The golden advantage influencers have in eCommerce and merchandising
Listen up, creators and influencers! Are you someone with more online followers than you know what to do with? You could be missing out on a golden opportunity! In this article, we’ll show you what you’re missing – and explain how to cash in.
Let’s start with the world’s least surprising newsflash: the eCommerce industry is thriving.
Don’t just take our word for it; research has shown that 67% of Millennials (and 56% of Gen Xers) would rather shop online than in store – and, what’s more, 2 in 5 online shoppers (40%) say they couldn’t live without online shopping.
Brands and businesses of all shapes and sizes, all over the world, are generating huge numbers by selling products online.
It’s clear that the e-Commerce gold rush has well and truly begun. But whilst more and more people are showing up to scrabble around in the silt, others amongst us may already own the deeds to the mine.
One major obstacle facing traditional e-commerce marketers is building trust. Marketers often find it hard to build trust among potential customers; one survey conducted by IPSOS found that a staggering 96% of people believe that the advertising industry doesn’t act with integrity. What’s more, a whopping 69% of people say media believe that marketers lie because they want to ‘sell’ their products, brand and ideas more effectively.
Then there are issues with growing and reaching an audience. You probably know, for example, that ad blockers are more widespread than ever – in fact, in December 2016 there were over 600 million devices running adblock software globally.
In other words, consumers are switching off from traditional advertising. And, in an age of growing cynicism and suspicion, marketers are having to think of more and more novel ways to get people’s attention. That’s why they’re increasingly turning to online influencers – who they know already have that ‘special something’ – to do their bidding.
In the world of e-commerce, this gives YOU a huge potential advantage.
The Influencer Advantage
Forget looking in from the outside: you have everything you need to become the main event – the golden advantage.
Point one: you already have an audience. You worked hard to grow it and you engage with it regularly.
Point two: your following isn’t just a number. They’re engaged, they hang on your every word. Giving them the opportunity to buy products that demonstrate their support is a tremendous way to add value and create real buzz and engagement around your brand.
And point three: let’s talk about trust. Forget about building it – it’s already built. It’s implicit to your influencer-follower relationship. Did you know, for example, that 70 percent of teenage YouTube subscribers trust influencer opinions over traditional celebrities? That 6 in 10 YouTube subscribers would follow advice on what to buy from their favourite creator over their favourite TV or movie personality? Or that 40% of people say they’ve purchased an item online after seeing it used by an influencer on Instagram, Twitter, Vine, or YouTube?
You also already have your brand, a brand that your followers relate to and feel passionate about.
Big businesses are recognising all these facts, and looking to cash in, with Google keyword searches for ‘influencer marketing’ rising by more than 90x since 2013.
But could it create opportunities for you, the influencer, to sell your own products as well as just endorsing and promoting other peoples’?
The Rise of Influencer Merchandising
So you’ve got the passionate audience, you’ve got the awesome brand, you’ve got your unique identity. People love buying products online, and they also trust you. Connect these dots and you can see you’ve got one heck of an opportunity in the world of eCommerce and merchandising.
Increasingly, influencers are turning to merchandising as a way to generate revenue. Selling their own custom designed products to an audience of raving fans is an increasingly popular strategy. And it’s doing big numbers.
Read more: The Rise of Influencer Merchandising
The Remedy to Merchandising Headaches
Traditionally, many individuals and agencies have dreaded the ‘m’ word. Not because it wasn’t seen as a great revenue generator, but because of the amount of stress and hassle involved in setting it up.
Just think about all the ugly, time-consuming jobs involved. Sourcing products; negotiating minimum order volumes with suppliers; back-and-forth product testing; navigating technical e-commerce website setup. Dealing with orders, arranging shipping, returns and so forth. All punctuated with long lead times to update merchandise with new designs – and no guarantee that you were actually choosing the right products for your fans. It’s tiring just reading the list, let alone going through the whole frustrating process.
In short, you were committing yourself to a situation whereby a) you had to invest a stack of time and money in getting your operation up and running, and b) far from being guaranteed a return, there was a small chance you could actually end up losing money as well!
Thankfully, there’s another way. Print-on-demand solutions like KITE have allowed individuals, brands and influencers to sell products to their customers, anywhere in the world, without holding any inventory.
And with Kite’s Shopify Merch Plugin, the headache of store setup is eradicated, too. Anyone can do it – without any technical skills or know-how. You can have your store up-and-running in a matter of seconds with whatever products you like, ready to start marketing to your loyal fan base.
Our worldwide distribution network means that, when your customers hit ‘Buy,’ the order is routed to their nearest distribution centre, manufactured and shipped within 3-7 days.
Sold? Go ahead and follow these instructions to get up and running today!
- Head to shopify.com and sign up for your store. They offer a 14 day free trial with no obligation and no credit card required.
- Install the KITE Shopify Merch Plugin.
- Follow the instructions in the walkthrough video. Select your design, hit ‘Upload’ and watch as that design rolls out across all your selected products.
- Use the editing function to ensure you have the correct image resolutions for a high quality print finish, and tweak the way your designs are applied to your garments.
- Make sure to check out our post Kite + Shopify: 8 Essential Checks Before You Launch
Et voila! You’re up and running in a matter of minutes – and the only work you need to do is create your designs, and market your products to your audience.