Study shows non-celebrity influencers are 10 times more likely to drive in-store purchases

What do Tom Brady and Ugg, Charlize Theron and Dior, and Beyoncé and Pepsi all have in common? They are all A-lister endorsements, who are getting an "F" with millennial consumers who prefer peer endorsements to those of celebrities according to a new survey.

A national survey in March 2016 of nearly 14 thousand US consumers found that 30 percent of consumers are more likely to purchase a product endorsed by a non-celebrity blogger than a celebrity.

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Bentonville, Ark. based influencer marketing company Collective Bias found that of that number, 70 percent of 18 to 34-year-olds had the highest preference for "peer" endorsements.

The survey also investigated other trends in digital and social behaviours and in-store shopping.

Celebrities are not only failing to persuade us to buy.

Traditional advertising overall ranked lowest among survey respondents. TV (7.4 percent), print (4.7 percent) and digital (4.5 percent) advertisements were seen as least influential forms of communication when shopping for products in-store.

The results point to a growing ineffectiveness of traditional advertising and the need for brands to embrace alternative forms of marketing to drive sales.

Almost 60 percent of survey respondents have taken a blog review or social media post viewed on a smartphone or tablet into consideration while shopping in-store.

Almost one in five men (18.3 percent) have had blog reviews influence in-store purchases, compared to only one in 10 women (9.2 percent) who have done the same.

34.3 percent of US male consumers and 15.4 percent of women have purchased consumer electronics in-store as a result of reading a blog review or social media post.

43.1 percent of US consumers feel a word-of-mouth referral is the forms of communications most likely to convince them to make an in-store purchase.

Study shows non-celebrity Influencers are 10 times more likely to drive in-store purchases ZDNet

Which online channel has been used for research when considering an in-store purchase?

Collective Bias

14.5 percent said blogs reviews are the most likely form of communication that would convince them to make an in-store purchase, while 12.3 percent said social media would be the most likely form of communication.

Only two percent of respondents checked Twitter first when researching products, and less than two percent said that Twitter had the most influence on their decision to complete an in-store purchase.

Facebook and YouTube are the most persuasive channels. About 19 percent of consumers find Facebook influences their purchasing decision most, with YouTube coming in second at nearly 18 percent.

YouTube is especially popular with men (22.8 percent) compared to women (13.9 percent).

Only three percent of consumers would consider buying a product in-store if it was endorsed by a celebrity, but celebrity testimonials were just one of the traditional advertising vehicles to rank low among respondents.

Women were most convinced by word-of-mouth referrals. 47.6 percent of female US consumers said they found word-of-mouth referrals to be most convincing when deciding to purchase a product in-store.

This compares to just 37.1 percent of males who believe the same.

Bill Sussman, CEO of Collective Bias said: "With little data available on the current state of influencer marketing, the findings of this report strongly indicate that consumers are less engaged with advertisements and seemingly disingenuous celebrity endorsements.

As ad blocking continues to grow, it only further threatens the effectiveness of traditional ad techniques to deliver ROI, meaning brand marketers will need to turn to more effective alternatives such as influencer content."

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