Marketing Bootcamp

The Consumer Revolution Has Happened and the Influencers Are Now in Charge

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Back in the day, consumers based purchasing decisions on longstanding brand loyalty. We grew up as a Crest or a Tide family, and that’s what appeared in our households throughout our childhoods. In addition, consumers engaged in on-the-ground exploratory shopping excursions searching for the right product or best deal, and made more frequent impulse purchases based on in-store coupons or promotions.

Today, all that’s changed as social media upended traditional shopping habits by sparking an active online recommendation culture. Now, consumers easily research products on blogs or ecommerce reviews. They frequently tap into their online network of trusted advisors for firsthand insights on brands they want to try.

We surveyed more than 900 Gen X and millennial mothers, known as "Mom consumers,'' to gain a better understanding of the role of peer influence on their consumer behavior. The study revealed that these online influencers play an increasingly powerful role in driving consumers to make retail purchases.

Related: BlogFrog and the Power of Moms

Here are the five key ways influencers in the Mom space impact retail lift.

1. Reshaping the consumer journey.

With blogs and e-commerce reviews just a click away, 99 percent of consumers surveyed research products online prior to making a purchase. As a result, consumers now head into stores with specific products in mind. They are steeped in details regarding product features and attributes, and they are ready to make a purchase.

2. Experiencing the legacy of trust.

Trust emerges as a key factor for consumers when considering a purchase. They care passionately about trusting the products they bring into their homes. They overwhelmingly (91 percent) trust blogs and social media recommendations (76 percent) for product information before they make a purchase.

3. Influencing purchase decisions through social.

As consumers look to their online network when in search of a new product, the recommendations they find influence their purchasing decisions. In fact, 92 percent have purchased a product after learning about it from a blogger, and 69 percent are more likely to make a purchase if the product is recommended by someone they follow on social media.

Related: Target Moms' Buying Power

4. Understanding the power of authenticity.

First-person authenticity is a key reason blogs and other online content resonate with consumers. Given the choice of product recommendations from a blogger and traditional media messaging, 83 percent find the blogger more authentic. Moreover, after learning about a product from traditional media, 76 percent will then turn to a blog for more firsthand insight and information.

5. Creating impact at point of purchase.

As consumers search online for product information, ecommerce reviews can dramatically shape purchase intent. Most consumers (67 percent) say they are more likely to purchase a product if it receives a high star rating on ecommerce reviews.

Ecommerce reviews can be more influential, depending on the product involved. For example, 63 percent of consumers say ecommerce reviews on technology items influence them the most, while 57 percent say reviews on large-ticket items offer the most influence.

By harnessing the power of influencer marketing, consumer brands can create a more straightforward path to purchase and generate significant retail lift.

Related: How This Retailer Reaches All-Important Indie Influencers