Fashion Loyalty Programs Are Unique In Their Own Ways

by Grace Miller |

Fashion Loyalty Programs Are Unique In Their Own Ways

Fashion Loyalty programs

There is a lot of skepticism about the role of loyalty in the fashion business. However, many loyalty experts opine that fashion is one of the best industries where loyalty can be customized to the core and bring in phenomenal results. If done right, it can elevate your brand to unprecedented heights of customer engagement … Read more

Off-Price Apparel Loyalty Programs Aid Retention Amid Competition

off-price apparel loyalty

A buyer’s urge to have an item at the lowest possible price is as old as civilization. That’s why outlet-rich Las Vegas and many other cities in the USA are seeing people thronging at the off-price retail outlets. As saving has been valued equally by many, we are seeing a higher percentage of affluent consumers in that crowd. According to NPD Group Inc., a global information company, discount buyers are hardcore apparel purchasers and account for 75% of apparel purchases across all retail channels. It also found that off-price is second only to online in terms of growth rate. Shopping visits made to off-price retail stores- whether a consumer made a purchase or not- increased 4% in the year ending April 2016 compared with the same period the previous year.

It’s crystal clear that people want better deals and they know that they will find such deals in off-price outlets- not in department stores. Nordstrom’s last year’s move of opening up around 13 of its off-price Nordstrom Rack stores–compared to opening just one full-line Nordstrom store–must be viewed in this light. But how can sellers guarantee retention other than by offering the lowest prices or best selection? An off-price apparel loyalty program can remedy the situation.

Off-Price Apparel Loyalty Programs Capitalize on the Love of Markdowns

Remember that buyers of off-price apparel are price sensitive and they are heavily driven by the amount of money they save on each purchase. The other thing that catches their attention is a special offer. Loyalty programs let businesses–and shoppers–easily customize their offerings. This customization can be realized by rewarding frequent buyers or loyal customers by allowing them to have their next purchase at discounted rates or by giving them access to special offers.

Moreover, one study has also concluded that discounts are the most important features of any loyalty program. But as these are extremely price sensitive buyers, a value proposition needs to be a slightly different than the normal loyalty program. Customers should know how much extra discount they will get based on how much they spend. They would spend more or shop the same brand more regularly.

Also, the appeal of a markdown is a strong element in off-price apparel loyalty programs, as it gives a strong motive to the buyer to stay with the business. So much so that in many cases it has challenged the old wisdom of a loyalty program that it is only for heavy buyers. This study has found that the biggest increase in spending and purchase frequency among the program members was among light buyers. This is attributed to loyalty programs‘ ability to eliminate cherry-picking and to encourage cross-selling. Understandably, off-price apparel loyalty programs give a considerable stimulus in this sense.

Loyalty Programs Give Detailed Customer Insights

Every loyalty platform is a rich bank of valuable customer data. Over time, a company can reach the level where it can create a profile of each and every customer’s buying habits: what he buys and when, how full his basket is, how much he spends and how he pays. Companies can truly know their customers. Naturally, they can create entire marketing communication that revolves around their preferences, choices, habits and interests.

When your loyalty program offers enhanced data analysis and segmenting options, it’s even easier to upsell and cross-sell customers. An RFM dashboard–whose initials stand for the variables of recency, frequency, and monetary value–should be able to plug into your loyalty program to let you segment by variables inclulding:

  • RFM
  • Customer loyalty and advocate marketing data
  • Location of purchase or delivery
  • Type of product purchased
  • Interactions with the brand in-store, online, in-app, or on social
  • Any data imported from a client’s CRM, ERP, ESP, or personalization engine, among other third-party data sources

While off-price sellers are experiencing a boom right now, there is a limit to giving discounts, as they weigh on margins. Too much revenue may get skewed toward highly discounted items which will eventually have a negative impact on profits. The only way out is getting more and more purchases and repurchases. And considering the fact that a marketing industry survey found that 55% of people say that when choosing between two similar companies they will usually pick one with a loyalty program, an off-price apparel loyalty program.

The Virtual Changing Room: A New Need for Apparel Sellers?

virtual changing room

Buying clothes online has always been a leap in the dark. For most shoppers, it’s frustrating to see that the garment that dazzled them so much on the retailer’s website is too big or small, or just doesn’t look right. Return rates are as high as 30% to 40%, and 70% of returns happen due to wrong size. Apart from dissatisfied customers, it has a negative collateral impact on the financial health of the retailer. The loss gets compounded, as most of the retailers nowadays offer free shipping due to the sheer force of brute competition. That’s why retailers as well as etailers have believed that matters related to fit are way too important and can impact sales directly. They have tried hard to cut short the danger of returns through various ways. One such way, which is in accordance with the technology empowered era, is the virtual changing room. And it is quickly blurring the lines between online and physical fashion retail.

Certainly, many retailers have used this concept of the virtual changing room in various ways. In physical stores, virtual clothing can be superimposed onto the shopper’s image in a mirror-like screen. In this way, the virtual changing room eliminates the need to get undressed. For busy shoppers, this can be a much more enjoyable experience as they can try on more items in less time.

Similarly, Zugara, a virtual changing room technology company, offers Webcam Social Shopper software, which enables a shopper to use their webcam as “a magic mirror” to try on items virtually. Just like the in-store experience, a shopper can hold a dress in front of her. The mirror will immediately notify her about the rightness of the color and style of the dress as per her body style, skin tone and features. The interface is intuitively interactive with the built in gestures, motion and voice control. The software even allows her to take pictures and share with her friends.

virtual changing room

Looking at the sway of the mobile in online shopping, integrating virtual changing room tech in mobile infrastructure appears like the next step. Gap has just rolled out a new AR equipped Dressing Room app. Within the app–which was created by Google and Avametric–a shopper has to provide basic information like height and weight into the app. Once they select one of five body types, a virtual 3D model will appear by displaying how the garment will look on the shopper. If a shopper is satisfied, he can buy the item from the app.

Virtual Changing Rooms

Benefits of Virtual Changing Rooms

It’s clear that virtual changing room technology will benefit both etailers and retailers. The first direct and visible benefit is the novelty of such apps and rooms. Though they have been in use for some time, they are still not the norm. Their newness will not wear off that quickly. Obviously, they will be a key factor in attracting more shoppers. A 2015 report by Walker Sands confirms this claim, as it found that 35% of customers would shop more online if they were able to try items on virtually, rather than just see images of them.

