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Influencers control Aussies’ shopping more than you think

Lucy Dean
Pictured: Eva Sianis. Supplied
Pictured: Eva Sianis. Supplied

It’s a story repeated all over Australia: in the days around payday, bank worker Eva Sianis will hop online and go shopping.

Sianis - like many other young Australians - will be shopping online one or twice every fortnight, checking out THE ICONIC, Asos and Mecca.

And, like her friends, Sianis will make purchases based on influencers.

“Almost everything I buy from Mecca which is makeup and skincare related is due to what I see on Instagram. They team up with bloggers and Instagrammers who use their products and it always gets me because they make it look so good!” she told Yahoo Finance.

“Clothing and accessories are similar, it’s often the way that they style it that makes you appreciate the product more than when you see it in a store or on a website. For clothing and accessories it’s probably every one in three or four times that I would purchase based on a blogger styling it well,” she added.

And even if she doesn’t pick that product, she’ll remember it as a trend that could influence future spending decisions.

According to research from Power Retail, 32 per cent of online purchases can be directly attributed to influencers.

The survey of 9,700 Australian online shoppers also found that 44 per cent of online shoppers follow an influencer, and that 53 per cent of online shoppers want their influencers to help them find bargains.

“The impact of influencers is so great that many believe that Instagram’s recent trial of removing ‘likes’ was in response to the threat of posts by influencers overwhelming ‘genuine’ users,” Power Retail managing director Grant Arnott said.

“This ‘impact’ is shown through our research as it concluded that Australian online retailers have embraced influencers as a marketing tool, with 86 per cent utilising them, and 49 per cent of retailers having multiple forms of relationships with influencers, including paid posts.”

How do influencer posts lead to sales?

“Influencer marketing gets its power from being able to connect ‘real’ people with actual products they ‘want’ or ‘need’. In some respects, it fills the gap of touch and feel in the brick-and-mortar sense, outsourcing the ‘try-on’ and research phase to a third party,” the report’s authors wrote.

“This third party could be a Mummy Blogger with a few thousand followers or a celebrity with several million. The common theme is that they connect with their engaged followers and by default those followers feel the urge to add to basket.”

More than half of online shoppers said they follow influencers who are authentic and produce genuine content. But influencers who produced informative and attractive content were also more popular, as were those who actually used the product they were promoting.

To Sianis, it comes down to an influencer’s ability to make a product look good.

“Influencers make the product look amazing and have an aesthetically pleasing Instagram profile to go with it. It definitely sucks you into thinking that that is what you will look/feel like if you bought it,” she said.

“If I’m talking to friends about buying something and needing a second opinion, I’ll always show them an Instagram post so they can tell me their thoughts on it.”

The Power Retail research coincides with a report from social media support platform, Hopper, listing the highest paid Instagram stars.

It found that Kylie Jenner, with her 139 million followers can command US$1,266,000 per post, followed by Ariana Grande who commands US$996,000 per sponsored post, despite having more followers (158,000,000).

Cristiano Ronaldo makes US$975,000 per post, and Kim Kardashian makes $910,000.

The highest-paid Australian Instagram influencer, Kayla Itsines reportedly makes US$29,300 per post.

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