Shui Leung Cheuk, Kannis
27 June 2014
Nowadays, all you need on the go is a mobile device. According to Lemos, mobile technologies have enabled new means of communication and sociability based on “post-mass media functions” and “information territories”(Lemos, 2010). That’s so true! Let’s be honest, we can’t live without mobile devices, communicating, learning, shopping, studying or even sleeping (my mobile alarm wakes me up everyday!). In this blog post, I will use a fashion shop, TOPSHOP, as an example, to demonstrate how mobile technologies revise fashion industry in the world. I will talk about mobile social networking as a medium, the interaction between fashion brands and customers, with my own observation, to prove the importance of mobile media in fashion business.
TOPSHOP is one of the UK’s most popular fashion stores, as well as one of the forerunners in using social media. In 2012, TOPSHOP partnered with Facebook for the first time, to achieve the largest online audience of a live-stream London fashion show with mobile devices. Over 200 million people were able to purchase the looks from the runway directly on the mobiles. The most inspiring result is that, the first dress appeared on the catwalk sold out before the end of the show. The mobile social platform is useful for ‘fashionholic’ who wish to share, buy and sell the latest trends.
In addition, from my observation, unlike other clothing chains H&M or ASOS, TOPSHOP is the first retail chain providing ‘personal shopping’ service in the industry, which can ONLY reserve online. More importantly, ‘personal shopping’ allows customer customizes the look and colour of pre-ordered items before purchasing them in store. This feature also allows them to take shots and share on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with their mobile devices immediately. This kind of unconventional, exclusive and dignified shopping experience becomes the signature trademark of TOPSHOP.
As Cooke, TOPSHOP’s Chief Marketing talked about the winning strategies in the business, “Fashion is selling product, and the reason we’re going to win and win big is because we’re selling experiences. We’re going to create an incredible experience around our brand which is going to define us.” Yes it really works, latest statistics show that more than 500,000 daily page views to Topshop.com, over 3.8 million likes to the Facebook page and over 2.3 million followers on the Instagram. With the mobile platform, TOPSHOP and its audience interact unboundedly.
(Captured from TOPSHOP APP)
When it comes to fashion, an image is worth a thousand words. In other words, a user-friendly application is another winning strategy in the business. Just like having the whole store in your pocket, everyone can shop, scan, save and share all of fashion items across the application. With the very high mobility, TOPSHOP launches the latest collection and customers can browse and purchase at anytime and anywhere. Mobile media is now deemed as an opportunity to improve customer relationships and to ultimately capture a larger audience, target the digital generation.
The usage of mobile technology, mobility encourages customers to interact with brands by increasing awareness, involvement, and engagement. Thus, adding to brand recall and stimulating purchases.
Achenbach Steffen (2012). Web 2.0. The New Showroom for Fashion Brands: How important is Social Media for the Fashion Industry? South Bank University London.
Brown Scott (2012). Social Information: Gaining competitive and business advantage using social media tools.
Lemos, Andre (2010). Post—Mass Media Functions, Locative Media, and Informational Territories: New Ways of Thinking About Territory, Place, and Mobility in Contemporary Society. Space and Culture, 13: 403-420. Federal University of Bahia.
Whyte, Murray (2014, June 24). Fashion, and dignity, for the mobility challenged in new ROM exhibit. Toronto Star. Retrieved June 26, 2014, from http://www.thestar.com/life/fashion_style/2014/06/24/fashion_and_dignity_for_the_mobility_challenged_in_new_rom_exhibit.html