online shopping

Social Media Is Not Helping Brands Sell Clothes

Photo: Photo: Colin Anderson/Corbis

Remember when “F-commerce,” or Facebook commerce, was going to be the next big thing? In 2011, brands like Oscar de la Renta, Tory Burch, and Gap set up portals on Facebook that would allow customers to discover and buy directly from their social-media pages. Major brands were certain it would drive retail traffic and become a “major channel of commerce,” Oscar de la Renta’s CEO told Mashable in 2011. Unfortunately, as Mashable discovered in a follow-up report, that prediction isn’t really panning out. With the exception of Tory Burch, most brands have since shuttered their e-storefronts.

Of course, it’s true that branding, fashion, and the social-media market all go hand in hand. And with sites like Refinery29 moving toward a hybrid of social, commerce, and blog, the early heralding of Facebook shopping as the next big thing actually made sense. Still, Mashable reports that, when it comes to retail, less than .25 percent of new customers come from Facebook, and even fewer come from Twitter — .1 percent of a brand’s retail customers. For now, it’s just noise, but not the sort bringing in any dollars.