Social media platforms have become the cornerstone of almost every single fashion company’s marketing strategy. Smart businesses recognize just how prevalent social media is in the lives of their customer base.
As brands pour money into the $8 billion influencer economy, unexpected strategies are proving successful and boosting the bottom line. There were 3.48B users on social media last year and the average social media user has 7.6 accounts that are active. An average social media user spends around 142 minutes a day scrolling different platforms – plenty of time for businesses to get in front of the eyes of potential customers and spread the message about their brand.
The role of social media in the fashion industry has only become stronger as the years have continued on. As even more users enter into the world of social media over the upcoming years, according to stats fashion companies are one of the biggest clients of social media tools. It will become even more vital for businesses to harness the power of different popular platforms in order to stay competitive and financially successful.
Benefits of Using Social Media In The Fashion Industry
The impact of social media on the fashion industry is undeniable. Since the boom of social media, businesses have started to recognize the many benefits of creating a voice for their brand and engaging with customers on popular social media platforms.
Some of the most impactful benefits of social media and digital marketing for fashion businesses include below:
• Manu Atelier
An influencer-editor gave Turkish accessories brand Manu Atelier its start in 2014. After Eva Chen, former editor of Lucky magazine turned Instagram’s head of fashion partnerships, shared an image of their Pristine bag that summer, top retailers from Selfridges to Net-a-Porter started stocking the bag, which sold out instantly. (The now-defunct Lucky was owned by Vogue Business publisher Condé Nast.)
Editors who represent well-known publications make for powerful partners, and not only because of the credibility they bring. They’re likely to have a relatively limited schedule and tend to be exposed to more brands. That translates into being more selective about the brands they work with.
Manu Atelier has a community of persons called #ManusPeople. The community includes LA-based art director Madelynn Furlong, Dutch Elle’s Yin Fung and Japanese DJ Mademoiselle Yulia.
Merve Manastir, who co-founded the Manu Atelier with her sister Beste commented about their community,
When we first launched shoes, stock ran out after a short while. The success was a result of keeping the right community since the beginning. There is a real relationship between us and them.
Because beauty trends move slower than fashion trends. So there should be a motivation to ensure there’s something new and fresh for fans to get excited about.
Binding campaigns with occasions and events, a digital campaign from Dior, for example, which was released specifically for Halloween. It was yet another to recognize and capitalize on the appeal of the model Bella Hadid. In a mysterious and surreal film, Hadid navigates a fantastical universe made up in three Dior beauty looks by makeup artist Peter Philips.
• Ted Baker
Ted Baker has a history of innovative and inspiring campaigns, including experiments with Instagram stories and a shoppable video directed by Guy Ritchie. For its spring/ summer campaign in 2017, Ted Baker pushed the boundaries even further with ‘Keeping up with the Bakers’ – an eight-part sitcom that played out episodically over Instagram. Users were encouraged to come back daily to partake in daily challenges which were released with each episode.
Alongside this, it also unveiled a 360 degree shoppable film, which allowed users to browse the Baker’s home and purchase items discovered there.With Ted Baker traditionally taking on a different narrative for each passing season, Keeping Up with the Bakers has certainly become a standout, creating a fully immersive world for consumers to explore.
• Tommy Hilfiger
By 2021, all of Tommy Hilfiger’s design processes — from sketching through sampling and showrooming — will be done with 3D design. The US label’s clothes will no longer be sketched on paper and iterated on physical samples before being sent to showrooms. Instead, the vast majority of its apparel will be all digital until it appears on the runway or is sold.
Tommy Hilfiger already uses the technology for 20 product categories, including knit dresses, polos, joggers, loungewear, jeans and outerwear. Men’s dress shirts for Autumn/Winter 2020 will be primarily 3D-designed. The PVH-owned brand will launch a capsule collection designed, developed and sold digitally, with products modelled on virtual avatars instead of models. (Customers will receive physical garments.) And by 2022, 3D-produced apparel styles will appear in more than 2,000 points of sale worldwide alongside physical products in stores.
The switch to all-digital production has been two years in the making. First, PVH developed a digital fabric, pattern and the color asset library, which provides digital raw materials that are used in the product creation process. The brand will use this library — created with proprietary in-house technology and modifying some existing programs — to design all 60,000 product options in 3D going forward.
Digital versions of luxury clothing are appearing in apps and video games as brands test consumer appetite for virtual styling app.
Drest, a fashion and styling app unveiled by former Porter editor Lucy Yeomans on Monday, invites users to dress photo-realistic avatars in styling challenges, then buy physical versions of those garments on Farfetch. The 75-person startup recruited 100 brands, including Gucci, Prada, Stella McCartney, Valentino and Burberry. Six Italian luxury brands signed up within half an hour of her pitching them, Yeomans says. A waitlist for early access to Drest opens today; the full launch is slated for 2020.
Louis Vuitton is also dipping its toes into digital fashion waters. Last week, it became the first luxury brand to partner with video game League of Legends by offering in-game “skins” and a corresponding capsule collection designed by Nicolas Ghesquière. And in June, Gucci linked up with augmented reality startup Wanna Kicks on an AR filter that lets users see how Ace sneakers look on their feet. Brands think that digital fashion — which appears only in images or videos — can potentially increase online engagement by mobile-first shoppers, provide consumer insights and generate revenue. For customers, digital fashion offers a fun way to experiment with clothing and share looks on social media.
Generated $4.4B in Chinese in 2018, livestream shopping intrigues customers they could inspect live and in 3D. As one of the H&M brands, Monki, co-creates their community and now bets on livestream shopping. It licensed technology developed by Bambuser, a Swedish start-up that has also developed livestream platforms for MTV to Lyko, the Nordic region’s largest beauty specialist. Bambuser’s services start from $39 a month, though it can also stretch into four figures.
Maryam Ghahremani, Chief Executive of Bambuser commented,
Interacting via livestreaming is what the younger generation already does. What we do is [allow] retailers to engage with their audience, the way they already interact with each other.
Livestream shopping builds on a decade-long history. Since the 1980s, US television networks like QVC and HSN have been broadcasting presenters who sell products from costume jewellery to pots to millions of homes globally. But they now have to transition to the age of online shopping: 66 per cent of QVC sales in 2018 were made in a mobile app. They are competing with platforms like Instagram and TikTok, where younger people spend more of their time.
If you’d like to know more, read about how to Initiate Your Own Fashion Content Marketing Agency and Digital Marketing for Fashion Brands.