But, these virtual trials will also pleasantly affect the inventory scenario of brick and mortar retailers. There is no need for them to carry clothes in all sizes, colors and patterns. The customers can simply “try on” the demo (virtually of course), customize their pick (say, Medium in Light Blue with contrasting trim) and place their order. The cost that requires to maintain the inventory in the form of storehouses and staff can be waived off (think of how Bonobos keeps costs low by stocking next to nothing in their stores). Thus, when looked at it from the long term view, it’s worth to bear the cost that is required for implementation and installation for virtual changing room tech. This cost analysis particularly holds true for in-store virtual dressing rooms.

The theoretical benefits of both the online and in-store virtual dressing rooms have already been transformed into real revenue for many retailers. Carrefour introduced the app that shared similarity with the Gap’s app as far as functionality is concerned. It saw its returns fall by over 30% whilst conversion rates were up by more than 23%.

But by no means has virtual changing room tech managed to keep the critics and cynics silent. They are more skeptical about the efficacy of online virtual dressing rooms. Marge Laney, CEO of Alert Tech, has no problem in welcoming it. But she has raised her concerns by saying, “No buying decision is final until the try-on has been completed, whether that’s in the fitting room or at home. AR can increase the fidelity of the online experience, but will never replace the actual try-on when the items are received.” That said, virtual reality and augmented reality aren’t the stuff of science fiction. The advancement may iron out the points which are making people like Marge Laney to look at such apps with a bit apprehension!

While virtual changing room technology is in its nascent form, it’s well-established that online sellers need engaging visual content to convert shoppers. Visual Commerce–including shoppable Instagram through Shoppic,me, shoppable multimedia user generated content displays, and more–is an excellent way of using this technology. Fill out the form below to learn more!

Where Black Friday Went Wrong: A Personal Take

fall path

Hi! I’m Eliza Fisher, Annex Cloud’s Marketing Strategist and Editor. I live and breathe retail, and I have tons of thoughts about how I, as a female millennial consumer and too-frequent online shopper, should be marketed to. For another blog post from my personal perspective, check out “I’m a Female Millennial and This is How eCom Sites Need to Market to Me.” Now here’s my take on how Black Friday went wrong, and what retailers can do to fix it next year.

Black Friday broke e-commerce records this year, with online sales up 21% year-over-year according to Adobe. Beyond that, mobile sales contributed to $1.2 billion of that on Friday the 25th alone. Needless to say, there’s a lot to celebrate here, and as I write this Cyber Monday is still in full swing, promising even more profit for thousands of businesses. Even sellers outside the US are benefiting, with spending and in-store traffic at UK chain stores up across the board.

Of course, all is not well in the land of pumpkin pie leftovers and 60% discounts. By now you’ve probably heard of the ransacked Nike store near Seattle.


In terms of metrics, the numbers aren’t very clear yet for in-store traffic in the US, but it looks like the overall trend is that online is “cannibalizing” in-store sales, and with good reason. Here’s where my story of where Black Friday went wrong starts.

Ulta Online: Not So Ultimate Beauty Deals

As you’re probably aware, many companies took the route of offering promotions all week long, or at least Thursday though Monday. Ulta Beauty, a large cosmetics retailer and arguably Sephora’s only real competitor, was one of them. I was perusing their online offers on Sunday morning, and found myself intrigued by some of them and baffled by others.

While some items were legitimately discounted, e.g. 30% off, many more were crafted for the upsell and had tons of preconditions. Buy one, get one 50% off; free gift with purchase; spend $35 on X brand and get a free sample…

Some of Ulta's Cyber Monday offers.
Some of Ulta’s Cyber Monday offers.

Some of the “free” gifts with purchase were so unrelated to the purchase it was almost laughable…

I suppose if you're in the market for a bathrobe it's a useful addition, though...
I suppose if you’re in the market for a bathrobe it’s a useful addition, though…

There was one very smart offer that I noticed, though: if you spent $75 with them on Cyber Monday, you qualified for a bag of samples. While beauty product samples can be totally free if you look in the right places, businesses like Birch Box and Ipsy have lasted for years on just them. Ulta’s offer is totally mindless, just a collection of minuscule-margin items of which I’d use about 50%, but it’s placed at just the right price point to tempt shoppers.

The main difference between this offering and the other ones mentioned are that this one is site-wide and doesn’t apply to a specific brand or product. It’s general enough to be vaguely useful.

ulta beauty bag

Despite my complaining here, I ended up putting about a dozen items in my cart on Sunday morning. They were mainly a combination of purely discounted products, as well as buy one get one 50% off deals on products I already use and know I’ll need to replace in the somewhat near future.

Because I’d already spent so much money on gifts for others and myself this past week, I decided to stave off the purchase, but ended up going to the closest Ulta store later that day. This is where their Black Friday went wrong to a whole new degree.

Ulta In-Store: Where Is Everything?

I went to Ulta’s store to try on products, which is one of the major limitations of beauty e-commerce. As soon as I walked in, I was struck by the towers of pre-packaged gift sets, which are generally not good gifts due to the smaller size of the products and the fact that you have less choice in what you get.

This set has a dozen different components, plus 10 different eye shadow colors and 3 shades of blush. For me, this is paralysis by choice.
This set has a dozen different components, plus 10 different eye shadow colors and 3 shades of blush. For me, this is paralysis by choice.

Really, they’re only good presents for (1) friends who legitimately love these sparkly gift sets (I don’t know very many), (2) people you don’t know very well, or (3) when the set happens to include or be based around a product you really believe in.

Other than these types of sets–and their “free” luxury bathrobes–Ulta’s store really didn’t have anything in the way of Black Friday discounts. I noticed a set of hand moisturizers from Bliss that I’d been eyeing online. It turned out they were twice as expensive in-store due to a seemingly misguided online-only special.

Beyond that, I was on the lookout for two products that they didn’t even carry in the store. I walked out after about 10 minutes, confused about why Ulta wouldn’t want to have a more exciting in-store experience that matched up more with its online presentation. Maybe their numbers will be fantastic, but this potential customer was disappointed.

Takeaways: Where Ulta’s Black Friday Went Wrong

In essence, Ulta’s missteps boiled down to two major factors. Their offers weren’t straightforward, and their in-store deals weren’t nearly as good as their online ones. Like I said earlier, perhaps the labyrinth of buy two get one free, free 5-piece travel set with $50 purchase, and so on attracts tons of shoppers who pay a little less attention to what they’re actually getting when they reach those purchase thresholds, or who just have more money to spend. For me, though, there are too many products but paradoxically too little choice and not enough value.

Furthermore, if Ulta’s aim is to drive online purchases over in-store ones, they’re probably doing a good job. However, if they’re concerned about foot traffic, it seems like a simple enough fix would be to at least get rid of the online-only promotions, if not to go further and heavily market exclusive in-store deals. While Black Friday went wrong for Ulta, I was impressed by certain other retailers’ approaches to it.

