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BizReport : Social Marketing : March 02, 2016

Fashion retailers on Facebook failing to fully engage

How well are fashion retailers using Facebook to engage and interact with their customers? Not very well at all, according to new data released by multichannel and ecommerce consultants Practicology.

by Helen Leggatt

Practicology reviewed the U.K. Facebook Pages of 50 fashion retailers - including clothing, footwear and accessories - to investigate levels of engagement and support being offered. Their findings suggest that there is a lot of room for improvement, with many customers being ignored, out-of-date themes and a lack of customer service information.

While most (86%) of the fashion retailers investigated had direct messaging enabled on their Facebook Pages, more than a third (36%) did not respond to customer queries sent by Practicology. With Facebook increasingly being seen as a customer service channel by social media users, ignoring queries via direct message is tantamount to not picking up the phone or ignoring emails.

Furthermore, more than half (56%) had no customer service information on their Facebook Page leaving customers choosing to search out details such as an email or phone number in the dark. Nearly a quarter (22%) had no links or calls to action that might direct Page visitors to their website, providing a dead end for those visiting.


"Social media should be viewed as a crucial aspect of a retailer's customer engagement and customer service strategy," says Practicology social media consultant Amanda Haxton.

"Fashion retailers and brands understand that if a consumer sees an outfit in their store window they expect to be able to walk into the store and buy it," she added. "Yet when it comes to Facebook pages, too many retailers don't take the same approach. And even worse, a significant number allowed customers to message them through Facebook and then didn't respond. This is akin to a staff member refusing to answer a question from a customer in a store".

Other findings from the report, which can be downloaded free of charge online, include:

- During the festive period more than half (52%) did not choose to change the theme of their cover image;
- Of those that did change their cover image over Christmas, half had not been changed back by the first day at work in January;
- 52% of retailers replied to a customer query using the customer's name;
- 4 retailers ended their response with "love" or kisses (xx);
- 2 retailers used an emoji in their response.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: customer service, fashion, social marketing

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