This Week at Branding Brand: Graffiti and Comic Books

 

Lucky to be in a neighborhood with art around every corner ✨ #Southside #Pgh #BranderLife

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Discovered in the dev room. Comics, anyone? #DeveloperLife #BranderLife

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Topics: Company

STORES 2017 Top 100 Retailers Rankings Released

STORES Top 100 Retailers: The Nation's Power Players 2017

This year's Top 100 Retailers list was released and ranks brands based on 2016 sales.

Leisure is a new addition to this year's Top 100 Retailers, and Dick's Sporting Goods leads this pack of brands. The report names building up its private-label merchandise as a key component of the retailer's success:

Dick’s new house brand is Second Skin, aimed at endurance sports enthusiasts. It joins such labels as Field & Stream outdoor apparel and Calia women’s wear, a joint effort with singer Carrie Underwood that has grown into one of the company’s three best-selling women’s brands in just two years.

Overall, Dick's Sporting Goods came in at number 57. Other retailers who made the Top 100 include Wal-Mart (#1), Kroger (#2), Ace Hardware (#28), L Brands (#41), and Ascena Retail Group (#61) among others. 

View the Top 100 or Power Players by Industry.

Topics: Company Client

This Week at Branding Brand: Summer Drinks and Brander Close Up

 

#SignsOfSummer: Bud Light Lime-a-ritas in the beer fridge 👌 ☀️ #BranderLife

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[PRESS] 9to5 Mac: Jibestream says it will support indoor Apple Maps, Branding Brand adopts ARKit for retail clients

floor map arkit.jpgSource: 9to5 Mac

Branding Brand's announcement that it will leverage ARKit to enhance retail experiences for clients was featured in a story by 9to5 Mac

Here's a clip: 

Two companies have announced plans to adopt new Apple technologies coming this fall with iOS 11. Jibestream says it will work with clients to provide indoor mapping data to Apple Maps which is new to iOS 11, and Branding Brand says it plans to use ARKit to build augmented reality experiences for retail apps.

... 

And for ARKit, Branding Brand is the latest to announce plans to use Apple’s new augmented reality tools to create AR experiences in iOS apps.

Leading retail app platform, Branding Brand is leveraging the largest augmented reality (AR) platform in the world, Apple Inc.’s ARKit, to bring shopping to the next level for clients.

With an ARKit retail app, consumers can make smarter buying decisions using their iPhone or iPad camera. At home shoppers can virtually try on an outfit or see how an appliance will fit on their kitchen countertop before they buy. In-store shoppers experience enhanced window shopping and, as they view a product in person, they can see an overlay of information like customer reviews or star ratings.

We’ve already seen IKEA’s example of how it plans to use ARKit to let customers visualize furniture in their home through augmented reality, and it’s clear retailers plan to adopt the new technology in their own apps on a big scale with iOS 11.

Topics: Trends Media Coverage Company

Retailers Create Augmented Reality Shopping Experiences with ARKit and Branding Brand

AR-tech.jpgSource: Wareable

More retailers can now give digital shoppers the option to try before they buy. Leading retail app platform, Branding Brand is leveraging the largest augmented reality (AR) platform in the world, Apple Inc.’s ARKit, to bring shopping to the next level for clients.

With an ARKit retail app, consumers can make smarter buying decisions using their iPhone or iPad camera. At home shoppers can virtually try on an outfit or see how an appliance will fit on their kitchen countertop before they buy. In-store shoppers experience enhanced window shopping and, as they view a product in person, they can see an overlay of information like customer reviews or star ratings.

Retailers can manage and experiment with AR features using Branding Brand’s compatible content management system. Benefits for brands may include decreasing purchase returns — resulting from better measurement and size understanding, offering more clarity and context about their products, and boosting consumer engagement.

