Retail and social media

The industries of Fashion and Internet differ greatly. They are bound by different rules and constraints, yet the future of many fashion chains is dependent on this technological medium. The rise of Social network mediums such as facebook, pininterest, instagram and You tube have created a platform for companies to now market their product to their own customers and new customers. The days of sending out a letter or coupon are long gone, companies now use the internet and in particular these networks to get the message out to their clients. That because the internet is immediate. The moment it is sent, it reaches the customer’s computer in real time. They no longer have to wait days for a letter or catalogue to arrive.

Whether it be a brand’s latest range featured on Instagram, a fashion parade video featured on You tube or a coupon to join a company’s facebook, fashion brands are finding creative ways to bring customers to their label and create brand awareness. And why not, it’s free? It only costs a company a monthly fee from an internet provider and they can reach the new world, who is dependent on information and attracted to buying on-line.

It is always hard adapting to a new way, changing one’s habits or activities. If you were brought up reading books in hard copy or reading women’s day to get fashion tips, you feel comfortable with those mediums. The problem is those mediums are now changing, books are now featured on-line and companies now have blogs and videos to instruct you on what to wear. Bookstores and printed magazines are fading out. They have been replaced by a superior product. For those people, who don’t take advantage of this change, you are being left behind, missing out on a fantastic, real time visual medium. The companies of today will no longer market to you through Vogue or New Idea, they will send you friend invites to facebook, or highlight their latest sale on Instagram. You will miss the message.

 It’s a new world, where our customers are becoming more tech savy, so we have to join in, or be left behind. It can be scary some times, adapting to this new change, but in the end those who do acclimatize, recognize the advantages immediately. These social networks offer great advantages to the regular consumer, looking to detail their life and socialize with friends, but they also offer a great service to consumers, who want to be continually updated or have their needs met.  

There are now so many of these Social Medias available.

Facebook, Pininterest, Instagram, You tube, Flickr, Zarfo, Bebo, Flixster, Linkedin, Skype, Myspace, Twitter

They all sound like a new fad word or verbal faux pas. It can be very confusing. Users need to wade through these programs and decide which ones work best for them. They must access their needs and identify which medium fulfills them. It is no use joining twitter or facebook if the program does not serve your interests. It’s just another interruption, another distraction. Each social media serves a certain need.

If customers like viewing pictures of clothing items or a company’s latest range, then facebook or Instagram are best.

If they like all their interests featured, placed in the one compact category, then Pininterest is best.

How about social comments on fashion or blogs? Then twitter and facebook are best.

They might just want to view the latest fashion shows, or videos of a designer’s label, then You tube is for them.

A customer can even chat with a sales consultant online or receive a private showing of a range through Skype or Zarfo from their own home.

The possibilities are endless.

Costa Moda has taken advantage of this new craze. It now has videos on its webpage, which feature its latest range in fashion parade videos and video blogs, where our stylists offer advice to customers. Our latest photos are all featured on our website, FB, Instagram and Pininterest, so customers can be kept up to date, with just a click of a button. Our weekly window displays are sent out by email, so customers both interstate and local know the moment new garments hit our stores. They only have to go online to our webpage and they can order, only seconds after viewing our window display. The comments of customers are featured in written and video format on our website, giving evidence of our knowledge, quality and professionalism in the industry. This blog is even a step forward, allowing our customers to have access to the world of fashion, informing them, so they can form their own opinions based on whatever topic is written about. An informed customer is a desired customer.

Costa Moda’s latest sales, showings, ranges and fashion parades are mentioned weekly on its website, FB and Instagram page, so a customer is always in the know. They only have to logon and the information is there for them. I don’t know about you, but the idea of shopping in the comfort of your home, unaffected by other shoppers, or environmental conditions or long lines seems great to me. “Yeah but I can’t feel the fabric” is a common complaint. Costa Moda sends out fabric samples to our customers, who are unable to visit our stores and who buy online, so they know what they are buying. Any situation can be handled, when you have an interested customer and a proactive company, like Costa Moda. There are so many customers, who can’t view our range daily, either because of geographical issues or work restraints, so we strive to provide a service to them.

This busy, changing world is only creating more urgency and time constraints. Customers no longer have casual afternoons to spend walking around a shopping centre, spending time to themselves, trying on clothes. The smart shoppers now look online, decide what they want and enter a physical store already with a purchase in mind. They receive emails and social notifications regularly, warding off the treasures from the garbage. They no longer have to search for bargains or favoured reduced garments, hoping to avoid the masses and find the size they want, before it runs out. If a company is smart and tech savy, this information will all be at the click of a button for a consumer. We can obtain our needs and wants, without wearing out the grooves on our shoes.

You will never replace the shopping centre store or strip mall shop. A physical presence for a brand lets customers know it is real, not just some whimsical internet creation. Customers will always want to try on clothes and receive advice from professional stylists. When you see a new shirt or pants on yourself, it can be a mood lifter, just like a new haircut. These stalwarts of fashion will always remain, but why not dig a little deeper, spread your wings, join the information highway. It will not hurt, like a slap on the wrist or a paper cut. There is nothing to be lost. There is no negative side effect. Just as you have to be daring in finding your style, trying on new outfits and mixing and matching, you need to be daring trying these social medias and finding out which of them fit you and your needs.

Costa Moda is currently on Facebook, Instagram and Youtube. Join now, you won’t be sorry.