Influencer reviews trumped by ‘authentic’ customers online, say beauty shoppers

In a move against influencer marketing, half of customers are more compelled to buy cosmetics online if recommended by their peers

Peer reviews of beauty, health and wellness products online have been found to carry more weight online than a strong social media following, according to a new survey.

More than half (53%) of online shoppers were influenced by user-generated content, including images and videos on social media, when buying beauty skus, ahead of influencer content, AI-powered visual content marketing platform Stackla found.

Shunning influencer marketing, almost three quarters of customers from across the US, UK and Australia also agreed that consumer photos and videos from real customers are the kind of content they want to see from beauty brand’s e-commerce sites.

The report also found that 66% of respondents had been inspired to buy from a new brand after seeing another consumer’s social media post, as more consumers admit to being influenced by online outlets when shopping online, than they were pre-pandemic.

Stackla’s findings also align with Cosmetics Business’ regarding the authenticity of celebrity and influencer endorsements.

Ten percent of those surveyed by Stackla agreed that influencer content is authentic, while Cosmetics Business’ own research found 60% of respondents in the UK do not believe that endorsements from celebrities are genuine.

Unsurprisingly, content created by other consumers was deemed the most authentic by Stackla’s respondents at 59%, and 19% said that brand-created content was bona fide.

“All generations of shoppers are telling brands they’re more likely to purchase products if they see authentic customer content on websites,” said Damien Mahoney, CEO and co-founder of Stackla.

“The survey results tell us online shoppers are influenced by and expect to see visual content from real customers more than ever before.”

One beauty giant taking a novel approach to influencer marketing is cosmetics conglomerate Unilever.

In 2018, the group said it would cut ties with all ‘influencers’ that were found to be buying followers in a push to make advertising more transparent.

The Ren and Dove owner said that this type of behaviour online “undermined” the influencer space and its credibility in advertising online.

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