User-generated content is exploding across all media platforms. There is a huge untapped market potential for monetizing this UGC or using it in a brand’s story in order to augment the existing marketing strategy.
If you are not convinced with the power of UGC in the current era, our previous blog on reasons why you should invest in UGC might help you.
There are a number of benefits why brands are shifting to user-generated content. One of the main reasons is the trustworthiness and authenticity associated with it. Also, today’s customers are so fed-up of misleading advertisements with false expectations, that they want some new and real-life moments of truth to take purchase inspirations and validate their purchases.
When we talk about the fashion industry, UGC becomes much more important than any other industry. The reason is very simple and obvious if we carefully analyze the complete purchase journey of a fashion buyer through inspiration, discovery and purchase.
In the inspiration phase of fashion buying, we find inspiration everywhere from our friends, favorite celebrities, social media feeds and photos around us. These inspirations can be both online and offline. Psychologically we tend to trust a product if a friend or someone who is similar to us is using it. Brands need to focus on this mindset and should invest in promoting and using user-generated content for their products on social platforms to influence more people.
The discovery phase of fashion buying becomes difficult in this visually rich industry as we find difficulty in remembering and explaining the visually rich fashion products first and then discover them. By connecting the UGC photos or videos to the products being used in those photos and videos makes discovery easier. This way customers can easily discover their products of inspirations and brands can monetize these UGC.
Finally, in the purchase phase of fashion buying, when a customer has discovered the product of inspiration, comes the trust and authenticity part. Showing UGC at this stage in form of text, photos or videos can do magic. With the right UGC, you make the customer believe that the product is authentic and is being used by these other happy customers also. These real-life images also clear the doubts about fit and size of the fashion product and help customers visualize how the product will look in real-life.
Many fashion brands have understood the importance of UGC and are using UGC in a number of creative ways. Using a distinct hashtag for your products, asking your customers to share their images in return of some promotions, using UGC images in their social media content, advertisements and on store websites are some of these ways.
In this blog, we have collected 4 examples of fashion brands who are using UGC content in their marketing strategy and online stores the right way.
A. Fashion brands who ran campaigns asking their customers to share UGC and then leveraging this UGC to their best benefit.
1. Michael Kors
Michael Kors is a luxury designer handbag and watch brand.
Michael Kors started this campaign in 2013 and it proved to be a long-term social campaign. The fashion brand started the hashtag #WhatsInYourKors and asked their customers to share images of the things they carry in their Michael Kors handbag in their daily life.
- Established a positive engagement and conversation between brands and existing customers. Customers shared some style tips and advice along with the images for other users. This generated a huge trustworthiness for Michael Kors handbags.
- By sharing an image of something very important from a customer’s daily life, Michael Kors succeeded in setting up a right audience for its products.
With this kind of engagement campaigns, brands can easily align their brand values associated with the product and also improves overall brand recall.
Here is a screenshot of how Instagram results for #WhatsInYourKors look like:
2. Warby Parker
Warby Parker is an online eyeglasses and sunglasses store.
Campaign: #WarbyHomeTryOn This campaign is a very creative way of integrating UGC in a customer purchase journey. Buying eyewear online is quite different from other fashion categories because before you finalize a perfect eyewear for your face, you need to try few samples for the perfect fit and comfort. Back in 2012, when Warby Parker launched their home try-on services to satisfy customers’ need for trying the eyewear before buying, they did it with one step ahead. In Warby home try-on service, any customer can order 5 pairs of glasses for 5 days for the free trial before buying. They asked the customers to share their images wearing free frames, on social media with hashtag #WarbyHomeTryOn. This way customers can share and take feedback from their social circles as well from Warby Parker itself.
- The campaign resulted in huge appreciation and adoption of Warby Parker home try on service.
- This also worked as win-win for both customers and Warby Parker. Customers got feedback from their trusted bigger social circle instead of a stranger store salesman and Warby Parker got a huge amount of UGC images on social media.
Key Takeaway: By adding UGC in the final phase of customer’s purchase journey, Warby Parker helped customers move closer to the purchase.
Here are some #WarbyHomeTryOn UGC images:
B. Fashion brands using UGC on their online stores.
Burberry is an iconic British luxury clothing brand.
Campaign: The Art of the Trench
Burberry created The Art of the Trench, their own hosted space to share UGC images of Burberry clothing. Burberry invited its customers to submit their photos wearing Burberry Trench coats. This sets them apart from other fashion brands whose UGC is generally on social media platforms.
- Using own hosted space provided Burberry a level of control over UGC images and improved the quality of conversations.
- Many customers who were reluctant in sharing their images on social media, loved this idea and posted their images without any hesitation.
- This kind of exclusivity for UGC images snugly fit with the luxury brand target audience mindset.
A fashion brand should first understand its target audience lifestyle and mindset thoroughly and then decide the UGC strategy. It will certainly help them in a long run.
Here is a screenshot of Burberry’s The Art of Trench:
And the last one is our personal favorite.
ASOS is an online fashion brand.
ASOS is using UGC images in a very effective way on their website. They have a dedicated page for all their UGC images both sourced from Instagram and uploaded by customers right there on ASOS website. All these UGC images are shoppable as they are linked with the exact ASOS product or similar ASOS products to the products from UGC images. Apart from these two places, they have beautifully linked the UGC images in corresponding product pages as well.
- With a separate shoppable UGC gallery on the website, you define a new product discovery path for the user.
- Putting the UGC images right there in the corresponding product page helps in providing authenticity and social proof for the product.
- UGC images provide a certain look or the way a real customer has styled the fashion product. When these UGC images are linked to the exact or similar products, this feature helps customers other complimentary products that are style together by a real user, not a fashion model.
- With UGC images right there on product images, customers can visualize how the fashion product will look in the real world, which might look different in the catalog image. This will result in higher conversion rates on product pages and decrease the product return rates.
Other Fashion Brands that are using UGC the similar way:
Urbanoutfitters, MVMT Watches, and GAP.
Use of UGC on product pages and a dedicated UGC photos gallery provides chances for new product discovery paths helping customers in their natural discovery path.
Here is screenshot:
If you are more interested in knowing where all you can use UGC in earned, owned and paid media, you should read our this comprehensive blog post.
As fashion is a highly subjective and personal in nature, fashion brands should focus on creating opportunities for active engagement with the audience and live conversations rather the just broadcasting the marketing slogans and pitches. And UGC can play a very impactful role here.
Let us know in comments where you are placing UGC in your fashion brand strategy.
We at Artifacia, help fashion brands and retailers leverage their UGC images using our in-image commerce feature. You can request a demo below to explore how Artifacia can help your business.