Calling all college students…
Want to be a part of a retail revolution? This is one of the most exciting times to intern with us! At Westfield Labs, we are rapidly scaling our team in San Francisco. We are looking for smart, hungry, humble summer interns who are passionate about the digital space.
Join Westfield Labs on Wednesday, April 10 to discuss the Future of Retail at Hot Studios as a part of their City Pixels series. Digital technologies are reshaping our physical spaces, and nowhere is this more apparent than in our cities. The Future of Retail panel will feature Kevin McKenzie, Global Chief Digital Officer at Westfield Labs, and Mark Dwight, CEO of Rickshaw Bagworks, a San Francisco-based manufacturer of on-demand bags. Sign up, here.
FOLLOW THE CONVERSATION ON TWITTER:
Westfield Labs was honored to host the first FashTech Hackathon event in San Francisco last month. Westfield Labs, in partnership with SF Fashtech, Startup Weekend, and POPSUGAR, produced a unique event that brought together over 100 talented startup enthusiasts, aspiring entrepreneurs, and technology gurus to drive innovation around the next revolution in fashion and technology.
At Westfield Labs, we believe that San Francisco is the heart of technology innovation. Some of the best talent in the world lives here and we were excited to bring the Fashion & Technology worlds together. In the end, the event produced an number of inspiring concepts and products that set the stage for future FashTech Hackathons. We’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate again the winning teams. They were: Splendid.ly, who designed a simple application that allows shoppers to save products online and in the physical world to a smart list; think “Pocket for Retail” and AUG, who created a virtual storefront mall experience for shoppers. The professionalism, dedication and innovation that came out of the weekend was truly inspiring.
Finally, take a look at the video below for a quick recap of the event. We plan to host more events in the future so stay tuned for more!
Managing social media today is becoming harder and harder for brands, as each day brings another variable. Whether it’s understanding and using the next, hot social media platform, being overwhelmed by the amount of conversations happening about your brand or trying to organize all the different stakeholders tasked with social media across an organization. And after all of that, how do you measure success?! Those challenges are no different here at Westfield.
To begin to address those challenges and as a part of a new global approach to digital programs and tools, the Westfield Labs team, with the Australian, UK, and U.S. national and center marketing teams, have worked together to organize how we manage and execute social media at a global level.
Below is a fun video that explains our approach:
As a part of our global approach, we have agreed to a global partnership with HootSuite, an industry leading social media management system, which provides an easy to use dashboard to help us listen, aggregate and process both the incoming information from our shoppers on their personal social media accounts as well as manage all of our own social media platforms in one place.
Studies show that over two thirds of all mobile phones will be smart phones by 2015. With 105 centers spread over four countries and 1.1 billion people visiting those centers worldwide, you can imagine the massive amount of people communicating with us via social media. We have millions of interactions or mentions of Westfield happening on various social media platforms in our centers around the world. All of those interactions range from shoppers liking or commenting on something we posted on Facebook, checking into one of our centers on Foursquare, tweeting an image that they found the perfect item while in one of our centers, or simply asking us questions. And it’s not just our shoppers, but our retailers are participating in all of these digital conversations as well.
In the end, the big question becomes, “How do we solve this and provide value for Westfield and our retailers?”
The first step is that we now have a standardized, unified social media platform to allow us to understand and listen to our shoppers from a global perspective down to a very local level.
The traditional model of customer service is rapidly moving towards this “self-serve” model of customer service via social media. Our employees can now quickly discover, assign responsibility internally, or respond to customer service and security issues directly to our shoppers in whatever social medium the shopper engaged with us.
From a marketing perspective, the days of Madison Avenue advertising and Mad Men has transformed to a world where consumers are empowered both to carry advertising messages and to communicate their preferences for products. People trust recommendations from their peers more than they trust a direct brand advertisement. By listening to what our shoppers are sharing about our retailers on their own personal social channels and curating that same content for Westfield, we can help promote our retailers in a real and authentic way.
This new global social media initiative will help us quickly respond directly with our customers while they are in our centers and is a key part of creating a direct, long-term relationship with our shopper at all touch points in their shopping journey.
