Laurel Dunne, a London-based retail insights specialist at Shareablee Inc., insists that tradition-bound brick-and-mortar retailers are passing up opportunities for powerful consumer engagement by not tapping into the massive community of brand and service influencers.

And, she told a Shareablee webinar audience, the confidence that consumers have in such online mavens may not just be underestimated but misunderstood.

Dunne reported that a 2018 study Shareablee conducted with Fullscreen Media, the entertainment company, revealed that “the trust in influencers is significantly higher than the trust in brands.”

Specifically:

  • A third of those who had engaged with influencers said that what the influencer said about a brand was more important than what the brand said about itself.
  • Forty percent of the study’s participants who had been exposed to influencer content had either tried something that influencers recommended or actually purchased the product in question.
  • The older demographic in the study – namely, 25–34-year-olds – demonstrated the highest level of trust in influencers in comparison to brands.