Charlotte Phillip, Manager of womenswear boutique The Dressing Room, which is a member of the Fashion Association of Britain (FAB).
Having joined The Dressing Room in 2006, I have seen a lot of changes in this sector in a short amount of time, none more so than in social media.
It’s an essential part of our business. For us it’s about developing a personal relationship with the people who choose to shop with us; social media has allowed us to engage with them on a whole new level.
While we’ve used Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for a few years now, the past year has seen this activity double at least, along with the introduction of Polyvore, Instagram, YouTube and Vine. We integrate these into our website and blog, as well as using them to showcase new store layouts, styling ideas and for various competitions.
I know some retailers may worry that the popularity of social media is just a cultural thing, but the truth for us is that we cannot ignore the relationship between the growth in our social activity in the past 12 months and our sales; both have increased proportionally.
Last month we ran a clip on our YouTube channel of our owner Deryane Tadd talking through the new looks for autumn 13. Not only did we see a 45% uplift in sales during that week but several customers specifically mentioned how the video had inspired them to pop by the store.
I manage The Dressing Room’s website so I spend a great deal of time immersed in our social platforms. Social media and the website are very much integrated into the fabric of the whole shop, rather than forming a separate department run by a different team. This is important to us, as it means our business has one clear voice through every available channel.
We recently had a staff training meeting where we focused solely on social media and how the team can use it most effectively, which left us buzzing with new ideas. Embrace the new age - it’s fun and it works.