French Connection goes YouTique

French Connection, a brand that has undergone a major perception revamp of late in a bid to shake off is FCUK positioning, has unveiled a new way to shop online with the help of everyone’s favourite video channel.

YouTique, is a virtual fashion boutique which utilises YouTube’s annotations function to drive visitors from video content directly to online purchase destinations. French Connection is the first UK fashion brand to avail of the feature, with a number of brands already running similar activities in the US.

Fashion journalist Louise Roe helps viewers pick out combination outfits for various occasions with help from a series of YouTube shorts, entitled ‘How to Look Slick in the City, or ‘How to Sparkle at a Wedding’.

The direct sales premise is a clever function which acts as a more editorialised and consumer focused campaign, running simultaneously against the more impersonal and aloof ‘For Man. For Woman’ marketing efforts of the brand (which features the short, snappy quotations of a character sporting a Joaquin Phoenix style beard).

The YouTique concept certainly makes the digital shopping experience more personal – something H&M, which recently launched its UK online presence, should take note of – but tactility in digital fashion marketing still remains the biggest hurdle to overcome.

Some have tried, such as Fits.me, which develops virtual versions of its customers online, through to LA company Zurga, which has opted for an Augmented Reality route to the ‘try before you buy’ problem. However, tech may actually be overpowering in these efforts, making the process to complex when compared to the physical world.

French Connections’ editorialised efforts at least manage to replicate the style guide concept of fashion magazines, with the added social shopping concept of having a tastemaker take the effort out of making choices, which hopefully should spur combination sales.

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