AR Is Already Everywhere
Introduced at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) this month, ARKit is valuable to retailers because of the millions of consumer devices that will be AR-compatible following the iOS 11 update in fall 2017. Compared to previously available solutions, ARKit has lower impact on battery life and enables higher quality, more stable placement, size, and lighting for integrated experiences.

Branding Brand has a deep history of launching retail technologies alongside Apple — integrating Passbook loyalty programs, iBeacons for in-store, and Apple Pay for seamless checkout for mobile shopping pioneers like Sephora, American Eagle Outfitters, and Cole Haan, respectively.

“Retail is the next major AR frontier. By adding ARKit to our app platform, we’re helping them build a kind of experience that’s already exciting millions of daily users on apps like Snapchat, Instagram, and Pokémon Go,” said Chris Mason, CEO of Branding Brand.

“Our clients see more and more consumer engagement and payments coming from mobile devices. Retailers who provide app-first experiences will be better positioned to compete in the global marketplace of the future, alongside IKEA, Amazon, and Walmart.”

About Branding Brand
Branding Brand is the retail industry's leading omnichannel commerce platform, powering mobile apps, sites, and in-store shopping experiences for over 200 enterprise brands. In addition to being named a Gartner "Cool Vendor" of apps, the Company is also the Forrester Wave Leader in "Mobile Commerce and Engagement Platforms.”

Topics: Trends Company Press Release

This Week at Branding Brand: South Side Art and Brander Takeover


 

"Hi! I'm Shannon, an Account Owner who is all about that #BranderLife!" — @shansoncity #InstaBrander #BrandersDoItBetter

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Branding Brand, Yext Integration Helps Retailers Drive Traffic and Dollars to Stores

Yext App Directory Branding BrandSource: Yext 

Retailers no longer need to worry if their business information is accurate everywhere customers are looking. A new partnership between digital knowledge management provider, Yext, and retail app platform, Branding Brand, creates a single place for brand managers to update ever-changing information like store hours and locations.

“Shoppers are searching for their favorite brick-and-mortar stores closest to them,” said Chris Mason, CEO of Branding Brand, the largest provider of retail mobile apps and sites. “Our partnership with Yext means that retailers can be confident knowing the right information about their store is accurately displayed and available to shoppers.”

“Branding Brand’s integration in the Yext App Directory gives enterprise retail brands with hundreds of stores one place to maintain and update their digital knowledge,” said Marc Ferrentino, Chief Strategy Officer of Yext. “It makes sure retailer information is discoverable and in-sync across their mobile sites, apps, and the digital ecosystems, driving foot traffic and sales.”

The pre-built integration is available in the Yext App Directory as “Branding Brand for Stores.”

Click and Collect Benefit
Accurate business hours and location information across branded sales channels has never been more important as retailers, like Kohl’s and Walmart, redesign entire stores to make way for customers wanting to buy online and pick up in store (BOPIS) and take advantage of ship-to-store discounts.

According to Branding Brand client data, store locator views from smartphones have increased as much as 25% during Christmas week. A 2016 holiday shopping survey said 50% of shoppers planned to buy online and pick up in store more than the previous year.

“As brands decide to extend and reduce hours throughout the year, especially during the holidays for last-minute shoppers, they’ll have one place to instantly update this information and trust it’s displayed accurately for customers,” said Mason. 

About Branding Brand
Branding Brand is the retail industry's leading omnichannel commerce platform, powering mobile apps, sites, and in-store shopping experiences for over 200 enterprise brands. In addition to being named a Gartner "Cool Vendor" of apps, the Company is also the Forrester Wave Leader in "Mobile Commerce and Engagement Platforms.”

About Yext
Yext puts business on the map. The Yext Knowledge Engine™ lets companies manage their digital knowledge in the cloud and sync it to over 100 services in the PowerListings® Network. Yext Listings, Pages, and Reviews help businesses around the globe facilitate face-to-face and digital interactions that boost brand awareness, drive foot traffic, and increase sales.

