The web has increasingly become focused / obsessed with social media marketing, and as a direct result uk e-commerce retailers have started to look at the obvious benefits in using this medium online to increase visitor traffic and ultimately sales. Plenty of interesting sites have popped up which are social in nature, and have a focus on fashion.
So where should retailers start?
Social bookmarking with traditional content rich sites scores traffic online. Good content floats to the top, becomes much more exposed, and thus gains links and further traffic. We’ve posted a few times on social media / bookmarking sites before, and how these work for content rich sites. But what if the majority of content you produce on your site is product based? How can you attract natural links to internal pages on your site? Some retailers have attempted to use blogs to get some viral marketing / user generated feedback on their sites, but all too often this is a half hearted attempt.
So what are your options?
Wouldn’t it be nice if our best customers introduced our website and products to others? Sharing and swapping the items they liked? Yep that can happen. Enter the social fashion sites that help other people share your products virally..here are ten of the best.
Polyvore promises to let its visitors mix and match images from anywhere on the web, to create outfits, interior designs, or any kind of collage. It’s really interesting to see someone else’s style (Polyvore uses the term SETS to describe items which are similar) and tries to figure it out and see what they’re all about.
Stylehive is a social bookmarking tool that focuses on shopping and in particular on fashion. With a predominantly female audience stylehive has numerous features, including the option to follow other users who’s style you like, and the ability to add items to a wishlist, ultimately driving end sales. Stylehive has attracted attention from major retailers such as Asos and Topshop.
Lookbook concentrates heavily on promoting it’s users styles, and doesn’t really give links to “where to buy” mainly because the looks created are heavy on the bootstrapping, and the users quite “quirky”. That said, its is still an important site for retailers interested in what is fresh and hot in the fashion world, and could be useful for buyers looking to define a new look for next season.
Avenue 7 allows users to create a profile and start sharing fashion ideas with friends. There is built in support for actually purchasing the items created – at the sites that the users have found them. It would be nice to see commission going to the end users, which in turn would be a great motivation for them to continue to create outfits. Not such a great design – the site screams 15 year old girls, and probably excludes some audiences.
Fashmatch users can see how various items look together, publish their matches to the site and explore socially the matches that other users have made, the interface is perfectly tailored to their target market, and it looks like an idea that definitely could work well for them financially, with the ability to purchase items collectively or singularly.
Another social network where you can discuss fashion and branding with others. Again a good source for those of you interested in keeping up with the latest fashion trends. Also includes fashion blogs of users.
OsoYou is a UK based fashion site according to their marketing team is “destined to be the first UK based social shopping site for web 2.0 women”. The site has over 180,000 items and counting on it and is well worth promoting items on.
Trendmill allows users to upload images of their own clothes or clothes they wish they owned. Members are able to “tip people off” on what they think is hot, vote on other people’s clothes and collaboratively “give a general sense of what the next big trend in fashion is going to be”.
Like many of the other sites listed here Trendmill is not only useful for consumers, but retailers and wholesalers too. You can get a million dollars worth of valuable information about fashion trends and attitudes, helpful for store and window displays and advertising.
A place for street fashionistas to post their looks and let “the mob” vote on it, Stylemob is part Hot or Not, part fashion magazine and part MySpace which can post the looks to many of the popular social networks. For retailers this makes it worth taking notice of; Remember even a comment with “where did you find that” can result in a potential sale.
Team sugar is a mixture between a blogging platform (read complain), a social network to share (read socialise) and a place for a good old fashioned gossip about celebrities. In other words, its most womens ideal companion and is conceptually most similar to oSoYou.