Where Black Friday Went Right

As both a consumer and a marketer, I was attracted to companies whose promotions fell into a variety of categories…

Cause-Based Marketing: You probably heard of how Patagonia donated all the proceeds of their Black Friday sales to grassroots environmental organizations. This is highly laudable and I’m positive that it boosted their social capital and trust factor, priming shoppers for future, full-priced sales with them.

Not all companies can afford to take this approach, though. I was struck by the amount of small- and mid-sized businesses that I follow who were practicing some sort of Good Karma Friday approach on a smaller scale. Many retailers were advertising that a smaller portion, usually 10%, of their profits were going towards the charitable organizations of their choice.

Milwaukee boutique and online retailer Bona Drag put their politics on their sleeve for Good Karma Friday.
Milwaukee boutique and online retailer Bona Drag put their politics on their sleeve for Good Karma Friday.

While this probably put off certain shoppers who don’t agree with the stores’ chosen causes, other consumers were definitely emboldened to spend more.

Straightforward and Sitewide Discounts: I also noticed a fair amount of sellers doing a very straightforward sitewide sale, often 20% to 30%. If I’m curious about a new brand, 20% may not be enough to fully pique my interest. However, if I’m already a loyal customer, this range of discount will assuredly motivate me to shop.

British fashion site ASOS did 30% off their whole site from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday. I’ve been buying from them for at least about 8 years, and at this point it’s a given that I’ll buy something from them any time there’s a sale. The selection is always spectacular, and I know I can find show-stopping clothing and shoes there. I actually ended up making two purchases this past weekend!

Direct-to-consumer beauty brand Glossier also had a sitewide sale, but only for 20% off. Loyalty definitely drew me in, as I like their products and think that they’re fairly priced even when they’re not on sale. However the biggest motivator here is that Glossier never, ever does sales.

Pure Necessity, With an Upsell: The only successful in-store shopping I did over the weekend was at Target. It’s right next to my local Ulta, and I wandered in there in search of beauty products after being so disappointed by them. While I would have made a certain amount of purchases at Target regardless of any promotions, I was definitely encouraged to buy more due to a 15% discount on all in-store purchases that day.

I wasn’t even aware of the promotion before I came in, but it’s one that I’m sure helped increase average order size at their brick-and-mortar locations. 15% is the sort of discount that usually doesn’t make a huge difference for shoppers at the end of the day, but it seems sizable enough to encourage additional purchases.

Furthermore, many people, despite having their smartphones with them at all times, aren’t great at doing the math for 15% off either in their head or on the go, so they don’t have a great understanding of how insignificant it is. And let’s be honest, I kind of fell for it!

Honorable Mention: Discounts for Buy Online, Pick Up In-Store: Last and pretty much least, Macy’s gets an honorable mention. My mom and I were looking at Tempur-Pedic mattress pads online on Friday, and they had the best price. Beyond that, they had an offer to take off an additional 20% if we picked up the mattress pad in-store. It seemed too good to be true, especially for a product that’s normally quite expensive. And, it was: It turns out that no Macy’s in Los Angeles had one in stock. Still, if this is cost-effective for your business’s logistics, it’s a really alluring offer for customers and could also prompt more in-store shopping.

Going back to our earlier topic of irrelevant gifts with purchase, though…My friend bought a Chloe perfume at Macy’s over the weekend and ended up getting a free…set of plates!

chloe gift with purchase

For more information on holiday 2016 shopping trends, check out Unwrapping What Millennial Holiday Shoppers Want in 2016, 6 Vital Holiday Retail Drivers for 2016and 5 Black Friday 2016 Trends that Retailers Need to Know. And when you’re planning for 2017, don’t forget about these guides!

Flaunt Your Advocates With Visual Commerce for Luxury Goods

visual commerce for luxury goods

Visuals are at the core of marketing efforts for countless luxury brands. Indeed, it’s a longstanding tradition for high fashion labels to have no copy–just their name–in print and digital ads. When you’re selling a product based on pure aesthetic appeal, quality, and aspirational qualities, imagery does what words will not. That’s why it makes perfect sense in this age of Instagram to use visual commerce for luxury goods marketing.

In essence, visual commerce is an umbrella term that includes, but isn’t strictly restricted to:

  • Accumulating user generated photos and videos from various social media platforms and using them in your marketing activities.
  • Creating interactive displays on your homepage, dedicated gallery pages, product pages, and more to give customers more context and a deeper appreciation for what they’re buying
  • Making your Instagram shoppable with a solution like

For a more comprehensive overview of visual commerce, check out our beginner’s guide to it!

neiman marcus vc

Now, after getting yourself acquainted with visual commerce, we can begin to discuss why exactly visual commerce for luxury goods is such a wise idea…

Visual Commerce for Luxury Goods: The Socio-Economic Aspect Of The Luxury Industry

Even though luxury commerce saw a bit of a standstill in last few years, that scenario is changing quickly. As per this Walker Sands report, this year saw a fourfold increase from just two years ago in terms of the number of consumers who say they’ve purchased a luxury item online (27 percent in 2016, compared to just 6 percent in 2014). That number is also up from just 10 percent in 2015. This means that there’s little consumer apprehension in buying luxury goods online. No wonder then that McKinsey predicts that sales of luxury goods could triple to €70 billion by 2025.

If you distill these numbers under the process of analysis, you will get to know that there is a tremendous potential for luxury sales- including both the online, offline, and omni-channel ways. Naturally, the less powerful ray is also pointing to the fact that to tap that high-seismic potential, the buyers of this niche market need to be engaged with all of your activities. And that’s where visual commerce for luxury goods shines.

Content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without relevant images. Besides, the intrinsic appeal of luxury goods, regardless of their segments, lies in their visual beauty, which makes the images their lifeblood. Their look, design, and elegance make them what they are. Clearly, the visual way is the best-suited way for luxury goods to cast their spell on the minds and hearts of shoppers.


Also remember that the same report also said that 76% of the surveyed people said that they’d be open to purchasing luxury goods on any channel (in-store, online from a brand or third-party retailer). Visual commerce can help you on that front too, as you can ask your customers to share their photos or videos and you can curate them to put them all across your stores.

Our post about reusing your user generated content has a thorough list of where you should use your valuable customer photos.

Visual Commerce for Luxury Goods: The Availability of Platforms

As we have already discussed that the very nature of luxury goods is visual, the platform where they could be marketed should also be a visual one. Thus, it’s hard to think any other social media platform than Instagram for luxury goods. And it has already proved effective as it’s an ideal for an “evolved form of window-shopping.” People just scan their feeds and the moment they see a smashing product with a dazzling look, they go for it. The point here is people love to look pictures of a beautiful product. From the popularity of influencers to accounts like “Rich Kids of Instagram,” it’s clear that Instagram is a huge stage for luxury goods.

