The forced shift to online shopping last year brought incredible adaptation to the retail industry – with changes that’d otherwise take several years, happening in mere months. For influencer marketing, last year served to underscore the critically important role influencers play for brands and retailers. Their ability to act as a distributed sales force in lieu of brick and mortar store experiences and fill the void as instant content creators in the absence of highly-produced, in-studio creative, and marketing shoots helped thousands of brands successfully navigate marketing and communications throughout the pandemic.
To capitalize on the tidal wave of online activity, LIKEtoKNOW.it (LTK) launched LTK Shopping Video. With IRL shopping virtually impossible, video shopping provides consumers with an essential means of discovery and education that not only brings joy to the shopping experience, but also a heightened level of confidence critical to inspiring a purchase.
With this expansion into video shopping, influencers could produce, monetize and share up to two-minute videos in the LIKEtoKNOW.it shopping app, including beauty how-tos, home tours, expanded outfit-sharing and product reviews.
LTK Shopping Videos are made for the mobile, online shopper who’s on a mission. This feature takes shopping to a whole new level with richer content, including product origin, quality and selection, and 360 degree context. LIKEtoKNOW.it shoppers can browse images and videos featuring products from more than 5,000 retailers and brands across fashion, home, beauty, fitness and family -- all hand-picked, styled, and curated by the thousands of influencers in the rewardStyle network.
With video content flourishing across virtually every platform, and the likes of Instagram Reels and TikTok taking the format to new heights, video shopping was poised to fast become a crucial new dimension to the social shopping experience.
With a mission to empower influencers to be as financially successful as possible, the goal of this expansion of the LTK shopping app -- our fastest growing channel -- was to multiply the business opportunity for influencers around the world, and in turn, the brands they promote.
Since LIKEtoKNOW.it is a shopping platform, not a social app, LTK Shopping Video had a different intent and use case from other video features out now -- most of which are geared more toward social messaging or entertainment. LTK Shopping Video was specifically designed to uplevel the shopping experience and fundamentally enhance LIKEtoKNOW.it and rewardStyle's marketplace offering.
With a goal of enabling both our influencers to sell better, while also simultaneously helping our consumers shop more confidently online, LTK Shopping Video was intended to further enrich our relationships with all of our constituents (influencers, brands and consumers alike), and create for an even more dynamic and holistic shopping experience.
LTK Shopping Video saw instant and enthusiastic adoption from the influencer community. The categories that saw the most velocity initially were fashion - product reviews, try-on sessions - and beauty, as influencers embraced the format for its ability to tell a multidimensional story about the products they were selling. Within just over two weeks of its launch, LTK Shopping Video drove over $1 million in GMV (retail sales through the platform).
There were obvious tailwinds for ecomm last year, but a few headwinds as well. From the Facebook boycotts to the myriad socio-political and cultural events that took shape online, marketers had a lot to navigate in the social media landscape this year. Because of LIKEtoKNOW.it’s singular focus on shopping, the app was able to serve as a sort of “shopping bubble” that has greatly appealed to and benefited brands, influencers and consumers alike, and the addition of LTK shopping video only increased that advantage.
During the 2020 holiday shopping period, GMV driven by LTK videos increased by 10%, compared to non-holiday timeframe. And in all of 2020, LIKEtoKNOW.it drove more than $1 billion in GMV, a 100% increase YOY. rewardStyle, as a whole, drove $2.5 billion, a more than a 65% increase YOY.
Note: LTK Shopping Video launched in late August 2020, so results are still preliminary.
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