Topics: Trends Company Press Release

Brander Spotlight on iOS 11

Branding Brand iOS Engineer, Deema Abdallah

This year's WWDC showcased a variety of ways retailers will be able to build more captivating shopping apps. Coming in Fall 2017, iOS 11 will introduce a redesigned App Store, machine learning, AR, and more.

Branding Brand iOS Engineer Deema Abdallah discussed how retailers should take advantage of the latest updates.

Related: 6 Things Every Retailer Needs to Know about WWDC 2017

What are the most significant updates for retailers in iOS 11?

iOS 11 brings great new features to help retailers reshape their app experiences. ARKit, Core ML, and Business Chat are definitely the most critical updates that retailers should consider.

What new opportunities will retailers have with ARKit?

With ARKit, retailers can take their shopping experiences beyond a device's screen and build virtual content on top of real-world components, providing customers with the ability to envision products in respect to real-life objects. Ultimately, it will increase app engagement and enhance the buying journey.

How will machine learning affect retailers?

Core ML integrates machine learning capabilities to predict shopping trends.

The Natural Language API uses machine learning to deeply understand text for smarter predictive searches, meaning more purchases and higher ROI.

Additionally, building image analysis features into your app is easily achieved with the Vision framework. Uses include text, face, landmark, and barcode detection; object tracking; and image registration. Coupled with ARKit and machine learning, these capabilities open the door to new possibilities for creating smarter and more engaging shopping experiences.


How will Business Chat will affect customer experiences?

Business Chat connects retailers directly with their customers through Messages. Retailers will be able to answer shoppers' questions, suggest products, send them in-chat notifications, and even complete transactions using Apple Pay. Apple is also allowing businesses to build their own custom app extensions in Messages.

How will phased releases help retailers launch and update their shopping apps?

Phased releases will help retailers try out new updates to a subset of users before rolling them out to everyone. This will allow brands to continuously innovate without sacrificing brand perception and avoid having too many users update the app at the same time, which can cause crashes.

What should retailers do to ensure their apps aren't automatically uninstalled?

Increased user engagement is key to avoid automatic app uninstallation. This starts during the onboarding experience, but it doesn't stop there! Encourage app customers to keep coming back. Connect with them through customized experiences and personalization, and take advantage of the capabilities that come with iOS 11 to increase app engagement.


Want to know more about shopping apps?

We surveyed 1,000 app users to learn why people download, use, and even delete shopping apps.

DOWNLOAD THE RESULTS

Topics: Trends Company

This Week at Branding Brand: WWDC and New Branders

 

Rocking client gear at #WWDC 🙌🏻 #ABranderWasHere

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[PRESS] eMarketer: Upgrade to iPhone 8? Many Say Not Quite Yet

iphone10yr.jpgSource: Apple

Branding Brand's survey of 1,000 iPhone owners to understand anticipation around the next generation ”iPhone 8” and other Apple innovations was featured by eMarketer today. 

Here's a clip: 

Though Apple will likely not unveil its 10-year anniversary iPhone until later this year, a new study from Branding Brand, which builds mobile commerce sites and apps for retailers, asked US iPhone users if they plan on trading in their current device for the latest version. Many said they won’t.
 
In fact, just over a quarter (26%) said they plan on getting the upcoming iPhone 8. In contrast, nearly half (45%) of iPhone users surveyed said they don’t plan on trading in their current device this year.
 
Meanwhile, 14% of respondents said that when the iPhone 8 launches, they plan to trade in their current device for an iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus. Another 12% said they would trade in their device for any of the iPhone 6 models. While those respondents are adopting outdated models, they may still represent an upgrade for users with even older iPhone types.
 
When asked what they want to see next from Apple, a plurality of respondents (44%) simply wanted a better-functioning operating system. Still, the iPhone 8 was top of mind for some—a quarter of respondents wanted to see a redesigned smartphone.

