This post first appeared on WGSN.com/blogs
Fashion week season might traditionally be about what the next trends in apparel and accessories are set to be, but increasingly it’s becoming just as much of a hotbed for lighting up new opportunities in digital and social media.
During New York and London there were familiar themes like utilising influencers (Tommy Hilfiger and Topshop) or democratising the fashion show by providing more access behind-the-scenes and into the design process than ever before (Michael Kors and Rebecca Minkoff).
For many, however, it was about pushing commerce much more than it was purely communications. Brands including Burberry, BCBG Max Azria, Oscar de la Renta and more, all introduced some kind of shoppable feature to their social media, upping the game of the “buy now runway” feature far more than we’ve seen in the past.
Burberry partnered with Twitter to trial its new ‘buy now’ button. Users in the US could instantly click to purchase the brand’s S/S 15 nail polish, ticking the box for a sense of instant gratification attached to a live stream show. The move was a smart one for a brand looking to capture digitally-savvy fans who can’t perhaps afford the main catwalk collection, but are increasingly in tune with beauty and fragrance offerings being heavily pushed via social these days.
BCBG Max Azria meanwhile, teamed up with RewardStyle’s LiketoKnow:It application, which aims to make Instagram shoppable. Looks posted by influencers on their Instagram accounts during the show were available for purchase to those signed up to LiketoKnow:It service – it’s a little bit clunky, but doing so enables users to like an image to instantly have an email sent to them with details about the items featured, then click to purchase from there. Vogue and Nordstrom have also used this service previously.
Another new app called Spring also played a part in providing a sense of shopability to this fashion week season in New York. This mobile marketplace, as it refers to itself, saw brands including Oscar de la Renta, Zac Posen and Libertine offering exclusive items available for purchase straight after their catwalk shows.
For Oscar that was in the form of an embroidered peep-toe sandal. For Libertine it was limited edition t-shirts, while for Zac Posen it was his first eyewear collection.
It’s early days on all these social commerce fronts, with lots of clunky kinks still to be ironed out. But seemingly the idea for limited edition or exclusive access to certain product – in numerous instances the more affordable stuff no less – available on platforms that users are already engaging on, feels like a fresh and sensible move for an industry up against increasing pressure to deliver goods in real-time.
While fully shoppable looks at the likes of Versus by Versace, Topshop and Moschino continued on e-commerce sites and in stores too, expect more of this social commerce to follow. Gone are the days of merely trying to make our Facebook feeds transactional (and failing at that); we’re in a whole new era of third party apps and in-stream features that might just start to work.