instagram-uo (1)Capitalizing on a customer base growing up in the selfie age, sister brands Urban Outfitters and Free People have made user-generated Instagram photos an integral part of their strategy. Each brand posts more than 25 times a week on the platform, and they boast 1.1 million and 950,000 followers respectively.

Urban Outfitters created a shoppable gallery of Instagram posts tagged #UOONU, which boosted time on site by 45 seconds and brought the site’s conversion rate up to 15%. Urban Outfitters Europe (@UOEurope) placed a photo-sharing mirror in its changing room, encouraging fans to share their looks with the overlay. Fans have submitted 23,000 photos tagged #UOONU to date.

Free People featured user-generated photos on product pages as early as 2012, and in 2013 launched online style community “FP Me” where fashion bloggers, stylists and consumers can share styles, comment on each others’, and follow profiles. Free People has made the sharing process seamless by integrating with Instagram and the brand’s mobile app. Fans uploaded 10,000 photos to FP Me in the first three months of its launch, and close to 25,000 were on the site as of January 2014.

Urban Outfitters and Free People’s strategy was featured as Flash of Genius in our Intelligence Report: Instagram. Read excerpt and watch animated video here.

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