Influencer marketing firm Captiv8 looks to grow social commerce with brand storefront offering

Influencer marketing firm Captiv8 this week launched a brand storefront offering to expand creator commerce opportunities beyond social media.

With this offering, creators can aggregate all their commerce and curated products into one store — giving brands a way to advertise on multiple creator storefronts across different platforms and target consumers further down the funnel. Captiv8’s influencer marketing platform offers campaign management, influencer search and a suite of other creator services.

Krishna Subramanian, CEO and co-founder of Captiv8, said the storefront service bridges the gap between brands, creators and consumers, as stakeholders find ways to offer personalized shopping and content outside of social networks.

“Brands needed an opportunity to amplify their social commerce distribution channels and connect directly with creators who directly influence consumer choices,” Subramanian said. “Creators [also] want to have a more significant way to connect with audiences outside of their immediate networks to aggregate the communities they’ve built across all platforms.”

Based on Captiv8’s analysis of some 21,000 creators it’s affiliated with, those surveyed were twice as likely to prefer storefronts over one-off affiliate links. Storefronts give them more control and convenience while making their social content shoppable. Subramanian said Captiv8 is working with a cohort of pilot brands and creators (but did not name any).

Theja Suresh, chief product officer of Captiv8, said their data shows that personalized creator recommendations can help increase “new product discovery, basket building … and consumer purchasing decisions.” When used in conjunction with Captiv8’s other measurement and affiliate offerings, brands can track insights and optimize the shopping experience for their influencer marketing programs in real time as well using the new storefront tool.

“When thinking about how affiliate and influencer marketing converge, we wanted brands to have the ability to use real-time performance data to optimize influencer programs,” Subramanian added.

Brands and influencers are also trying to integrate shopping in other ways, from live shopping to other social network integrations. Emma Lenhart, director of creative strategy at influencer agency HireInfluence, said a lot of clients wanted to incorporate TikTok Shop in their influencer campaigns recently, “specifically to have the call to action in the influencers’ content … to shop the brand’s products on TikTok Shop.”

These new social commerce trends make sense, especially as Gen Z shoppers test out TikTok Shop and “enjoy the ease of purchasing products they see promoted in-app,” Lenhart added. “However, it’s important for influencer agencies and brands alike to work with influencers who still balance creating both sponsored and unsponsored content,” she said.

Full-service digital agency Croud is also testing more ways to use influencer content across its paid social strategies, said Danielle Pye, Croud’s paid social account director. The agency wants to combine more user-generated content with product feeds, thereby getting campaigns to drive more revenue and boost return on ad spend, Pye explained.

“The goal is to bring creatives into the lower-funnel activations to do even more work driving sales,” Pye said. “We are also doing creative tests with TikTok placements, like combining voting stickers, products and display cards with placements.”

As Pye mentioned, agencies may see more brand partnerships with influencers growing offline as well — while Lenhart added that live shopping is still developing its role in commerce. Both can offer additional ways for consumers to connect with influencers as the commerce experience keeps transforming.

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