In just a decade, social media has become a significant presence in our lives. Seventy-two percent of Americans use it on a daily basis and almost half check their social media accounts multiple times a day. Social media fulfills our desire to connect with people and get information about the things we care about—and that includes the latest fashion and beauty trends. Social has been a driving force in democratizing fashion and generating excitement around “see now, buy now” fashion shows…but does it really sell clothes?
Does Social Sell?
Although conversion rates for fashion brands on social are low, 47% of consumers have made a purchase because they saw it on social media. Consumers are using social to discover new brands through a brand’s content stream, via their favorite influencers, or as part of sponsored content on publisher feeds, but until recently most platforms haven’t offered direct-to-buy options. Last year, Facebook has amped up their e-commerce features including the introduction of Facebook Messenger chatbots which personalize the experience for the user and allow on-site purchasing. Instagram’s Shop Now feature allows customers to directly access product information and view the product display page for final checkout without leaving the app. Snapchat has also just introduced e-commerce through its Discover feed. As the lines between digital/social channels, shopping, and messaging begin to blur, it will become essential for brands to unify the channels to make the customer experience seamless.
Younger Consumers Are Social Shoppers
Retailers are still skeptical about social’s ability to convert, despite improvements in technology. But perhaps they should consider this before writing it off—24% of U.S. consumers 18-29 have bought something through a social link and 77% have used their cell phones to buy something online. In Southeast Asia, 30% of digital sales are predicted to come via social networks, mostly due to a youthful population and high adaptation of smart phones. As perceptions shift and younger consumers continue to adopt mobile and social commerce, brands will be able to to optimize conversion.
Shoppable Video: The Next Frontier
Video remains at the forefront of customer engagement and by 2020, it will likely account for 80% of total global internet traffic. Shoppable video highlights another opportunity for brands to showcase product interactively and add products to a shopping basket without pausing. Will it take off? Quite possibly! The British apparel brand Ted Baker saw success with a 19-week campaign that resulted in a 32% increase in sales and increased brand awareness.
Social Mirroring Shopper Behavior
Typically, shoppers don’t walk into a store in search of a sweater, pick up the first one they see, and buy it. Shopping is a much more nuanced experience that allows consumers to browse multiple products and brands, compare prices, and select the item that most appeals to them. Platforms like Pinterest and Instagram offer consumers the ability to save items under consideration and allows them to take the time to make a decision—a behavior that more closely reflects the way women shop.
Women’s Marketing offers clients exclusive insights into the way women discover, research, and shop while leveraging our expertise in a suite of marketing services. Contact us today to learn how we can help your brand optimize your social presence to reach your target customer.
Sources: L2 Interactive Shopping Technology Turns Latest Trend into Instant Money Maker December 2016, Internet Retailer Nearly All Americans Under 50 Are Buying Online December 2016, eMarketer Five Unexpected Stats About Social Media from 2016