When you walk into a clothing store, there are a few ways to categorize what you're looking at: There are the featured items of the day or season, items that only look good on manikins, and items on the bargain rack. But how can you tell which items are actually popular with previous or would-be customers? Brazilian fashion retailer C&A has the answer: Clothes hangers that leverage the 900 million-plus users on Facebook to show who likes a particular item.
When women go clothes shopping, they always feel insecure and want a second opinion, C&A says in its promotional video. But one second opinion is never enough. So how about finding out what everyone on Facebook is thinking about a particular item of clothing?
C&A calls this new concept Fashion Like, which has debuted at the C&A Shopping Iguatemi in Sao Paulo, Brazil. C&A is likely to roll out this technology at its other worldwide stores in Germany, Belgium, France, Poland, Russia, Spain, China, Mexico and the Netherlands, as well as several other countries. Unfortunately, the C&A doesn't have any stores in the U.S., so Americans won't get a chance to partake in this interesting social experiment without traveling abroad.
So how does C&A's Fashion Like concept work? Essentially, the company uses special hangers that contain wireless devices that can display, in real-time, the amount of Likes each piece of clothing has received on Facebook. C&A encourages fans to visit their Facebook page and like the clothes they like, for the sake of helping thousands of women in their difficult mission of choosing the ideal outfit.
C&A Brazil's Facebook page already has more than 300,000 likes, and there are plenty of women currently using the Fashion Like platform to like clothes and make suggestions for how to best wear those items.
While this particular promotion is intended only for women, this idea could certainly spark a social movement in the fashion industry, including both men's and women's fashion. It makes sense to use social networks to help customers make informed opinions about the clothes they buy -- especially since friends are extremely influential in the clothes we want to buy.
Global fashion retailers would be wise to pick up C&A's new Fashion Like technology, for several reasons. By giving fans greater access to what fans like on the Web, companies can boost the sales of individual items by lowering or raising prices for items based on their popularity (vis-a-vis demand), but they can also get a better idea of how to promote certain items across age verticals and receive greater insight into the sales themselves. Shopping has always been a social activity, but this takes it to a whole new level.
Check out C&A's video of the Fashion Like hangers, and let us know your comments and impressions below.