What real value are influencers bringing to retailers and brands?
Amazon.com has teamed up with model, influencer and second-year college student Ava Phillippe to support the second year of its Off-to-College store.
Ms. Phillippe, the daughter of actors Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe, will offer her dorm room must-haves from Amazon Home on an “Ava’s Picks” microsite. Amazon wrote in a statement, “Ava’s list was created to help inspire students to transform a drab dorm room or small space into a personalized oasis, without sacrificing comfort or value.
Ms. Phillippe in a statement provided by Amazon praised the ease of shopping through Amazon’s Off-to-College storefront, as well as speedy delivery, exclusive deals and entertainment options that come with her Prime Student membership, according to People magazine. Her Echo enables her to “set reminders I need for class, set alarms, and keep organized.”
The Off-to-College store also features curated style guides from other influencers with themes like “earthy artsy,” “casual throwback,” “modern minimal” and “eclectic chic.”
Amazon has worked with influencers before. In early June, Amazon launched its first limited-edition streetwear collection under its The Drop distribution model with looks from fashion influencer Paola Alberdi. Looks from other influencers are promised in the future.
Last year, the retailer notably partnered with Olivia Jade on a college promotion. Ms. Jade’s mother, actress Lori Loughlin, was recently caught in the college admissions bribery scandal.
Amazon also has an influencer program that enables qualified social media influencers to create a page on its site and get paid for linked purchases.
Social influencer marketing has moved beyond linked purchases to retail sites and Instagram pages. Influencers are showing up at in-store events, developing curated pages and appearing in campaigns. Some have launched exclusive collections through Nordstrom, H&M, Bloomingdale’s and Revolve. Major influencers have also collaborated with fashion and beauty brands.
A recent survey of 1,000 vetted fashion influencers registered on SocialPubli.com found that about half of influencers (52 percent) cite sharing their knowledge and love for fashion with their followers as the top reason why they like to work as influencers. Twenty-two percent want to be full-time content creators and 21 percent aspire to launch their own fashion brands in the future.
- Amazon Kicks off Summer with Off-to-College Store Launch: A One-Stop Shop for College Students – Amazon.com
- Ava’s Picks – Amazon.com
- Is influencer marketing just getting started? – RetailWire
- Can fashion bloggers become brands? – RetailWire
- Study: 86 percent of fashion influencers have purchased apparel based on recommendations from fellow influencers – Mobile Marketer/SocialPubli.com
- Your Instagram Feed Is About to Have More Ads From Influencers – The New York Times
- Introducing Amazon Influencer Program – Amazon
- One Year Later, Amazon’s Influencer Program Has Not Changed The World – Forbes
- How Three Influencers Built Legitimate Fashion Brands – Business of Fashion
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you think of using influencers as spokespersons and curators of online style guides in categories such as fashion and home? Do you see influencer content and interaction elevating the online shopping experience?