Many of us have a love/hate relationship with selfies but we can’t deny that they are powerful in both reach and engagement. Look at Ellen’s famous “Oscar Selfie”– seen by 37 million people via twitter and rumored to be valued at upwards of $1 Billion. And the beauty of selfies is that anyone with a camera or smartphone can partake- presenting a perfect opportunity to test a new look and crowdsource opinions from social networks. Selfies play on the attention-seeking and creative side of shoppers today, which is why the retail space is the perfect ground for ‘selfie shopper’ marketing.
Live from the fitting room
As a teen, I recall shopping with groups of girlfriends and parading into the fitting room together to ensure that everyone had the opportunity to scrutinize an outfit. The opinions of my fitting room advisory council were critical factors in my purchase decision. Individuals have an inherent desire to seek approval and where they previously would have asked the fitting room assistant or friends/family who are present for their opinion of an outfit, it’s just as easy and even more wide-reaching to take a selfie, broadcast it across multiple social media channels, and gain instant feedback. It’s this need for approval and immediate gratification that fuels the selfie and who can resist the opportunity to expand that fitting room advisory council from a few to a few hundred in real-time via social media?
Pilot, through its work with Mary Portas, encouraged shoppers to take selfies in its changing rooms to gauge the opinions of friends prior to purchase, while Ann Summers took this a step further by printing a hashtag on changing room mirrors, coaxing a more accountable level of engagement with social media.
‘Selfie shopper’ marketing is now becoming more sophisticated and strategic and savvy marketers are building omni-channel programs with customer selfies as the central tactic. The latest selfie campaign from French Connection involves pre-registration, in-store events, a set hashtag, and a print display element to complement online activity. The French Connection campaign also adds an element of competition, asking consumers to construct outfits in store and then take a selfie.
Warby Parker eyewear knew that, for most people, it didn’t seem natural to buy glasses online. To overcome this obstacle, they invite customers to upload a picture of themselves, superimpose images of different eyeglasses on top and choose up to five favorites. Warby Parker then sends a selection of frames to customers’ homes to try on. People were then asked to share a selfie wearing the different glasses on social networks with the hashtag #warbyhometryon and ask which pair their friends liked best. If that didn’t make the decision easier, they could post the selfie on Warby Parker’s Facebook page and the brand would chime in with their own expert opinion. This campaign ultimately helped boost online sales by more than 200%.
For those who would rather let someone else pick out a new look, Zappos is willing to do the work for free. The popular online clothing shop is using its Instagram skills to match people up with fantastic outfits from its massive collection of brands. Simply post a body selfie on Instagram with the hashtag #NextOOTD, which stands for “Outfit of the Day,” and you’ll get a reply with a customized outfit picked out specifically for you. It’s the perfect way to discover styles you might never have considered, and since all the items Zappos suggests are available in its online shop, you’ll never have to worry about being disappointed by an empty shelf.
Selfie shopping is a hot trend in retail today- what other brands are doing it well? Follow me on twitter @celiabrown.