Uni | Return Fraud – Digital

There’s been a point in all of our lives where we have ordered an outfit or two online to wear out that we then return after wearing it. This is known as return fraud, and is becoming a very expensive problem for retailers. 

When I first started out as a fashion blogger, I didn’t have the money to fund all the outfits I wanted to create and so often bought clothes with every intention on returning them after. At the time I was so focused on showcasing my creativity and styling I didn’t once stop to think about the effects on the other side. 

This week I read an article on Business of Fashion which discussed a whole new type of return fraud, in which customers are buying designer goods and returning a fake version in order to still secure a refund. This type of return fraud is estimated to account for 8.2% of all returns according to data from National Retail Federation in 2018, but is very hard to manage due to an increase of hassle free returns within brick-and-mortar retailers. 

Starting only last year Selfridges decided to try a new approach and paired up with software firm Entrupy in order to crack down on return fraud. This new system involved taking a series of photos of minute details of a range of products before being sent out, and then taking them again when these products are returned in orders to compare and identity small discrepancies that may be evidence of forgery. The articles stated “So far in 2019, out of the 18,000 items Selfridges ran through Entrupy’s software, 30 were flagged as potential fakes. Those items included a bag retailing for over $2,100”. 

ASOS however made a mistake in implying that all of their customers were potential suspects. Whereas Sephora has partners with Retail Equation which calculates a “risk score’ for each customers based on their shopping behaviour and flags up any suspicious customers. Whilst Amazon simply bans their customers with an alarming return rate. 

This article really got me thinking about the ways in which a range of retailers handle returns, and then I remembered Klarna, a company I came across last year that advertised itself as a way of making returns hassle free and I decided to do some further research.

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For those of you who have never heard of them, Klarna are basically a type of payment method similar to PayPal in offering direct payments but also with the option to pay after delivery options and instalment plans. ASOS, Beauty Bay, Missguided and Topshop all offer Klarna as a payment method, so it must be a reliable company right? 

However I came across a blog post by Lady Writes who wrote about her first encounter with Klarna. Despite being a very positive experience what concerned her was the fact that she had gone past the 30 day limit to pay and she had no email or any form of contact from the company chasing her up about the money, as well as the fact that no credit checks are done before hand. I feel like in the long run this will definitely encourage debt amongst young people who are vulnerable and aren’t always knowledgeable when it comes to money as well as cause issues for retailers who don’t end up receiving their payment. 

I feel like these issues are a result of retailers who seem to be less concerned about the keep of products and more involved with just pushing a purchase. What are your thoughts?

 

Love always

AHVB X

Uni | Planning A Trip Away

Being an Online Content Creator has changed my process of holiday prepping. Before the first job on my to-do list was to book in for all my beauty appointments, but now that comes second and first I have to create moodboards of inspiration and ideas.

I have an upcoming trip to Paris which my boyfriend has surprised me with for my 21st birthday. I noticed before anything I jumped onto Instagram and Pinterest to gather as much imagery as possible to create a range of moodboards. I always start off with creating an overall moodboard that includes locations I want to get content, posing and positioning ideas, restaurants to try and just an overall mood of the place I’m going to.

This is an example of a moodboard I created to get an overall feel for my trip.

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I then go on to create moodboards that I then can categorise. So far I have created moodboards for five main Paris locations, I also have a food moodboard and two outfit moodboards.

This is one of my top tip for those of you that are starting out as Online Content Creators or looking to become one. For me I have to be organised and ahead to be able to function and get things done properly, I’m also not someone to do anything half-arsed and so this helps me get the content I want and to a higher standard. Through working this way I actually get my work done quicker, and so brands are happy and I get to spend a little less time of my trip working and I get to really enjoy myself.

What’s at the top of your to-do list when going on a trip? Comment below

Love always

AHVB X

Uni | An Instagram Without Likes (Communication)

In the last few weeks I have read a lot of articles around the subject of Instagram testing posts that don’t have the number of likes on display, and I have very mixed feelings about this new feature.

