NPD: Social Media’s Influence on Fashion Industry Sales

June 22, 2021 – The NPD Group – There is something to be said about the sense of community when it comes to who and what users follow on social media. Consumers put a lot of faith in the experiences and recommendations of people whom they may not know first-hand. As a result, social media has transformed from a place of sharing to a place of discovery, and even shopping, particularly as it relates to fashion.

The NPD Group recently surveyed consumers to determine how they learn about or discover fashion brands and retailers. Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest landed at the top of this list, educating 41%, 35%, and 21% of consumers about brands, respectively. When asked what platforms converted advertising and other content into actual purchases, a little over half (51%) said Facebook and Instagram content resulted in buying products.

“The pandemic accelerated the ongoing retail shift from brick-and-mortar stores to online purchasing years into the future,” said Maria Rugolo, apparel industry analyst for NPD. “Ready or not, with consumers sheltered at home last year, fashion retailing needed to adapt, and that adaptation had to happen quickly. With this shift, impulse purchasing also shifted. As these platforms make purchasing even easier, with one-click shopping and the ability to buy instantly, social media will continue to gain more impulse-purchase attention.”

In a recent thought leadership survey done in conjunction with partner CivicScience, when NPD asked consumers if they made any unplanned purchases of clothing, footwear, or accessories while scrolling through social media, younger consumers said they were more inclined to buy on impulse. In fact, one in three consumers between the ages of 13 and 24 had some sort of purchase interaction when it came to fashion and social media. Twelve percent said they made an unplanned purchase, 17% said they were not opposed to it in the future, while only 6% said they would not purchase fashion products via social media sites again.

“We’re closely watching social media engagement options, like livestreaming, as well,” added Rugolo. “While still small relative to other modes of discovery, livestreaming converts to purchases at about the same rate as larger platforms. It’s clear that those consumers who are using livestreaming are engaged by it.”

Read more at The NPD Group.