TECHNOLOGY

Amazon drops into influencer retailing

BY Dan Berthiaume

Amazon is now offering style collections curated by social media influencers.

A new site section on Amazon, The Drop, combines limited-edition assortments of fashion items designed by global influencers with a selection of always-available essential pieces. Assortments can be introduced at any time without advance notice, and are only on sale for 30 hours.

When customers purchase influencer-designed items, each piece is individually made on-demand and delivered within a few weeks. Customers can opt-in for text alerts of when new collections are ready, and also follow The Drop on Instagram.

Amazon is not a stranger to influencer marketing and sales strategies, although The Drop is a big step forward into the burgeoning world of influencer-driven retailing. The Amazon Influencer Program, which enables influencers to drive consumers from their social media pages directly to a dedicated Amazon storefront, and Amazon’s new Off to College online college store features influencer-curated style guides.

Meanwhile, recently-launched e-commerce platform Verishop is positioning itself as a millennial- and Gen Z-friendly Amazon alternative with features including an Instagram-type section called Tastemakers. Millennial and Gen Z influencers such as lifestyle bloggers, designers, and entertainers offer curated product selections with multiple images.

And direct-to-consumer beauty brand Il Makiage has a new portal called Kenzza designed to intelligently match customers to their preferred influencer-created foundations and looks. Even the visual social platforms preferred by influencers are getting into the e-commerce side of influencer marketing. Snapchat is enabling a select group of influencers to operate Shopify-based in-app stores from their verified Snapchat accounts, while Instagram enables a small group of Instagram “creators” (celebrities and the like) to tag products in their posts, making the products instantly shoppable.

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