It’s fair to say that social media has woven itself into the fabric of our everyday lives and it shows no sign of leaving.
Caroline Scheufele, Co-President and Creative Director of the Chopard Maison, has expressed that she is fascinated by these developments and the impact it has on individuals and companies.
In our digital age, the way we approach business and pleasure has changed. Our smartphones are an integral part of our existence and what they do for us has radically altered the way we experience the world and our interactions with other people. We have access to social media 24/7 and this has irreversibly changed what content we choose to consume.
In this article, Caroline Scheufele shares her opinions on the phenomena of social media and, in particular, how it has modified the world of fashion sales.
The impact of social media
Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram have taken over the world in the past decade. We connect with others and with brands on them daily, using them for chatting to friends, researching our hobbies and interests, and more recently, using them to shop.
Because we choose what content we are exposed to by ways of liking or following our favourite brands and celebrities, this has made shopping a much more personal experience. We no longer have to trudge through pages of irrelevant material to find something that sparks our imagination. In fact, we are flooded with it daily – making a choice from such an abundance has become a problem for many.
Due to its unprecedented growth, social media has fast become the topic of conversation for psychologists, businesspeople, researchers, and trend predictors. However, because of the very nature of the internet, it can be difficult to predict how it will evolve further over the next decade.
How we used to interact with fashion
For many years, high fashion was a protected bubble – found only by the regular consumer making the conscious choice to purchase a glossy magazine. Even runway shows at fashion week were exclusive events with every seat reserved for world leading columnists or designers.
Flicking through the pages of Vogue was as close as many would get to this scene although the boutiques found in a capital city offered a more personal experience to more exclusive crowds. Throughout the 20thcentury and early new millennium, this was how High Fashion connected with the High Street.
Since the widespread adoption of the internet and, subsequently social media, the fashion world has opened its doors to the world. In reality, this is a fantastic and progressive step for the industry. No longer is High Fashion a rarefied world under lock and key out of reach to ordinary mortals – it is now accessible for us all to experience and draw from.
How consumers are interacting with brands now
Chopard istaking advantage of this brandnew way of interaction between consumers and luxury brands, says Caroline Scheufele. The platform on which the biggest impression can be made is Instagram – boasting over 800 million monthly interactions, this is the go-to platform for anything aesthetic.
There are a variation of strategies used by brands in order to raise awareness of their products and what their company stands for. Both are important in this day and age – for today’s conscientious consumer is more aware than ever of the way brands do business and, in survey after survey, theyhave indicated that they are more likely to buy from ethically transparent companies.
Consumers are more able than ever to interact directly with their favourite luxury fashion brands. This creates a stronger relationship and therefore builds loyalty between customer and business. In addition to this, consumers forge relationships with other fans of the brand. This ties into peer validation, something humans have always experienced but has now moved into the digital sphere.
Many social media users seek to gain approval and validation when they post an image making reference to a recent purchase. This comes in the form of the simple ‘like’ or ‘share’ of a post. Research has shown that 71% of users are more likely to make an online purchase if the product has been recommended by othersand 84% of Millennials are influenced to purchase purely by online posts and reviews.
The rise of the influencer
A simple Instagram post of a product in a ‘real life’ setting is a valuable way of being seen by a brand’s target audience. Consumers are much better able to imagine what this product will look like on different skin tones and in different environments.
Social influencers play a huge part in this development. Fashion brands – both high street and high end – nowactively recruitonline armies of loyal consumers who can evangelise about their products and prosthelytise about their principles to others. People connect with people and this digital evolution can only be a good thing for fashion brands.
Chopard has always valued its loyal customers and devotees. Celebrity supporters such as Julianne Moore, Chloë Sevigny and Léa Seydoux, amongst many others, actively collaborate with and champion Chopard’s exquisite products and ethical values.
Caroline Scheufele quickly recognised the need to showcase Chopard and she subsequently invited keen devotees to add the company to their online portfolio of liked and followed brands. Tagging relevant social media posts with #MyChopard allows fashionistas to be in with a chance to be featured on their website.
Impact on the fashion world
So what does this all lead to? Caroline Scheufele appreciates this is more than sales. It is about developing a community and inviting people in to experience what she calls “the magic of Chopard”and to share their stories with the world.
Instagram and other online platforms are highly developed and popular routes to market. As well as providing creative inspiration and the chance to distribute beautiful imagery to an eager audience, posts themselves can be linked to the product so the consumer can make the purchase there and then. This makes for a seamless, easy transaction which can then be shared with others in a matter of clicks.
Chopard’s corporate philosophy emphasises positive energy, beauty and generosity. Telling this story through their products and through real-life customers via social media is creating an exciting buzz that is evolving season by season.