Brief #77: The impact of micro-influencers on social commerce

This content originally appeared on August 26, 2021 as part of the Future of Marketing weekly email series. Subscribe here.

Welcome to Future of Marketing.

Each week, we send you the most relevant trends, resources, and strategies in social and user-generated content (UGC) from leading marketers and brands around the globe. 

Today, we’re discussing…

  • Five trends shaping retail
  • Social commerce and influencer marketing are intersecting
  • #BrandCrush: Ollie 💘

Five trends shaping retail 

According to Verizon Media, sixty percent (60%) of global consumers changed their shopping behaviors since the onset of the pandemic – and retail is growing at levels not seen in over 15 years. “It’s hard to predict what we need – except agility,” shared Liza Amlani, Principal and Founder Retail Strategy Group. 

At RetailX, Liza Amlani and Andrea Wasserman, Head of Global Commerce at Verizon Media, introduced the 5 trends shaping the future of retail, including: 

  1. The experience economy (which involves more than just selling).
  2. Sustainability
  • Price and convenience are still necessary considerations despite consumer values.
  • Consumers have access to more information than ever and want to know where their products come from, their impact, and how they are made 

3. Personalization

  • Search is going to feel antiquated due to new data and machine learning. In other words, visual search is the future! 

4. Smart data

  • 78% of brands don’t have enough data about customers to launch relevant personalization tactics 
  • 76% of retailers say data insights are critical to the performance of their organizations

5. Omnichannel activations 

  • More real estate online and offline = more opportunities to engage consumers

Another overarching trend that brands can’t ignore is the rise of influencer marketing and user-generated content (UGC). As demand for omnichannel activations, personalization, and unique experiences increases, so will the need to elevate the voice of your biggest fans.

Social commerce and influencer marketing are intersecting

Fifty-two percent (52%) of socially engaged shoppers have made a purchase through social media. Now, creator funds are exploding, and brands and retailers are doubling down on influencer marketing. 

Fashion micro-influencers like Lauren Wolfe are generating more engagement per post with less than 100,000 followers than influencers with over two million. In fact: 

  • Micro-influencers see a 7x amount of engagement over mega-influencers, and that number is higher on TikTok
  • Micro-influencers on Instagram have a 3.86% average engagement rate (unlike mega-influencers, who have a 1.21% average engagement rate)
  • On TikTok, micro-influencers have 18% average engagement rates and mega-influencers are under 5%

Monday Swimwear leans heavily into user-generated content – where customers are the influencers. They share UGC to their Instagram feed, stories, and at the bottom of each product page of their website. The company also continues this momentum by showing new (and returning) customer photos of their latest collections.

MondaySwimwear re-sharing UGC on Instagram. The image features a woman/customer wearing their swimwear.

TIP: Chances are your customers are already creating highly engaging content — repurpose it across your marketing channels to build trust, increase conversions, and reduce the time (and costs) needed to produce content.

What we’re learning

#BrandCrush: Ollie 💘

Each week in #BrandCrush, we highlight exceptional brands that are channeling their customers’ voice to connect more authentically with their audience.

Some geographies don’t justify a brick-and-mortar 12 months a year. For their new product launch, Ollie hosted a 36-hour experiential pop-up in New York City, where they turned dogs into content creators.

To generate brand awareness around human-grade food and educate media, influencers, and consumers about its benefits, Ollie turned their pop-up into a dog paradise by letting pets interact with food and picnic areas. Dog owners then shared images of their pups to #MyOllie, which the brand can reshare on social media (and can further repurpose across multiple touchpoints). 

Ollie's Instagram page showing UGC of people's dogs

“Who’s who in the pet-influencer world made a debut at the Ollie Pop-Up Store to test the human-grade food and post on their socials capturing a level of reach counting over 2 million impressions,” shared The Lionesque Group. “The opening event, which also served as the announcement of the company’s eCommerce site, also garnered media coverage from TechCrunch, FOX Business, and Business Insider.”

If you need a dose of inspiration (or happiness), check out their Instagram page for more dog-generated content (DGC, anyone?).

Want to know how to turn your employees into a megaphone for your brand? Join us on September 8th at 1PM CDT for a webinar with TINT and Hootsuite. Register here.