How Instagram Affects the Fashion Industry
Social media is one of the most widely used communication platforms all over the world. Over the years, there have been numerous disruptive technologies and innovations in computing and information technology. With the global adoption of computers and smartphones all over the world, most individuals have shifted from traditional communication methods to Internet-based communication (Pourkhani 223). Before the introduction of the World Wide Web (WWW) and social media platforms phone calls were the primary method of communication for both social and formal applications. Although cellular phone calls are still vital communication tools, most people rely on a web-based interface in their daily lives (Pourkhani 223). The internet and web made Emails famous due to convenience. Advancements in computing and smartphone technology have since increased the dependence on social media across all industries. Although social media platforms were initially developed for social uses like chatting with friends and family, they have evolved to a diverse of applications across different societies all over the world. As E-commerce grows rapidly, so does the use of social media communication. Understanding how social media platforms affect particular industries is vital for investors and the overall community.
One of the most widely used platforms is Instagram. The platform was launched in October 2010 as a subsidiary of Facebook, another popular social media platform (Instagram 943). Although the platform was initially designed for IOS devices. It was later adopted in other operating systems like Android and Windows mobile. It is a photo and video-sharing platform that allows users to share their pictures and video online. The platform also has other features like advertisements and direct messaging. Instagram quickly gained popularity in the social media space and has since made its way to professional fields like photography, the food industry, and the fashion industry. Instagram has particularly revolutionized the Apparel industry through several ways discussed below. Instagram has a significant impact on the fashion industry, particularly in sales and marketing.
The motivation of this research is the tremendous increase in Apparel manufactures and fashion designers on Instagram. From newbies to experienced and well-established companies and individuals, everyone seems to be using Instagram to reach potential customers from different parts of the world. However, some are more successful than others. It is crucial to understand the techniques and dynamic factors associated with implementing Instagram as a business tool in the fashion industry. Despite tremendous advantages from the implementation, there are some limitations of using the platform. As developers introduce more features to Instagram, and more people continue to implement it, understanding the platform and new techniques is essential to the latest and established players in the fashion industry. Although past research shows the overall impact of Instagram in business, there is limited research on the current implementation of Instagram in the fashion world.
The current research seeks to explore the following:
How individuals and companies use Instagram in the fashion industry.
The advantages of using Instagram in fashion
The challenges of using Instagram in the fashion industry.
Instagram in the Fashion industry
The use of social media in all sectors as spread beyond the unimaginable. The fashion industry is no exception (Ahmad et al. 1). Although the fashion industry joined social media later than other sectors, there is various implementation of Instagram in fashion and the overall apparel industry (Souza 4). One of the most widely used application is as a marketing tool. In contemporary society, online stores are booming, and most people prefer to market their products online due to the numerous advantages. Instagram has been the top social media marketing platform in the fashion industry since it focuses on videos and photos. The fashion industry is more of liking what you see which makes Instagram, a graphic based platform suitable (Souza 6). There are several ways of marketing on Instagram. The first is through paid advertisements. Like other platforms like YouTube and Facebook, Instagram has a paid ad service that allows subscribers to market their products online at a fee. Using Instagram allows designers and other distributors of fashion products to reach a broader market at a relatively low price (Souza 9). Most people prefer using a platform like Instagram since it is easy to access the target market
Instagram for Transparency
Another use of Instagram in the fashion industry is by launching products in the industry. Before the adoption of Instagram in fashion, there were numerous cases concerning the copying of products. For instance, there was a case between Dapper Dan and Gucci, where the later reportedly copied Dan’s designs (Jiang). Using a platform like Instagram ensures transparency in the fashion industry, which prevents the illegal copying of designs among different designers. Instagram has a relatively broad audience, which further improves its efficiency in terms of transparent activity (Jiang). Also, the platform allows agents to scout for good models since it shows an individual’s personality (“Instagram’S Transformation Of The Fashion Industry Continues | Olapic”). An initial Instagram post is viewed by thousands of people, which reduces the chances for another designer to use a similar product as their own.
Players in the fashion industry also use Instagram communication with customers to determine consumer preference. Understanding what people want is crucial to the fashion industry. For instance, the youth population is more likely to buy casual apparel compared to the elderly population. Knowing consumer preference allows designers and distributes in the fashion industry to make targeted products and develop new designs according to the demand of the target population. It also allows companies to manage their inventory. It would be inappropriate to supply heavy clothes to a particular region during summer. Using Instagram allows manufacturers and distributors to create stronger relationships with consumers, which creates loyalty and preference. Also, the interaction on Instagram will enable customers to gain access to shared value, which results in developing more trust for the products (Loureiro, Serra and Guerreiro 1). Using Instagram in the fashion industry has significant advantages to consumers and producers. It is, therefore, one of the most useful tools.
Finally, research shows that fashion brands have several techniques to use Instagram in the fashion industry. According to Souza (9), individual designers and companies may use Instagram through mentions, hashtags, content subjects, and multimedia content on company-owned Instagram accounts. Some of the major luxury brands prefer using Instagram to other social media sites due to the high organic engagement levels (Souza 6). Although the application techniques of Instagram in the fashion industry may differ among different users, they serve the same purpose of promoting the fashion industry.