Read the full story here

Topics: Trends Media Coverage Company

6 Things Every Retailer Needs to Know about WWDC 2017

WWDC 2017Source: Apple

This year’s Worldwide Developers Conference made it clear that iOS users quickly adopt the latest operating system versions. Currently, 86% of iOS devices are running iOS 10.

iOS 11 will be available in the fall, and retailers should prepare for these upcoming changes:

1. App Store

Apple’s App Store is getting a new look. The new App Store will display tabs for Today, Games, Apps, Updates, and Search. By breaking out games from other app categories, shopping apps should get much better visibility in the redesigned app store.

Native apps, like Mail, are also getting a face lift. Retailers should consider refreshing their apps to make their experiences seamless and consistent with Apple’s mobile apps, which showcase bolder fonts.

2. Machine Learning

Machine learning and artificial intelligence were the key themes surrounding this year’s conference. Apple introduced Core ML, which features the Vision and Natural Language Processing APIs. This new technology will help Siri and other apps become smarter by predicting shoppers’ mobile moments and making search more contextual.

3. App-Integrated Reality

There’s a big push for connecting digital and physical worlds, and Apple announced several ways that will make this even easier for retailers. Introduced as the “largest AR platform in the world,” ARKit is a great foundation to create immersive augmented reality experiences. Shoppers with the iPhone 6s and newer will be able to envision what products will look like in real life.

Indoor location is another way that retailers will benefit from tying apps and physical locations together. This new capability will roll out to select airports and malls around the world, including the U.S., Japan, and China. Using QR codes or NFC tags in your stores? QR codes can be scanned by the native camera app to direct people to your shopping app in the App Store or connect them to your in-store WiFi. NFC tags can be scanned in-app to provide shoppers with more product information.

4. App Updates

Users will be able to quickly access apps in Messages with the revamped app drawer, which has potential to increase app adoption and retention. Additionally, retailers will be able to launch new updates to shopping apps in phased releases to ensure every last feature and function is running perfectly before making it available to everyone.

Engaging with your app users is more important than ever. A new setting in iOS 11  can automatically uninstall apps that haven’t been used in a while. App data will be preserved in case users decide to reinstall it.

5. Messages

Business messaging is coming to iOS devices and will help retailers provide great customer service. With person-to-person Apple Pay money transfers in Messages, mobile payment adoption may increase. Money can be used immediately in stores that accept Apple Pay, and transactions may be able to occur in Messages.

6. Safari

iOS and macOS updates include intelligent tracking prevention, which could negatively impact website behavior analytics, like ad blockers have done in the past. Retailers should consider mobile apps if they haven’t done so already as this new feature has no effect on apps and their data.


Learn more about Apple updates

Topics: Trends Recap

Survey: No New iPhone Yet, Consumers Say That’s Ok

wwdc2017.jpg


Apple made no mention of a new iPhone at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) keynote, and it doesn’t seem to matter to consumers. Three-in-four loyal iPhone users say they won’t buy Apple’s rumored 10-year anniversary smartphone. While only 2% say they will switch to an Android device, nearly half (45%) won’t trade in their current iPhone this year. 27% will buy an iPhone model that already exists.

Leading retail app platform, Branding Brand conducted a consumer survey of 1,000 iPhone owners, June 2-5, 2017, to understand anticipation around the next generation ”iPhone 8” and other Apple innovations.

Loyal Customers not Impressed
71% of survey respondents have been an iPhone customer for more than 5 years. 21% for 2-4 years, and 8% for 1 year or less.

“Even though the majority of our survey respondents are long-term, dedicated iPhone customers, nearly 70% say they aren’t impressed with Apple’s iPhone innovation currently,” said Chris Mason, co-founder and CEO of Branding Brand.

Excitement for AR and VR
Nearly half (46%) of survey respondents say they want augmented reality (AR) capabilities featured in Apple’s next smartphone. Overall, 24% want Apple to innovate virtual reality (VR) and AR capabilities and hardware.

