SOURCE: NetBase

NetBase

August 14, 2013 09:00 ET

NetBase Retail Report: Social Channels of Influence for Apparel Brands

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA--(Marketwired - Aug 14, 2013) - NetBase, the Social Intelligence Company, today announced the release of a special report: "Social Channels of Influence for Apparel: A Consumer Study" that reveals the social platforms that influence women's buying decisions across categories in apparel. Based on a study of 1,005 women across the United States with profiles on at least one social network, NetBase uncovered that social media channels vary in influence by apparel type, social behavior and consumer ethnicity.

In the US, women's apparel is a $175 billion industry. For apparel brands within this global market, it's a competitive advantage to know which social channels to use for understanding shoppers and influencing their purchase decisions. When looking specifically at the survey results regarding buying behavior in the apparel categories (career/office, active/fitness, special occasion, and casual), NetBase found:

  • Social Channel Influence Varies Across Apparel Subcategories
    • Women most frequently turn to the experts on blogs and message boards when making decisions about career and special occasion clothing. For casual clothing, they trust their friends and what they see on Facebook. In active/fitness wear, visuals and friends' opinions are both important.
  • Twitter Is Not a Top Influencer, Unless Celebrities Are Involved
    • Female social media users who are more likely to use brands or products associated with celebrities they like are 60 percent more likely to have Twitter profiles and be influenced by twitter than female social media users overall.
  • Social Media Matters a Lot for Two Key Consumer Segments (1)
    • 46 percent of fashionistas and 62 percent of social shoppers are influenced by Facebook in at least one apparel subcategory.
    • 51 percent of fashionistas and 52 percent of social shoppers are influenced by fashion blogs and message boards in at least one apparel subcategory.
    • 40 percent of fashionistas and 42 percent of social shoppers are influenced by Pinterest in at least one apparel subcategory.
  • Hispanic Female Social Media Users Influenced By Visual Channels
    • Hispanic female social users also index high for social influence in the apparel categories analyzed. This especially holds true in the visual channels. In the casual clothing subcategory, Hispanic female social media users are 71 percent more likely to look to Pinterest for inspiration than female social media users overall and twice as likely to look to Instagram. 

"This report confirms the direction of many marketing strategies deployed by apparel retailers, yet reveals detailed insights into the exact social channels of influence that impact each category of clothing," said Lisa Joy Rosner, CMO of NetBase. "Apparel companies need to learn who and what influences their brand and industry conversations, approach demographics differently by platform, and consider Twitter as a key to celebrity endorsement plans."

The full report titled, "Social Channels of Influence in the Fashion Industry: A Consumer Study" including "The Key Takeaways: Four Things You Should Start Doing Today" can be downloaded here.

Methodology
To understand how social media influences women's fashion purchases, NetBase commissioned Edison Research to survey a representative sample of women over 18 years of age in the United States who have a profile on or more social networks. The sample of 1,005 women was collected in May 2013 and is weighted to the national U.S. population of adult female social media users.

(1) There are two hot consumer segments where social media matters most in all four apparel subcategories:

  • "Fashionistas" (28 percent of respondents) are women who strongly agree with the statement, "Fashion and beauty are extremely important to me."
  • "Social shoppers" (15 percent of respondents) are women who strongly agree with the statement, "The brands and products my friends use influence my own purchase decisions."

About NetBase
NetBase delivers the social intelligence that global brands and agencies use to publish, monitor, analyze and engage with customers in real time. Using a high-precision natural language processing (NLP) engine our platform processes billions of social media posts to extract structured insights delivered via customizable dashboards. Our solutions enable digital marketing, public relations, brand management, customer service, sales, and product innovation leaders to craft winning strategies faster. Clients include Coca-Cola, Kraft, Kenneth Cole, Estee Lauder, ESPN, McCann Erickson and Yum! Brands. NetBase solutions are sold globally by SAP AG and J.D. Power & Associates. For more information, visit www.netbase.com, @NetBase, on Facebook page, LinkedIn, or YouTube.

About Edison Research
Edison Research conducts market research and exit polling, providing strategic information for businesses and media organizations worldwide. With an expertise in both quantitative and qualitative research, Edison works with many established corporations looking to keep their edge or expand, as well as young companies just starting to develop their businesses. Edison offers expertise in telephone, Internet and in-person research as well as focus groups and dial testing. Edison Research has been the sole provider of exit poll information to the six major news organizations -- ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX, NBC and the Associated Press -- since 2003. Edison has conducted exit polls and collected precinct vote returns to project and analyze results for every major primary and the general election from 2004 to the present, including the recent 2012 Presidential election.

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