Currently social media plays a supporting role in most marketing strategies. But one fashion brand is bringing it front and center, and Instagram is in the spotlight.

Free People, a women’s fashion label owned by Urban Outfitters, has integrated customers’ Instagram photos right onto its product pages.

Through the use of hashtags, the company encourages customers to upload pictures of themselves to Twitter or Instagram with the product hashtag, as well as the general #myfpdenim. The hashtag information is attached to qualifying products and sent to customers as a reminder to upload their photos.

Powered by the New York-based startup Olapic, Free People can collect and display photos through embeddable widgets on its website. Once an image has been approved by a moderator, it will appear on individual product pages as well as its denim showcase.

The goal behind this integration is to show customers how the clothing fits on a variety of bodies. “Lots of e-commerce customers end up not buying a product because they’re not sure how the product is going to fit after they make the purchase,” explained José de Cabo, co-founder of Olapic.

Free People isn’t the only fashion brand to integrate social media platforms into e-commerce. The Brazilian branch of fashion retailer C&A added Facebook Likes to in-store hangers, giving customers a real-time view of an item’s popularity.

In terms of engagement, this is a great way for Free People to interact with its customers. Not only does it create loyal fans, but it could help to attract new ones. At this time, we don’t know how long the company has been integrating with Instagram. It will be interesting to see what kind of impact this has on future sales.

[Via: Mashable, Image credit: lululemon athletica]