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5 Tips to Boost Social Media Engagement and Sales at Apparel Markets

4 min read
women living selling to audience

Shopping for the latest trends at apparel markets is an essential part of every boutique’s business. While market exists for you to update your inventory, acquire new accounts, build relationships with brands and prep your shelves for the next season, it can also be a major opportunity to engage your shoppers and create exciting content. With the right strategy, you can have your customers calling dibs on their favorite items before you even step foot outside the convention center.

Apparel, gift and home markets happen almost monthly throughout the year and span all across the country. The most popular markets in the U.S. are: Las Vegas, Dallas, Atlanta, Chicago and New York. If you aren’t sure where to start, check out our list of Top Market Events to Attend. With markets taking place so frequently, maintaining your social media status while you are on the road is crucial. But how do you plan curated posts while you are busy sprinting from floor to floor scouting out the next hot sellers? We’ve got a few ideas.

1. Sell Live from Market

Boutique wholesalers are piloting a brand new concept: allowing retailers to go live at their booths from market! CommentSold has built a live selling station that allows retailers to showcase products and make sales live from wholesaler booths all across the U.S.

Going live from the wholesaler’s booth gives retailers the chance to sell more inventory and excite their customers with sneak peeks and presales of the hottest new styles. With this strategy retailers can instantly sell items from orders they just wrote. This allows them to purchase with confidence, serve their shoppers exciting content, and sell out of products before even leaving market! Oops, did we just drop the mic?

CommentSold hosts live sales at our booth at market regularly. You can see which markets our team is attending by visiting our Facebook page.

2. Let Your Shopper be the Buyer

Utilize Facebook’s posting tools to ask questions, create polls and get comments from your shoppers. By allowing shoppers to make purchasing decisions via social media, you’re building relationships with them while simultaneously boosting your social engagement on Facebook, Instagram or TikTok. Doing so will help your content perform better when your new inventory arrives. When you leverage as many of Facebook’s tools as you can to chat with your shoppers, the algorithm will reward you.

3. Share Your Experience Blog-Style

Bring your shoppers along for an authentic market experience by sharing your day in real time. Share what you are wearing (bonus points if it is in-stock at your boutique!), your coffee order, the team you brought with you and your favorite vendors. These may seem like simple parts of your experience, but they will help your followers get to know you and feel connected to your brand.

Pro Tip:
Dress intentionally at market! Pack and wear styles that you have available online. Feature them in “shop the look” posts on Facebook so customers can purchase through your app or on social media. This is a fun way to sell aged inventory or create hype around a new style.

4. Educate Your Audience

At market you are surrounded by the most knowledgeable, most fashion-forward people and brands on the planet! Stop by your favorite wholesaler’s booth and ask one of the representatives to answer a few questions on your stories or on a live stream. They can share details about upcoming trends, ways to style some of their new pieces and showcase items added to your order. This will give your audience insider information and prove that you are interested in staying on top of the latest styles! If you play your cards right, the wholesaler may reshare your content, giving you another opportunity to reach potential shoppers and gain new followers.

5. Go Live From Your Hotel Room

Many shoppers will instantly pick up on how to use the system. If one person understands how to use it, others will typically follow their lead. However, we always recommend that retailers train their customers to use the system before fully implementing it.

Some customers may need some help getting accustomed to this new way of shopping. Training them will help ease them into using the system. Plus, this is an excellent opportunity to inform all of your customers about all of its benefits. (For example, the loyalty and referral programs, if your shop has them enabled.)

Start off on the right foot and download CommentSold’s Ultimate Guide to Introducing Comment Shopping to Your Community. You’ll find best practices, strategies, and tips to get customers excited and onboarded with this new way of shopping. Good luck, and happy selling, everyone!

Trendy Social Media Tips

No matter what you decide to share, there are a few best practices that will make your customers feel like they are shopping alongside you at market. When sharing content, try to keep it:

  • Timely – The more you can share in real-time, the better!
  • Brief – Don’t overwhelm your shoppers with super lengthy content. Get to the goods!
  • Actionable – Make it clear what you want them to do. Vote, share, comment? Be specific.
  • Relevant – Stick to the story. Clothes, market madness, shopping, ordering. Try not to deviate into other verticals that disrupt the flow of market.
  • Authentic – Spare no details. Be honest and relatable. Spilled coffee? Comfy sneakers? Favorite snack? People want to see what the day is actually like.

Most importantly? Have fun! Your shoppers want to see the real, messy, busy you. Don’t feel like you have to over-curate. Enjoy your time at market and that passion will carry over to your shoppers.

If you’re looking for another fun way to soak up market knowledge, check out our friends The Boutique Hub’s podcast that dives into 5 Tips for Attending Apparel Markets.

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