MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

The top fast-fashion brands that are killing it on social media are…

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Visual content has made H&M, Topshop/Topman Forever21 the most successful social media brands in the competitive fast-fashion industry.

This was according to data from visual content performance platform ShareIQ. The analysis digs into the data for the first three quarters of 2017 among the top brands in the fast-fashion category in the United States: H&M, Forever21, Uniqlo, Gap, Old Navy, Topshop/Topman, Zara, Mango and American Apparel.

Brands are sharing visual content on social media platforms in hopes of better engaging customers on Pinterest, Instagram and across the web. H&M has 974 engagements per image (EPI), about 20 times the content performance of the lowest-performing brands, such as Mango (52 EPI), Gap (48 EPI) and American Apparel (41 EPI). Also topping the list are Topshop/Topman with 596 EPI, Forever21 (397 EPI), Zara (190 EPI) and Uniqlo (161 EPI). Old Navy trailed with 70 EPI.

When it comes to visual content, imagery with varied backgrounds is more engaged with than “static” lookbook-style photos. Meanwhile, brands with smart seeding strategies see a greater return on their visual content investment. Among the winners in this strategy are:

Forever21, with a tremendous 53 million Instagram engagements from just 1,017 posts.

H&M achieved 39 million Instagram engagements from only 486 posts.

Zara got just 1.9 million engagements from 1,700 images.

The tale was different on Pinterest, with Zara getting more than five times the number of repins (shares) per image as Forever21.

Data also revealed that the secret to social media engagement isn’t follower count. For example, Zara has a 16.6 million follower count on Instagram, but only converted that into 12.7 million engagements. Forever21 has 13.5 million followers, and with a smart strategy leveraged that into 53 million engagements.

H&M, Zara, and Forever21 have about same number of followers on Pinterest, but don’t convert that into high Pinterest engagement. Forever21 still does better than the rest. Finally, Uniqlo, Mango, and everyone else have small numbers of followers and negligible Pinterest engagement.

“People engage with and buy from brands that share compelling visual content in authentic ways,” said Brian Killen, founder and CEO of ShareIQ.

“The brands that are winning and getting real ROI on Instagram, Pinterest and other social platforms put exciting ‘lifestyle’-type images in the feeds of real influencers who get high engagement — not just celebrities,” he added. “And, we’re seeing marketers recognize this opportunity to create and target new audiences from those who engage with their content and convert sharers and likers into buyers.”

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Nothing scary about this forecast

BY Marianne Wilson

There is good news for retailers in a just-released survey on Halloween spending.

Americans will splurge on costumes, candy and pumpkins for a record $9.1 billion in Halloween spending this year, according to the annual survey released by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics. That's up 8.3% from last year’s previous record of $8.4 billion.

Consumers are expected to spend an average $86.13, up from last year’s $82.93, with 179 million Americans planning to partake in Halloween festivities, up from 171 million in 2016. According to the survey, consumers plan to spend $3.4 billion on costumes (purchased by 69% of Halloween shoppers), $2.7 billion on candy (95%), another $2.7 billion on decorations (72%) and $410 million on greeting cards (37%).

When it comes to buying costumes and other Halloween supplies, 47% of shoppers will visit discount stores and 38% will go to a specialty Halloween store or costume store. In addition, 25% will visit supermarkets, 24% will buy at department stores and 22% will shop online.

Proving that Halloween isn’t just for kids, a record number of adults (48%) plan to dress in costume this year. More than 5.8 million adults plan to dress like a witch, 3.2 million as their favorite Batman character, 3 million as an animal (cat, dog, cow, etc.), and 2.8 million as a pirate.

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DESIGN/CONSTRUCTION

Upscale furniture retailer in Dallas opening

BY Marianne Wilson

Design Within Reach has unveiled its new location at NorthPark Center in Dallas.

At nearly 13,500 sq. ft., the space is three times the size of the previous temporary space the company occupied at the center. The retailer partnered with New York-based architecture firm DFA to bring the new store to life.

Unique to this location is the "Park House," developed in consultation with Dallas-based firm Droese Raney Architecture. An expanded suite of graciously luxurious rooms, it uses native materials and architecture that draws on local traditions to evoke the setting of a modern North Texas home.

Additional features of the new Design Within Reach include:

Thirty fully realized room vignettes;

A hanging installation made up of hundreds of pendant lightsglows overhead at the Studio entrance;

Swatch Wall: A 30-ft.-long material and color spectrum represented by hundreds of wall-mounted, upholstered tiles offers a glimpse of the more than 3,000 custom options;

Outdoor Collections: An expanded assortment of outdoor furniture featuring classic pieces and DWR exclusive outdoor collections, and

Displays of office solutions for home and business.

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