of online and store to serve the needs of shoppers,” Saad said. “Amazon is not afraid to experiment and has been working hard to find the right fit in fashion.”

In the first 23 weeks of the year, Amazon.com apparel sales amounted to $1.45 billion, a 15 percent increase from 2016, One Click Retail found.

“Amazon still struggles in the luxury brands category since many refuse to sell on Amazon due to the platform’s lax knock-off policies,” One Click Retail’s Nathan Rigby said. “Despite this, our data shows that the company is having great success with necessities and everyday items such as jeans, socks, underwear and men’s work clothes. … Amazon has serious designs on capturing the fashion and apparel market.”

Just last week, Amazon launched a fresh private-label fashion brandfor shoes, purses and accessories, called “The Fix.”

NPD has forecast the fashion industry will increasingly be disrupted by way of digital innovators.

“There is a great deal of room to grow within the subscription model, and the competitive field will continue to expand as online retailers develop subscription services and options for auto-replenishment of fashion basics,” Cohen said.

“This kind of innovation, delivering personalization and convenience, will continue to change the face of retail for fashion.”



It’s Pinterest Versus Amazon for the Future of Online Fashion Sales

Pinterest and Amazon are on a collision course. On the face of it, a social media company facing off with an e-commerce juggernaut might seem odd. But Pinterest, which appears to be struggling to justify its $12.3 billion valuation, is anxious not to be viewed as a social media company. Toward that end, Pinterest is all in on visual search and venturing into AR territory. The company is counting on mastering e-commerce — which means going head-to-head with Amazon.

Here’s how the competition is shaping up.

Visual Shopping on Pinterest

Pinterest’s service is oriented toward collecting images rather than communicating with other users. Intuitively, there seems to be an easy path from curating a digital version of your ideal lifestyle to actually purchasing the accoutrements.

A company spokesperson described Pinterest as “a visual discovery engine focused on helping people discover ideas” that is “not [meant for] socializing with friends.” Over the past couple of years, Pinterest has been steadily increasing its suite of “visual discovery tools.”

After raising $150 million in June (at a flat share price), the company told Bloomberg that it would “use the funds to improve its computer vision and visual search technologies” as well as to continue to expand internationally.

The platform touts two billion monthly searches and 10 billion daily “personalized recommendations.” In the 2017 edition of her influential Internet Trends report, Mary Meeker highlighted Pinterest “as the best place to browse for products to buy, when compared to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat,” as summarized by Pinterest itself.

For years, the reason to be bullish on Pinterest has been its potential to drive actual purchasing, unlocking “social commerce.” Crucially, Pinterest itself would need to harvest a cut of the money.

As it stands, Pinterest’s open-access Buyable Pins are free to use, and they encompass 10 million unique products sold by 20,000 merchants. The company can monetize Buyable Pins indirectly by pushing Promoted Pins, its advertising product.


In February, Pinterest rolled out Shop the Look in partnership with a handful of brands, enabling users to shop for the individual items in a larger picture. Currently, no revenue-share arrangement is involved. According to the company, “Early results show Pinners engage with Shop the Look Pins 3-4x more than Pins without Shop the Look, save them 5x more and visit a brand’s website 2-3x more.”

Within its app, Pinterest offers a feature called Lens, which allows users to search by snapping or uploading photos of the objects around them. The orientation toward shopping is obvious — see a dress you like, take a photo, and Pinterest will offer up similar options. The app received an update on Wednesday, increasing its striking resemblance to Snapchat.

“We’re investing more in fashion recognition because Pinners are telling us that fashion is one of the most important use cases,” a spokesperson said in a statement. “The main way Pinners use Lens, just like Pinterest (where there are 13B+ fashion Pins), is to find new ways to style clothing items including those they already have in their closet, and Lens is a quick and easy way to do that.”

Visual Shopping on Amazon

Meanwhile, in April Amazon introduced the Echo Look. This new device comes with Alexa, Amazon’s virtual assistant, and is oriented toward optimizing your fashion choices. Using voice commands, users can take full-body selfies or video clips, which sync to a smartphone. The Style Check feature will advise you on your sartorial taste. (The Look also comes equipped with full Echo features.)

