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Featured Aug 19, 2015 2 min read

Me, Myself and My Selfies: A Look At How Selfie Culture is Impacting Retail

We've measured the retail impact of selfie taking. And it turns out the posing possé are abandoning sunglasses and hitting the bikinis. Who do we thank? Kylie Jenner - the celeb w...

The web is humming with analysis around selfie taking. You probably don’t need the hard numbers to guess the average selfie taker is female and aged 18-24. Some 48% of selfies are posted to Facebook, 27% are texted, 9% tweeted and 8% ‘grammed. Makati City in the Philippines has the highest ratio of selfie takers to population, followed by Manhattan and Miami. And there’s even a company that analyses average head tilt by geography. (Things are pretty jaunty down Sao Paulo way, with an average tilt of 16.9° being thrown.)

In May this year, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson broke the world record for highest number of selfies posted in three minutes (it was 105). And though no one at EDITD has managed to beat that (yet), we’re no selfie haters. Especially when they influence retail. So, without further ado, let’s scope out their impact.

Selfie taking has its limitations (mainly, arm length) – you’d be hard pressed to get a full length dress into shot. And of course shoes don’t feature highly, unless you’re the bendy kind. So face furniture (sunglasses, jewellery, hair accessories) is prime for selfing. We took a look at 22 womenswear retailers whose customers are the selfie generation, including ASOS, Boohoo, Missguided, Forever 21, H&M, Topshop and River Island. Surprisingly, over the past 12 months, those retailers cut back on accessories. There were 19% fewer accessories arriving online in July 2015 than in July 2014 – the biggest reduction in any category. Are fast fashion retailers missing a trick here?

19% cut back on accessories. Are fast fashion retailers missing a trick with selfie-taking customers?

Or perhaps they’re right on track. According to this infographic from eBay Deals, the celebrity who posts the highest number of Instagram selfies* is Kylie Jenner, who has over 32 million Instagram followers. Scroll through her latest offerings, and sure enough, the littlest Kardashian(ish) doesn’t feature many accessories in her snaps. There are the occasional pair of sunnies, but more prominent are crop tops, full-length all-in-ones, anything tightly fitted and white in shade, topped off with the latest hair color she’s endorsing. But what stands out most is the 18-year-old’s swimwear exhibitioning prowess. She’s posted 26 swimwear pics this summer alone. You can’t blame her. Tis the season for it afterall.

The Kylie Effect On Retail.
The Kylie Effect On Retail.

And lo and behold, retail matches up. There’s been a 39% increase in new arrivals of all in ones and 27% increase in arrivals of swimwear at our selfie-serving retailers. Better still, it seems like selfie gen are influenced – full priced sell outs of swimwear grew by 238% this July compared to last and 197% growth in all in ones selling out. Selfie takers are getting bolder: go forth and pose. Just please, keep it classy gang.

Kylie Jenner’s influential selfies: swimwear sell outs lift 238% in July.

*Somewhat amazingly, Snoop Dogg is the celebrity who posts second highest number of selfies. We’re not sure what to say about that other than maybe he’s to blame for the entire athleisure trend?