luxury_daily_banner

French fashion brand, Le Monde D’Hermès, teamed up with Mrzyk and Moriceau for its fall-winter 2014 digital magazine edition. The app features many interactive and animated features designed by the artistic duo to portray a more fun and whimsical content experience.

Plastic’s COO & President, Melody Adhami, had a chance to play with the app and comment on the design and strategy with Luxury Daily and said “It is refreshing! Mobile users interact with plenty of apps daily with similar UI designs. Having a UI such as the Hermès app certainly stands out and creates a memorable experience.”

The article states that the app doesn’t showcase the brand’s apparel, however it does create a unique user experience. Users can interact with each shape on the screen which leads them to a new magazine page with more animations.

Despite the unique approach to launching its fall-winter magazine edition, Melody noted that “While the cartoons may be aimed at captivating the younger, and more mobile savvy demographic, it may be a little confusing for the rest of the brand’s following.”

As a consumer, does the Le Monde D’Hermès app entice you into purchasing their magazine? Tweet us @plasticmobile

 

Apple Reveals More

By on October 17, 2014

apple-event-cover

Yesterday Apple unveiled some details about their products for the coming year. First on the agenda; iPhone 6 & 6 Plus release statistics. We’re not surprised to find that Apple has pulled off the biggest launch of their phones this year making record sales and deliveries worldwide. Speaking of world wide, 32 countries are iPhone enabled with China set to get the next batch of fresh iPhones. Overall Apple said that the response and demand was surprising and they’re glad their frontline employees handled the demand extremely well.

CEO Tim Cook proceeded to talk about Apple Pay next saying that the anticipated contactless mobile payment service will be available in the upcoming iOS 8.1 update scheduled to land on Monday, the 20th of October. Tim also revealed an additional 500 banks have signed on to Apple Pay in addition to all the US banks and credit card providers. And in one last surprise, Apple Pay can be used in-app and online on the web effectively enabling a one stop payment function to any mobile purchase. This will certainly be a pay-game changer!

Another reveal was the release of OS X Yosemite, a new Mac and iPad mini 3 with retina display-the usual things we’ve come to expect from the smart device giant. Yosemite features a whole new design that matches iOS 8, and comes with the ability to make SMS and regular phone calls. This might annoy some of the telecoms, just a bit. Craig Federighi, the VP of Software Engineering showed off the calling feature with a conversation with Stephen Colbert who before hanging up told Craig to get back to work on Apple Watch because “You know what I see when I look at my wrist?…My wrist!” Before signing off Craig said that Yosemite is now available for download, and it’s 100% free.

Overall the event served as an in-depth look at their new releases and upcoming products. Although the announcements of the new iPads felt a little flat the promise of Apple Pay and new features for the ever growing family of devices Apple has begun to offer show that they’re still able to offer a wide range of services across an even wider range of devices.

PS: If you missed out on the live keynote you can find the recorded version on Apple’s website.

Beacon Etiquette

By on October 16, 2014

estimote_ibeacon-800x415

With great power comes great responsibility. As cliche as that sounds its very accurate when it comes to beacons. Beacons have the ability to target a wide range of mobile devices within its proximity as well as provide marketers with a great deal of consumer information and interaction. However depending on how well they use this technology, they can end up making users feel bombarded by advertisements.

In a recent study by InMarket, users that were aggressively targeted with notifications stopped using the app. The research then shifted to targeting with notifications that aimed to engage users in more informative ways. Rather than message the user when they enter, they sent messages to them in specific contexts and delivered helpful messages to them. By delivering more contextually appropriate notifications relevant to the mobile moment which can be defined as the time and places a customer pulls out a mobile device to access vital information in context to the task at hand. Beacons proved to be more effective and achieved an increase of approximately 5 times more interactions.

The landscape of beacons right now can be compared easily to that of the early days of internet advertising. There’s a lot of experimentation and it is taking brands time to zero in on effective strategies as well as the software and hardware pairing that will yield the best results. Thus far the research has shown that beacons are better suited as an informational platform rather than the overused shopping messenger that has quickly become infamous. Yet the data-mining tools and capabilities within the beacon world have been underutilized.

