Instagram, social media, brand identity, asos

Despite thriving social media presences, even top retailers are struggling in the current market as nearly half of the top 10 retailers posted a year-on-year decline in earned media value.

Tribe Dynamics’ March EMV report ranks third-party retailers by its estimated value of publicity gained through digital media and correlating engagement levels. The measurements apply a dollar value to each piece of content, based on the perceived digital word-of-mouth to brands within the industry.

Of the top three retailers, Asos was the only that posted a gain — it secured a 58 percent year-on-year growth that resulted in more than $38.5 million in EMV. Nordstrom, which garnered the second position dropped 1 percent annually, landing at approximately $22.8 million EMV. In third, Urban Outfitters fell 4 percent to just over $14 million EMV.

Urban Outfitter’s sister company, Anthropologie was ranked in eighth position. The retailer fell a substantial 41 percent in annual EMV — it grossed just over $5.3 million in EMV compared to almost $9 million last year. Despite its best efforts to navigate the unstable landscape by introducing new technology like smart mirrors to its physical locations, Neiman Marcus dropped 2 percent in EMV, resulting in its ranking in 10th position. It collected more than $3.3 million EMV.

Still, there were retail brands that experienced gains.

The biggest standout growth was displayed by Net-a-porter.com. The high-end, e-commerce site secured an increase of 134 percent at approximately $6.3 million EMV that garnered sixth position in the ranking. The report noted that its efforts to tap into the Middle Eastern market proved fruitful through its partnership with American-Kuwaiti blogger Ascia Al Farah who has 2.1 million Instagram followers.

As part of the alignment, Ascia recommended styling tips and inspiration on summer styling through Net-a-porter’s social channels, which she also promoted in her own feeds as well. She devised 18 posts that had high engagement levels, which resulted in $377,000 in EMV, the report said.

The top fourth retailer, Revolve, also reported a gain — increasing 11 percent at $14.9 million in EMV year-on-year. The report asserted that its latest installment of blogger and influencer partnerships upped its profile. The latest strategy included a getaway tour for social players such as Marianna Hewitt and Olivia Culpo. The excursion whisked the ladies away to an English country estate for rest and relaxation following fashion month. The bloggers posted images wearing items available on Revolve. The initiative delivered a total of $2.2 million in EMV, the report said.

While Millennials and Generation Z shoppers continue to gain spending power, strategies such as those conducted by Revolve and Net-a-porter show signs to appeal to the fickle demographics. Both demographics frequently refer to social media to research products and crowdsource the popularity of an item before spending, said Accenture’s “Digital Dust” report on the shopping habits of both generations.

Inauthentic efforts will not be well received. By analyzing deep insights on the target audiences, brands and retailers will be armed with the necessary details on the best social influencers to tap and how to appeal to the consumers.

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