As we watched Mark Zuckerberg ring the bell on Wall Street Friday morning, we wondered: how is this going to change how we use social media? And, for those of us who are style-inclined: how is this going to affect the fashion industry? Though Zuckerberg’s proclivity for hoodies won’t land him a “style icon” status anytime soon, Facebook evolving into a public company will definitely impact the fashion industry in many ways.
The social media giant, which currently has 900 million users worldwide, opened to the public with an initial public offering of $38 a share, making Facebook the most valuable company that’s ever gone public. With a total worth now of $104 billion (in other words, almost unimaginable amounts of money to invest back into the company), the ability to do more in terms of advertising, online shopping and other ventures has never been more feasible.
For fashion retailers in particular, Facebook going public probably means that they will no longer be limited to simply tallying one’s “likes” as a measure of success. Though the sharing and community aspects of Facebook are valuable to retailers in terms of brand presence, there are now more opportunities to create new social media–friendly e-commerce and advertising tactics than ever before.
Previous efforts with online shopping on Facebook didn’t exactly take off, forcing retailers like Gap to shutter their Facebook shops. However, now that there is an unprecedented amount of money in the bank, Facebook can begin to explore other means of social commerce that will provide shoppers with a more “seamless and convenient” shopping experience.
Think about it: Burberry, for example, has over 12 million “likes” on their Facebook page. Though they have advertised heavily on Facebook for some time now, if the social media network could provide the retailer with new, improved means of advertising and online shopping, Burberry could capitalize on their huge social media following in ways they never have before.
Though we’d need a crystal ball to accurately predict how everything is going to pan out now that the company has gone public, it’s probably safe to say that this will not only mean big dollars for involved parties, but new ways of shopping and interacting online for everybody.
“Brands still haven’t quite figured out how to use [Facebook commerce] . . . for the moment, brands’ Facebook strategy basically ends at getting as many “likes” as humanly possible. Will Facebook’s IPO change all that?”