Surprising Insights on How Online Influencers Drive Retail Sales
For retailers, driving sales proves to be an ongoing battle — one they face day in and day out — regardless of what's going on in the surrounding marketplace, be it an onslaught of record-breaking snowstorms or a full-on economic downturn. Moreover, with the competitive landscape heating up and consumers becoming more discerning than ever before on issues ranging from quality to price to convenience, retailers now face an ever-growing hurdle when they look to generate sales.
At Influence Central, we work with a wide range of retailers — from OshKosh B'gosh to Kohl's to Land's End to Sam's Club — and have seen firsthand the challenges faced by retailers as they look to move consumers along the path to purchase, particularly how they transition consumers from that first sense of awareness into securing purchases.
The Power of Online Influence
I believe in the power of influencer marketing and hold strong to the idea that authentic first-person recommendations can — and do — change consumer behavior. I've seen that online influencers have the power to increase conversion rates, dynamically lift brand recognition and raise awareness for new product launches.
Today's online influencers emerge in many different venues. Many host personal blogs, on topics ranging from parenting to lifestyle to organic and "green" issues, while others focus on specialty topics, including fashion, food, beauty, travel, home décor and fitness. We've also seen the rise of influencers who tell stories through photos and images on platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest. I've coined them "visual influencers." Moreover, these influencers all may be active on a plurality of social media platforms as well as in an offline capacity within their communities.
Key Learnings From Retail-Based Influencer Campaigns
Our recent retail-based work has dramatically demonstrated the power of influencer marketing. Here are three key ways we've seen online influencers impact the consumer purchasing journey and create sales lift: