We’ve been seeing Instagram and Facebook slowly turning from an image discovery and sharing site to a shopping platform. These social media channels are being optimised to make your purchase process easier and easier, with a new dress now possible in less than three clicks. You’ll notice that on Instagram, sharing options have moved to the top right corner and your shopping tab is now the second tab option from the bottom right (just where your commanding thumb lives…). As online shopping booms (thanks Corona), social media platforms and retailers are having to adapt and allow products to be shopped directly in app.
Last year we wrote about Robot Influencers and we wondered if they were here to stay. Well, @lilmiquela now boasts 2.9 million followers and a swarm of imitators in her dust. Lil Miquela’s existence alone sparked the documentary Sylvia in 2020 where the creator, Ziv Schneider, explores the volatility of the influencer cycle. She describes the appeal of these robot influencers to brands perfectly: ‘I guess the idea behind this, the business model, is that you can design a human being and use them to promote brands and basically make money off them forever’.
It’s not all doom and gloom – we’re predicting this AI technology to appear more as part of brands user experience model. Think Louis Vuitton leveraging chatbots to add that human touch or the power of AI they used to create an at home runway where people could imagine themselves at their show using only a filter – a luxury usually reserved for the fashion elite. This sort of advancement is exciting and we’re looking forward to seeing AI innovation trickle down to the masses.
The big dogs over at Deloitte have done a whole report on global trends for next year and a key they found was a desire for participation and human experience when it comes to brand marketing on social media. Being stuck at home had individuals more deprived of human connection than ever before in 2020, so we saw a worldwide push for brands to facilitate connection and allow their audience to feel that they are a ‘part of the team’. This means we can expect to see more collaboration and focus on purchase experience than ever. It’s interesting to note that participation has gone beyond a Google review; consumers are now considering themselves innovators, influencers, collaborators and brand ambassadors. Involvement has never been more in fashion.
This pandemic has not only turned the way we think around but it’s also changed the way we interact with the world and businesses in it. It will be more important than ever for brands to come back to the consumer and what they want using one-on-one feedback, user testing and surveys to gauge whether these changes in behaviour are temporary or permanent.
What do you think is coming in 2021? Let us know!