That doesn’t mean, though, that you shouldn’t explore other channels when you’re marketing your visual content–whether it’s generated by your brand or by your customers. Snapchat is another important channel. Fendi recently did a large coordinated Snapchat campaign, while Burberry did a huge social push for its Spring/Summer 2017 show.

Visual Commerce for Luxury Goods: Monetization Possibilities 

Remember, the very lifeblood of visual commerce is beautiful imagery combined with heightened opportunities for sales. Visual commerce for luxury goods is all about taking advantage of shoppers’ piqued interest and translating that into clicks and conversions.

One way of doing this on Instagram is through It’s a straightforward way of monetizing your Instagram following by getting a mobile gallery that links out to your product pages. It requires no implementation time and directly measures the sales outcome of your social marketing efforts. Joe’s Jeans is using it to full effect.

The gallery for Joe's Jeans. Each image links mirrors the brand's Instagram, and links out to the specified product page.
The gallery for Joe’s Jeans. Each image links mirrors the brand’s Instagram, and links out to the specified product page.

I believe that videos are also well-suited for this sort of shoppable content. The rationale here is that videos are the highest engagement generator when compared to images and written content. Second, it’s much easier for videos to make the product look aspirational via knitting a story around it. Amidst the dwindling attention spans of people, this is the best available solution to make your product desirable. And once customers are pushed to the threshold of a purchase decision, by making the video shoppable, you are giving an option to your customer to cross that threshold. That’s the main reason why today videos are moving from a mere passive brand awareness to an active sales channel.

We recently did a post on a shoppable video that Ted Baker did that was intertwined with its in-store window displays.

Thus, after analyzing all the scrutiny that I have done till now in this blog, it’s quite safe to say that visual commerce is perhaps the most natural choice for the marketing endeavors of luxury marketers. The reach, the nature of the products, the availability of visual platforms to support its launching and implementation, and the proven methods of monetization are enough to suffice the mettle of my claim. At least I don’t have even an iota of doubt in my mind!

For more guidance on visual commerce, don’t miss these guides!

Survey: 60% of UK Buyers Rely on Fashion E-Commerce Reviews

fashion e-commerce reviews

The dynamics of e-commerce are incomplete without user generated content (UGC). Ratings and reviews  is one of the older forms of UGC and thus the most indispensable. They boost conversion and are also a great way to enhance customer interaction and loyalty as well. This is particularly true for fashion e-commerce reviews.

A recent survey conducted by Populus found that 60% of UK internet users say their fashion purchase decisions are influenced by online reviews. In fact, the power of ratings and reviews, which is huge and prevalent, will get underlined every time such surveys hit the public domain. But this particular survey touched some other un-ignorable points.

uk fashion reviews

As you can see, the survey clearly indicated the dwindling impact of TV ads and retailer emails when we compare them with the impact of fashion e-commerce reviews. The trouble with TV and even online ads is that they’re good only in entertaining people. The over-the-top claims and high-gloss make it almost impossible to make those ads reliable. Shoppers want real people in real life situations explaining the worth of the product…just like ratings and reviews. The fact that the use of ad blockers is all time high explains what’s exactly is wrong with such ads. People can’t be fooled all the time!

The following stats will further illustrate why fashion e-commerce reviews are so vital.

  • Over 50% of shoppers read reviews before buying online.
  • 54% of millennial shoppers read online reviews before shopping in stores.
  • 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends.
  • 72% of shoppers say that positive reviews make them trust a business more.
  • Only 10% of consumers don’t take any notice of online reviews.
  • 18.27% stated that a single positive review was the reason for buying a product.
  •  74% of consumers identify word of mouth as a key influencer in their purchasing decision.

The significance of ratings and reviews lies in the fact that they act as social proof. When more and more people are sharing good reviews about your product or customer service, you gain legitimacy. In short, reviews are a trust indicator which helps in building positivity towards your brand. I think Mark Hayes of Shopify has succinctly placed this point with utter clarity. He noted:

“The increasing prevalence of phishing scams, malware, and just plain shoddy customer service makes consumers more wary with their clicks than ever before – which means that trust indicators on your website are more important than ever before.”

Note: Ratings and reviews may seem straightforward, but it takes guidance and effort to make the most of them. Read on for more help!

Curious about implementing other types of user generated content for your fashion site? Don’t miss out on our guide, Sell Experiences, Not Clothes: Visual Commerce and the Fashion Industry!

Topshop’s Success: A Collaborative Journey

The journey of Topshop, a British multinational fashion retailer, from a humble beginning as an extension of the department store Peter Robinson in the 1960s to the current valuation of more than £2 billion with 500 shops worldwide is absolutely fascinating. It was really beyond anybody’s thought that one high street fashion retailer will cast such an everlasting and all-encompassing spell on fashionistas all across the globe. Here’s our take on Topshop’s success through marketing with tech, social media, and, of course, Beyonce.

Critics have tried to mar Topshop’s success by saying that it’s all about copying runway designs and offering them in a low-cost alternative. But one has to understand that if fashion is a form of art, it will naturally have the power to influence the imagination. Besides, even if we concede to what critics are saying, there are many other brands who have been doing what Topshop is being accused of. But not all of them have become Topshop. It’s evidently clear that there is something more and different than others that has constituted Topshop’s success. We will try to figure out those “more and different” elements.

Topshop’s Success: The Y Quotient

Topshop has always been a brand full of youthfulness. It was of a paramount importance not to lose that youth quotient. Consequently, they undertook few initiatives which in hindsight can be considered as masterstrokes. In 2002, they began sponsoring the British Fashion Council’s Newgen initiative. The idea was to enable young and budding designers with financial support to both produce and show their collections.

A handful of Topshop's Newgen collaborators.
A handful of Topshop’s Newgen collaborators.

Furthermore, in 2003, it began sponsoring Fashion East, a nonprofit initiative that acts as something of an unofficial link between London’s famous fashion colleges and the Newgen scheme. Topshop developed strong relationships with these young and talented designers. It slowly took the form of designer collaborations as Topshop began working with them professionally. Being young, those designers understood accurately what catches the pulse of young people…and soon they began to design what resonated perfectly well with a hip, young crowd. The logic behind these collaborations became clear when Sheena Sauvaire, the then-chief marketing officer of Topshop, said,

“We thought we could partner designers, and they could design for us, producing collections that are going to resonate with our customers. We can provide a platform through our many, many stores to raise their brand awareness, as well as helping them with the cost of producing their own-label collections.”

