Buying has gone digital and, therefore, marketing has too! More brands are investing in e-commerce tools to make buying online user-friendly and more efficient. But the increased investment in this tool means that the competition between brands is tight and marketers have to up their game to make their brand stand out amongst the rest online. 

So, why not turn to the digital experts? 

Influencers are the savants of social media who have taken the social media marketing world by storm. And, with the availability of e-commerce on social platforms, this combination makes for a lean, mean, digital marketing machine!

Want to know why marketers should consider combining these tools in their strategies? media update's Lara Smit is giving the run-down right here:

E-commerce is on the social bandwagon

E-commerce websites have truly streamlined the process of purchasing and selling. Nowadays, users can just search what they would like to purchase on an e-commerce website, pay for it via the multiple payment options available and — boom! "Your purchase will be delivered to you in five to seven working days" (or even sooner). 

This service is not only super efficient but it can help brands to: 
  • improve their reach
  • make purchasing more convenient for their customers
  • upgrade their services
  • measure their sales effectively, and
  • increase opportunities to market their product. 
One of the ways that e-commerce does all of this is through social media platforms. 

Businesses can now sell their products and services on:
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn, and
  • Youtube.
So, now consumers aren't only viewing posts about new products and campaigns, but they can click on the tags that appear on their desired product and be redirected to an e-commerce site and make their purchase.

Or, as with platforms like Facebook, they can visit a brand's Facebook shop and the brand's products listed alongside their prices. This also follows a simple process of adding the products that they like onto a virtual trolley and then navigating to a 'check-out' page when they are ready to make their payment. Easy peasy! 

Now let's talk about influencers and why brands need them

Influencer marketing has quickly become one of the most relevant forms of online marketing. They help brands to build brand awareness on social platforms and are ideal tools for marketers wishing to tap into their pool of dedicated followers. Not only is this form of marketing unique, but it drives sales effectively.

How does it do this?

Well, one thing that is certain is that influencer marketing takes quite a bit of the guesswork away from figuring out how to market products to consumers. This is because influencers are well-versed in their following and know exactly what their followers like and how to appeal to them.

Another prominent feature of influencer marketing is that they are 'real people'. Now, this might sound funny because of course they are 'real' — right? But in a world where businesses use celebrities to be the face of their brands and market their products, this statement isn't strange at all.

Getting a product recommended to them by a celebrity doesn't really make consumers want to buy it. This is because they believe that famous people likely promote a product as a part of their job and not because they are passionate about the product. Furthermore, a celebrity's aesthetic and lifestyle are likely to be seen as unattainable to the average person. Therefore, they don't see celebrities as completely relatable.

However, getting a recommendation from an influencer is like getting a recommendation from a friend. Why? These are everyday people who have built a high following on social media by bringing their followers into their lives and engaging with them. This makes them more accessible 'real' to people because they allow their audiences to really get to know them. They also maintain a great level of communication with the followers that engage with their accounts, building relationships and trust with them.

So, when they claim that they look and feel great from using a product, their followers believe that they can look and feel great if they use it too!

Additionally, influencers are relatable and often put the use of a product into context.

What do we mean by that?

As 'real' people, influencers have flaws and insecurities that they would like to address. And, if a person describes these flaws and how a product proved to be a solution, people with the same insecurities will relate and want the solution too! Therefore, they see influencers as more 'real' and easier to aspire to.

For example, if an influencer struggles with getting their teeth pearly white but claims that a specific product helps them, other people who struggle with teeth whitening will buy it.

What influence does e-commerce have on the world of influencers?

Influencers often have a niche aesthetic and lifestyle that appeals to their followers. Therefore, followers often want to emulate their favourite influencer.

With the e-commerce tools available on social platforms, followers can click on an image of an influencer and find tags for the products that they are using or wearing in the image. This means that, theoretically, they can buy a product straight off of their favourite influencer — which, in turn, makes the world of this influencer more tangible and accessible to them as well.

We've also seen many influencers create their own merchandise to fit their own image. For example, influencer Zoe Roe (@zozoroe) has merchandise with the catchphrases she has made popular with her content printed on top of it.

Lots of influencers collaborate with brands to create this type of merchandise, and e-commerce makes it easier for them to sell their products to their followers.

This is because it creates a direct path from their content to their products.

For brands, having influencers that implement e-commerce on their platforms is a fantastic way to drive traffic to their e-commerce sites. Therefore, brands will see their partnerships with influencers as more valuable and will want these partnerships to be longer-term.

This also benefits influencers because they can profit more off of their partnerships with brands.

And, ultimately, consumers will benefit from being able to effortlessly obtain the products used by these influencers. It's a win-win-win!

What other ways do you think that marketers can benefit from this influencer and e-commerce combo? Let us know in the comments section below. 

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Want to learn more about influencers and how they can benefit brands? Then have a look at our article, Understanding different types of influencers for brands [Infographic].
*Image courtesy of Canva