SMALL BUSINESS GROWTH   |   7 minute read

How to sell clothes on Instagram: 10 lessons from top fashion brands

Clothing and fashion brands are some of the most active and fastest-growing companies selling on Instagram today.

Let’s take a closer look at how some of the best brands in the industry have used Instagram to drive sales and grow their business.

Realisation Par presents a mixture of content

Realisation Par is a women’s fashion retailer that celebrates the “intertwining of our separate lives, friendships and creative careers” and “represents the best of all women.”

In keeping with the idea of variety (“separate lives,” etc.), Realisation Par presents content with many different styles, in all different formats.

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Photos, videos, carousels, Stories … the brand hits them all.

Not only that, but the themes behind each piece of content reflect the subject of the content—representing the variety the brand promotes.

Takeaway: Use Instagram’s various formats to promote your brand’s message—and to sell your products.

Nanushka maintains a consistent theme

Fashion retailer Nanushka is all about sustainability and minimalism when it comes to clothing.

And the brand’s Instagram page shows it:

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Here, Nanushka doesn’t use all of Instagram’s features—opting for a more simplistic approach instead. This feeling of minimalism and simplicity is also reflected in the color and theme of the content.

Takeaway: Don’t use all of Instagram’s features just to use them. Instead, use the ones that will allow you to best represent your brand and your products.

Aerie gets real (and realistic)

Lingerie brand Aerie is famous for being “Retouching free since 2014,” meaning it uses real photos of real women in its ads and content.

No photoshopping or airbrushing allowed.

Aside from the positive statement Aerie makes with this stance, this approach also allows the brand to showcase its products “in action”—that is, as they actually look in “real life.”

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From a practical perspective, this allows the customer to have a more realistic idea of how the items will fit, which will aid them in their purchasing decision.

Takeaway: Showcase your products as your customers will use them, as this will give them a more clear and realistic idea of what to expect.

Urban Outfitters tells the customer’s story with UGC

Like Realisation Par, fashion and lifestyle brand Urban Outfitters caters to a wide variety of consumers from all over the world, each living their own unique lives.

In celebrating this diversity, UO created its #uoonyou user-generated content campaign, which prompts audience members to post photos and videos featuring the company’s products.

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While the above screenshot features professionally-created UGC from influencers, it’s worth noting the hashtag has been used over 774,000 times.

Takeaway: Set the stage for your audience to create high-quality UGC. Choose the best of the best to share on your own page and sell the featured products.

FashionNova uses influencers to break records

Fast-fashion retailer FashionNova not only uses its own Instagram page to sell its products; it also works with influencers, as well.

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When viewing the above example from influencer Laura Lee, users simply need to tap “See More” to be brought to the appropriate product category page on Fashion Nova’s website. 

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Takeaway: Ensure that your influencers are doing more than just promoting your products—make sure they’re pointing their audience in the right direction.

Vineyard Vines promotes a variety of products

Vineyard Vines is a casualwear retailer that sells men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing.

With such a varied audience base, Vineyard Vines knows it needs to create “a little something” for everyone within its Instagram page.

Which is exactly what the brand does:

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Note that each piece of content in the above screenshot, though similar, focuses on a different demographic. That way, Vineyard Vines is able to attract specific audiences to specific content—then sell to them as appropriate.

Takeaway: Be sure to create content promoting your products to different audiences in ways that will engage them, specifically. Additionally, use different content to present singular products in multiple ways, based on your current target audience.

H&M showcases outfits and matching items

Fast-fashion retailer H&M understands the importance of showcasing multiple items within a single post.

More importantly, the company knows to ensure each featured item revolves around a central theme.

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This leads to more cross-selling opportunities for the company, as its audience members will likely be compelled to “complete the outfit” once they decide to buy part of it.

Takeaway: Promote items that complement each other within one Shoppable post, so your audience knows how much more you have to offer.

Francesca’s promotes seasonal sales and fashion

Francesca’s is a women’s clothing company that clearly understands the value of using Stories to promote and sell its products.

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Not only does Francesca’s use ephemeral Stories to promote new arrivals and sales, but it also presents archived Stories showcasing seasonal fashions.

Takeaway: Use temporary Stories to promote temporary sales (e.g., flash sales) and more permanent content types for longer-lasting messaging and sales.

Stacy Adams uses hashtags to promote products

Gentlemen’s fashion retailer Stacy Adams consistently uses a number of hashtags to group and promote its products.

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Shoppable posts aside, this can lead to major brand awareness for the company. Anyone searching Instagram for the hashtags “#mensshoes” or “#mensstyle” will likely find a number of Stacy Adams’ products.

More importantly, those who are interested in buying the products will easily be able to do so.

Takeaway: Don’t neglect the importance of in-caption hashtags, as using them can enable you to uncover and engage new audiences all around the world.

Rockstar Denim calls its followers to action

Urban fashion retailer Rockstar Denim knows there’s more to selling on Instagram than just enabling customers to shop on the platform.

You also need to tell them to do so.

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Not only is the above post shoppable, but the caption tells customers straight out: Make your purchase before the product is sold out.

Takeaway: Don’t assume your audience will take advantage of (or even notice) a Shoppable post. After you’ve sufficiently promoted the product in question, be sure to call your audience to action.

Now that you have acquire the wealth of knowledge from top fashion brands, are you ready to sell?

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