Perhaps more than any other industry, fashion retail has been upended by social media and the rise of digital influencers.

Millennials, in particular, are increasingly reliant on social media and the influencers who dominate them to curate trends, new brands, and the styles they wear.

But new research from social shopping and influencer marketing platform Dealspotr underscores some surprising shifts in Millennials’ perceptions of social media influencers—notably that, in 2017, Millennials are starting to trust influencers less than they used to.

Millennials rely on social influencers more—but trust them less

According to the firm’s recently released Millennial Fashion Shopping Study, Millennials are also becoming more sophisticated in how they evaluate influencers—a previously important indicator of trust, an influencer’s number of followers, is now largely ignored by this demographic.

Millennials rely on social influencers more—but trust them less

At the same time, Millennials are now more reliant than ever on lifestyle influencers for fashion ideas and inspiration, creating a critical yet challenging landscape for fashion brands to navigate.

“Millennials now trust social media influencers more than their friends and family for fashion picks and recommendations,” said Michael Quoc, founder and CEO of Dealspotr, in a news release. “However, as the influencer economy matures, brands must be hyper-aware of shifting perceptions and increasing skepticism towards online influencers when crafting an influencer marketing strategy.”

Millennials rely on social influencers more—but trust them less

Highlights from the report:

  • Social media influencers are now the #1 factor driving fashion shopping decisions among female Millennials (41 percent selected as their primary influence). Lifestyle influencers now have greater impact than more traditional factors such as friends and family (37 percent), TV / magazines / advertisements (20 percent) and celebrities (19 percent).
  • At the same time, 52 percent of Millennials say they trust social media influencers less these days.
  • Millennials no longer judge influencers by their number of followers. Only 7 percent primarily care about an influencer’s number of followers, far outweighed by the influencer’s sense of style (60 percent).
  • Millennials are extremely price conscious when it comes to fashion brands. 70 percent of Millennials say price and value are the most important attributes of a fashion brand, above the brand’s style at 43 percent.
  • 36 percent of Millennials say the availability of a discount code is their primary factor determining whether they would try purchasing from a new or unfamiliar fashion brand.
  • 65 percent of Millennials primarily make fashion purchases in-store, compared to 41 percent who primarily buy online.

Download the report here.

Dealspotr conducts an annual survey of Millennial shoppers to better understand the shifting dynamics between consumers, lifestyle influencers and retailers in today’s digital economy. The firm surveyed 500 Millennial female consumers in the United States between the ages of 18 to 34, screening for those who follow social media influencers online.

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Richard Carufel

Richard Carufel

Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 12 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders.

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