Digital Marketing Trends for the Clothing Industry
The statistics don’t lie – 80% of Instagram users follow a brand, 60% of users discovered a product through Instagram, and 30% of users purchased something they found on Instagram, according to Instagram’s business research. This means three in every 10 users have made an informed purchase through Instagram. And it doesn’t start and stop there – Instagram is just one of the many social media platforms that encourages buying behavior. Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest are among the platforms companies are using to their advantage, increasing brand awareness and sales.
Social media has transformed the way brands market their products, connect to their audience, and advertise. Traditional advertising methods, such as TV commercials, radio spots, and magazine ads, aren’t as measurable or effective, while social media offers analytics, proven effectiveness, and room for growth. Social media platforms have many opportunities for apparel companies, in particular, to grow brand awareness, expand their audience, and ultimately boost sales. Explore the top digital marketing trends for the clothing industry below!
Checkout With Instagram
A fairly new feature, Checkout with Instagram offers brands the ability to sell items directly through Instagram. This process is simple and straightforward – once you’re on a company’s profile, you’ll notice a shopping bag icon in the top-left corner of a post if they participate in Instagram Checkout. Tap on the image you wish to shop and tap “VIEW PRODUCTS.” From here, you’ll be able to select your size and the color or design you wish to purchase. The last step is filling out your billing and shipping information.
Once the order has been submitted, all shipment details, including tracking information, are sent via Instagram notification, as well as in a confirmation email. After the purchase is processed, the order form will auto-populate the shipping and billing information for future purchases, providing a convenient user experience. And if a user wishes to cancel an order, they have 30 minutes from the time the order was submitted to do so. Returns can also be processed through the app, and each merchant can have their own return policy. Learn more about Instagram Checkout here.
To sell through Instagram, brands must have a business page and be selling a product, not a service. All you need to do is connect your Instagram profile to your Facebook product catalog, which is generated through Business Manager, Shopify, BigCommerce, or directly through your company’s shop section. Currently, Checkout with Instagram is only available through the Instagram mobile app, but that could change in the future. Also, keep in mind that Instagram monitors products being sold, so make sure your company is compliant with Instagram and Facebook’s commerce policies here.
Between try-on sessions, sponsored posts, and product reviews, influencer marketing makes it easy for social media users to discover new products and learn the fit and feel of a clothing item – without ever needing to go to a physical store. When an influencer documents themselves trying on a piece of clothing and offers a product review, users can see how the item fits, learn about its pros and cons, and decide whether it may be right for them. Influencer marketing makes shopping easier than ever, encouraging consumers to shop from the convenience of their smartphone and learn about the products they wouldn’t discover otherwise.
Influencer marketing is typically executed by brands giving away items of clothing and negotiating a deal with an influencer that consists of story coverage, social posts, and sometimes, even a blog post reviewing the product. If your company is closely monitoring its budget, a low-cost option is to instead feature user-generated content on your feed, which is common for clothing brands. If a user takes a picture highlighting an item from your brand and shares it on Instagram, they’ll likely tag your company. All you have to do is ask permission to use the image on your feed and you have instant content promoting your clothing!
Have you noticed more and more brands are being transparent about the source of their clothing? Consumers today are more concerned with their environmental footprint than ever – it started with eco-friendly makeup and skincare products, and now clothing suppliers are joining the movement.
Powerhouse brands like H&M have started sustainable fashion lines, and companies like Reformation and Everlane are transparent about their ethical factories and how they use organic materials. With the recent fallout of Forever 21, it’s more apparent than ever that shoppers care about ethically-made, quality clothing that minimizes the impact on the environment. What was once a fast-fashion movement is shifting to transparent, ethical apparel that lasts for years to come. Emphasizing this in your Instagram content can attract socially-conscious customers.
Has your brand rethought its marketing practices? Similar to how styles shift over the years, marketing trends also shift, as do societal norms. Have you noticed modern-day brands have begun shifting toward diversity and varying body types, while moving away from photoshop and digital editing? Companies are recognizing that consumers want to feel comfortable and uplifted with the clothing they wear, and they’re finding ways to appeal to customers’ confidence levels.
Take a look at your company’s Instagram feed – does it embrace diversity and inclusion? Does it empower users? American Apparel, Gap, and Aerie are just a few examples of brands that are listening to their consumers and adjusting the way they promote their clothing through social media advertising.
One of the easiest and most effective tools for growing your clothing business online is incentives – after all, people love receiving free or discounted items. If there’s one way to motivate a potential customer, incentives are a killer way to go.
Worried about losing money or wasting merchandise? Incentives don’t always have to be an immediate discount or freebie – you could offer a loyalty program where customers work up to a discount or complimentary item. This ensures brand loyalty, which is great for the long run. Some simple, low-cost incentives maybe 15% off the first order, refer a friend and receive 15% off, monthly sales, and giveaway contests.
Whether you’re looking for simple changes to grow your clothing company online or want to work toward a total digital makeover, these strategies will help your brand remain relevant among your target audience and ensure your business is growing.
Need some assistance executing these tips? N2DIGITAL is here to help. We’re excited to learn about your business and grow your brand through social media. Contact us today!