Nike looks to social media for fashion sales
Visually orientated social media site Instagram is fast becoming a go-to platform for luxury brands, and the world’s largest seller of fashionable sporting apparel, Nike, wants in on the game. The appeal of Instagram is obvious: it exists solely as a platform for photo sharing and comes with inbuilt filters to make every snap worth looking at. Add that high quality visual exposure to the fact that the site boasts an enormous and dedicated following amongst millennial consumers, and you have an obvious opportunity for monetization.
At the moment, of course, an opportunity is all it is. Sales through social media have thus far proved elusive, and Instagram’s parent, Facebook, can be counted amongst the many companies that haven’t quite got it right. But that doesn’t change the fact that Instagram is in a prime position to become the platform that at last makes that leap.
Last Friday, Nike announced that it would be making a play for Instagram’s 700 million monthly users. It will utilize tools that the platform has been developing specifically to pursue that purpose. One example is giving brands the ability to ‘tag’ their products in the same way that users can ‘tag’ their friends – publicly proclaiming identities to anyone that views the picture.
There is a fine line to draw here in regards to how far the site wants to let business infiltrate the decidedly personal world of social media. But the insight behind this new function is clear: if you see a picture of someone in great trainers, Instagram can now tell you where those trainers come from and offer you the ability to buy them directly from the source.
Getting in bed with Instagram represents a change of strategy for Nike. Previously, the company has been reticent to commit to using big online sales platforms to shop its products. But now, Nike is pursuing direct-to-consumer sales at the forefront of its mind – it is no coincidence that this announcement comes alongside a similar announcement that Nike will sell its goods on Ecommerce giant Amazon. Exactly how all this will work remains to be seen, but it’s clear that Nike is embracing two truths about modern retail: first, you need to go where the consumers do, and second: a big part of that is now online.
Dominion holds Nike in its Global Trends Luxury Fund.
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