Instagram Trends in Fashion
The fashion industry is an unpredictable and quickly changing industry. In contemporary society, these changes are stronger in social media platforms than in physical society. Instagram is one of the top sites where fashion trends gain momentum. In the recent past, fashion events barely got enough attention. However, Instagram is a 24-hour fashion haven where traditional fashion events take place. According to a report by Instagram data, fashion is currently a full-time global event due to the implementation of Instagram in the sector. The platform allows the community to discover new talent, stay up-to-date with the latest trends from the largest manufacturers, and celebrate talent in fashion. From a geographical perspective, fashion companies all over the world have adopted social media as a primary method of communication.
Purpose of the Study
The current study will investigate the implementation of Instagram in the contemporary fashion industry. The proposed research will take a qualitative approach involving narrative interviews from different companies and individual designers in the fashion industry. The interviews will be the primary data collection method supported by internet research and past research from credible sources, the study will take a consumers approach as well as the manufacturer approach due to the dynamics involved in the social media marketing.
A narrative methodology is the best method in the study. It is appropriate due to the nature of the industry and the dynamic factors involved like the geographical location and the size of the organization. It will include face to face communication with different stakeholders in the industry.
The social media and the AIDA theories are the basis of the current research. The framework will be implemented similar to previous research on other social media platforms in other fields. The qualitative research will allow the implementation of the structure at all levels of the study.
According to the social media interaction theory, social media interaction has a significant influence on the relationships between an organization and its customers. The communications also have a considerable impact on the decisions that other people make. The theory emphasizes that social media allows individuals to make decisions based on the decisions of other people in a similar situation (Narving, Emma and Anneli 18). The theory also suggests that using social media reduces the risk of customer agitation, which improves customer loyalty to a particular organization. In the fashion industry, rends are vital. The framework is, therefore, suitable in the fashion industry social media space.
On the other hand, AIDA is a communication theory proposed by Elmo Lewis. The model focuses on the customers and their buying preferences. The concept consists of four major stages; Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action (AIDA) (Narving, Emma and Anneli 17). Although it is designed for traditional media, it is also applicable in Instagram and the contemporary fashion industry. Although combining an old model and new techniques may pose challenges in the study, AIDA is crucial to understanding the process of selling products to consumers online.
The research will be conducted on a sample of 50 participants in the fashion industry in different parts of the world. The primary method of data collection in the study is using narrative interviews. Team members will conduct interviews on individual designers and representatives of fashion companies from the sample population. Structured interviews are preferred for accuracy and uniformity in the research. The team will maintain digital records of the research that will be transcribed for analysis.
The secondary data collection will involve collection and analysis of peer-reviewed journal articles online to obtain background information for the research. The team will use the Google search engine to get the documents. A sample of ten articles from different authors all over the world is most suitable for the study. The articles should not be published earlier than 2015 and should have information useful to the research.
The population for the primary data collection was selected based on geographical location, size, and popularity. The samples vary from large, well-established organizations to new players in the fashion industry. The individuals should be able to express themselves in English and agree to digital recording and participation. Also. The interviewees must either be middle level or top-level employees in their respective organizations.
The research team will analyze the credibility of the articles for dates, language, and the quality of the research. Using a recent study enables the researchers to understand the current trends in the fashion industry and the areas to focus on in the study. Apart from articles that focus on the use of social media in the fashion industry, some of the articles will focus on how Instagram works to understand how it works and the different implementation techniques.
Ahmad, Nawaz, Atif Salman, and Rubab Ashiq. “The impact of social media on fashion industry: Empirical investigation from Karachiites.” Journal of Resources Development and Management 7 (2015). https://www.researchgate.net/publication/275714886_The_Impact_of_Social_Media_on_Fashion_Industry_Empirical_Investigation_from_Karachiites
“Instagram’S Transformation Of The Fashion Industry Continues | Olapic.” Olapic | Visual Commerce and Marketing Platform. N.p., 2017. Web. 22 May 2019. http://www.olapic.com/resources/instagrams-transformation-fashion-industry-continues/
“Instagram.” The SAGE Encyclopedia of Economics and Society (2015): 943-944. Web. 21 May 2019. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/303443794_Instagram_-_social_media
Jiang, Edwin. “Eva Chen On How Instagram Is Changing Fashion.” Vogue.co.uk. N.p., 2017. Web. https://www.vogue.co.uk/article/how-instagram-is-changing-fashion-eva-chen-intervie
Loureiro, Sandra Maria Correia, Jessica Serra, and João Guerreiro. “FASHION BRANDS COMMUNICATING AND INTERACTING IN INSTAGRAM: A NETNOGRAPHY APPROACH.” Global Fashion Management Conference 2018 (2018): 1352-1362. Web. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/326690897_FASHION_BRANDS_COMMUNICATING_AND_INTERACTING_IN_INSTAGRAM_A_NETNOGRAPHY_APPROACH
Narving, Emma, and Anneli Nilsson. “The road to success on Instagram? Engagement and Interaction!: A study of the relevance of Interaction and engagement and their impact on ASOS’reputation.” (2016). https://uu.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:1070285/FULLTEXT01.pdf
Pourkhani, A., et al. “The impact of social media in business growth and performance: A scientometrics analysis.” International Journal of Data and Network Science 3.3 (2019): 223-244. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/330990327_The_impact_of_social_media_in_business_growth_and_performance_A_scientometrics_analysis
Souza, Nicholaus. “Luxury Fashion And Social Media: Brand’S Usage Of Instagram To Reach An Audience.” Utica College (2016): n. pag. Print. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/301224204_Luxury_Fashion_and_Social_Media_Brand’s_Usage_of_Instagram_to_Reach_an_Audience