Posts Tagged ‘online shopping’

Online shopping sites for women on the go

Friday, June 4th, 2010

KDDI join the rapidly growing cell phone store business

KDDI join the rapidly growing cell-phone store business

Recent years have seen a big boom in cell-phone shopping sites that cater to time-poor women by allowing them to purchase fashionable items while on the go. If you’re a woman with a full-time job in Japan, chances are, you don’t have much time to go shopping and once you get home, you’re often too tired to browse the web, so shopping with your cell phone really makes sense.

Just last month KDDI partnered up with Okinawa Cellular to launch a new site called AU One La Select aimed at women in their 30s and 40s. The site sells kitchen items, cosmetics, bags and cooking utensils, among other things. Customers can buy items either from their cell phones or via their PCs and payment methods are flexible: you can pay either with credit card, cash on delivery or at a convenience store.

AU One La Select joins a growing number of online sites that have sister cell-phone sites. One of  the most popular is fashionwalker.com,which offers a massive range of fashionable items albeit aimed at users younger than Select. Other popular sites include Select Square and Siamese, the latter of which offers an interesting range of imported brands such as TopShop and Primark. Zozoresort is a fun store that sells upscale brands such as Beams and is probably a hit with fashion-hungry girls who live outside the metropolis.

My personal favorite is the shopping site of free magazine Eruca. Commuters pick up the magazine in the morning and can browse the fashions during the day then perhaps buy themselves a little treat after they get home. Eruca has a street-style section and contains discount coupons for bargain hunters.

They aren’t the only magazine with an online store. Elle has an online store with a mobile sister site and earlier this year we mentioned Mobile Closet, which is a cell-phone only magazine that offers popular teen fashions.

As yet, Softbank and DoCoMo do not have any shopping sites of their own but no doubt if AU One La Select does well, executives at these companies might also decide to jump aboard the cell-phone shopping bandwagon.

Get your gold-plated invite to designer discounts

Friday, March 26th, 2010

Anyone for polo? Big discounts on Ralph Lauren available

Anyone for polo? Big discounts on Ralph Lauren available

Gone are the days when shoppers dedicated to buying up discounted brand-name goods would have to sleep on the pavement overnight in order to get their mitts on the best bargains. These days bargain hunters in the know are seeking out membership to exclusive online clubs that allow them access to discounted brand name items not available to the general public.

Glamour Sales is one such company and the only one to have been started within Japan rather than from an existing overseas parent company. Launching in August of last year they now boast 130,000 members who are all drawn by discounts on designer clothing of anywhere from 50 to 80 percent and cosmetics from 20 to 50 percent.

To join, you must be invited by an existing member or by one of the site’s trend advisors. “It is in a way a club, making it invite-only, means that everybody is connected somehow and it becomes a community,” said Sabrina Watanabe, marketing and PR director of Glamour Sales. The 50 trend advisors are all fashion professionals, be it stylists, designers or make-up artists, who keep the buzz of the site alive by blogging and using Twitter to help members track current trends. And, of course, members receive newsletters with details of the latest discounts.

To cement this sense of community, Glamour Sales holds regular events for its members. In December, for example, members could attend an exclusive event at the posh restaurant Beige Alain Duccase Tokyo which is located on the top floor of the Chanel store in Ginza and receive exclusive Christmas cake and macaroons.

The brands the company sells are pretty high end, hot clothing labels such as Ralph Lauren, Marc Jacobs, Diesel and Calvin Klein; cosmetics include YSL, Givenchy and Giorgio Armani. Not stopping with fashion and beauty,  the site also features discounts on other items like holidays, cars, restaurants and Riedel glasses.

While top-end brands are losing out on the high street at the moment, these Internet clubs might be a way for them to get through tough economic times. Teaming bargains with an online community that can both make you feel connected and give you style tips can only be a winning formula.

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