I read on Forbes today at the F8 Mosseri stated that this feature was set up in order to create a “less pressurized environment where people feel comfortable expressing themselves.” And although I love this idea, the fact that the like count would still be visible to the person who posted the photo/video I feel it deflects the point. Although people won’t see how many likes others are getting, some will still be affected by the number of likes they receive regardless.

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A second statement I read by Mosseri was “Another reason why Instagram is testing out this feature is that the number of like counts can create a false sense of engagement. There are many bots and services that exist which sends fake likes to posts.” However getting rid of the number of likes on display won’t prevent this problem, people will just look for validation in their number of followers. Those who currently pay for likes and pay for ads to promote their account, will move on to paying for followers instead. It’s happening already, there are so many girls who are trying to become ‘influencers’ and they pay for these followers but don’t have the likes/engagement to match.

Although it is a step in the right direction, I don’t feel like it’s been carefully thought about and I also don’t think likes are the problem we have here. People who are affected by the number of likes they receive will find something else, the problem is within and I think that’s why it’s so important to promote self-care, self-love and positive body image. Personally I don’t think changing features on Instagram is going to improve mental health, this issue is beyond that.

I would love to know your thoughts on this new test, and hear some other opinions.

Do you think this could improve mental health?

Would you like to see this become a permanent feature?

Uni | Check In & Check Out (Creativity)

Check In & Check Out

It’s easy to get caught up in the chaos of everyday,                                                                          To worry about every small thing that seems to get in your way.                                                                                                                       To fuss around the people most important to us and make sure they’re okay.                           But don’t forget to check in on yourself, because there’s no time to delay.

Slow down and take a moment to think about just you.                                                                To think about your emotions and your feelings too.                                                                     Be mindful of what you are eating because it’s a lot more than just food.                              And be careful who your surrounded by because this will affect your mood.                 

Energy is contagious and is everywhere you go,                                                                             So remain on a high vibration and beware of those on a low.                                                  Feel gratitude in your heart and feel blessed to be in the know,                                       Because not many people are in tune with themselves, and are unable to grow. 

Self care is so important, but isn’t openly discussed,                                                                     So I stopped to construct this poem to tell you all it’s a must.                                        Sometimes life gets hectic and it all can get too much,                                                                 But don’t forget about yourself and remember to stay in touch.

written by myself 

 

Uni | PLT Recycled – Trend

April 22nd also known as Earth Day, saw the release of PrettyLittleThing’s first recycled collection, I was really interested to find out more about this collection and what the brand meant by recycled. As I spoke about in a previous blog post, sustainability seems to be a growing trend and so I feel like it’s really important to do your research and to ask questions to find out how genuine and transparent these brands are being.

From my research I discovered that the purpose behind the collection is to rework unwanted pieces and worn out materials, in order to give them a second chance by turning them into new pieces that are staple wardrobe pieces that could get worn over and over again. The brand has also collaborated with reGAIN, a recycling app, so that customers trade in unwanted clothing for discounts off PLT purchases. This collaboration is to help prevent pile up of clothing in landfills throughout the UK and to encourage a positive impact on our planet.

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The collection itself features over 150 wardrobe essentials ranging from joggers to cycling shorts and crop tops to jumpers, and varies in colours including blush, violet, nude, tan and black. I would describe the collection as quite classic/basic, which isn’t in a negative way as it means the pieces are easy to style and can easily be worn over but in different ways. I also like the colour options, as in previous recycled collections you tend to only see shades of green, brown and nude which have become very predictable and in some cases boring. It’s definitely a new fun approach, and will definitely give consumers the opportunity the get creative with their styling.

I think it’s safe to say this a genuine attempt to make a difference and isn’t just another brand jumping on the bandwagon, despite the collaboration with reGAIN being done before by other fast fashion brands such as Misguided and Boohoo. CEO Umar Kamani stated “This is another step in the right direction towards sustainable fashion. We know this isn’t the answer to everything, and our aim is to continue to learn new ways and adapt new methods in which the business as a whole can become more sustainable and responsible in terms of protecting the planet for the future”.

