You may have noticed your Instagram feed becoming inundated with images encouraging you to “turn on post notifications” over this past weekend.
Variations of instructional script pointing to the three little dots in the upper right hand corner appeared predominantly from bloggers and influencers in a bid to encourage followers to receive an alert to their phones every time new posts are created.
Fashion brands including Net-a-Porter, Gucci and BCBG Max Azria also posted something similar. “Don’t miss a thing! Turn on our post notification and stay in the loop!” wrote BCBG alongside an image of two models taking a selfie topped with a scripted prompt (as above). Net-a-Porter opted for simple white text on a black background, while Gucci posted several images from its watches campaign with just the copy guiding followers to click.
Head over to Forbes for the full rundown on why that’s happening, what users have to say about it and how to otherwise combat the algorithmic changes being proposed by Instagram.
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.
For those in New York looking to explore what else wearables currently offer, it’s worth checking out Chelsea concept store, Story’s new Style.tech installation in partnership with Intel. There’s everything from Ringly to Cute Circuit pieces on show, as well as 3D-printed heels from Continuum and more. It’s open until October 5
Back to Rebecca Minkoff, and social media is helping with decision making for tomorrow’s show. The designer posted an Instagram shot featuring two looks from the spring 2015 collection – a printed or an indigo pair of dungarees. The one that got the most likes will walk down the catwalk
Tommy Hilfiger is also focusing on social with the announcement of an initiative called First Timers, which will bring together “a diverse group of digital influencers from different fields and areas of expertise outside the fashion industry to document the unique experience of viewing a fashion show for the first time”. More details are reportedly set to follow on that soon
BCBG Max Azria meanwhile partnered up with Liketoknow.it to make its new collection shoppable instantly via Instagram today. Followers were encouraged to first sign up to Liketoknow.it and then to ‘like’ any image featuring the LTK link in the caption to receive an email with details of how to buy said piece online. This initiative came together in the end, but was a little confusing initially – reports around the campaign didn’t make it entirely clear the images wouldn’t be posted on the BCBG account but on that of a series of influencers involved. Finding them wasn’t therefore as straightforward as it could have been, although a significant number of them are now all featured on the @liketktit page as well
Michael Kors is expanding its All Access Kors social program this season – with behind-the-scenes photographs, in-depth stories on design inspirations and videos of the show all featured on Destination Kors. New for SS15 however is also the announcement of a campaign specific to China-based platforms Weixin and WeChat. Here users will be able to personalise a range of All Access Kors imagery – adding their name or uploading a photo that then becomes a bold silhouette against the New York City skyline. Shaking the phone or swiping the screen then reveals a different silhouette or city angle
Last but not least, here’s a particularly fab reminder from Véronique Hyland at The Cut for editors to spare us the typically poor fashion week images on Instagram. “The blurry runway photo is not really, strictly speaking, a picture — anyone who wants to can see better photos instantaneously online. No, the blurry runway shot is a trophy. It says, ‘I came, I saw, I sat front row, within 100 feet of Vanessa Hudgens’,” she writes.