23/09/2014

By Carol Rashti, Marketing Director, Rakuten Marketing

As the Fashion Week frenzy dies down in London, it is important to discuss some of the prevalent digital trends of last week, and how they can be translated from the catwalk to the high street by marketers:

1. Turn social into sales

London Fashion Week dominated Twitter over the last fortnight, with figures showing almost 22,000 tweets for Burberry’s show, and hundreds of thousands on London Fashion Week. But it’s not only consumers who jumped on social media; Burberry was the first brand to pilot the Twitter ‘buy’ button with select garments straight from the catwalk, while Topshop used Instagram to deliver visual snapshots of the new line.

The ‘buy’ button on Twitter is only available to certain retailers at the moment and sponsored advertising on Instagram is even more exclusive, as the platform is rolling out sponsored posts for only businesses which already have a strong, engaging presence on the platform. However, there are still many ways for marketers and brands to capitalise on their social media presence to involve consumers and integrate social into marketing.

Online shopping is not as impulsive as it used to be, consumers go on a complex journey before committing to purchase. Marketers should ensure that they have a strong presence on social, but do not put shoppers off by providing irrelevant content.

By harnessing the social experience and providing interesting content such as dynamic ads and interactive content, marketers can connect with their consumers during the discovery phase of shopping while ensuring that social chatter around the retailer continually comes back to the brand.

2. Content draws in customers

A hot trend at LFW this year was the use of live streaming from the show to bring the catwalk to people’s homes. House of Holland even partnered with Metail to allow consumers to watch shows and try on the collection in real time.

While live streaming catwalks may be a niche offering for high end fashion designers, high street brands are also harnessing interactive content to inspire shoppers to make sales. The use of video is an excellent example of how marketers are blurring the lines between e-commerce and media, as increasingly, retailers are using this medium to engage consumers.

Visually stimulating audible content appeals to our senses, and as such, these forms of content are extremely successful at attracting potential customers to a page. The emergence of innovative content publishers, who are making this video and imagery shoppable, is shortening the path to purchase, and making the consumers experience with the brand, ever more engaging.

3. Bloggers mean business

If there’s one learning from London Fashion Week, it’s that bloggers mean big business. The ‘frow’ – historically filled with top designers, buyers and the models or celebrities ‘du jour’ – was this year host to more bloggers than ever. Topshop in particular harnessed the power of the blogger, by inviting the top 5 instagrammers to sit on the front row as they unveiled their Topshop Unique line.
It’s unsurprising that fashion brands have realised the value in engaging with the leading bloggers and the audiences they have carefully built up; these bloggers are both reporting on trends across the industry as well as setting trends themselves.

Building a partnership with a blogger can be a lucrative way of growing a customer base and driving sales. Brands should look to partner with a blogger which shares their personality, style and vision. These blossoming relationships provide bloggers with a way of monetising their blog, whilst providing brands with increased visibility on a relevant platform, that generates fruitful revenue.