The Future for Social Media in Fashion Retail
The trend for online shopping has created an apparent butterfly effect in recent months, as retail stores develop new forms of marketing specifically through social media strategies, to attract shoppers to their stores, and has consequently seen the market boom over the last few years.
Mobile apps for customers are now able to offer location based shop alerts, rewards and discounts, promote customer service, increase sense of intimacy and omnipresence, whilst encouraging loyalty and sales. Meanwhile online fashion pioneer ASOS’s Twitter and Facebook ‘Here to Help’ accounts encourage users to take customer service issues to these accounts, and away from the brands social media shop windows.
Pinterest may not at present have the tools to drive customer engagement that Facebook may have, but its visual orientation caters to fashion content perfectly. Tumblr is also a potentially ideal platform for fashion brands to blog. Topshop encourages fans to submit photos of themselves, and even has an in-house photographer who requests permission to capture their image for the site.
Do these other social mediums have the potential to drive significant loyalty? Or merely fuel fans desire to be ‘spotted’ to attract more customers? Designer labels including Alexander McQueen’s MCQ, use Tumblr to post campaign pictures, stream videos and offer a glimpse behind the scenes of the brand, giving customers exclusive content and a feeling of being involved, which is an incredibly effective tool to drive loyalty.
In the near future your average consumer will have many more options to browse and shop, in-store and online leaving them very much in the driver’s seat. It is worth bearing in mind too, that with such stiff competition now taking place, between brands in this social media frenzy, it is likely many will be left lagging behind the high-street giants, such as Marks and Spencer’s and TopShop in the incentives driven tug of war for consumer loyalty.