Topshop supported the now-renowned designer Christopher Kane when he was just getting started, producing several lines of clothing with him.
Topshop supported the now-renowned designer Christopher Kane when he was just getting started, producing several lines of clothing with him.

Indeed, it was a clear cut win-win situation. Various young designers got a chance to showcase their talent and Topshop got its way through that talent to cater to what the youth of the day demanded.

Speaking of marketing to young shoppers, check out this blog: I’m a Female Millennial and This is How eCommerce Sites Should Market to Me!

Topshop’s Success: An Emphasis on Omni-Channel and In-Store Differentiation

Compared to competitors like ASOS, Topshop doesn’t dominate the online sphere. It’s been relatively slow to enhance its site and it simply doesn’t have the sort of fulfillment capabilities that ASOS has. It’s likely that this digital lag is part of the reason why Topshop has focused more heavily on its omni-channel and in-store capabilities. Read our breakdown of ASOS’s success here! The truth is, even though omni-channel is the buzzword today and everyone knows what it means, very few businesses have been able to implement it with a real killer effect. Topshop was certainly one among those rare businesses. And a surprising fact is they began with an old-school method: tri-weekly. topshop tri Topshop’s success here was dependent on its huge customer base that’s always ready to pounce upon the cutting edge retail and beauty trends. Through its tri-weekly, Topshop began to send out emails, which had the right amount of clear, beautifully visual information along with the direction of the website via some clearly sign-posted call-to-actions. Customers just had to go through the enormous collection of fashion items. Topshop enabled its users to save their selections on the wish list section of the website. Those online offerings were efficiently backed up by the live experience of the physical store. If Marketing Magazine is to be believed, this omnichannel strategy was also one of the main reasons why Topshop reported a doubling of digital sales between 2014 and 2015. We don’t have to scratch our heads why Topshop was voted the UK’s best omnichannel retailer last year.

One of Topshop's in-store photo booths.
One of Topshop’s in-store photo booths.

Furthermore, Topshop’s team has been effective at turning their stores into more than just places to buy clothing and accessories. Through tactics like in-store photo booths, DJs, and personal shoppers, Topshop has turned their properties into places to socialize and discover new things.

Topshop’s Success: Marketing Through Tech

Those who work in the field of digital marketing will realize that all their marketing efforts must lead to a campaign which is immersive, impactful and novel. That’s where virtual reality (VR) steps in to fill that glaring gap between exception and actual execution. Topshop presented a unique front-row view of their exclusive fashion runway show during London Fashion Week in autumn of 2014 using a 360 panoramic video stream. Very few, who were lucky enough, had the opportunity of experiencing this in a special pop-up space in Topshop’s flagship London store. To heighten the excitement of people, Topshop also added behind the scenes footage.

Indeed, it was a great example of how technology can be used to give one-of-its-kind experiences to the people coupled with substantial buzz about it in the market. The results of this noteworthy campaign just proved that!

Topshop’s success in the experimental tech space has continued afterwards. Most recently, their team has started experimenting with wearables and smart clothing.

Topshop’s Success: A Pioneering Use of Pinterest

Even today, for most brands, making Pinterest shoppable equals to integrating a ‘Pin It’ button. Topshop was the pioneer in breaking that cocoon of old thought with its in-house developers by creating a “Pinterest Palette”.  Due to this, Pinterest users now can sign into and see their boards and pinned items to create a color palette based on them. Topsho’s website then will recommend ranges of clothes based on the colors people prefer. Clearly, it is addressing the valid issue that color does play a huge role in people’s choice of a particular item.  People pin without thinking about color trends in what they are sharing. But this palette will allow customers to make decisions as per their personal style and taste. It works in three simple steps…

topshop pinterest

Topshop’s Success: Hashtags, #Obviously

Of course, the use of hashtags is so commonplace nowadays that it cannot be called something new and revolutionary. But what you do with them and how you implement them can be a real differentiator. Along with the fact that Topshop was the only high street brand to show at London Fashion Week, the show was notable due to Topshop’s clever use of the hashtag.

During London Fashion Week 2015, Topshop joined hands with Twitter and launched the #LIVETRENDS real-time campaign where billboards were set up in major UK cities, each near a Topshop store. Based on the plethora of tweets, Topshop pinpointed which trends were most popular and it recommended collections available in stores that customers could purchase right away. This was the first time a brand had used real-time trends data to inspire and curate a customer’s shopping journey using outdoor digital media.

As TopShop captured the basic need of urgency, which people often display when it comes to buying fashion, by telling them about new trends and making them available immediately. With this, the time gap between desire and its fulfillment was ridiculously narrowed down. Naturally, results were spectacular. RESULTS:

  • 3.8 + million customers engaged using #LIVETRENDS
  • 75% sales uplift on featured products
  • 11:1 return on its investment
  • Awarded the Out of Home and Integrated Campaign at the 2015 CLIO Image Awards
  • Awarded Digital Marketing Campaign of the Year at the 2015 B&T Retail Week Tech & eComm Awards

Topshop’s Success: Celebrity Collaborations

Topshop’s success in recent years has been linked to a handful of extremely high-profile celebrity collaborations. From Kate Moss to Kendall and Kylie Jenner, these varying global personalities have brought new shoppers into Topshop’s fray.

One notable example was Beyoncé’ and her Ivy Park line of athletic apparel. After weeks of promotions, the debut of the line broke Topshop’s website and sold out rapidly. In the teaser video, one can clearly see that Topshop gave full creative freedom to Beyoncé and it has paid off!


Topshop’s Success: Making Instagram Shoppable 

500 million users, and with 1.6 billion likes and 95 million photos and videos shared every day! And now think about how beautiful imagery is, in many ways, the lifeblood of successful e-commerce. There is hardly any doubt that fashion retailers and Instagram were destined to be besties.

But before tools like, Instagram was much more difficult to sell from due to its one-link-only policy. That’s why even if you saw a shirt that you wanted to buy in your Instagram Feed, the only way to buy it was to go to that brand’s website and look for that shirt. Too time-consuming! But Topshop knew the harm of ignoring the potential of Instagram. It found a simple solution. It included product reference numbers in any posts that feature products available on the site.

topshop instagram
Without a doubt, it made it easier for people to discover the products on the website that they want to buy. Needless to say, it generated enough talks on Topshop’s Instagram account. It was a bonus…an added benefit!

In A Nutshell- If you look closely at all the points that I have discussed, you will realize that there is hardly anything that is really innovative apart from its use. Pinterest was always there. Businesses’ thoughts never went beyond integrating its Pin button to make it shoppable. But Topshop came up with its Palette. The same can be said about hashtags. People have been using them for a long time. But Topshop saw an opportunity in it to convert it into real-time trend data. Similarly with Topshop’s celebrity and designer collaborations, these talents existed before, but Topshop had the foresight, network, and resources to help everyone profit. It’s a valuable lesson…if you can’t innovate anything on your own, at least find innovative ways to make better use of other people’s innovation!

