ShopStyle’s The Collective wants to make it easier for consumers to purchase items from their favorite blogs.
Bloggers are learning what the best retailers have known for years — it’s not just the looks but the context that sells fashion. Digital fashion influencers sell more through affiliate sales for brands and retailers when they’re showing their followers how to wear a particular style. And now, ShopStyle is looking to help bloggers home in on this aspect of their operations.
“Sixty four percent of publishers say that posts that show a picture of them wearing an outfit and the products associated with it is what monetizes the best for them. This kind of photo, plus product, is what’s going to drive sales and their shoppers will engage with,” said Lee Anne Grant, vice president of business development at ShopStyle.
The shopping search engine will today unveil a new Looks & Collections Widget to help the 14,000 influencers and bloggers in its affiliate network, The Collective, bolster their revenues. The Collective, originally formed seven years ago as ShopSense, relaunched a year ago to focus on helping its talent maximize the 18 million products from 1,400 retailers that live on ShopStyle. The platform sees 18 million unique shoppers per month and has proven to be a meaningful sales driver, driving more than $1 billion in retail sales last year.
Amber Fillerup Clark of Barefoot Blonde, Rachel Parcell of Pink Peonies and Christine Andrew of Hello Fashion are the first to use the widget. Grant explained that the feature allows bloggers to create collections of their shoppable looks, that when clicked, display all the tagged products below with purchase information and links to retailers. All looks will live on a dedicated “InstaShop” page that can be shared across social media platforms, and followers can access the most recent post. The shoppable looks via the InstaShop are accessible both from the publisher’s blog post and social channels.
This is the first launch in a new Power Your Passion initiative, which Grant said will roll out a series of tools this year targeted to help content publishers optimize marketing efforts and increase sales driven by their sites and social media channels. Next up is a universal cart that makes its debut in June that allows consumers to buy products from their favorite bloggers (and retailers) in one transaction. Later this year, additional opportunities to cross promote bloggers across ShopStyle and PopSugar’s editorial content will be introduced. She added that soon, purchasing from bloggers’ sites will be even easier. Content creators will be able to add a new widget onto their sites so consumers can purchase directly from their blogs (the Instashop or a regular blog post).
Grant estimated that bloggers will make about 20 percent more by using the Looks & Collections tool. This means that earnings of $5,000 per month can quickly turn to $6,000 per month, or an additional $12,000 per year. For the highest echelon of earners — or those top 15 bloggers who reportedly earn $35,000 to $70,000 a month, according to insiders — the rewards are even more lucrative. An additional $14,000 per month adds up to $168,000 over the course of a year, or more than three-and-a-half times the national average wage index for 2014.
“They [bloggers] are savvy marketers. We know that they’re great at curating products and taking beautiful imagery, but what I didn’t think about is that they’re strong marketers and really good at social media,” Grant said. “If you look at number of Instagram followers they have it’s more than most retailers. And they don’t have the marketing budgets of large retailers.”