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Fashion and E-Commerce Collide in Hybrid Social Model
By: Jennifer Stack
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Fashion and e-commerce have exploded in the recent year. Now even luxury labels are incorporating online shopping functionality into their websites. Augmented reality is enabling the in-store benefits of trying on an item to impact purchasing decisions. Live chats are available for those who require a little more attention and customer service while shopping online. Startups like Shopify are emerging specifically to facilitate the ease of e-commerce integration for brands and amplifying their social media integration in the process.
 
Like everything these days, social is a key aspect that needs to be ingrained to enable users a quick and seamless transition into the utilizing new elements. Nearly all fashion e-commerce sites launched have social media login capabilities and many only allow you to register on the site with a Facebook or Twitter profile. This social mandate encourages frictionless social sharing when an item is sought after or bought, which magnifies social word of mouth for both the retailer and the item.
 
Some great examples are the Beachmint lines (StyleMint, JewelMint, ShoeMint, and most recently IntiMint), which also include a personality test that helps assess your personal style in order to better aid your e-commerce experience. Fashion e-comerce veterans like Beyond the Rack have paved the way with their large social-media components for new geographic versions such as eLuxe, JustFab, and more sophisticated e-commerce social networks such as The Fancy, which allows you unlock “crazy good deals” based on your sharing ratio of that item and the scale of your network and, thus, your impact.
 
The opportunity lies in adapting to the modern expectations consumers now carry in which everything is accessible and sharable online. The path to purchase intention is now deeply seeded online as individuals consistently share their newly acquired items with their social networks, which encourages more and intensified frequencies of consumption. Traditional retaliers should take note of online retailers' successes in this digital storefront realm in order to avoid extinction, as the tangible element of shopping will not always outweigh the convenience factor of online buying as evidenced by the current tech advancements made in 3D printing and the increasing speed at which deliveries and customer service take place.

In order to prepare for the future, retailers must make themselves and their products consumable digitally, and, equally important, visibly so consumers can share their latest procurements online.


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About the Author
Jennifer Stack is a Social Media Strategist at a digital advertising agency. She was a 2011 Notable.ca YP Social Media Finalist. International Marketing Communication, MA. International Marketing Strategy, MSc. LinkedIn + Twitter.
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