Amazon has historically struggled with fashion, but if users are willing to adopt Echo Look, the company will have direct visibility into what its users wear on a daily basis, including items they purchased elsewhere. And those users already have Amazon accounts, likely with Prime subscriptions. It’s easy to imagine that Amazon’s data model could learn a person’s real preferences and level up its recommendations.

On Tuesday, the company launched Amazon Prime Wardrobe, which allows users to order a batch of clothes at no upfront cost, and then easily return the items they don’t want. The new product appears to be a clone of startup Stitch Fix, but instead of an algorithm or stylist choosing what comes in your box of clothes, you get to decide.

Again — especially if it’s integrated with the Echo Look — it’s an obvious leap from Prime Wardrobe’s current status to a product that knows what you want and surfaces that for you. Prime Wardrobe also brilliantly addresses customer anxiety about fit, one of the factors that is hard to get right when you’re shopping online. Amazon could theoretically monetize this information through its continually growing advertising business.

Where the Conflict Lies

Pinterest and Amazon clearly have different approaches, but they’re getting at the same idea: Machine learning can be used to interpret images and understand what people want to buy. Technology breakthroughs enabled this development, and both companies are interested.

Pinterest is a business built on consumer aspiration, whereas Amazon is a business built on consumer pragmatism. Their identities and histories are reflected in the orthogonal ways that they’re trying to “fix” shopping. Still, Pinterest and Amazon share the goal of wanting to be the first place you go when you’re ready to look for lifestyle goods.



The Amazon of China invested $400 million into one of the most valuable fashion startups

JD.com, Alibaba’s largest rival in the Chinese e-commerce market, has invested nearly $400 million into Farfetch, a fast-growing online marketplace for luxury fashion boutiques.


Alongside the $397 million investment, JD.com founder and CEO Richard Liu is joining Farfetch’s board. Exact terms of the deal could not be learned, but a source said Farfetch’s new valuation is a significant step up from its earlier $1.5 billion figure.

For Western apparel and fashion brands, the rise of the Chinese luxury shopper has made China an increasingly crucial market. London-based Farfetch already has operations in the country, but the deal is meant to expand them. JD.com will drive web traffic to the Farfetch site and offer logistics help to its brands and boutiques, among other services.

The move comes as both JD.com, with a market cap of $57 billion, and Alibaba are making a big push to court Western fashion brands to their own sites. Some of Farfetch’s merchants already sell on JD.com and the two sides will continue to compete in many ways, the companies said.


JD’s model is similar to Amazon’s as it serves as both the country’s largest retailer that sells directly to consumers as well as a marketplace on which other merchants can hawk their wares. All of Alibaba’s websites, on the other hand, operate exclusively as marketplaces. Both companies dominate the e-commerce landscape in China, where Amazon has long struggled.



Flipkart launches private label fashion brand Divastri to combat rival Amazon

To combat its rival Amazon, Flipkart has intensified its marketing strategy and has now launched its own private fashion label called Divastri, which aims to tap into the demand for women’s ethnic wear.

Amazon had launched its own private brand Symbol in September last year.

Through Divastri, the company is targeting unstitched garments category. So far, the category has been mostly served by long tail merchants in a bid to control quality and pricing in the segment.

Only last week, Flipkart announced that its ‘Fashion Sale’ event witnessed a 2x sale jump in the first three days of the total nine day sale event.

Rishi Vasudev, vice president of fashion (retail), Flipkart, said: “We have some basic line of private label but Divastri will be our first brand in the fashion space. We have selected over 20 sellers, some of whom double up as manufacturers to licence the brand and sell on the Flipkart fashion marketplace. We have started with a selection of 1,500 and will soon ramp it up to 2,500.”


Vasudev further said that Flipkart will be introducing new labels in the coming months as part of the fashion vertical. The current line will meet quality standards with a uniform design story for its offerings.

Flipkart says that fashion accounts for more than 60% of all units sold on the platform. Among the 60%, nearly half the units sold are in the ethnic wear and Indian contemporary wear category.

While this is the first private label brand for Flipkart, Myntra — the fully-owned subsidiary of Flipkart – already has fourteen private label brands, including Roadster, All About You, Mast & Harbour, and Moda Rapido among others.

It recently acquired HRX by Hrithik Roshan, which is already a ₹120 crore brand. Myntra expects to close FY2017 with 21% of its revenues from its private label brands.