Two of the biggest clothing retailers in the U.S., Under Armour and Urban Outfitters, have started to use images posted by social media fans to advertise their products online, it has emerged.
The firms have also been joined by web retailers Dessy.com, Rebecca Minkoff and Beauty.com in trialling Fanreel, a new social networking commerce platform that gathers user-generated content from Instagram, Facebook, desktop computers and mobile phones.
Before the images are used by the companies for their sites, the pictured fans must have already opted in order to provide permission. The brands then moderate the content and link it to the products on offer.
Urban Outfitters, which is based in Philadelphia but has branches across the UK, has chosen the tool to help it re-launch its Urban Outfitters on You (UOonYou) Instagram profile. The page allows shoppers to publish images of themselves dressed in the company’s products.
The firm is hoping to see how much of an impact the Fanreel images are having on sales of each item by tracking the number of shoppers clicking on the tagged pictures in their newsfeeds before making a purchase. This ability to measure impact will no doubt help the company to improve its strategy going forward.
Urban Outfitters’ senior marketing manager, Moira Gregonis, said that the introduction of user-generated content to the website is a “win-win” situation for boosting trackable engagement online. The company is hoping to integrate the social imagery with its product pages over the next few months.