By now we know that online shopping has become one of the most popular phrases over the last two years following perhaps the actual word Covid-19, vaccination and ‘My Fellow South Africans’. But how are the shoppers that traditionally relied on in-store experiences to make purchasing decisions managing with the new reality of online shopping?
“By listening to what their friends, family and other people are saying about online shopping… but they’re listening it to online, too,” says Matthew Leighton, creative director at OneDayOnly.co.za. “And these brand and product sentiments are not coming from the uber-popular celebrity types, they’re coming from social media connections, friends of friends, and Instagram feeds.”
Things are different so the way people are able to experience a product is different too. Although word of mouth referrals and reviews have always been some of the most authentic ways to generate brand loyalty and credibility, the concept is also possibly one of the most powerful ways to move products online today.
“We’ve found that the influencers with the smaller followings generally drive the best engagement – which aligns to global 2021 influencer marketing trends,” says Leighton. “This is why we recently ran a brand ambassador search we where we appealed to our customers to send us videos and chose the best candidates, narrowed them down to a final two and are now working closely with them to deliver authentic content that most of us can relate to.”
The quintessential opportunity in influencer marketing will lie in how ecommerce companies optimise that influencer activity, by pushing customers through the sales funnel journey whilst delivering a great experience and offering value.
Says Leighton: “People like connecting with real people. In an uncertain world, the comfort of other people’s lives, lifestyle, or shopping preferences can offer a way for one to relate to their own real-life environments. And that can become the catalyst to influencing their behaviours.”