This article is a short summary of a capstone research project, “Analysis of the factors affecting engagement rate in the fashion industry”, prepared by Maniza Jalal, a Master of Global Business student at the SP Jain School of Global Management. For detailed insights, statistics and development of the project findings, she can be contacted at email@example.com.
Social media has become an
integral part of everyone’s life. One of the most common things that’s shared
and viewed on social media platforms today is apparel. It isn’t uncommon for a
garment you double-tapped on Instagram to pop-up as an ad on Facebook a few
minutes later. Despite increasing technological advancements and constant
involvement by the fashion retail domain, data from Triberr suggests that the
engagement rates of popular fashion brands on social media are still below 1%.
Marketing via social media comes
with its own set of problems. My research suggests that a large majority of the
population takes advice from reviews online before purchasing any product. This
gives companies a way to improve their brand image online and increase
interaction with their customers. Research data shows that about 63% of
customers are more likely to purchase a product if an influencer has
recommended the product on their social media. It is very evident that the
future lies in digital marketing. However, digital marketing is far from being
in its best form. Finding out what consumers need is more important than just
blindly spending on advertising.
What should fashion retail companies be doing?
According to my research, there
definitely is a strong correlation between a brand displaying a range of
products and the degree to which their engagement rate increases. The more
diverse range of products a brand displays on their social media pages, higher
are the chances that customers visit those pages frequently. A brand can
encourage customers’ interaction with their content by staying relevant and
up-to-date with the latest market trends as well as showcasing how to style a
single product in different ways.
Interviews of experts from this
industry indicate that new customers rely on reviews by past buyers before
purchasing any product. The trustworthiness of a brand increases when customers
read what other buyers had to say about the product. This tendency makes
customers visit brands that offer reviews and ratings from other buyers,
increasing their engagement rate. Additionally, customers are becoming
conscious of environmental and social factors such as carbon footprint and
charity. They love to see a brand taking such initiatives and are more inclined
to opt for such brands. Eco-friendly clothing and reducing wastage are things
customers want to be a part of. Brands could, therefore, do well to have a plan
around these for the future.
My survey suggests that videos
leave a longer-lasting impression on people’s minds than still images. Hence,
if a brand displays product videos on their page along with images, customers
are more likely to be interested in the page and would interact better with the
brand, helping them boost their engagement rate. However, brands must keep in
mind that they follow a standard theme and aesthetic across all their content.
What should fashion retail companies not be doing?
Brands must advertise products
using models that their target audience can relate to. Modelling apparel on
American celebrities, when the customers are mainly Asian, will not increase
engagement. It is important for companies to make their customers feel
comfortable and confident enough to buy a product just by seeing the image of a
Another important point to note
is that however important brand advertising may be, constantly seeing multiple
ads pop up from the same brand can make customers lose interest in the brand.
Advertisements are important and necessary, but they should not be
About the Author: Maniza Jalal (MGB’18)
With an undergraduate degree in
Computer Engineering from BITS Pilani, Maniza Jalal went on to pursue a Master
of Global Business (MGB) degree in E-Business from SP Jain School of Global
Management. She has led a couple of start-ups in the social media marketing
business and interned at leading engineering, FMCG and technology companies
while completing her degree. Creative and ingenious at work, she is always
ready to hear from her peers and customers towards accomplishing team goals.
Her graphic design certification from California Institute of Arts has
sharpened her skills in creating branding and marketing material.