As far as dozens of fashion retailers are concerned, technology is the new black. Vogue, Bergdorf Goodman and Net-A-Porter have all released iPhone applications in the past week alone, while Shopbop.com has integrated its version of social shopping features for its prospective customers. Louis Vuitton and eBay have also both launched digital fashion “magazines” to help make shopping easier with discerning styles readily selected and available for purchase. The new digital marketplace offers all the well-curated perks of print media plus the immediacy and information of modern technology.
The “deals” market, meanwhile, emphasizes access over inexpensiveness. There are plenty of places to find discounted clothes, shoes and accessories online—Yoox, Bluefly, the sale pages of every single retailer, discount codes, stacked codes, deals, etc.—but companies such as Gilt Groupe, Rue La La and Swirl set themselves apart by offering distinguished labels. This trend toward unique, niche lines has driven the success of sites like Moxsie.com, which has grown by creating a marketplace for independent fashion clothing, shoes and accessory brands. Today’s fashion and style shopper is not just interested in discounts, but in getting discounts on coveted items and wanted brands.
Efforts from brands and retailers continue to be focused on new and interesting ways to engage users. It is now beyond offering editorial commentary or special features that integrate customers into the curatorial experience. Hot luxury retailer Hautelook, for instance, tapped California-based GotCast’s digital casting platform to drive an effort to “find the face” of the retailer’s spring campaign. Gotcast has powered the efforts to connect with online fashion audiences through work with Style Network, FHM and other fashion industry related campaigns.
Virtually every savvy retailer and designer is also leveraging the social
benefits of the internet through networks like Twitter, Facebook and blog commentary communities. Further multimedia mergers and acquisitions have seen ThisNext being acquired Stylehive, which owns the first fashion social media company Stylediary, while Polyvore added a new CEO and startup Foursquare announced a recent deal with Bravo.
While sites and designers may use tech to engage users in new ways, it’s important to ultimately remember that customers are motivated and seeking only what they need. It’s important that to constantly improve the experience, so long as companies don’t lose site of why the customer is there in the first place.