“From a retail perspective, the biggest news to come out of WWDC was the ARKit, which will give developers and retailers the tools to create exciting augmented reality app experiences, like in-home try on and virtual interior design,” said Mason. “Apps are no longer simply an optional way for brands to create amazing digital shopping experiences. The new iOS 11 and features like Business Chat will make apps a necessity and key part of how retailers sell.”

When asked about other anticipated iPhone features, 26% of consumers are interested in wireless charging. Only 8% care about an edgeless screen, and 4% want to replace the home button with an in-screen touch sensor.

Apple Watch Still Stagnates
81% say they won’t buy an Apple Watch, compared to 83% who said they wouldn’t in a similar survey conducted in August 2016. 

About Branding Brand
Branding Brand is the retail industry's leading omnichannel commerce platform, powering mobile apps, sites, and in-store shopping experiences for over 200 enterprise brands. In addition to being named a Gartner "Cool Vendor" of apps, the Company is also the Forrester Wave Leader in "Mobile Commerce and Engagement Platforms.”

Topics: Trends Survey Company Press Release

This Week at Branding Brand: New Hire and Inspiration


Topics: Company

Breakthrough Thoughts on Digital Disruption

Augmented reality shopping app

It's no secret that technology is shaping the future of retail. At every point in the buyer journey, brands are experimenting with ways to create better customer experiences.

Top e-commerce executives are talking about how they're exploring new technologies and how they envision digital disruption playing a part in their strategies going forward: 

Gap

“The fashion industry is ripe for disruption," according to Gap, so the company is attempting to solve a very common online shopping problem: visualizing what apparel looks like in real life. With the help of its dressing room app, people use avatars to see how garments will look once they arrive.

The disruption in retail is happening in part because the technology landscape is evolving, partly because customers are evolving, and partly because the industry has not done an incredible job in making it easy for customers to engage with it.
— Gil KrakowskyVP of Global Strategy, Business Development, & Consumer Insights

Neiman Marcus

Technology innovation is a core value at Neiman Marcus—so much so that the company created an iLab, also known as its innovation lab, where experiments in magic mirrors and mobile wallets come to life. The brand is betting on its app's "Snap, Find, Shop" feature:

As [photo recognition] tech continues to improve, we expect further experiments. You could take a pic of a whole outfit and it would tell you about the pants or top or shoes you’re wearing, as the guys that do this get better at it.
— Scott EmmonsHead of the Innovation Lab

Lowe's

In the future, home improvement shoppers can get assistance from artificially intelligent LoweBots. Lowe's tested store-mapping robots that will not only be able to help its customers but also help the company understand in-store shoppers' behavior.

AI is going to be like electricity or the internet—it's going to be foundational technology [for] which most things are built.
— Kyle NelExecutive Director of Lowe's Innovation Labs

L'Oréal

Smart objects are finally moving past watches and other activity tracking, and L'Oréal is leading the way. Its smart brush helps its users understand their "hair analytics" and recommends products to keep hair healthy based on the data.

We’re at an inflection point for connected beauty and fashion, and examining what connectivity will do to enhance consumer experiences. More and more, we’re able to give consumers realistic seamless experiences around trying products digitally without having to buy them to try them first.
— Guive BaloochGlobal VP of Research and Innovation Technology Incubator

Farfetch

Betting big on augmented reality, Farfetch is trying to create what it calls the "Store of the Future." The company believes that stores are essential to great customer experiences, but technology needs to be implemented to connect customers online and in store.

Ultimately the use of data to transform stores will separate those who make it to the next step and those who won’t.
Jose NevesFounder & CEO

4 Opportunities to Win in the Digital Retail World

Ultimately, retailers are using advanced technology to solve customer pain points. In a webinar featuring Forrester, we discussed where retailers are investing in their digital strategies and how they're connecting new initiatives with existing investments. 

DOWNLOAD THE RECAP

Topics: Omnichannel Trends Solutions