So like we say in the video, “We’re doing the same thing we’ve always been doing, just in a different way.”
Contributor: Kyle Spencer
Vice President, Product Marketing at Westfield Labs
The Westfield Labs team was honored to be invited to G’Day USA Innovation Evening as a part of Australia Week here in San Francisco.
Last week, the event brought out special guests: Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Australian Ambassador to the United States, Kim Beazley and leaders from the San Francisco tech world including our very own Global Chief Digital Officer Kevin McKenzie. Kevin’s panel discussion focused on how mobile, social and digital trends are impacting Australia and the greater Asia Pacific region.
Worth noting, the evening included food and wine prepared by Australian Celebrity Chef Finalist, Adrian Richardson. Yum!
Today wraps up the 10th Anniversary of Australia Week and all its festivities across the US. We are proud to partner with the G’Day USA team to help strengthen the relationship between Australia and the United States in business, innovation & culture.
We’re excited to debut our new Westfield Labs headquarters in San Francisco. After our official launch at the kick-off of San Francisco Innovation Month, we’ve now settled into our new offices. The new labs space is nestled in the heart of San Francisco’s SOMA district near some of the best startups in the city and of course close to our Westfield San Francisco Centre!
Our office ambiance was designed to foster creativity and open collaboration: our walls are covered with creative inspiration, we are always playing music, presentations are viewed on plasmas via Apple TV, our conference rooms are filled with beanbags, and our coffee bar is just as stocked as our beer frig. It’s just a start, but easily a place we can call home.
We’re thrilled to be in our new space and are working hard to bring new and innovative technologies to the shopping experience. Check out the pictures of our new space below and don’t forget to keep coming back to the Lab Notes to get the latest on Westfield Labs and see what we’re working on.
Oh, and come visit us!
We asked attendees at our recent launch party to tell us what new SF Bay Area-based app or technology they were addicted to and have discovered some interesting results:
After tallying all of the qualified responses we found that the black car reservation and payment service Uber was the most addictive app among Westfield Labs launch party attendees. Perhaps the app was front-of-mind for the fashion-forward attendees who arrived at the party via Uber, but other transportation services like Lyft and SideCar also ranked highly, indicating that startups disrupting the transportation space are a hot commodity in San Francisco.
The other big winner of the night has to be Jack Dorsey, the co-founder of Twitter and Square (numbers 2 and 3 on our list, respectively). Twitter is coming off of a nearly unprecedented volume of activity around the US Elections (including a post from the winner, Barack Obama, that has become the most-retweeted tweet ever), and Square continues to grow in the hot mobile payments space. Dorsey, who was recently named Innovator of the Year by the Wall Street Journal clearly has his finger on the pulse of technology.
Do you agree with our survey results? Which apps or services are you addicted to? Let us know in the comments.
Last night we celebrated the official launch of Westfield Labs, Under the Dome at the Westfield San Francisco Centre and we can’t say enough about how excited we are to be here! Together with the San Francisco tech community, we celebrated the debut of Westfield Labs and the launch of Innovation Month in San Francisco.
We were lucky enough to have Joe Gebbia, co-founder of Airbnb and Todd Rufo, Director of Economic and Workforce Development at the SF Office at the event. Our very own Steven Lowy, Co-CEO of Westfield Group also took the stage to introduce Westfield Labs and thank the city of San Francisco, “one of the most innovative cities on the planet”, for welcoming us with open arms.
After the formalities, it was time to celebrate with some drinks, amazing food and all our new colleagues and peers!
Westfield Labs team wants to extend their sincerest thanks to the city San Francisco and everyone who came out last night to celebrate our launch and share our overwhelming excitement to be here in SF. We can’t wait to start working with many of the innovative companies here in the bay area!
Here are some of our favorite shots from the party last night.
As we settle into the San Francisco office, the Westfield Labs team is excited to use this space to share our thoughts. With the ever-changing landscape of commerce, Westfield is dedicated to using technology to better serve its customers, both our shoppers & retailers alike. This blog will focus on our journey to explore new partners, build new products and push innovation in all aspects of the retail ecosystem.