A new social media study reveals that fashion brands have a significantly stronger social media presence than other UK retailers, by actively embracing various platforms for the benefit of both the customer and the business.
Having measured the fundamental rise of ecommerce over the past decade, eDigitalResearch is now monitoring retailer’s social media as part of its benchmark activity, assessing brand’s presence over several different sites and their efforts to engage in two-way dialogue.
Assessing some 72 UK retail sites by looking at volume of followers alongside active interaction between the brand and consumer, the research found that fashion retailers are encouraging a larger degree of cross-communication through well-established Twitter accounts and Facebook pages. Topshop and River Island claimed the top two spots, recording a large number of followers and higher levels of customer engagement. ASOS came in third, with New Look and Next completing the top five.
Ed Handasyde –Dick, Social Media Manager at eDigitalResearch comments, “It is not surprising that brands aimed at a younger, more dynamic audience came out on top. We are beginning to see more content-driven marketing from many multichannel fashion retailers, such as in-house produced magazines, focusing on subjects that potential customers regularly talk about. It is only natural that consumers are turning to social media platforms to engage and identify with their favourite brands. The next challenge is for companies to utilise all this user generated content and integrate it into within their future marketing and business plans.”
The recent rapid development of mobile technology and the opportunities it provides for retailers is also becoming more apparent, with companies beginning to develop mobile sites and apps for consumers. Sitting just outside the top four, Next and Marks and Spencer’s, have recently launched mobile sites, cementing their commitment to developing their future ecommerce strategies. However, with a slightly older target market, who are less likely to be social media savvy, they both miss out on achieving higher positions as they have lower levels of customer engagement and interaction.
Somewhat unsurprisingly, fashion websites who target an older demographic, and electrical retailers, scored rather low, with many not even having a social media site presence. Most grocery sites also had low scores, with many only having just developed a social media strategy. For these sites, the conflict going forward will be to try and find engaging content that will captivate consumers and their online target market.