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The Role Influencers and Customer Reviews Play at Checkout  

Influencers bridge the gap between the brands and consumer, but regular everyday reviews from people are just as crucial in making that connection. These influences don’t just introduce new brands, products, or restaurants — they wield significant force in driving consumers to make that crucial purchase or choose a dining experience. 

According to a report titled “Connected Dining: Word of Mouth in the Digital Age,” PYMNTS Intelligence found that positive online reviews play a significant role in influencing consumers’ choices when it comes to dining, with almost half of restaurant-goers expressing a higher likelihood of ordering from establishments after reading positive reviews. Conversely, negative reviews have an impact on 29% of diners, making them less inclined to order from a restaurant. 

Read more: Millennials Check Online Reviews, Gen Zs Turn to Influencers for Restaurant Recommendations 

In November, PYMNTS found that 30% of consumers recognized social media’s impact on their buying choices. 

According to another PYMNTS report, Figs, a healthcare apparel brand, slashed customer acquisition costs by 61% from 2018 to 2020, bringing it down to $39. This success was linked to the effectiveness of its healthcare professional ambassador program, as mentioned in its S-1 filing. 

“All of our ambassadors are medical professionals, not professional influencers who earn a living by posting selfies,” said Trina Spear, co-CEO and co-founder of Figs, in 2021. “They are real doctors and nurses who work 12- or even 16-hour shifts.” 

Read more: How Brands Are Collaborating With Experts, Influencers and Nonprofits to Connect With Consumers 

Then there are beauty brands, such as Laneige, which have achieved success with influencers who can be found on the big screen. The brand recently unveiled its extended collaboration with Sydney Sweeney, best known for her roles in “Euphoria” and “White Lotus.”  

“Over the past few years, we have seen Sydney transform into a global superstar at the forefront of the cultural zeitgeist. Since the beginning of our partnership, Sydney and Laneige experienced a similar global acceleration as she cemented her status as one of the most promising actresses in Hollywood,” said Julien Bouzitat, brand general manager for Laneige US, in a press release.  

Influencer Impact

When an influencer aligns with a brand’s values and ethos, their endorsement resonates with their audience, creating genuine interest and curiosity. This heightened attention translates into an increase in social media followers, which then establishes a robust online community for the brand.  

The ultimate goal is to convert interest into sales.  

When influencers communicate the value of a product or service to their audience, followers are more likely to make purchasing decisions based on the influencer’s recommendation. This conversion is further facilitated by the trust and credibility that influencers have established with their followers. 

According to PYMNTS, Figs reported achieving profitability in 2020, with a net income of $57.94 million and net revenues of $263.11 million, marking a 138% growth from the prior year. The pandemic-induced surge in demand for scrubs and face masks was a contributor to this success. 

Meanwhile, according to Laneige, the impact of Sweeney’s partnership with the brand has been substantial. The evidence lies in the growth of Laneige’s social media following their collaboration. After the initial announcement of Sweeney as Laneige’s US ambassador in spring 2022, there was an immediate surge of 227% in TikTok followers and a 53% increase in Instagram followers. A particular behind-the-scenes video featuring Sweeney on a Laneige production set went viral, amassing 72 million views across TikTok, Instagram and YouTube.  

While specific sales figures were not disclosed, the company noted that Laneige’s Lip Sleeping Mask gained considerable attention and viral status and has been recognized as the #1 Lip Treatment Brand in the U.S.