Note: Topshop is not the only major retailer whose success story we have chronicled. Click here for our dissection of ASOS’s strategies, and don’t forget to read about Michael Kors’ successful marketing tactics either!

Referral Marketing for Fashion Companies: One Size Doesn’t Fit All

referral marketing for fashion

Referrals have always worked almost in all industries simply because unlike any marketing email from some unknown company, they come from someone who knows you. Naturally, there is no lack of authenticity about it…and that’s 84% of shoppers trust referrals. And referral marketing for fashion businesses makes perfect sense. When you see friends wearing an elegant jacket, or cool sunglasses, how many times have you asked them “where did you get that?” When you implement referral marketing for fashion sites with robust software, you’re systematizing that word of mouth magic.

The basic reason behind this questioning is fashion is highly aspirational. As soon as someone is wearing something nice, their friends want to know where they’ve gotten their clothes from. Referral marketing for fashion companies does the same thing. It allows you to tell your closely related people to buy from a particular shop. And that’s why fashion industry and referral are the natural partners, as they both live and grow on the principle of virality.  The following graph shows how beneficial referral marketing for fashion companies has been.

referral increase chart

On a more granular level, our latest case study shows that our Sharing and Referral and Social Login solutions grew a footwear client’s email list by 20% and boosted orders by 38% over a year! The seller, Vivobarefoot, saw a 10:1 ROI.

That aside, referral programs are not just about creating a reward structure, promoting it and rewarding people for referring your brand to their friends. That’s just the basic outline. Lots of factors need to be scrutinized before and while implementing it. To make sure that the referral program will work for you in a respectable manner, you will have to mull over two main aspects. They are the keystones- almost like ideological building blocks of a referral program. They are as follows-

Referral Marketing for Fashion Businesses: Make People Talk About Your Program

Your Refer a Friend program cannot help your brand if consumers don’t know about it. Promote it extensively on social media, on your site, in emails, and elsewhere.

Society 6, for example, sends dedicated emails.


You don’t necessarily have to make the referral program the main focus of every post or email–your messages can be about your brand’s attributes like trendiness, value, quality, timelessness, or your excellent customer service. Just make sure to mention the program, too!

If you are still not able to figure out about the topic that you want to make viral on social media, you can take help of A/B testing. You can try various topics to analyze which topics are resulting in more discussions about your referral program or you can see which topics are making people share your referral program on their own profiles.

For more tips on promoting your referral program, check out our white paper, “The Step-by-Step Guide to a Powerful Referral Program!”

Referral Marketing for Fashion Shoppers: Ask Them At the Right Time 

When is the right moment to ask a customer to share your fashion brand? Our experience says that it is when the customer is at the point of greatest delight, i.e., right after they’ve placed an order on the post-purchase page, and then right after they open up their package. For in-store shoppers, the peak delight occurs right after the purchase.

Remember that marketing is all about timing. Your customer has placed an order after doing their research and  going through various questions and answers forums. Similarly, there is a human tendency that makes them talk about their recent purchase. Don’t you see that people post on Facebook about their buying a new TV or car? It’s just in accordance with that tendency. Thus, it’s perfectly logical to ask your customers to share their purchase with their friends. It has the benefit of a good volume of traffic too.  This is useful for AB testing the elements of your referral offer.

In A Nutshell…

People want to know where their friends are buying clothes and accessories. Referral marketing for fashion sites makes this possible on a wide scale. Remember that there are many details of your referral program to customize and test, as highlighted in our post about A/B testing. Additionally, refer a friend programs don’t have to be online-only! There are many ways give them a robust in-store element. We care about the safety of referral programs too. This blog will help you in avoiding possible referral program fraud.

Snapchat Fashion Marketing: Fendi Gives More Life To Snapchat Stories

Snapchat Fashion Marketing

Whether it’s the use of drones to show its catwalk fashions or having its models walk on water to mark its 90-year anniversary, Fendi, the Italian high fashion brand, always knows how to market itself differently.  Currently, the fashion house is subverting things by taking content from Snapchat–which is famous for disappearing within 24 hours–and giving it a longer life. This Snapchat fashion marketing campaign is using Fendi’s website as a content hub for users to explore and be inspired.

Fendi’s Snapchat fashion marketing endeavor is called its “Snapchat Tour.” The brand is recording all the big events associated with it through the prism of influencers’ eyes. Fendi is such a huge brand that its events happen in many cities all across the globe. In each city, the brand has used influencer takeovers to let popular Snapchatters become the voice of the account. For example, it asked South Korean blogger Irene Kim to document its Peekaboo Auction in Seoul, South Korea in November 2015. There are other events too- the opening of Fendi’s Roman Palazzo, fashion shows, its 90th anniversary, and advertising shoots are a few to name.

Instead of giving a life of 24 hours to all these photos and events, Fendi wants to enhance the reach of that content to more and more people by giving it permanence. This Snapchat fashion marketing campaign then compiles all of its Snapchat Tour stories in one place. With the help of a digital map, consumers can explore all the main events via its website.

Fendi Snapchat

As you can see in the image, the hub will play the content vertically along with the countdown in the upper right-hand corner. To go to the next piece of content, the user just has to click on the video box. Of course, the need to differentiate its social presence is only one of the key reasons why Fendi is doing Snapchat fashion marketing campaign.

It’s not a secret that there is a tremendous curiosity in the minds of ordinary customers about the behind-the-scenes of any popular and influential fashion show. With documentation by expert influencers, users have a chance to peep into the internal and intimate environment of fashion shows which is often hidden from customers’ eyes. Naturally, this assures a higher level of engagement.

The second, and perhaps the most important reason for Fendi’s style of Snapchat fashion marketing is the acknowledgment of the power of user- generated content and influencer-generated content. In the past, Fendi experienced how much impact influencer testimonials had on its sales. This sort of a content is too valuable to be alive only for 24 hours. Moreover, there are all the chances that people might miss the snap due to its short digital life. Thus, there has to be some alternative way where people can see those beautiful and influential stories. This Snapchat Tour is that alternative.

To Conclude… Every marketer is using a variety of social media platforms to be in front of consumers’ eyes all the time. But that’s hardly a trend now…it’s a need. But from now on what is going to matter is how you use it. How are you going to customize it to suit your marketing requirements? I think Fendi has answered this question by challenging the basic ephemeral nature of Snapchat Stories.

Indeed, Snapchat, which is going through lots of changes, is an exciting platform to follow and analyze. We recently discussed how they’re developing a more personalized form of Snapchat Stories. Don’t forget to read this blog either to know which new ad targeting tools it is going to use in the future.  

