Thursday, 17 August 2023

Is The Era Of Influencers And Influencer Marketing Over?

Written by Jack Hayes
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Laura Chouette - Unsplash

It started on the screens, then on the socials, and it carried on and on: influencers and celebrity influencers have been shaping our purchasing decisions for quite a long time, but the scenario seems to be changing.

Influencers are losing their grip with fewer young customers trusting the so-called 'influencer endorsements' when shopping for beauty products.

A Research Presents Every Influencer's Nightmare

This late Spring, marketing research conducted by CommersHub, one of the world's largest commerce networks, and Censuswide surveyed 2,003 consumers in the UK and focused on personal care products and shopping motivations in the youngest population. The study showed how only one in ten young UK consumers swayed by ‘influencer endorsements’ when purchasing their health and beauty products.

New Shopping Habits In The UK In 2023

Consumers shopping for personal care products are no longer swayed as much by influencer recommendations, with other factors such as price and sustainable packaging proving more impactful on purchasing decisions. Traditionally thought of as the best strategy to reach a younger audience, just over one in ten (12%) consumers aged 16-24 found ‘influencer backed’ to be a priority when buying health and beauty products.

The research highlighted the decline in the power of influencer marketing in the health and beauty space, with the older generations almost completely ambivalent to their appeal, just 2% were swayed by influencer endorsements. With consumer interest in influencers lessening, some brands and retailers are looking at new approaches like retail media to engage customers and help maximise sales and maintain profitability.

The research found that, besides price, convenience was a key factor for consumers deciding where to shop for their health and beauty products. Half of the respondents (53%) said they buy most of their personal care products in supermarkets as they can pick up their skincare items alongside the weekly shop. This number increased in correlation with age (31% of 16-24-year-olds, up to 64% of 55+).

E-commerce vs Brick and Mortar Shops In 2023

Consumers in the sector have also become more comfortable buying from their phones or computers, with 40% of respondents saying that they would buy makeup online. For e-commerce brands and retailers to stay competitive against brick-and-mortar stores, they must prioritise convenience, ensuring that they are providing fast shipping and simple returns, while still retaining a high-quality customer experience at the points of sale.

Despite the rise in online shopping, 39% of those surveyed still shop in-store for their personal care products. Of those who prefer to buy personal products in-store, over half (56%) said that the primary reason was the ability to test, check the colour, smell, and see the size of the product. For online retailers to combat this, they should consider introducing smaller sample products that customers can order, or trials of products where the customer only pays for delivery. This will encourage customers to buy online, while still providing them with peace of mind having tested a product.

Vladi Shlesman, managing director for EMEA at ChannelAdvisor, a CommerceHub company, said:
“With influencer marketing waning, as well as the cost of living pushing consumers towards more cost-effective and convenient options, brands and retailers need to ensure their marketing strategies and ad spend are aligned with how consumers really make purchasing decisions and provide the best possible value and ROI".

“Profitability remains top of mind, and brands need to ensure they’re investing in activities that offer the best return on investment and drive revenue. This is where Retail Media comes in. Retail media allows advertisers to not only reach shoppers even closer to their purchase, but also helps drive brand awareness earlier on in their journey to influence shopping decisions. Investing in a well-crafted retail media strategy will help brands maximise profits and create measurable ad impact.”

As UK shoppers are re-gaining their independence and adapting their shopping needs to the current situation, companies started to rely on other marketing strategies. Are influencers really out of the big game?