Has the Social Media Influencer Impacted Fashion Ecommerce?
4 Minute Read
Imagine what the modern fashion industry would look like without the aid of ecommerce and social media influencer marketing…
As little as 10 years ago the fashion world was an exclusive industry, controlled by a small number of gatekeepers at the top. Creative directors would produce the trends and magazine editors would convey them to the public. The process was slow, decided by few and admired by many.
Then something started to change.
There was a surge in social media use and consumer purchasing habits began to alter. There was much more exposure to the latest trends which lead to a huge increase in demand. Ecommerce was anticipating the start of the ‘see now, buy now’ era.
This post will explore how the impact of the social media influencer and rise of ecommerce has affected the fashion industry. What can we learn from it?
The rise of Instagram
The rapid growth of social media platforms has had an irreversible effect on the way we interact and contribute to the fashion industry today.
Earlier this year, Instagram announced a monthly user count of over 1 billion. Yes, using Instagram allows marketers access to over a billion targets per month; even in the height of Vogue’s publications this reach couldn’t have ever been imagined.
With a surge in disposable content, weekly magazines do not fulfil the demand for ‘newness’. It was reported in 2017 that Look Magazine had faced a year-on-year decline in circulation of 37%. Is this evidence of why fashion marketing has shifted platforms?
Instagram is being used by marketers to create a greater reach through increasing its engagement. By bridging the gap between brand and customer, we can now release our own content such as sharing new products, conducting interactive polls and running competitions for followers. No longer do we require the aid of magazine publications.
With a quick search of ‘#LFW’ (London Fashion Week) on Instagram we can generate over 5.3 million related posts. The amount of interaction and contribution is huge, but generating engagement on Instagram doesn’t really mean much unless you can convert it into increased traffic and sales.
ASOS are doing great things on social. They convey a human personality through their brand image, transforming an authentic social presence into higher sales. ASOS crowdsource their social media content, posting images of buyers wearing ASOS clothing (these people vary from big influencers to those with a small following).
By showing an interest, customers feel more encouraged to wear ASOS clothes and post about them online. This method seems simple but effective, especially as ASOS revealed a 26% sales increase over the previous sales year. ASOS are able to gather free content, increase brand loyalty and generate exposure.
Social Media Influencer: The Rise of the Individual
We know social media influencers are the new big thing. Influencers can be used as a powerful tool to spread brand awareness to a loyal following. Choose the right one and a social media influencer can reach the niche audience you’ve been searching for. They can create that buzz that increases web traffic and converts it into sales.
In an open-field of opportunity your smaller brand could ride the benefits of a social media influencer.
Take GymShark for example. In 2012, Ben Francis was 19 when he founded Gymshark in his university flat. 6 years down the line the gym clothing company is valued at $128M and holds 2.5 million followers on Instagram. So, how did he achieve this success?
After spotting a gap in the market for stylish gym clothing, Ben produced a product range and began targeting fitness pages on Instagram. He’d go on to send out packages of his product range to influential pages because he knew that the audience would have a shared perspective and interest. This influencer marketing would naturally create a buzz and when the items became available to purchase, people flocked to his site.
See now, Buy now: Urgency in Ecommerce
It is difficult to say whether social media sites created an increased demand for new products, or was the underlying answer.
Back in 2016, Burberry altered the inner working of the fashion world when they announced that they would be cutting the four-month delay between the runway show and public release. This trend was a reaction to people’s unwillingness to wait for new products, and soon caught on. This taught us that consumer demand was growing, an opportunity for marketers to target a willing audience.
By providing customers more exposure to what is on the market, individuals are more influenced to consume than ever before. If you can personalise your Ecommerce site to improve your guests’ experience, you can encourage them to stay for longer and spend more. Product suggestions, related product, cart reminders… We are moving the ecommerce experience further towards resembling the human shopping experience, and people are loving it.
An Influencer Marketing World-First
With so much changing, it’s hard to imagine where we go from here. We believe influencer marketing and ecommerce will become even more closely aligned. And that’s why we’re about to launch a new tool that brings the social media influencer into the domain of the ecommerce site.
Shopcast allows influencer marketers (or in house experts) to broadcast their shopping trip live from your site, bringing along their legions of followers to shop alongside them. Being able to share outfit ideas, discuss products and promote new ranges enables influencers to drive more traffic and increase engagement.
The tool also allows people to interact with their friends through a pop up chatbox, comparing products and chatting together. You can sign up here for a free account, get in touch if you have any questions.
To Wrap It Up…
There has been a lot of change in the fashion industry over recent years, but that isn’t a bad thing.
Social media is the perfect tool to spread brand awareness, and convey some personality. People trust people, so don’t be afraid to test out a social media influencer who matches your brand identity – they already hold the target market you have been searching for.
Be open to new ideas and tools. Stay up-to-date with the latest marketing methods, you will be missing out on traffic and converted sales if you fall behind the rest of the scene.