Footwear Marketing Update: Zappos and Aldo Enhance Loyalty, CX

footwear marketing

The shoe industry, in fact, the fashion industry as a whole, is revamping itself to be as close to the needs and requirements of customers as possible. Two of the biggest players in the shoe game are making big changes. Let’s take a look at these developments in footwear marketing.

Zappos Launched Its First-Ever Loyalty Program 

zappos loyalty

Zappos, an online shoe and clothing retailer, rolled out its first-ever loyalty program called Zappos Rewards. Considered by many as Zappos’ latest effort to wow its customers, it’s free to join. This reward program is a progression-based one and it has a four-tier structure.

The program offers rewards for writing a review and logging on to across devices. There are three ways to earn points:

  • 10 points for every dollar spent on a purchase;
  • 50 points for logging onto on any device (limited to one login per day);
  • 100 points for writing a review.

Points can be applied toward Zappos Rewards codes, which can be applied toward future purchases on

As we have mentioned, there are four tiers in the program: Silver, Gold, Platinum, and an invite-only Elite tier. Regardless of your current tier status, you will get free, expedited shipping, as well as a dedicated Zappos Rewards customer support line.


Zappos Rewards

As you can see in the above image, this program is also offering free two-business-day and free one-business-day shipping on all orders with no membership fees or minimum order values. Zappos is claiming that it is the only retailer to offer it. When asked about this shipping thing,

Kedar Deshpande, director of marketing at, said that it was necessary to differentiate his footwear marketing loyalty program from many other programs which are same in many ways. He also said, “We pride ourselves on fast, reliable shipping and wanted to give Zappos Rewards members free two-business-day and free one business day shipping on all orders as they make their way through each tier.”

Their customer-centric footwear marketing doesn’t stop there. To create the much-needed buzz around the new launch of this loyalty program, randomly selected 1,000 customers and delivered them one item from their “Favorites Wishlist.” For a narrow time window, existing customers will also get a $15 Zappos Rewards Code when they join the program.

We’re fans of Zappos’ plan because it rewards shoppers for engagement as well as for purchases, which is a proven way to boost repeat purchase rate and AOV. Get all the stats about how helpful this mix of advocate marketing strategies–like rewarding review submissions and site visits–with loyalty really is with our white paper, Advocate Loyalty: A Four-Point Strategy.

Aldo Elevates Its Footwear Marketing with Customer-Centric Data

Aldo Elevates Its Footwear Marketing

To cure the problem of the declining footfall in its stores, Aldo, a worldwide chain of shoe and accessory stores, moved onto the next stage of its digital transformation by singularly focusing on the consumer data. And there is a reason behind it. According to the 2015 Connected Shopper Report, 82% of consumers begin their journeys online, and the majority of those consumers end their journeys in a physical store. What it implies is that now there is no single channel anymore through which customers interact with your brand or know about your brand. The digitalization coupled with the ubiquity of mobile has changed the very dynamics of customer journeys and thus it becomes extremely important to have a complete analysis of their online as well as offline activities.

Specifically for the above-mentioned reason, Aldo used Salesforce to further personalize its omnichannel In the words of Patrik Frisk, CEO of The Aldo Group, “The solution enables us to take the information we have about the 200 million customers that walk through our stores each year and provide one-to-one journeys — no matter what the media or communication platform”.

And really, he was right in his assessment. Customer service agents were able to quickly go through and access shopper data, find answers and respond to questions faster. Besides, it enabled them to provide personalized service via phone, chat, email and social media.

Clearly, the success story of Aldo is a hint towards the fact that it’s just not enough to have the omnichannel approach only in terms of marketing and ways of interaction. The 360-degree view is essential in gathering customer data too. Hence, collect customer data in all possible ways…you can do a lot with it!

Zappos’ rolling out of a first-ever loyalty program reaffirms that loyalty programs are still relevant and are extremely important. To know how much impact loyalty program can exert on your business, I suggest you carefully go through this blog. And in this blog, we have explained how our carefully devised loyalty solution actually works.

Similarly, just like Aldo, you can make better use of customer related data, which you collect through various activities. Want to know how? This blog is the answer.   

Finally, take a look at how Sharing and Referrals can take footwear marketing to the next level in our most recent case study, in which Vivobarefoot got a 10:1 ROI and a 38% increase in orders in just a year!

Michael Kors’ Marketing Success Story

Michael Kors' Marketing Success Story

The past years have been incredible for the team at Michael Kors. They’ve grown their revenue by more than $3 billion, and they’ve grown net income by more than 500%. What’s their secret? Well, for starters, Michael Kors’ marketing team has undertaken several incredibly noteworthy campaigns. Let’s take a look at some.

Features of Micheal Kors Marketing Strategy

The HENRY Effect
Michael Kors’ marketing seems to target HENRY (“High Earners Not Rich Yet”), consumers. These are the people who make between $100,000 and $250,000. This segment is increasing steadily not just in the USA, but all across the globe. Even after admitting the fact that HENRYs individually have a far lower spending threshold than ultra-affluents, there are 13 HENRY households for every ultra-affluent. That is why with a total of 22.3 million households, the HENRY segment is a critically important part of the consumer market. With $550 handbags and $350 watches, Michael Kors is becoming a better choice for HENRYs, as they can flaunt it without putting too much burden on the pocket.

Instagram Marquee Ads
In 2015, Michael Kors became the first brand to use Instagram’s new Marquee video ads. It created 3 videos for its Marquee campaigns starring Lily Aldridge walking, shopping, eating, and cycling around beautiful Paris to showcase the various shoes and their versatility from Michael Kors Jet Set 6 Collection.

 Michael Kors Instagram                               Michael Kors Instagram videos featuring model Lily Aldridge

After this campaign, the brand forged a partnership with Instagram and Facebook to create a custom audience of the hundreds of thousands of Instagram users who saw the Marquee ad. With the help of Facebook, those customers were targeted. It drove 200,000 people to the Michael Kors’s website over a 30-day period. Not just that…it enhanced the traffic to its Jet Set and shoe product pages by 2.6 times.

#WhatsInYourKors Campaign
In 2013, Michael Kors came up with a digital media campaign with the help of Twitter and Instagram under the title “What’s In Your Kors?” The idea of the campaign was simple- based on its accessory base, Kors invited fans to accessorize their wardrobe for the upcoming holiday and summer season. They asked followers and fans to upload photos of what they’re carrying around in their beloved handbags.

whats in your kors

This was a great early visual user generated content campaign that really tapped into the individuality of each Kors customer. An interesting thing to note here is that they used the same hashtag alongside style tips and advice. If you want to learn how to recycle the unique hashtag for a long term social media campaign, this is perhaps the best example. If you want more advice on picking the right hashtag for your UGC or visual commerce campaign, check out this post.

