Effective customer engagement is the new “location” when it comes to success in retail and there’s no bigger driver for this than social media platforms. From Twitter to Tumblr, Pinterest to YouTube, these sites are abundant and growing fast. Yet, among them all, there’s one rising star that I think has a big part to play in the world of retail, Instagram.
Instagram’s demographic is ripe for buyers, it’s predominately used by young women with a higher than average national income. There’s also a burgeoning generation of Instagram innovators that are creating new ways for retailers to utilise the platform. A great example of this and my one-to-watch is US based Olapic, a visual commerce platform for collecting, curating, showcasing and measuring consumer photos and videos – imagine your product page, full with Instagram images of your products from customers who are passionate about your brand.
The platform provides ecommerce retailers and brands with tools to engage their customers and support a strong community built on visual content. This allows consumers to make more educated purchasing decisions, discover new products, and connect to the brand’s community.
Although Olapic leverages photos and videos from Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, among other platforms, it’s the possibilities for Instagram that has the company, and myself, really interested. Olapic recently teamed up with digital think tank L2 on a study – surveying 249 global prestige brands – to analyse the growth of Instagram and how exactly the platform is impacting retail.
The survey found that the growth rates for Instagram are not dropping off, in 2013 Instagram grew 66% YoY, essentially adding the number of users equal to the population of France. Instagram’s interaction rate is also 15 times higher than that of Facebook – and higher than any other social platform around.
With Instagram offering unmatched engagement opportunities, retailers will need to know how to effectively tap into their audience in a meaningful way. Olapic is already working with some of retail’s biggest brands, including Asos, Coach, Guess, New Balance and Saucony, to inspire and engage shoppers.
With Instagram’s popularity only set to soar, I’m excited to see what the future holds for retailers in the social space, and particularly with Olapic, my photos on retailer’s ecommerce product pages.