For the last four decades, photography and visual marketing have been central to the fashion business. Even with rise of digital media, the user experience has remained the same: browse, see, choose the item, search for it, buy it. The problem is: more passages come between the initial intent to buy and the final purchase, the less likely it is to be completed, especially when it involves surfing the web, land of endless possibilities.

In recent years, social media visual marketing and influencers have been the two major game changers for the business of fashion marketing. While the proliferation of low cost micro-channels has amplified the marketing reach, this fragmentation, and the new dynamics introduced by social media, have also been a barrier to monetization for brands and influencers alike.

But fear not! As always in the digital world, it is just a matter of time for the right technology to emerge - applications that can radically shorten the path to purchase: the shoppable photo and video.

Project September was among the first to open the doors, or better, screens on the new way of shopping fashion. A brainchild of Alexis Maybank, already the co-founder of Gilt, the app launched in early 2016. Its friendly green dot lets users discover and shop fashion and beauty images pulled directly from social media platforms like Instagram or Pinterest.

CoSign takes visual shopping a step further making social media images shoppable. As the cofounder Esosa Ighodaro has told us “The COSIGN app is changing the way you shop by providing access to buy items directly from photos on social media. The best part is that anyone can get a commission on every sale from the content they share. Visual commerce unlocks so many opportunities including See Now, Buy Now in your favorite user generated content.”

How to shop on social media
© Cosign
How to shop on social media

Photo campaigns are usually a more affordable and diffused medium, however, shoppable video is really where all the big fashion names are. From Diesel to Kate Spade and Harper's Bazaar, brands and publishers love that they can bring the customer from the video to the their specific ecommerce page. To those brands and influencers whose strategy focuses on video, Cinematique offers a platform that doesn't require a developer in-house to create shoppable videos.

On the creative side, the enormous potential video advertising will finally shine, some videos are just more than a filmed catalogue, but others are cool short movies by renowned film stars (Guy Ritchie for Ted Baker, Anna Kendrick for Kate Spade). There is no doubt that fashion shopping is on the verge of another makeover, brands and publishers better be ready.


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