How Social Media has Changed the Way We Shop
Dwindled are the times of ear-marking pages in Vogue Magazine to catch up on the latest trends, as now @voguemagazine has over 16.4 million Instagram followers and a strong presence on every social media platform available. Fashion has changed, and not only the season to season shift of trends coming in and going out of style. The entire process of fashion, from labels advertising clothing to consumers making purchase decisions, is not what it used to be, which is predominately caused by the growth of social media and our instant global connection to people (and styles) from around the world.
Anyone Can be a Trendsetter
A recent study by Mintel discovered that around 35% of millennial women in the U.S. say that social media is one of their top influencers when purchasing clothing items. Aligning with this find, in 2015 Allure Magazine made a change in management, moving to someone younger and more social media savvy. This indicates that our world’s major fashion spearheads know how real this change is, and in order to stay a front runner in the fashion business, they must adapt. That leads to the idea that anyone can set trends, and we are seeing many brands take advantage of that prominent fashion factor. With social media growing, even average, everyday people are learning how to market themselves through blogs, YouTube, Public Figure status on Instagram, and more. This results in more authentic advertising for clothing, and when consumers see products from other consumers, such as friends or influencers, they are more likely to trust them than the company itself.
Shopping via Social Media
Brands and boutiques are also making an effort to link social media to their websites. One of the most popular ways to do this is through the innovative “Shop Our Instagram” tab. The artsy social media platform often highlights outfit inspiration and some of the trendiest clothing combinations you can find, so why not have a place on your website where consumers can elect to shop an entire outfit where every piece compliments one another?
The Expedited Shift of Trends
These new ways for consumers to shop has also created a huge influence on trends, themselves. The phrase “wear it once” seems costly and impractical. However, it may just be the new normal. Social media has generated a “wear it once” type of culture due to the stigma that once you have posted a photo in an outfit, you must not be seen wearing it again. While this is not the most practical strategy when it comes to shopping, it has encouraged consumers to purchase more frequently, which is a positive for clothing companies. The negative is that trends come in and fade out of style at quite a rapid pace, so labels always have to be one step ahead and consumers have to hop on a trend right away.
While social media hasn’t completely taken over the fashion industry, it has surely made big changes in the way brands are promoted and the way consumers shop. To ensure that clothing company profits are maximized and styles are the latest, it is an important movement to get behind.