Fashion retailers should be using Snapchat to engage with millennials, as visual-sharing platforms like Instagram become more important than traditional social media channels. 

Speaking at the Millennial 2020 event in London this week, Andrew Robb, COO of Farfetch, said Snapchat is becoming more important to millennials as a brand engagement and shopping channel.

“The fundamental difference for millennials is social,” he said. “Millennials are using one extral social network than non-millennials.”

Robb said for customers over 35 years, Snapchat is the eighth most important social network, but for millennials it sits in third place behind Instagram and Facebook. And the younger the consumer, the more important Snapchat becomes. 

“Snapchat is increasingly becoming a critical channel for fashion retailers,” he said. “But Instagram is more important than Facebook – Instagram is where millennials get fashion inspiration, much more than magazines.”

The luxury boutique marketplace platform has been investing heavily in Snapchat over the last 18 months and Robb said Farfetch was a reasonably early adopter of the platform.

But while social media is a great brand engagement tool, it is not driving sales as yet. 

“I think Instagram is going to change that,” he added. “For millennials, Instagram is where they go for fashion inspiration, while Facebook is to connect with friends.”

Robb said it is a lot easier for fashion retailers to convert consumers who are on a platform already looking for inspiration, rather than spending time talking to their friends. “We’re much closer to the customer need, at that time,” he explained. 

“Fundamentally, from Instagram I’m excited about the advertising,” he said. “Their model will allow brands to spend very significant sums in a positive way.”

Robb said Instagram’s advertising model is very measurable for retailers and provides a higher ROI because retailers are connecting with customers who are in the right frame of mind. 

“And the targeting is so so strong, where some of the other social channels that’s not the case.”