Retail Innovation – Facebook ‘Likes’ on retail store coat hangers – crowdsourcing fashion advice

12th February 2014

This article caught our eye last week – it’s yet another technological retail innovation called ‘Fashion Like’ being tried out by C&A in São Paulo, where networked clothes hangers have been created and installed which display the number of Facebook ‘likes’ received by each item, in real time.

Photo by Douglas Bagg on Unsplash

Photo by Douglas Bagg on Unsplash

A picture of each garment is displayed on the Brazilian C&A  Facebook page where users are able to ‘like’ the image. The total number of likes are then relayed to the coat hangers and displayed digitally  to show people how popular (or unpopular) each item is – thus offering a novel way to bridge the physical and virtual worlds for high street shoppers.

Check out this YouTube video to see them in action:

The voiceover translates as:

“When they go clothes shopping, women always feel insecure and want a second opinion. But one second opinion is never enough. So how about finding what everyone on Facebook thinks of a particular item of clothing?…So give ‘Likes’ to the clothes you like more and help thousands of women in their difficult mission of choosing the ideal outfit.”

So not only are they helping you to decide which items are popular, according to this you can also help other shoppers by ‘liking’ your choices as well! Although anyone with a smartphone could go into the store and look at the Facebook page to see the number of ‘likes’ for themselves, the Fashion Like clothes hangers offer immediate and universally available information and enable swift in-store comparisons.

On first inspection this crossover may seem a good idea – but it’s not without it’s drawbacks – some users may be basing their likes just on the image – and there is no option to ‘dislike’ – which can be just as important as a ‘like’. It could potentially also be open to abuse with retailers (not necessarily C&A of course) getting employees to log in and click the like button in order to shift unwanted stock!

So, what do you think of this – is it  just a gimmick or could it take off here? ‘Liking’ something is simply a populist vote, so perhaps you’d prefer to read the comments under each picture to see what people really think (and these also allow for negative feedback too) Maybe they’re going to need a bigger hanger…?