What are your thoughts on the collaboration? What are some of your favourite pieces? Comment below

Love always

AHVB X

Uni | Coachella – Event

As the British festival scene deteriorates, the interest of festivals abroad is greatly increasing. Over the last two years I have really seen the popularity of Coachella grow, and so I decided to do my research to find out more about the festival and why it is now on everyone’s bucket list. 

I first really took notice of Coachella when Beyoncé was announced the first black woman to ever headline it last year. Before that I had only heard of it’s culture appropriation trend of attendees wearing American Indian headdresses and the festival offering weekend tipi rentals which was found to be very insulting and a way of promoting stereotyping of native cultures. 

But this year Coachella was everywhere, from in-store to online and the advertising even made me want to add it to my 2020 bucket list. A big thing that I noticed was the amount of influencers who had been flown to the festival with brands to promote new products. In an article on WWD I read that ‘Coachella is anything but barren; it’s perhaps overly ripe with celebrity appeal, influence and marketing opportunities as brands see it’. Ryan Detert, chief excutive officer of influential, an artificial intelligence and social data company that connects brands with influencers stated that the majority of festival goers at Cochella are Millennials who aspire to be part of one of “the most Instagrammable, fashion-focused events of the year”.

The festival takes place every year in Indio, California for two weekends at the beginning of summer. Tickets start off $429 for general admission, then go up to $999 for VIP access. The festival is also located in the desert and so when planning to go to Coachella, be sure to have your transport sorted.

“The environment of Coachella is one that has a ripple effect that is truly global,” says HP’s Butler. “It is the festival to be at,” insists Heineken’s Karimi.

From all the articles I have read and all the vlogs I have watched it does come across as though the hype around Coachella is only a reality if you have the money to enjoy it. The festival itself is an incredible experience it seems, and well worth the money you pay for it but all the extras that are advertised and highlighted cannot be experienced by everyone. However Coachella itself wants everyone to feel involved and get a taste in some way of the festival, as I found out in the statement below from a GQ article.

“But if you can’t actually be at Coachella, don’t worry. HP have created a web app from which users around the world can manipulate an interactive wall in their Dreamland lounge, choosing from a range of positive affirmations such as “I am loved” that will pop up and delight those who are actually at the festival. The festival’s influencers can momentarily be influenced by you, from the comfort of your own home. While a festival purist might scoff at the 19-sponsor-strong commercialisation of Coachella, it’s impossible to deny that the strategy is effective. For the next two weekends Coachella will be talked about globally and, thanks to their savvy activations, its sponsors will be too.”

In my research I came to find that Coachella is way more than just your average music festival, and is now a cultural event evolving into a marketing megaphone for brands looking to upscale to a global reach. The target audience is now slowly moving from millennials to Gen Z and so they are pushing for more innovative ways to reach this new audience and bring Coachella to a digital era. I still would love to experience the festival for myself, and maybe one day I will even get to experience it as an online content creator/influencer.

Love always

AHVB X

Uni | The Success Of Nike Ads (Commercial Awareness)

Last year’s Nike advert with Colin Kaepernick was one of the biggest commercials of 2018 in terms of controversy. The NFL player kneeled during the pre-match national anthem in a protest against police brutality and racial inequality within America.

Using Nick as the face of their 30th anniversary advert was a very strong social statement, as well as a big success for the brand. Although Nike was faced with boycott threats, in the world of business bad press is better than no press, and TIME magazine actually reported that sales increased 31% after the ad. 

I started to do my research and found that Wieden + Kennedy, Nike’s advertising agency, are no strangers to controversy and so have been able to construct an emotional branding strategy in order to build customer loyalty. 

I was able to create this timeline of social statements throughout Nike’s advertising history.

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I think Nike are definitely taking the advertising industry by storm, and it’s really refreshing to see a brand use their platform to be rebellious and disruptive but also to educate and inform at the same time. I am excited to see what they do next for upcoming campaigns and what social issues they will discuss further.

What are your thoughts on some of the above adverts?

Love always

AHVB X