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Instagram Influencers Explore Affiliate Shops

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Fashion and beauty influencer Blair Eadie, who has used RewardStyle since 2011 and recently posted her merchandise on ShopStyle, is among several Instagram influencers chosen to beta test the in-app affiliate program, starting this holiday season.

The new feature, announced by Instagram in June, allows users to launch a curated store in their profiles using product listings of participating brands. When users click on products and check Instagram, the influencers who posted them get 6%-20% commission for the sale.

The pilot includes more than 100 brands and retailers, including Sephora, Charlotte Tilbury, Parmenials, Zara, Laura Mercier and Revolve, an Instagram spokesperson told Glossy in a report Friday (January 7).

“The affiliate has been in the influencer space for the past decade, so it makes sense for Instagram to try to create its own program to keep influencers converting on the platform,” Eddy said in the report.

In addition to Eadie and her 1.7 million followers, other influencers who are part of the Instagram beta include Jean Wang (684,000 followers), Blake Gifford (162,000 followers) and Wendy Nguyen (1.3 million followers). Each influencer has created holiday collections with fashion and beauty products.

Instagram also introduced Drops and increased live streaming of shopping in 2021. Social commerce is expected to grow to $1.2 trillion by 2025, according to Accenture, at a growth rate of three times the rate of traditional e-commerce.

Related: Small business on Instagram knows there’s no such thing as a free sale

Instagram uses “shadow blocking” on its platform, removing certain content that may (or not violating) Instagram’s standards and reducing post engagement, to the detriment of sellers without a sponsored post budget.

This new structure “also means that large companies can boost their visibility through paid advertising,” according to a report last month in the Financial Times.

According to a Financial Times report: “Companies either promote existing posts for a small fee to reach a wider audience – a promotional post – or create a new post to use as an advertisement, known as a sponsored post.” “These provide more access, which in turn helps secure preferential treatment from the artificial intelligence that powers the application’s algorithms.”

“Not all small businesses can afford it, and the changes have had a measurable impact on sales and engagement from Instagram,” the Financial Times said.


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