Inside Macy’s 300-employee influencer program
Macy’s in-house influencer team is showing signs of progress.
Since launching a pilot version of Macy’s Style Crew last fall with 20 employee “ambassadors,” Macy’s has invested in growing the program. More than 300 employees participated this past spring, and there are now more than 400 active across social media channels, including Snapchat and Instagram.
In 2019, Macy’s is planning for a “much bigger” roll-out because the company has “gotten so much engagement,” a spokesperson said, declining to specify exact figures. Though Style Crew from the get-go has focused mostly on apparel and beauty, it’s aiming to expand its reach down the line to emphasize all of the product lines the retailer sells.
A senior Macy’s executive who requested anonymity said the focus on internal influencers comes as the company’s management has become skeptical toward their external counterparts. The backlash against influencers — accused of faking follower counts and fudging engagement — crystallized at the Cannes Lions festival in June. There, Unilever CMO Keith Weed said the company would no longer work with influencers who buy followers. And Unilever brands would work to police influencers with bots or fake followers, he said.
Unlike outside influencers, who are typically paid per post, Macy’s has little upfront capital at stake for its Style Crew. Its employee influencers, who range from cashiers to executives, are paid an unspecified percentage of each sale they drive.
Any Macy’s employee can apply for the program. When accepted, they’re given access to virtually all of the department store’s products for free to promote online. Using #macysstylecrew and a slew of other hashtags, the employee drives sales through a unique link at the top of his or her Instagram page. Tommy Hilfiger dresses in exotic locales, or Nike workout gear on a tennis court, serve as the “organic” ad.
Macy’s spent about $415 million in measured media in the U.S. last year per, Kantar Media. The executive said total expenditure on outside influencers has fallen, favoring other forms of digital and physical advertising that are simpler to quantify. But the company is far from eradicating outside influencers. Recent placements on its Instagram include a dress modeled by Jane Belfry, founder of women’s empowerment brand The Thicc, and a denim jacket worn by independent influencer Morgan Bethel-Sosinski.
Bethel-Sosinki has more than 30,000 followers. The average Macy’s Style Crew participant has fewer than 10,000, otherwise known as a “micro-influencer.” But what micro-influencers lack in reach, they often make up for in loyalty, research suggests, with friends and family paying closer attention to their posts.
“We see this as developing a relationship with our employees,” the executive said. “This gives them an incentive to be proud of Macy’s, to make some money and to come to work more energized each day.”
Cheat Sheet: Shopify’s Shop Pay integration will share customer purchase data with Google
Allowing retailers to sell for free, and adding more payment options, makes Google itself more of a shopping tool.
LG kicks off series of live stream shopping events produced in-house
If a consumer sees something they like, they can click on the product and will be taken out to the LG website to complete their purchase.
Loyal and App-y: How QSRs are leaning into rewards programs to boost mobile orders and sales
Brands were forced to find ways to reach customers in their homes and fast-food restaurants, including McDonald’s and Burger King, found answers by investing in loyalty programs.
SponsoredHow the relationship between live events and mobile devices is evolving in 2022
Sponsored by AdColony The pandemic has accelerated changes in the way people consume content — and live events are part of that transformation. For advertisers, the questions are the kind on which campaign success depends: In what ways (and numbers) have people returned to watching sports, e-sports and events such as the Grammys? Are they […]
Cheat sheet: Etsy beats earnings, turns focus to adding more revenue sources
Etsy is still growing beyond a blast of mask sales last year and now needs to manage 4.7 million sellers and 90 million buyers.
Member ExclusiveDespite hungry VCs, DTC brands are rethinking their fundraising approach
This is the latest installment of the DTC Briefing, a weekly Modern Retail column about the biggest challenges and trends facing the volatile direct-to-consumer startup world. Join Modern Retail+ to get access to the DTC briefing–as well as all articles, research and more. Before 2020, some founders and investors were starting to warn that most consumer […]