Fashion Rambler meets James Roome of iCom

I got the chance to pick the brains of one of the Social Media boffins at iCom. So I did. Here is what James Roome has to say about Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and the rest of the Social world.


Fashion Rambler: How do you envisage Social Media platforms and their ever increasing role in eCommerce unfolding? Will we really be buying fashion in Facebook?
James Roome: Yes I think we will; in fact we already are. Massive global brands like Starbucks and big name fashion brands like ASOS are using social commerce, so I’d say it isn’t going anywhere. Facebook’s massive user base is just too tempting for retailers.
Social commerce is also handy for smaller brands that haven’t had a mobile site or shopping app built, as it helps them to tap in to the mobile market. We’re actually in the process of building an F-commerce tab for one of our fashion clients, so we’re looking forward to getting some more concrete information on how just how lucrative Facebook shopping is.  
Of course, there are hurdles for social commerce to overcome. There are usability issues with the integration of social commerce apps in Facebook such as page load times, and the inevitable security concerns. There are also issues relating to the overhead for the business in managing another distribution channel which may not generate enormous sales whilst the concept of F-commerce is still in its infancy.
FR: What dashboard do you favour? (Hootsuite, tweetdeck etc…)
JR: I use Hootsuite PRO. To be honest there’s not a great deal to separate them, I just prefer the user interface to that of Tweetdeck.
It also offers decent reporting options and I like the fact that I can schedule tweets by uploading a csv. 
FR: Following my recent post on how Scheduling lead to back-lash during the riots (see how Twitter Backfires here) Is Scheduling as convenient as retailers think or will consumers start to switch off to tweet-bots?
JR; I think consumers already switch off to tweet bots. The only fully scheduled accounts that can possibly work are those belonging to already massive brands that don’t have to do anywhere near as much work to build a following online.
Having said that, I do think scheduling has a place in a properly managed social media account. For example, there’s nothing wrong with scheduling a few tweets for a weekend event. In fact, we scheduled some tweets for one of our clients over the recent Manchester Pride weekend.
As long as you ensure that you monitor your account and are ready to reply to your followers’ queries, retweet their content and generally interact, there’s no problem with setting up a few tweets in advance to bulk out your feed.
You just have to be careful that it doesn’t take over; simply setting up a Twitterfeed of vaguely relevant content and auto-publishing to your account is a big waste of time. 
Read more of this interview at The Fashion Network here.

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American Apparel Fail

Bought from American Apparel the other day. Not exactly a nice experience.

Firstly, the website isn’t user friendly. I got attracted to the site from a Tweet from @americanapparel advertising ‘20% off Basics’, could I find the discounted basics? Could I hell. It wasn’t until the checkout that I was informed that the discount was automatic….
The categories are also confusing. Each banner link presents with it a plethora of other options, but navigating the options throughout the platform (i.e. from bracelets to shorts) is not so easy.

So. Anyway, I went to the checkout after getting 10% off for signing up to the newsletter. Brill. I then got an email to push for more info in return for 15% off. Bonus. I went through the questions and filled in my deets to get my 15% off discount code. Input it, got the discount and made my purchase.
Or so I thought. My code miraculously turned into the 10% code and reverted back and I lost my discount. Upon realising this I tweeted @americanapparel for help, as I would have tweeted @ASOS_HereToHelp and I’ve yet to receive a reply. Why have a twitter if you’re not going to converse?
In other news: one of the items I paid for isn’t in stock and I’ve got to wait 3 week for it.
Great.
I love American Apparel and I love what the brand does globally BUT come on!
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Pure London and Stitch Menswear Trade Shows

I spent last Sunday at the opening of Pure London and Stitch Menswear A/W’11 trade shows. I saw so many brilliant brands hoping to make it this A/W, some from the past and some brand new. I’ll be posting some juicy look book scans soon from some of my favourite brands but first, a general round up of my day.
I got there at just before 11 and immediately set out to see who was on offer at Stitch Menswear (the UK’s only dedicated menswear trade show). I found LUKE, Peter Werth, Kappa and even La Coq Sportif! Anywho, more about the brands in coming posts. As well as sampling the merch from the brands on offer I attended some seminars and talks across the event held in both Earl’s Court and Olympia. In Earl’s Court I was among the hundreds that crowded around the Pure Spirit Inspiration Stage to witness the unveiling of Katie Price’s latest fashion label Day 22. I won’t bore you with a commentary of the clothing as you’ve no doubt heard about it already but what I will say is that Miss Price shouldn’t be underestimated. 
 
After closing the catwalk show Miss Price was interviewed by some journo along with her fellow business partner Lamis Khamis, the designer. Miss Price commented on how she had never been accepted in the fashion world, “ever!”, and looked out to the see of fashion journos and buyers, before she declared that by 14:00pm on their first day of pitching the brand had nearly sold out to buyers! Pretty good going when not one brand I visited that day had made a sale. Katie finished her little interview by calling out to the crowd, “thank you for letting me come to your fashion event”… In other words, she stuck two fingers up.
Straight after Katie was a talk entitled “10 Things I Wish I Knew” which saw Editor of industry magazine Drapers interview, owner of Drapers Award for Best Indie winner, Lewis Yates. But, the talk was a bit rubbish. Jessica interviewed Yates, which was fine, but no top ten tips for indies were ever divulged and Yates have obviously not prepared. I was a little disappointed.
One thing that was of interest was Yate’s hesitation to talk his successful boutique online. I was shocked when he shrugged his shoulders and said it was too much work but upon pondering the answer I suppose it is a lot to talk on if your team is small. OiPolloi of Manchester have a whole floor of their HQ dedicated to eCommerce alone..
 
Another talk I went to was at the contemporary stage in Pure at Olympia. Here two lovely techies talked through the best ways to use Video media to maximise your eCommerce business. Three types of video were played: the Dorothy Perkins Xmas Stock Shoot which was an example of ‘behind the scenes’. A moody musicy typically Jordan Scott for Prada piece for some indie brand and finally a MyTV interview from mywardrobe.com with stylist Grace Woodward. The three videos aimed to show examples of the ways you can engage a customer with your brand through video media output on your website. The boys talked about the best ways to go it on the cheap including, sourcing independent music from local bands etc. Using basic editing software but not making it obvious you have by keeping edits simple and graphics bold and standard.
I missed the rest because I had to dash for the tube.
END.
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