It seems pointless to post a picture of a storefront that could be seen by anyone at any time, but it’s actually a form of advertising unlike anything else. The phenomenon is essentially an extension of visual merchandising, giving consumers an idea of what’s inside the store. Apparently, when people see a picture of the storefront of their favorite brand on Instagram, it triggers a need to shop. The storefront is the first thing you see when you walk up to a store, and the thing that gets you excited to go in and shop. The Instagram posts remind people just how much they enjoy being there.
Urban Outfitters is known for posting pictures of storefronts in different cities all over the United States. The typical Instagram storefront post from the brand receives around 50,000 likes and can reach around 200,000. The comments are always filled with users complimenting the outfits displayed in the picture or tagging their friends and saying, “We need to go here!”
Anne Kong, a professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology, explains these posts are being made because the role of shopping in our lives is changing. With the introduction of online shopping years ago, physical stores no longer need to be designed for optimal traffic flow. Instead, they are being designed to create an experience for the customer. An Instagram post gives customers an in-store experience without them even being in the store.
Storefront posts are one solution to fighting against the convenience of online shopping. Instagram has the ability to constantly influence, and brands are taking advantage of this by posting as much as they can.
With Instagram, brands and consumers are able to connect. The photo-sharing application serves as a platform for both sides to interact with each other through posts, comments, and likes. As users see more and more posts by their favorite brand, they start seeing the brand less as just a store, and more as a familiar acquaintance. This ultimately leads to an unbreakable bond and a loyal customer.
Featured image via Flickr/JeepersMedia