Katie Covington

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Your Super Cute Outfit is Moving Product

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A year into launching FPMe it looks like Free People has some pretty convincing data that user-generated content is working. According to Fashionista, products that included photos from customers had a 42 percent improvement in the same session conversion rate. That’s a lot of peasant dresses and crochet tops. Even with high profile models like Karlie Kloss and Dree Hemingway sporting the looks customers seem to want to see how real girls are styling each piece. 

While it looks like Free People has taken their user-generated content feature in house, it was originally powered by the New York start up Olapic. Founded in 2010 by three Columbia Business School graduates, the service was originally intended for weddings, then publishers and sports teams, but found it’s groove partnering with e-commerce companies. Brands like Nasty Gal, Bauble Bar, Dannijo, West Elm, and Design Within Reach are all customers of the service. It provides a platform for collecting, curating, showcasing, and measuring crowd sourced photos and videos by scraping social media for specific hashtags and then allowing brands to filter and feature photos on their websites.

User-generated content is an interesting trend and one that both large companies and small designers can utilize. Don’t have the cash for a monthly service like Olapic? Put a hash tag on it. The sisters behind the Dannijo jewelry line encourage their followers to share photos of their necklaces with #putabibonit. While happy customers are your best sales team, think beyond images of your product. Can you tell a story that aligns with your brand in another way? Molly Guy from wedding boutique Stone Fox Brides asks her followers to share snaps of any ring they wear everyday and love with #stonefoxrings and then reposts the photo and it’s story on her Instagram. Now even women that aren’t in the midst of planning a wedding have a reason to follow. In the end, don’t we all just want to buy things from our coolest friends? 

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