Mother’s Day Contest
In 2012, Michael Kors’ marketing team rolled out a campaign called “What She Wants” for Mother’s Day. Though it was integrated with Facebook, it was the first time that the brand made its campaign mobile-compatible. The idea was to reach out to daughters in need of last-minute gifts, affluent consumers who are also mothers, and aspirational consumers who want to win products. The entire content was located on the Facebook app and consumers were able to win one item chosen by Mr. Kors from the summer collection each day for the next 13 days leading up to Mother’s Day.

michael kors mothers day

It worked in a simple way. A countdown to Mother’s Day appeared on the page Friday and told consumers that they can return on Monday for the sweepstakes. The brand also sent an email featuring a campaign slogan. Users were directed to the Mother’s Day section of the ecommerce site after they had clicked the email. Besides, The Michael Kors Twitter account was using the hashtag #WhatSheWants to stimulate a conversation. For example, @MichaelKors tweeted, “Mother’s Day is just around the corner! Get her #WhatSheWants!” and linked to the ecommerce site. That wasn’t the end of the campaign…all the Mother’s day products were displayed on a Pinterest board named What She Wants.

Jet Set Campaign
As everyone on the earth knows that China is a huge market, each and every big name wants to have a presence there. Michael Kors just followed that trend. In 2014, Michael Kors opened its first flagship store in Shanghai, and the brand developed a campaign around the event called “Jet Set Experience”. To create noise around this campaign, Michael Kors started to post content related to travel on Sina Weibo. Then they built the entire contest around WeChat and Sina Weibo to upsurge the interaction with users. Once they established enough dialogue with the masses, they collaborated with the prestigious fashion magazine called Elle China. Along with that, it also created alliances with many social influencers to get the base of credibility. To make better use of those influencers, the luxury brand also created microsites where influencers could show their versions of the jet-set lifestyle. To make it aspirational, which should the main goal of any contest, users had the chance of attending the Jet Set event.

#MKTimeless Contest
In August 2012, Michael Kors’ marketing strategy included a two-week contest on Instagram, asking users to share pictures of their favorite Michael Kors watch with the hashtag #MKTimeless. The winner got a limited edition watch. But this time, Michael Kors integrated Tumblr as well in its campaign. The user-generated images were called “Arm Parties” and they acted as an inspiration board for enthusiasts looking for accessory styles and ideas.

michael kors arm party

Michael Kors Marketing Popular On Social Media

Even without a Tumblr account, a user was able to participate by using the hashtag #MKTimeless on Instagram. Besides, Michael Kors continuously reblogged content found on other blogs on the site to further attract the Tumblr community. The tiles were seven across and laced with a quote by brand founder, Michael Kors.  Mr. Kors’ quotes revolved around watches and accessorizing with jewelry. The results of the campaign were more than satisfactory.

  • 50% growth in followers of the brand’s Instagram account
  • Over 6,800 user-generated photos submitted with hashtag #MKTimeless
  • 3,000 entries submitted within the first 24 hours of the contest
  • A brand Facebook post with the contest rules received 19,000 ‘likes’

How Effective Is the Michael Kors Marketing Strategy?

It’s too obvious that social media has been the fulcrum of Michael Kors’ marketing adventures for last 5 to 6 years. And it’s understandable too…simply because it is the modern place where most of the people all across the globe dwell. And thus it becomes the appropriate mode to catch and target them, as DNA of any marketing campaign is incomplete without public participation.

360-Degree Video a Win for Barbour, Despite Missteps

360-Degree Video

Barbour, the luxury outerwear and fashion brand, is the latest of a growing group of high-end apparel companies to use social media and video technology to democratize the runway. It’s well-known that traditional fashion shows are populated by elite industry insiders and VIPs, but more and more consumers have gotten to experience them thanks to video streaming and social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat. Some designers have presented their collections exclusively on Instagram, and Topshop–a Facebook and Google+ veteran–streamed its autumn/winter 2016 show on Periscope. Barbour went a step further with its spring/summer 2017 men’s collection and turned its runway presentation into a digital fashion show with 360-degree video.
The Barbour team used 360-degree cameras to capture the presentation and then uploaded the footage to its social platforms within an hour. Viewers–who were largely prompted to watch by Instagram posts and Facebook Canvas adverts–then had an almost real-time, panoramic view of the experience.

The results? The brand saw an uptick in online traffic and sales, and garnered over 7 million impressions on Instagram and Twitter. This is no small feat, considering that Barbour only has 149,000 Instagram followers and 111,000 Twitter followers.

This success speaks to the pull of 360-degree video, even when it’s not used to its full potential. Barbour could, and perhaps should, have made more use of the video format by having its models walk around the room, rather than just standing against a backdrop. Considering the money it can take to do a proper 360 video, it only makes sense to design the presentation with this panoramic view in mind.

In order to hold viewers’ interest after the novelty wears off, brands using 360-degree video will need to make their content more engaging and interactive. George at Asda’s campaign earlier this year is an excellent example of 360-degree video done right. They did a virtual tour of their branded house, and asked users to count how many clocks they saw in the video. The first user to answer correctly won £250 in vouchers. The video got over 11,000 views on Facebook and almost 1 million on YouTube.

In the case of a fashion show or other sorts of live events, live streaming will be another vital way of engaging audiences. While 360-degree video can’t yet be used this way, it’s an inevitable development as competition for attention in online video gets fiercer.

UGC for Fashion: An Overview

What you need to know about using UGC for fashion

Out of all the advocate marketing solutions out there, user generated content (UGC) stands out as a no-brainer for the fashion industry. As this segment is highly visual and depends heavily on variables like size, fit, and quality, showing off the multitude of ways in which customers interact with apparel and accessories makes perfect sense. … Read more

ASOS’s Success: 5 Lessons Everyone Can Learn

5 Lessons from ASOS's Success

ASOS may have recently shuttered its Chinese site, but the British fashion giant is seeing massive success on other fronts. Last week their team reported an 18% increase in pre-tax profits from the end of August through February 29. Total sales, meanwhile, grew by 21%. In the past year, more than 20% of the UK … Read more

Fashion! Turn to the Left: eCommerce Enhancements for Apparel

ecommerce enhancements for apparel

What is fashion? We aren’t about to indulge in pages of philosophizing or link to the David Bowie song, so for our purposes we’ll say it’s… Visual Seasonal Dependent on fit and context Highly socially influenced While there’s so much more we could add to this list, these four simple descriptions will take us a … Read more

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