How retailers can get ahead of this season’s hottest trends

Growth and strategy

3 March 2017

For fashion retailers, it's important to buy into the right trends for the season ahead, but predicting which catwalk styles will translate to the high street can be tricky.

As technology changes the way customers shop, it's also transforming how shop owners can plan their stock. Here's how to stay ahead of the fashion game using the internet.

Use social media to spot fashion trends

Don't just browse through the latest blog posts and Instagram photos, do it with an analytical eye. Follow fashion magazine editors as well as popular fashion bloggers and on-trend celebrities. Pay attention to the keywords for the trend and then do a wider search to find out which influencers are discussing it (would they appeal to your target customers?) and how many comments each trend is getting (are people genuinely interested?). Think about the bigger picture, too. For example, if you're seeing lots of cat-eye sunglasses, have a browse to find out if they're part of a wider 1950s-inspired fashion style or if the look is more rockabilly.

Looking at the keywords

Keyword research isn't just important for boosting your shop's web presence, it can also help you to figure out what your customers might be looking for. Analysing social-media mentions of specific fashion trends (such as floral, plaid and animal print) can help you to work out how popular each look is likely to be. This information becomes especially valuable if you compare historic search data with real-world sales data. You can use social-media monitoring tools to track the popularity of certain phrases among your target audience.

Social channels and celebrity endorsements

Facebook and Twitter can be useful, but more visual platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest are crucial for the fashion world. Big brands often use these to showcase their new collections, while celebrity endorsements from young celebrities like Brooklyn Beckham and Kylie Jenner can increase the popularity of a particular brand or fashion aesthetic.

After you've put so much effort (and money) into this season's stock, it's really important to make sure it's protected in case of an accident. This is why you should double-check your retail insurance policy at the start of the season. 

Shop insurance also covers your public liability insurance, so if an accident happens and a visitor to your premises is injured we will cover your legal liability.