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Influencer Marketing: Integrating Social Channels with eCommerce Platforms

Influencer marketing is a modern marketing tool when it comes to reaching your audience. When you consider that 84 percent of consumers use their smartphones while shopping in stores, and that mobile commerce now accounts for 30 percent of total eCommerce sales in the U.S. (and will increase to 45 percent of total eCommerce by 2020), implementing a mobile strategy is essential to retail success in our omnichannel world.

Consumers interact with brands through social channels and influencers. According to a study done by Medium, the average person spends about 2 hours and 23 minutes on social media each day. With consumers spending an increasing amount of time on social media, it becomes a reliable channel for consumers to see products. The next step is to lead them to make a purchase.

Each social media interaction with a consumer may seem miniscule in the grand scheme of driving purchases, but with today’s data and technology capabilities, each interaction serves as an invaluable connection point, paving the path to purchase along a consumer’s journey. Take a look at NIKE for example, a pioneering brand in consumer engagement and personalization through social media. Their social media strategy, equating active lifestyles with products has been a pillar of their continuous success in driving online sales. Since 2013 they’ve promoted the various active “NIKE Lifestyles” via social media, tracked consumer interactions and targeted audiences with relevant products based on their lifestyle affinity. These data-driven consumer interactions are still playing a major role in fueling their ecommerce today, as NIKE was able to increase direct to consumer online sales by 35% in 2019.

Influencer Marketing

There has now been a shift in the purpose of social platforms for business. In the past, social platforms such as Instagram and Facebook have been used primarily to raise brand awareness. It is now in the recent years where companies have expanded functionality on these applications to result in a purchase as well as customer support creating a convenient purchase process. For example, Glossier has aimed to disintermediate the consumer’s relationship from social media. The company has used Instagram campaigns to truly understand their consumers, identify their needs through engagement, and deliver premium products to satisfy those needs.

A challenge with ecommerce is that you lose the human interaction that you would get in brick and mortar. Here are where influencers and influencer marketing come into play. Strategically selecting influencers to become brand ambassadors for your products can increase trust a consumer may have in your brand. It is one thing to see a product advertised online but it is another to have an influential individual advocate for it. Typically, retailers utilize influencers for influencer marketing purposes to send free samples to their followers, exhibiting virtual customer support and care, leaning towards a more personalized experience. Glossier’s CEO Emily Weiss believes everyone is an influencer. This premise shines through ambassadors but also by posting customer photos on their Instagram page.

ECommerce makes the purchase process more convenient for the consumer and is focused on building a virtual relationship with the consumer via social channels. Social media platforms open the door to build loyalty with your consumers, sustain engagement, and as a result, re-define the consumer experience through a seamless path to purchase.

To learn more about integrating your social channels with eCommerce platforms, contact us today.

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Contributions by Shatakshi Shekhar and Musa Jose. 

Tags: eCommerce, Sales and Marketing Technology
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