Land Of Plenty
Flooded with content on an hourly basis, instagram is a digital land full of goodies for people of all styles and backgrounds. The fashion landscape on the gram is crowded, constant, and current. Influencers, customers, retailers and designers all thrive on this platform. As a medium and as a marketplace, instagram is effective and interactive. However, instagram is proving to be far more effective as a medium than a marketplace.
As A Medium & A Marketplace
As of 2017, every major fashion house from Chanel to Kenzo has an instagram page, as well as every departmental store, big box chain and high street label. For many companies, instagram is the digital catalogue that reaches aspiring consumers and insiders of the industry at the same time.
From launching new campaigns to behind the scenes footage and live feed from fashion shows, designers and retailers have the lens to present their inner workings and sensibilities to the outside world; a chance to show hopeful customers their inspirations and heritage.
The creators of fashion- the designers, merchandisers, stylists and marketing teams that build brands, using a platform like instagram is an effective way to engage with their clients. If a label has an active instagram page with interesting photos and a regularly updated feed, that is attractive and helps pull in a new customer.
Pre millennial consumers that have been loyal customers of luxury fashion don’t need to lean on social media as much as their millennial counterparts who are viewing items on instagram before they are visiting the store. Most people will screenshot images of luxury goods they like and share it with their friends before going on to the brand website to research variations and prices of the product, so in a way consumers are shopping on instagram before they are shopping in store. (This applies even to instagram pages that are not shoppable)
For new consumers, the aesthetic that a fashion house communicates via its own instagram account is more powerful than that of the accounts of celebrities and digital influencers, because it creates a direct relationship between customer and brand. Popular influencers’ endorsing products sometimes discredits authenticity for some audiences, and yet for others, seeing a popular influencer promote a product encourages them to try the same.
Building a strong instagram account is more beneficial to a brand than investing influencer promotions because when a consumer makes a purchase, they are more likely to tag a brand in their photo instead of the influencer that may have encouraged them towards the brand.
Influencers On Instagram
There are a variety of influencers on the internet, and particularly on instagram. Actors, singers, musicians, sportspeople and notably models all have an outlet to showcase their fashion choices on this platform. Each of these celebrities can-and often do- inspire their followers with their clothing and lifestyle. The latest it bag or shoe will be seen all over instagram on a variety of influencers, and many of their followers will ‘like’ what they see even if they don’t have access to those items.
Many would argue that the rise of bloggers is the democratization of the fashion industry as there are virtually no barriers to entry to becoming a digital influencer, although one key ingredient seems to be posting consistent and constant hi resolution content.
Shop The Feed – But Proceed With Caution
Shopping on instagram is a relatively new feature and certainly one that was a sensible tool for the platform to integrate, since brand engagement is higher on instagram than any of its contemporaries.
Lots of successful labels have integrated shop the feed features into their pages, allowing browsers to turn into customers. Australian clothing brands Keepsake the label and Maurie and Eve are two such examples. Their exceptional designs and high quality products combined with the global reach of instagram, is making them escalate with every passing year.
Catering to a larger geographic audience with flexible shipping, oftentimes these shops are not bound by brick and mortar store costs and can provide goods at competitive costs – even if lots of these e-shops seem to be versions of each other. Additionally, the risk with online shopping applies to shopping on instagram as well, consumers may be unsure of sizing and quality of the item they purchase, because what is displayed on screen may not be what is delivered to the door.
A Visual Buffet
The pattern between celebrities, digital influencers, and instagram shopping is an interesting one because it’s quite like the relationship seen between runways and high street stores.
A design showcased on a runway eventually finds itself on a hanger at a high street store, and an outfit seen on the red carpet in Cannes or the Met Gala finds itself on instagram account offering to “get that look for less”.
With every changing feature and interface enhancement, instagram is evolving into an incredible medium that is not only an engaging social media network, but also a thriving place to do business. Ultimately, on instagram there truly is something for every type of consumer – whether to browse, discover or even purchase.