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NPD: Social Media’s Influence on Fashion Industry Sales

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More than half of Facebook and Instagram users purchased products while scrolling their social media

There is something to be said about the sense of community when it comes to who and what users follow on social media. Consumers put a lot of faith in the experiences and recommendations of people whom they may not know first-hand. As a result, social media has transformed from a place of sharing to a place of discovery, and even shopping, particularly as it relates to fashion.

The NPD Group (http://www.npd.com) recently surveyed consumers to determine how they learn about or discover fashion brands and retailers. Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest landed at the top of this list, educating 41%, 35%, and 21% of consumers about brands, respectively. When asked what platforms converted advertising and other content into actual purchases, a little over half (51%) said Facebook and Instagram content resulted in buying products.

“The pandemic accelerated the ongoing retail shift from brick-and-mortar stores to online purchasing years into the future,” said Maria Rugolo, apparel industry analyst for NPD. “Ready or not, with consumers sheltered at home last year, fashion retailing needed to adapt, and that adaptation had to happen quickly. With this shift, impulse purchasing also shifted. As these platforms make purchasing even easier, with one-click shopping and the ability to buy instantly, social media will continue to gain more impulse-purchase attention.”

In a recent thought leadership survey done in conjunction with partner CivicScience, when NPD asked consumers if they made any unplanned purchases of clothing, footwear, or accessories while scrolling through social media, younger consumers said they were more inclined to buy on impulse. In fact, one in three consumers between the ages of 13 and 24 had some sort of purchase interaction when it came to fashion and social media. Twelve percent said they made an unplanned purchase, 17% said they were not opposed to it in the future, while only 6% said they would not purchase fashion products via social media sites again.

“We’re closely watching social media engagement options, like livestreaming, as well,” added Rugolo. “While still small relative to other modes of discovery, livestreaming converts to purchases at about the same rate as larger platforms. It’s clear that those consumers who are using livestreaming are engaged by it.”

About The NPD Group, Inc.
NPD offers data, industry expertise, and prescriptive analytics to help our clients grow their businesses in a changing world. Over 2,000 companies worldwide rely on us to help them measure, predict, and improve performance across all channels, including brick-and-mortar, e-commerce, and B2B. We have services in 19 countries worldwide, with operations spanning the Americas, Europe, and APAC. Practice areas include apparel, appliances, automotive, beauty, books, B2B technology, consumer technology, e-commerce, fashion accessories, food consumption, foodservice, footwear, home, juvenile products, media entertainment, mobile, office supplies, retail, sports, toys, and video games. For more information, visit npd.com. Follow us on Twitter: @npdgroup.

NPD’s Checkout service offers robust data for tracking and improving performance across all channels plus buyer analytics to help businesses keep current customers and win new ones. Over 150,000 actively engaged buyers, the largest omnichannel panel focused on general merchandise and foodservice, provide us with receipt-based information on their in-store and e-commerce purchases. With comprehensive data from the same consumers over time, Checkout illuminates trends in behavior including migration to shopping online by category and consumer demographics. Buyer analytics deliver insight into most valuable customers, brand loyalty, brand leakage / lift, brand launches, and more.

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