London Fashion Week sees no change in e-commerce sales

Optimove data suggests retailers should use the event to build long term relationships rather than focus on sales

London Fashion Week kicks off today, with over 170 designer brands heading to the capital to showcase their spring/summer 2018 collections.[1] Seen as a time to celebrate the best of UK fashion, there is also a move to drive a sales boost through the event, with ‘see now, buy now’ initiatives from brands like Burberry and Topshop. However, data from marketing platform Optimove found that there is no dramatic change in online purchasing during Fashion Week.

British Retailers such as New Look[2] are still getting involved by sponsoring after parties, launches and events but Optimove’s data suggests that for most retailers the impact in terms of sales will not be significant. Instead, they should be focusing on the acquisition of new customers and the development of long term relationships that can provide future value.

Pini Yakuel, founder and CEO of Optimove, comments: “Being attached to London Fashion Week is a great asset for many brands as it helps them to reach a bigger audience, but despite the best efforts to increase sales directly through the Fashion Week, this on the whole is a flawed way of approaching one-off events like this.

“Fashion is a passion industry: its customers are motivated by a shared passion for fashion and brands can use this to build a relationship with customers that lasts beyond this one week. Simply aiming to sell more during fashion week misses out on the opportunity it provides to connect with customers about topics they really care about.

“For the ultimately more valuable work of converting audiences into long term customers, brands need to communicate in an emotionally intelligent way. A retailer should be able to identify a particularly fashion-forward customer and give them early access to an exclusive collection, for example.”

Pini continues: “This means moving away from assumptions, towards segmentation and predictive analysis using data in real time. The data which helps brands to build up a fuller view of their customers is the most valuable thing to come out of London Fashion Week, because it can help retailers develop a relationship based on ongoing exchange of value.”

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