Consumers now expect instant gratification in the digital space, shopping straight from social networks via “Shop Now” and “Buy It” buttons on Instagram and Pinterest. Last month, TLC’s Love, Lust or Run became one of the first TV shows to tap into this technology, making its fashions instantly available for purchase on its social channels through a partnership with New York-based Stylinity, which works with retailers such as Nordstrom and H&M to make social content “shoppable” through a content management system that creates, shares, tracks and analyzes social content, such as photos of clothes and accessories, across social media.
Love, Lust or Run features fashion expert and former What Not to Wear host Stacy London giving makeovers to women with outrageous or unconventional styles. Execs at TLC, owned by Silver Spring, Md.-based Discovery Communications Inc., approached Stylinity with the idea after receiving viewer requests about where they could buy the clothes, shoes and jewelry featured on the show. “TLC viewers are incredibly social and love to engage with us as they watch, often asking what Stacy is wearing and where they can get the products, and we are excited to answer that call through [this] partnership,” said Scott Lewers, senior vice president of multiplatform strategy at TLC, in a press release.
Viewers can now purchase items worn by London and the show’s participants as the show airs by visiting TLC’s Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram feeds, TLC’s website or Stylinity’s website. Viewers can see outfit photos and connect to “Buy Now” buttons for each product directly from their social feeds. “We’re removing all of the obstacles [to shopping],” says Emily Cohen, CMO of Stylinity. “Customers now expect to access whatever information or product they want, wherever and whenever they choose. With this technology, they can buy the products in real time, on demand. It’s instant gratification.”
Additionally, the effort taps into consumers’ increasing use of smartphones or tablets while watching TV, she says. “Second-screening is huge right now, and retention of pure TV advertising is decreasing because when people are watching TV, they’re on their devices, they’re following Twitter, they’re commenting with other fans. Brands can fight that by putting themselves in both places.”
The campaign is promoted through on-air callouts and voiceovers on the show, and on TLC’s website and social channels. Lower-cost versions of London’s looks also are available to buy instantly. “TLC [wanted] to make sure we’re serving their full demographic. If there are folks who want to get exactly what Stacy is wearing, they can, or if they want to get the same look for less, they can,” Cohen says.
The effort has been a hit so far, she adds. “We’ve seen incredible engagement, and it’s exceeding our expectations. There’s great interest, click-throughs and views. We’re seeing great conversion, and we know we’re driving traffic that’s really of interest to a lot of these brands.”
This article was originally published in the July 7, 2015, issue of Marketing News Weekly.