Some people prefer to buy a product be it a beauty product or anything from a popular Instagram influencer who has more than half a million followers. But, for some people, it was a regretful shopping experience. Why would they say that? Do social media influencers positively contribute to our economy or it just remains as a trend?
Some social media influencers are unregistered business operators
An agency in Korea disclosed that some of these social media influencers are unregistered business operators. They are out of the legal boundary. Sellers on social media are mainly capitalising on having loyal followers but their products are not that great in term of quality.
A total of 3,370 complaints were reported
Social media influencer is a world-case phenomenon. It’s not only happening in Malaysia. According to the Seoul Metropolitan Government, a total of 3,379 complaints on shopping through social media were reported from 2015 to March 2019. In 2019 alone, almost 100 cases were reported each month and most of it ‘melibatkan’ social media influencers.
Social media = influencer platform to carry out marketing strategy?
During good old days, social media such as Instagram was just a channel to connect with friends and interact with strangers having a common interest. Now, the social media platform has become bombarded with influencer marketing. In the US market alone, they have introduced its own check-out service for a better online shopping experience.
The higher the number of followers the better the pay will be
According to some party, social influencers or online stars make millions by posting a photo of a product and a brand name in a hashtag. The price goes up depending on the number of followers.
The global influencer marketing industry was valued at 2 trillion won last year and will grow to 10.6 trillion won by 2020. This analysis was carried out by the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency.
Products that online influencers promote or sell on their accounts range from clothes to cosmetics, baby chairs, kitchen tools to food – even soy sauce-marinated crab. Over 260,000 posts were found with the hashtag instamarket, as of June 7.
Why do people buy stuff from influencers?
Online influencers who have thousands of loyal followers have the power to convince their fans to buy items. A poll from firm Bright Local showed that 88% of the consumers say they trust influencers’ recommendations as much as their close friends.
With the power that social influencers have and the capacity to economically gain from the popularity, many of the big celebrities have joined the bandwagon and actively sharing their moments on Instagram hoping to grow a wider fan base.
Interestingly, selling products on social media does not cost much to begin. Anyone with a smartphone can open a market and sell products. Sadly, all online sellers including influencers tend not to report their income and pay taxes. Alas, all these influencers’ business activities will be beneficial for the online market’s ecosystem and consumers’ rights. What are your thoughts on this?