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September 05, 2017 | Shares:

How Lingerie & Swim Brands Are Disrupting Social Marketing
5 min.

Online lingerie and swimwear brands are tackling key consumer pain points with user-generated content.

A Yotpo study of 1.3 million customer reviews revealed that size and fit are two of the biggest pain points for online fashion shoppers.

In the lingerie and swimwear industries, these issues are amplified because size and fit vary between companies and depend so much on personal preference and each individual’s unique body shape.

In brick-and-mortar stores, a trusted second opinion from a friend or a sales associate boosts customer confidence and makes shoppers more likely to buy.

Blurring the Lines Between eCommerce and Social Networks

Social networks are expanding into every aspect of our daily lives, including our shopping habits.

Visually driven social media like Instagram and Pinterest started out as digital forms of window shopping, but with Buyable Pinssocial ads, and Shoppable Instagram galleries, we now have instant access to stores and product pages from social.

Swimwear and lingerie customer photos and reviews

Frankie’s Bikinis, a company mainly discovered via Instagram and whose customers mostly come from there, embraces its social media origins and user-generated content to enhance its brand and stay relevant to customers.

Marketing and Creative Manager Lucas Huffman says that for Frankie’s Bikinis, more UGC only leads to more sales and happier customers.

 “We’re a brand built on social media and we know our customers were created there. For them, having UGC on the site refers them back to where they first saw and fell in love with our product.”

The aspirational visual content in swimwear and lingerie customer photos keeps social communities active and inspires brand fans to share even more user-generated content.

Aspirational content takes a step beyond informational messaging into the realm of lifestyle experiences. It allows companies to express their values through content that encapsulates the essence of their brand.

Swimwear and lingerie customer photos and reviews

For swimwear brands this could mean a picture of people wearing their bathing suits on pristine beaches. For lingerie brands it may be a picture of someone starting their day with the lingerie that makes them feel the most confident.

This type of content evokes an emotion based on the context, in addition to the product.

Eye-catching swimwear or lingerie customer photos can help inspire consumer confidence in products that are notoriously challenging for women to shop for.

A Product Development Gold Mine

In addition to inspiration, user-generated content allows customers to tell you exactly what they like and don’t like about your products.

Online fashion brands are seeing the benefits of using customer input to drive product decisions. When asked how they deal with the challenges of being an entirely online lingerie brand, Adore Me COO Romain Liot said,We just trust our customer.”

“We generate customer content, letting our customers influence our decisions about next purchases. The best guides to making the right decisions are our customers.” 

Adore Me

User-generated content allows your brand to maintain an ongoing conversation with your customers, and Instagram in particular really gets them talking.

Instagram is a forum where brands can inspire customers and where customers can inspire brands. It can serve as the perfect swimwear and lingerie photo gallery, featuring customer photos, and giving shoppers the opportunity to engage and comment on different styles.

If a particular style, color, location or activity shows up throughout a brand’s following on Instagram, the brand can pick that up and use it as inspiration for their product line.

It can also serve as a testing ground for new products, as Everlane is doing with their private Instagram account.

The private account is essentially a social-media-based focus group made up of the brand’s most dedicated customers, where the company gets immediate reaction to new products and the customers get exclusive pre-launch deals.

The product development process at Frankie’s Bikinis is also largely influenced by Instagram. Huffman says that user-generated content has influenced all aspects of the Frankie’s Bikinis brand.

“We test all sorts of things from colors, suits and cuts, to different graphics and branding techniques to see what responds well with our customers and what falls short.” 

An Opportunity to Disrupt the Lingerie & Swimwear Shopping Experience With Customer Photos and Reviews

Lingerie and swimwear customers have notoriously difficult shopping experiences with major pain points in finding the right size, fit and style. Not only that, but women frequently find a favorite cut or style, and then prefer not to risk trying something new that may not fit as well.

Many online brands are using the growth of eCommerce as an opportunity to change the way people shop, and overcome the hurdles facing swimwear and lingerie customers.

ThirdLove app

ThirdLove offers unique resources such as Bra 101, FitFinder and an app to help site visitors find the right size and style for them. ThirdLove Director of Strategy Veronique Powell says that breast and body shape play a huge part in determining whether a particular style will fit well.

“At ThirdLove, we believe there is more to fit than just your size.”

Build a Shared Experience Around Your Brand

User-generated content elevates an online store’s existing resources, building a customer community of shoppers who provide social proof for the brand’s products and for the company as a whole.

Such communities break down barriers between individual online shoppers, which in turn leads to conversions and increased trust in your brand.

Huffman says that displaying pictures from past buyers encourages online shoppers to convert.

“For us, UGC is a way for customers to feel comfortable about making a purchase.” 

ThirdLove features user-generated content on their website and in their e-mails, which Powell says highlights what real women love about their products.

ThirdLove

“UGC in the form of customer reviews helps the women shopping our site understand how our bras fit on other women with similar shapes and pain points.”

Customer reviews and pictures build a shopper’s confidence in a brand, which is essential for young eCommerce stores.

Powell adds that customer reviews provide an additional layer of confidence for potential customers who are just discovering ThirdLove for the first time.

“UGC is incredibly important for establishing trust in potential customers and helping them to understand the quality and overall value of our products.”

Conclusion

Swimwear and lingerie companies selling online have niche pain points that magnify the overarching challenges of eCommerce.

User-generated content provides such brands with the opportunity to talk to their customers, improve their product, disrupt an old industry and grow their community.

 

Joanna Alter
Joanna Alter, Managing Editor at Yotpo
Joanna is a proud Badger and Connecticut native who loves showing people around Tel Aviv. She is interested in cool SaaS companies, live music and good food with no tomatoes. Follow her @alterjoanna
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