The scale and impact of influencer marketing may be being overestimated by the industry, with few brands actually utilising influencers and consumers failing to be influenced.
Only 22 per cent of retail brands use influencers as part of their web and email marketing strategies, according to an analysis of 50 retailers by personalisation platform Fresh Relevance. Furthermore, just one in 10 UK consumers, of 2,000 adults surveyed by OnePoll, have purchased a product based on a recommendation by an influencer.
The research also found that 62 per cent of consumers don’t actively follow influencer, while 32 per cent would be more interested in a brand if they were using influencers. More damning is that 44 per cent wouldn’t trust any product information provided by influencers.
“Influencer marketing has been on the news agenda for a while now, but it’s not an accurate account of what’s happening in the retail sector,” said Mike Austin, CEO and co-founder of Fresh Relevance. “Our research indicates few retailers are actually using influencers to engage consumers, and only a small proportion of shoppers are interested in seeing influencers promoting products.”
When the findings are broken down further, 60 per cent of Gen Z and 52 per cent of Millennials are more interested in brands using influencers, compared to just 14 per cent of Baby Boomers.
In particular, Gen Z are receptive to influencer marketing related to their look, with 30 per cent following beauty influencer and 30 per cent following fashion influencers. And fashion brands are aware of this, as half of them use influencers.