 

luxury_daily_banner

In most cases, consumers take the time to research before making a big purchase – cars, homes and a $45,000 camera included. With the growing rise of consumers turning to their mobile devices for research, Swedish camera brand Hasselblad, has taken the insights and opportunity to release a catalogue app that will provide customers with relevant product information.

Melody Adhami, Plastic’s very own COO & President, shared her industry insights with Luxury Daily on Hasselblad’s mobile strategy and described the app as “a great way to showcase their collection in lieu of a sales representative.” However, she believes that “there’s a lot more Hasselblad could have offered it’s mobile audience to drive engagement and retention.”

Melody cited that “Hasselblad will achieve success with the app by delivering sufficient education material and incorporating interactive touch points on the app.”

When asked about/questioned about the possibility of catalogue apps replacing traditional stores, she said that it had the potential, but “there will always be shoppers that prefer shopping in-store, those that want to be able to do everything via their mobile devices and others that will jump from one to another.”

Do you think catalogue apps can drive showrooms and physical retail spaces to extinction? Join the conversation by tweeting us @PlasticMobile.

 

Techvibes banner

The mobile industry is constantly changing on the fly with evolving user behaviours and new technology releases; which is why we at Plastic take the time to understand new trends and share our knowledge with our Mobile X report.

Canada’s leading technology media property, Techvibes, featured an article on Plastic’s Mobile X Summer Report and it findings. The report reviews current trends and developments in the mobile space, including mobile payments & banking, and beacon technology.

The Mobile X Summer Report summarizes everything you need to know about what’s new in the industry over the course of June and July 2014. It provides current statistics on everything from couponing, QR codes and push notifications to mobile web vs. mobile app usage.

Be sure to read our Mobile X Summer Report for more information on the most talked about topics from the summer months.

IMG_1535

A few short weeks ago, the team at Apple reached out to Plastic in hopes of securing an iOS 8 Launch Partner for Touch ID integration – and we’re thrilled to announce that our client and world’s largest coalition loyalty program, AIR MILES, made the cut. As an official partner, the latest AIR MILES iPhone app allows users with an iPhone 5S, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus running on iOS 8 to sign-in to the loyalty program via Touch ID.

In 2013, Apple first introduced its Touch ID feature with the release of iPhone 5S and iOS 7. Touch ID is a personal fingerprint sensor which (until iOS 8) only allowed users to authenticate to unlock an iPhone. Now with iOS 8 available, Apple has opened up the Touch ID API’s, so that everything from passwords to mobile apps can be authenticated with a fingerprint.

The new addition to the AIR MILES app was received with much anticipation, topping the “Best New App” chart on the App Store as well as the topping the trending searches all weekend!

Be sure to check out the new AIR MILES app and tweet us your thoughts on iOS 8!

 

productivity-camp-deloitte-360

It’s been an exciting few months in the industry, and we were excited to have the opportunity to attend this year’s Deloitte 360 conference in Toronto, Ontario just last week. Exploring the exponential growth in technology and its impact on brands and consumers alike, as well as the latest developments in mobile shopping and digital payments – the conference covered it all.

We were particularly intrigued by the morning session, “Power Shifts, Digitalization, & Exponential Technologies,” which analyzed the growing shift happening in the retail industry. Did you know, there has been a 41% (up from 21% last year) rise in manufacturers becoming more retail based? As consumers are increasingly becoming digital and ecommerce continues evolving – so are manufacturers. Up until now, the supply chain has included manufacturing, retail, consumer; however recent trends show manufacturers creating their own online retail spaces, by-passing the middle-man retailer. For example Home Depot is closing physical locations and putting the saved cost of operations into its online assets as it tries to compete with only online competitor Builddirect. Doing so cuts down their shipping costs and allows for more control of price and profits.

