Competition can be fierce in all forms of business and the fashion industry is no different. As retail units were forced to close in 2020, ecommerce grew bigger and an estimated $860 billion was spent with US merchants alone. Now that towns and cities are returning to some levels of normality, shoppers are starting to reappear in high streets around the world. One area of retail that never fails to attract consumers is fashion. With all the competition on the high street and the internet, how do the different fashion houses and chains attract buyers? There are many tricks up their sleeves. Here are some of the ways they can influence your purchases.
Social media marketing and target adverts
Gone are the days where websites held static adverts that held little interest for the visitor. Nowadays advertising is targeted much more carefully. This doesn’t mean that you will be interested in every advert you see but a targeted ad campaign is more likely to make you buy products than a traditional print advert. Targeted advertising can be used across social media platforms and will also appear on other websites that you visit.
When you type keywords on Google or other search engines you leave behind a trail that can be used to help target you with adverts that you might find interesting. If you are starting to see a lot of adverts for Barcelona then it may be that you have searched recently for hotels or flights to Spain or that region. This type of advertising lets the fashion industry and retailers put their garments and products right in front of your face every time you go online. Not only that, but they can also convert that advert to a sale within a couple of clicks.
Instagram and influencers
When it comes to social media and fashion, one platform stands out. There are many reasons why Instagram is considered better than other social media platforms and influencers are one of them. If you are unaware of what an influencer is, and you must have been on Mars if you are, then here is a brief description.
An influencer is someone who has a loyal following online and has built up a level of understanding and trust. This means that they can dispense advice to their followers and in certain circumstances ‘influence’ decisions and purchases. Brands have been aware for some time of the power of using influencers for marketing campaigns. Sometimes these are sponsored and other times it is left to the influencer to decide whether to recommend a product. Either way, the influencer will normally only recommend a product that meets their followers’ values and preferences. It is this level of trust that brands desire. Although someone might have brand loyalty they are much more likely to trust an individual who they aspire to on Instagram. Brands use this to their advantage and to make more sales.
The use of hang tags, packaging, and labeling
One simple way that brands can influence a consumer’s decision is through their use of labeling. All garments must carry certain information by law and a simple sewing label may just show you the brand name and size of the item. It may also contain information about the country of origin, materials used, and care instructions. Packaging may show more detailed information and in some cases, boxes and bags can be extremely attractive.
While all of these details may influence your purchase to a degree there is another more powerful tool in the retailer’s and manufacturer’s armory, hang tags.
If you are wondering what hang tags are then they are those labels that you often see pinned to a sleeve or hanging from the sewn-in label on the neck. They are often card or plastic although they can be made from other materials and can be cut into any shape, but are normally rectangular.
Hang tags are an incredibly powerful tool for influencing sales…
How does something as simple as a hang tag influence your purchasing decisions?
Where sewing labels and other permanent tags may carry information necessary to US labeling law, hang tags are less compulsory.
A hang tag can be used by the manufacturer to advertise and market their products in a simple way. The beauty of a hang tag is if the consumer makes a purchase due to its power it will be because of conscious decision making. Unlike more duplicitous marketing practices, hang tags can be used to connect a manufacturer’s values with a consumer’s.
For instance, a hang tag may advertise the fashion designer’s environmental credentials and beliefs. It may explain that all their suppliers are provided with healthcare, schooling for their children, and a liveable wage. Online companies such as the Dutch Label Shop make this type of label for all manner of products and businesses.
This kind of information can make a customer choose an item over another due to ethical concerns. Hang tags can also be used as coupons for discounts, show websites, and explain a company’s social responsibility charter.
Fashion magazines and the use of Photoshop
It is well known that Photoshop is used to make models look thinner, remove spots, and smooth out wrinkles, it can also be used to influence, or mislead consumers.
Photoshop is a powerful tool that can be used by fashion designers to produce their creations and it is used in all manner of industries, especially glossy magazines. Fashion mags are one of the few areas in the media industry that still benefits from the use of print.
Fashion shoots look much more impressive in glossy magazines such as Elle than they do online and this is one reason why their circulation is defying the norm in print media. They are also full of flash, glossy adverts hoping to influence readers into purchasing their wares.
One such advert was a mascara modeled by Taylor Swift for CoverGirl. The advert showed an undeniably impressive use of mascara and would no doubt have resulted in numerous sales to Swift’s fans until the NAD or National Advertising Division shut it down. Unfortunately, the impressive mascara and long lashes were down to Photoshop’s powers, not CoverGirl’s.
Fashion shows and celebrities
Just as CoverGirl used Taylor Swift to sell mascara, other brands use celebrities, and fashion shows are a great way to get coverage.
While the clothes on display at fashion shows are highly unlikely to be worn by anyone, the publicity is great and there are famous shows across the world. The London fashion show has a long and exciting history and celebrities from movies, fashion, and music will attend. The shows create great brand awareness and if a model or celebrity is seen wearing a certain brand it can help influence sales.
And, although you won’t see them on the runway in London, many celebrities have their own fashion lines such as the Kardashians and Jessica Simpson. These fashion lines influence sales purely by association with a celebrity name.
The fashion industry and its marketers have plenty of tricks to influence sales, just as all other industries do. Some of them use technology such as geotracking and some could be seen as downright deceitful with photoshopped adverts.
Other methods aren’t tricks at all. Hang tags are simply a tool that is used to convey relevant and interesting details that can nudge a consumer towards making a purchase.
Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash