Can We Influence the Post-COVID Consumer?
11 August 2020
Author: Jasmine Waters
There’s no two ways about it – it’s going to be a challenge to win customers back into the physical store. For many, the anxiety surrounding making a return to a normal shopping life is still high, not willing to yet risk what is classed as non-essential. As a result, big-name brands and businesses are beginning to turn to the help of influencers for building consumer confidence both digitally and physically. Will this strategy work – or are influencers in over their heads as it is?
Who is using influencer marketing?
At the beginning of August, it was reported that Nordstrom has enlisted influencers for a series of sponsored posts to clarify and follow-up on their new in-store protocol. Mall visits are currently down 57% this year and extra validation is needed to insure people can safely go about doing the things they once loved. According to influencer marketing firms, this is the first finished product of a kind of campaign that many other fashion retailers also have in the works. It’s still too early to tell if their efforts have paid off, but the digital comments reveal a public mindset that’s split down the middle. While potential consumers have appreciated the safety measures that are in place and the acknowledgement of them but have still quickly dismissed their possible return to a physical store.
Will this strategy work?
There’s no question that influencer marketing has seen a significant shake as its core. Many brands have taken the decision to suspend future campaigns with influencers as budget for expenditure remains up in the air. Having said that, as the e-commerce sector continues to grow, influencer marketing could be the bridge through the digital into personal connection that many have been looking for. Despite their potential concerns of work not being consistent, influencers have remained a constant that consumers have been able to look to in admiration and support during the difficult months of 2020 so far. With engagement on social media posts soaring, the influencer role in the return to physical shopping could not only be crucial, but the starting point of an extremely clever strategy. Smaller brands could also look to the ‘micro influencer’ sphere, who have become as critical and important for surviving the pandemic as the big, well-known names. Being able to make interactions more personable is their biggest asset, with an average of an 85% of higher rate of engagement. As the market itself remains active on social media, the faces of the social feed can surely help to keep transparency, authenticity – and most importantly – safety as physical shopping becomes part of the daily routine once again.
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