Andrew Burnstine’s Retail Matters

Capturing consumers’ attention online isn’t about to get any easier for fashion businesses.

On Instagram, engagement rates have fallen, by roughly 30 percent year on year in 2022, while the reach of posts has diminished. Consumers are showing signs of fatigue towards traditional influencer marketing after years of being bombarded with product promotions and brand announcements. The BoF-McKinsey State of Fashion 2024 Consumer Survey found that 68 percent of respondents were unhappy about the high volume of sponsored content on social media platforms and 65 percent were turning less to fashion influencers than a few years ago. Young consumers are becoming particularly adept at tuning out the noise. One study found Gen-Z loses active attention for advertising after just 1.3 seconds.

Even in this environment, influencers continue to be a powerful channel for brands to break through the noise and connect with consumers, with the influencer-marketing industry forecast to reach $21.1 billion in 2023, up from $16.4 billion in 2022. However, the influencer landscape has been evolving in the past few years as consumers increasingly demand authenticity, entertainment and relatable personalities, with this trend likely to gather momentum in the year ahead.

According to the BoF-McKinsey consumer survey, consumers are gravitating towards relatable and authentic influencers far more than other attributes such as an aspirational lifestyle or celebrity status. Marketing and influencer firms echo these findings — a 2023 survey found that, although beautiful and aspirational content was effective, social media users were more likely to follow influencers whom they deem authentic and fun.

 

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