The Digital Marketing Highlights of London Fashion Week
Another London Fashion Week has come and gone and it’s been fascinating - not just for the cutting edge fashion but for the innovative marketing that’s accompanied it from some of the UK’s leading fashion brands.This time, it was TopShop who took the digital marketing plaudits by taking the commercial potential of the livestream catwalk show to a whole new level.Viewers of their LFW SS13 livestream were not only able to click on the looks to purchase them as the models sashayed up the catwalk, but to browse all of the colour options and add their favoured options to their basket without even pausing the livestream.Viewers also had the options to change the music, download the show soundtrack from iTunes, create screenshots, which they could share instantly on Facebook, and cut and share video clips.Other social elements included a ‘Tweet Off’ – a competition to find the author of the best 140-character review of the show, entries for which streamed live to TopShop.com – and a Tweetwalk of the show, released simultaneously by @ElleUk and @Topshop.Overall, the TopShop shows were a huge success – having been watched by 2 million people in 100 countries worldwide and having reached an overall audience of an estimated 200 million, mainly thanks to the screenshot sharing tool. TopShop trended globally on Twitter and, such was the popularity of the show, some items sold out before it had finished.Burberry – the pioneers of the livestream, Tweetwalk and animated Tweetwalk – didn’t launch any eye-catching new digital initiatives but they did open their new ‘Burberry World’ store just prior to LFW.Their flagship store was one of over 35 Burberry ‘retail theatres’ where guests could watch the livestream of their fashion show beamed from a purpose-built venue in London’s Hyde Park. Guests at the Regent Street store had the benefit of watching the show on the tallest retail screen in the world.The show was also available on Burberry’s site and through the Mail Online’s Femail channel, and fans had more access to the show than ever before via their mobiles as they were able to connect to the show via Facebook and Twitter for exclusive content and could share content with friends.The Hyde Park, Regent Street store and social media show experiences were linked via an advanced social stream, so that real time content from the London events, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram were integrated together – blurring the digital and physical worlds.Those watching were able to purchase the runway collection exclusively for one week immediately after the show, prior to the products going on sale globally eight weeks hence.Of course, not all fashion brands have the lavish budgets that TopShop and Burberry have at their disposal but many found innovative ways to turn interest in the livestream show into instantaneous sales.Scottish designer Jonathan Saunders, one of 47 designers who livestreamed their shows, offered his fans the opportunity to pre-order his collections from award-winning social shopping site Motilo.Motilo is a site designed to allow friends to shop together online whilst discussing the looks they’re creating with their friends via a skype-style function. Ten of the looks from Saunders’s Spring/Summer 2013 line were made available to buy immediately after the show via a specially designed hub on the Motilo site.House of Holland capitalised on their show – livestreamed on ebay’s Style Collective fashion blog – by creating LFW’s first virtual ‘pop up store’ on ebay. Open just for the duration of LFW, the store featured a selection of items from Henry Holland's AW2012 collection. Those who purchased were rewarded with a free pair of HoH tights.Of course, it wasn’t all about livestreams and ecommerce. Social media was used in other innovative ways to raise the profile of brands during the week.Most notable was designer Anya Hindmarch’s use on Pinterest, in collaboration with the British Fashion Council. Hindmarch shared her experiences – including invitations, seating plans, backstage pics and shots of her own collection as it broke- via pinning images to the BFC’s board, providing a real-time ‘designer’s eye’ diary of the event for her fans.And Net-a-Porter kept their social media followers up to date with the latest developments using images, videos and editorial content posted on their Tumblr and Fashion Fix blog.And finally, London Fashion Week supported the participants by bringing back their successful #AskLWF hashtag, allowing their Twitter followers to quiz LFW insiders like Matthew Williamson and Olivia Palermo in real time.