Happy Sunday Everyone! We’re back with our 3rd edition of our Sunday Series and touching on everything from AR/VR, to personalization to an inspiring podcast and a new apothecary discovery. In case you’ve missed the last two posts, our Sunday Series is where our team shares one thing we discovered/were inspired by/or enjoyed during the week. I loved hearing your responses to last week’s post and hope you continue to share what inspired you during the week in the comments section below.
Julia- On this last trip to Paris, we stayed at the absolutely beautiful Rosewood Hotel de Crillon. After being closed for renovations for over 4 years, they finally re-opened this past July with much anticipation. We’ve stayed at our fair share of Paris hotels in the past, but this was, without a doubt, one of the best hotel experiences we’ve ever had. I keep raving about it to everyone, because honestly, it was exceptional. The staff was so kind, everything about the hotel was dreamy and my favorite part, the Buly products they use throughout. I had quite a few readers reach out when they saw that we were in Paris, telling me to go to the Buly 1803 store in Saint Germain. And once I put two and two together, I added it as a must-stop on our trip. After smelling all of the mini samples that were in our hotel room bathroom, and asking the staff at the hotel which scents were used in the lobby (the alabaster in “woody”), I headed out to the shop. The store was lined with old, intricate wood cabinets filled with everything from candles and incense, to perfumes and beauty products, with each one bursting with aroma. My treasure I took home with me? Their “Rose” perfume. Unlike a typical alcohol based perfume, Buly’s are water based, which actually makes it last longer. Each one slightly changes when applied, making it unique to your own personal scent. While I wanted to take every single candle home with me, the heavy marble and glass made it a little impossible. Instead, I made sure to stock up on all of the goodies that were in our bathroom at the hotel, with plans to savor every last drop. Once our house in finished next year, Thomas and I said we would treat ourselves to some of our favorite Buly 1803 scents to bring back the wonderful memories we had in Paris.
Thomas- My discussion this Sunday is about Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality and what I think their future is in our lives. Last Christmas, we bought Julia’s brother an HTC Vive, which according to her Computer Science majoring brother, was the bee’s knees of VR systems. We had a ton of fun playing games on our holiday break, but I haven’t thought much on the topic since then. AR/VR mostly have entertainment functions now, think about Pokemon Go (catching virtual Pokemon while out in the real world) or IG and Snapchat face filters. Besides a few laughs and some fun, they haven’t made much of an impact on our life; they don’t make our life easier or make us more productive.
I believe the next most significant opportunity for AR, specifically, will be with shopping applications. Maybe you’ve seen AR features popping up in stores for the past couple of years. These novel applications are fun, but I’m not sure they make a significant impact. I think the next major adoption of AR will come via our phones that allow even more substitutions for shopping in person, driving higher e-commerce sales. For instance, Warby Parker launched an app that utilizes the iPhone X selfie camera to analyze a person’s face to suggest eyeglasses.
Amazon just launched an AR feature on their iOS app that lets you place thousands of virtual products into real life to see how they look before buying. Amazon is notorious for launching big ideas, giving them massive exposure on their site and then waiting to see how they perform. While most fail (by Amazon’s standards) the enormous successes like Prime, Prime Video and Alexa have been responsible for insane growth. AR may or may not be a big hit for Amazon shoppers but seeing as Alexa helped grow Amazon’s US ecommerce sales market share from 38.1% in 2016 to an estimated 43.5% (a jump of $50 billion in sales) in 2017, each product announcement Amazon makes is worth paying attention to. If AR ends up working for in home items like furniture, televisions and cooking appliances you can bet that Amazon will put everything they have into creating AR experiences for apparel, a market that they are determined to takeover and that they currently account for 6.6% of US Sales.
Laura – Ever feel like a robot when it comes to your morning routine? As of recently, I did. When I wake up I turn on my Spotify playlist to listen to as I get ready thinking some of my favorite tunes would get me in the right mood to start my day. I would listen to the playlist all the way into my car, on my drive to work, and again on my way home. After a while it started to feel like the movie Groundhog Day – doing some of the same things over and over, and lately I began to feel really blah about it. The time change with an earlier sunset didn’t help my weird mood either! Thomas had showed me a website of a successful career/life coach name Marie Forleo, we were simply admiring her website but while doing so I found her amazing self-help podcast. Don’t be deterred by the words “self-help”, this is a podcast geared towards business minded individuals with an entrepreneurial spirit working towards living a productive, meaningful, and more fulfilling life. Marie’s voice is so captivating and she is wildly entertaining to listen to (she was even recognized by Oprah)! She keeps almost all episodes short, sweet, and straight to the point – no extra fluff. Some great topics included are “How to Keep Stress From Shriveling Your Brain into a Raisin”, “Don’t Let Comparison Steal Your Joy, Profits and Prosperity”, “How to Make a Big Career Change When You’re Afraid You’ll Fail”, and so many more valuable topics. Now every morning as I’m getting ready I listen to a few episodes and her positive attitude has been the best motivation for the start of my day. My favorite thing about her advice is that it’s applicable to anyone’s daily life. You don’t have to be an entrepreneur to implement her tips. If you ever find yourself in a creative rut or are often contemplating wanting more out of life, take a listen to Marie. She is the definition of optimism and empowerment and it will certainly rub off on you!
Margaret – From media sites to beauty products, a growing trend is the ability for consumers to customize company service offerings and products to meet unique preferences. There is a broader cultural movement toward personalization. Media is catered to consumers via personal preferences and unique interests, and new beauty products are designed to add a personal touch. Product recommendations based on recent online behavior can be delivered straight to an inbox or appear within a retailer’s site after purchase. Ads are served based on behavioral data on social platforms. We’ve never been served on such a personal level so fast. Whether this is a good, bad, or necessary trend is up for debate, but nevertheless it’s important to be aware of what services and products we can personalize. Here are a few companies I’ve recently noticed are taking hold of this trend:
Glossier You Perfume : A personalized perfume for your unique scent
Amazon : Scroll down the Amazon home page to find related items to the one’s you’ve purchased and ‘more items to consider.’
Eater : Subscribe to your city’s Eater newsletter and receive new places to check out near you
Netflix: You can customize your experience and recommendations in a variety of ways
Cuyana : Create a personalized Cuyana leather piece
Medium: Identify the topics you’re interested in, and Medium will serve you those kinds of articles and identify more articles you may be interested in based on your activity
Gmail: Customize your inbox for a productivity system that suits your needs