The Digital Future of Fashion

Estimated Reading Time 6 minutes

Shop the Look, Shop the Runway and See Now, Buy Now

The fashion industry is never one for standing still and the last few months are no exception. Both luxury and fast-fashion designers are competing to sell their latest looks to Facebook, Google and other online platforms. These platforms are releasing new features to help brands support – or even take over –  the fashion industry.

It’s a competitive industry that shows no signs of slowing down.

See Now, Buy Now

Earlier this year, Burberry announced huge changes to their fashion week show schedule. Instead of the usual four runway shows per year, they would combine their womenswear and menswear into two shows. This change to the regular format was undertaking a ‘see now, buy now’ approach, where pieces were immediately available for purchase following the show, both online and in-store. The Hollywood Reporter reported that despite this bold move, within hours of the September show at LFW, many items were sold out online, and by the next day many pieces were out of stock at the flagship store in Regent Street. Burberry have continuously kept ahead of the digital curve, in September 2015, they previewed their show via Snapchat, and on the day they gave followers an insight into backstage, makeup looks and famous guests arriving at the show.

Shop the Look

Last month, around the global fashion week calendar, Google released their ‘Shop the Look’ feature, which brings outfits from fashion bloggers into shoppable search results. It works as follows: a user searches for a term, such as ‘cocktail dress’ and the results will include images from popular bloggers wearing outfits that fit that description. If a user is to click on one of the images, it’ll guide them to a gallery featuring the items, as well as links to purchase it, much in the same way that Shopping ads work. Similarly, it works on a CPC basis, and data will be reported within existing Shopping campaigns. Google’s Shop the Look is currently still being tested in the US, so at the moment there’s no real insight into how this feature is working for Google or retailers that had the chance to test it out. Some have suggested that while Google are working to make the search engine as a whole more useful, they could potentially be stealing traffic from other platforms such as Instagram.

Shop the Look

Shop the Runway

Tommy Hilfiger’s #TOMMYNOW show at NYFW in September embraced the See Now, Buy Now aspect, using Pinterest, Facebook and Snapchat to live stream the show. Recreating a carnival inspired by Coney Island, ‘Tommy Pier’ was laden with fairground rides, pop-up shops and tattoo parlours. The show accumulated over 40,000 brand mentions, as reported by Brandwatch. Earlier this week, I was targeted with a sponsored stream from the show (albeit weeks after the show had taken place), allowing me to not only watch the show, but shop the range as well, all within the realms of the Facebook interface. Hilfiger’s Shop the Runway feature on Facebook combines both See Now, Buy Now with Google’s Shop the Look, giving its own take on the feature.

Tommy Hilfiger Shop the Runway

What do these updates mean for retailers, competitors, and the industry as a whole?

All of the above have one thing in common – making it simpler for users to buy products quickly and easily, and generally without much effort. See Now Buy Now and Shop the Runway both allow users instant access to purchase items fresh off the runway, and while mobile shopping isn’t something new, Shop the Look gives users the ability to shop directly from images of their favourite bloggers.

As the industry continues to innovate and consumers make more informed choices on purchase, the need for all retailers and ecommerce brands to learn and take note from the fashion industry is paramount.

To learn more how to grow your business online, contact the team at Digital Clarity.

Feature image credit: Natasha Fuller

Sophie Burrows
With over 5 years’ experience, Sophie is fast becoming a recognised paid search (PPC) specialist in both Google Ads and Bing Ads. With numerous qualifications in Digital Marketing and Planning under her belt, Sophie is in demand as a pragmatic problem solver and can show immense return on investment (ROI) where others could not. Sophie’s skills lie in understanding a brief and delivering exceptional results for her clients. A true digital maven.
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