Deloitte’s Director of Tech, Media & Telecom Research Duncan Stewart also walked us through early predictions. And despite what you may think about desktop computers, they’ll be sticking around for a little while longer. PC sales and usage may be falling, however according to Deloitte, usage remains high. The explanation is simply ease of use, students and young professionals may be attached to their mobile devices, but only a desktop computer can make writing a 1500 word essay easy.

And who can forget about wearables? Deloitte called the entire shift into question. As a whole, they are comparatively the January gym membership, overtime usage decreases overtime to the point that eventually they are not used at all. In general, devices like Google Glass are better suited for the health sector or an industrial market as they can provide real time information easily to the wearer.

Overall the conference was very relevant and insightful, and we will no doubt start to see predictions unfold in the next year.

Android For Everyone

By on September 17, 2014

android-one-phones

Android is quickly becoming the mobile operating system of choice in the North American market and with the latest release from Google, the OS is set to dominate India as well. India has seen 189% growth of Android mobile devices since 2013 but only 1 in 4 people own a smartphone.

Android One is Google’s vehicle into this market of low budget users. Tuesday it introduced to the Indian market three handsets featuring the same basic hardware. You wont find anything special in these phones, but thats not their main selling point. The phones will retail for around 6,499 rupees ($116 USD) for the lowest model. In addition to being inexpensive and well built, they will also be first to receive Android L, the next anticipated version of Android.

The devices feature the best hardware for the best prices. Build material is also kept at low cost while at the same time not sacrificing durability. By comparison they are similar to the Moto G smartphone that was released last year. It too featured low cost hardware and was quickly hailed at the best budget smartphone on the market.

Why is Google doing this? The aim could simply be mass adoption, as a normally high price for handsets and accessories keep those with a tight budget using other operating systems, like Symbian. Likewise those with a more spendable income will likely vouch for an iPhone, Samsung or Microsoft. Asian markets are also likely to benefit from Android One as mobile devices are widely popular and a low entry point will only fuel the market.

 

Screen Shot 2014-09-11 at 2.35.43 PM

If you’re on Twitter you might soon notice new ads with “buy” buttons tagged; they’re Twitter’s new m-commerce advertisements. While the program only operates in the U.S. and can be seen by a “small percentage” of users, but it represents what could become a fundamental shift in the way we have come to know social networks.

With this new feature users can buy products that are advertised in their Twitter feed depending on what or who they follow. Using Stripe, an online payments provider, users will be able to pair their Twitter account to their Stripe account so that they only need to click the button without entering any personal information while on the social media platform. Twitter’s end goal is to create a more robust social network while generating sales, and they are not the only ones trying it out

Facebook has also started similar initiatives and Instagram has also made progress into this area as well. As these experiments slowly become features of each network, users will be able to purchase just about anything using only their feed and a single tap.

Could Twitter’s entry into mcommerce disrupt its social experience? Tweet us @Plasticmobile

Apple Watch

After a lot of speculation during the build up to the Sept 9th event, Apple didn’t disappoint with the launch of its first ever wearable device, the Apple Watch. Tim Cook did the honours of unveiling Apple’s new product, which was received with loud cheers and a standing ovation. Tim Cook raised his fist in jubilation, sporting a pure white band Apple Watch.

The Apple CEO emphasized how they “didn’t want to shrink the user interface” of the iPhone and “strap it on your wrist.” They aimed to create an iconic way to utilise the device like they had done with all their other breakthrough products, this time it was with a digital crown. The crown allows the user to navigate through the watch, within apps to zoom in and out, and even acts as the home button. The addition of the Digital Crown means the screen won’t be obstructed by a user’s fingers and navigation is more intuitive.

Kevin Lynch, VP of Technology, put the Watch through its paces and led the product demo. The integration of Apple Pay with the Apple Watch was applauded the loudest amongst all the Watch’s features. The Watch will be available with 3 different bands – durable elastic, leather, and stainless steel; as well as have different buckles. However, it will only be available for sale early 2015.

What was your highlight for today’s announcement? Tweet us at @PlasticMobile