The buzzword in fashion and beauty these days is commerce. Everyone wants a piece of the retail pie. The competition is stiff too, thanks to tech-driven trends like instant gratification and online shopping. People are buying more clothes more often than ever before, but they’re also expecting there to be engaging ways to shop for things. Demo tools and trial runs of the latest virtual reality dressing rooms and makeup counters are proof the tech industry isn’t far from making practical, easy shopping even more efficient. When you get a glimpse at something’s potential, it’s hard to revert back and keep accepting the flaws of an old system. Something better is out there! As developers scramble to best each other in the fashion and beauty tech worlds, another platform for e-commerce is breaking on the scene. This time, writers are in the driver’s seat with fashion article commerce.
IT’S ALL ABOUT INTERACTION
You’re probably tired of hearing the phrase retail apocalypse. It’s not even technically accurate. Far from dying out, the basic concept of retail is very much alive and well in 21st-century fashion. The venue is what’s changing. For centuries, shopping in-store was the only way to guarantee you’d love what you bought. Even today, nothing beats the experience of trying on a new top and looking in the mirror to see how it fits. Cheesy though it sounds, that personal interaction with your clothing is important. Catalogs and early online stores made clothes shopping more accessible since you could order on the spot from any location, but they didn’t make your clothing personal. Today, virtual dressing rooms and 360˚ online showrooms are approaching the ability to simulate this personal experience. That’s why technology is coming out on top.
THE POWER OF THE BLOGGER
Along with creating virtual spaces where you can try accurately-rendered clothes, technology has handed a lot of power to online bloggers. Since the 2010s, individual critiques of everything from lipstick to jeans have flooded the internet. That’s why designers felt pressure to cater to the masses. A little over halfway through the decade, brands are finally calming down to see how they can best maximize the online blogger-sphere and use it to their advantage. Ambassador culture, when companies select a prevalent individual to represent their brand, is one popular way brands try to convert the fans of massive internet stars into money-spending customers. Another way recently popping up is fashion article commerce. This system sticks shoppable links into pop-up icons in fashion and beauty articles. No matter what you’re reading, click on an outfit you like and you’re immediately transferred to a customized online market.
What does fashion article commerce pull off that we haven’t seen before? It’s all in the presentation. Thousands of articles list the most popular clothes or accessories with links where you can buy each one. Even when they discuss general trends, fashion and beauty e-syndications know that linking to e-retail sites makes an article more engaging and useful. The defining factor of new fashion article commerce is that it applies in unexpected situations. Remember back in the 90s when you used to cut out magazine clippings of your favorite celebrities? Your only hope of finding those outfits was to stumble across them on a lucky trip to the mall. Fashion article commerce tools let you click on any celebrity photo and get a whole store dedicated to identical and similar clothing. It’s the ultimate set-up for any fashion-hungry fan. Just one click and you can be a star!
You won’t find fashion article commerce on many sites yet. Popsugar is one of the only companies with the platform up and running. Don’t worry, though. When a sure-fire hit like this comes along, name brands won’t let themselves be left behind for long.
— Julie Grossman