Trends from the Frontlines of eCommerce

Posted: April 14, 2020

Let’s Get Down To Business (From a 6+ Foot Distance)

Insights from Jennifer Piña, Director of Brand Partnerships — Global, MagicLinks

We’re officially on our way to week 4 of global social distancing and this not-so-normal, new normal. If you are like us in full WFH flow, this just about sums it up (won’t you break for a laugh + thank me later).

High-level, for the last 30 days:

  • Coronavirus-specific content on YouTube and Instagram has dropped -50%, with daily views globally below 1.5B for the first time since Mar 12th (Source: Tubular).
  • Audiences are instead turning to content that breathes some sense of normalcy to their lives in quarantine — fashion, beauty, and vlog content is seeing a sharp climb of +35-45%. (Source: Tubular)
  • Organic influencer content is up over 20% and we are seeing a rise in non-traditional, celebrity-level creators sharing products (like Georgia Fowler).
  • Curiously, shoes are having their moment (+1,200%) as a top 3 category via top drivers Nike, Adidas, Crocs, and DSW – mostly driven by price reductions + COVID-19 related givebacks.

One overarching theme that has become abundantly clear is that the short-term decisions you make now with influencers can have dramatic consequences on the post-quarantine future. Let’s dive into this further…

We’re witnessing classic bull and sheep investment behaviors playing out. Bulls look for growth opportunities within down markets, and adapt strategies to capitalize based on a longer view. Sheep tend to follow the herd, often missing out on the most meaningful moves in the market as a result. Let’s do some animal work re: the stories swirling last week on major moves from big box brands like Walmart, Amazon, ULTA, and Macy’s.

Here’s a chart comparing the number of influencers supporting 2 big box retailers since March 1st. The dotted red line signifies when one of the competing brands chose to pause their influencer program:

In just over 2 weeks, the sheep has lost -26% while the bull that stayed the course has gained +32% market share, absorbing what the sheep left behind. The bull’s peaks — post-pandemic/influencer investment — are all time highs. We can’t see into the future, but we do know that once influencers see healthy returns from a single retailer, it’s difficult to sway them elsewhere.

Now, even 3-day lapses can have detrimental effects in the longer-term. Let’s look at 2 large beauty retailers as evidence:

72 hours in a crowded, frenzied media landscape without reference to your brand is long enough to lose loyalty — in this case, an immediate drop of -17% from the beauty sheep sent +59% to the beauty bull. In retrospect, it’s clear that the sheep felt those pains, and quickly adjusted, yet the recovery has been slow at +11%, while the bull is triple that at +34%.

We know that the pressures to perform are immense. Resources and solid partnerships are more important than ever. Our approach is founded in $850M+ of customer purchasing data. If you are curious to learn more about how to best leverage your resources and stay proactive with influencers in this fast-changing environment, we are a phone call away.

Grab the bull by the horns,
Jen + The MagicLinks Team

*cover image: “Dubheannach” by Kam Cafferty

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