Daily Dose of iQ: The 'Instagram Effect' Affects How Millennials Shop

Jul 28, 2015 — Allan Pulga

On Sunday (July 26), the Financial Times' Andrea Felsted and Hannah Kuchler told the story of Clodagh Pickavance, a 23-year-old Briton (pictured above) who admits that a fear of being seen wearing the same outfit too often on Instagram motivates her to buy new outfits.

"The Instagram effect on young women such as Ms Pickavance might seem to be a blessing for retailers," wrote Felsted and Kuchler. "Already, they have seen a pickup in sales of separate skirts and tops that can be mixed and matched, plus accessories such as scarves — trends that point to a desire to freshen up their look on social media without spending a lot more."

The fear of being seen in the same outfit too often on Instagram motivates millennials to buy more clothes.

The influence of social media on shopping is not news to social networks or search engines. As we've blogged about in the past, nearly all of them have (or are building) "buy" buttons to seamlessly integrate commerce into their sites and apps.

In the case of Ms Pickavance, the need to add more variety to her wardrobe without blowing the bank leads her to buy more skirts and tops rather than dresses, so she can mix and match them to create different looks and outfits.

Felsted and Kuchler say Pickavance embodies a larger trend among millennial women seeking value (and volume) from fashion retailers like Primark in the U.K. and Forever 21 in the U.S.

Topshop tweeted products to match catwalk outfits from London Fashion Week that were trending on Twitter. The retailer saw an 18% boost in sales of these products that week.

In an attempt to appeal to the hypersocial millennial clothing buyer, U.K. retailer Topshop recently teamed up with Twitter for London Fashion Week. Topshop monitored tweets from the catwalks to identify emerging trends, and matched these with Topshop products that were immediately available to buy online or in stores. Topshop saw an 18% boost in sales of these products, compare to the week prior.

The combination of social media, marketing, e-commerce all play into millennials' desire to discover new looks, buy them with ease and also perpetuate the phenomenon via their own social media. The challenge for retailers is to tap into exactly what they're looking at, where they're looking at it, and how they'd like to buy it.

Topics: Business Intelligence, Retail Marketing

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