Not content with controlling some 1.5% of the planet’s entire retail - which could easily exceed 5% and probably 10% in our lifetimes - that accounted for a cool £150 billion in 2018, Amazon is now on a mission to become the influencer platform of the future.
In the not so distant past, we asked the question: could Amazon eclipse Google and Facebook when it comes to digital marketing? The verdict: quite possibly. Which will only have been enhanced by the megacorp’s move into the influencer market.
In a nutshell, this will allow influencers to get their own page on Amazon with an exclusive vanity URL to showcase the products they recommend to their followers. Making it easier for influencers to influence and consumers to consume - in turn increasing the e-commerce giant’s market share of the more than £5 billion revenue that was reportedly drummed up by 13 million social media influencers in 2018!
But this won’t be news to some. Amazon first launched its Influencer Program - an extension of its longstanding affiliate initiative - in April 2017, enabling influencers to receive commission on goods that are purchased by their followers on YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. But now, as the megabrand aims to grow the platform from a fruitful side hustle into a substantial money-maker, we would expect to see the e-commerce giant start making mega influencer-shaped waves.
So who qualifies for the Amazon Influencer Program? Well, anyone (technically). The world and his dog are welcome to apply, with the only criteria being that you - and your dog - are in possession of a YouTube, Instagram, Twitter or Facebook account. Simple, right? However, all applicants must pass through a rigorous screening where you will be adjudged on your number of followers and other engagement metrics of your social media presence.
So if, like us, your only Facebook notifications are from your elderly relatives inviting you to play Candy Crush Friends Saga, you might not be in luck. If you are a social media magnate, on the other hand, with more likes than Prince Philip has had hot dinners (and car crashes), you could be on course to start making some serious cash.
And it would seem many influencers already are, with notable names including Dallas Mavericks owner, Mark Cuban, and American YouTube personality, iJustine. With many more microinfluencers - that is, burgeoning creators with thousands of followers - also onboarding in recent months, with Amazon also reaching out to potential influencers, both personally and via targeted ads on Instagram!
But it’s not just influencers (and obviously Amazon) who can benefit from this proposition. Sellers, too, will reap the rewards of relatively cost-efficient marketing and having their products placed directly into the hands of their ideal target audience.
Win, win and win, right? Maybe so. But it remains to be seen if Amazon’s imminent global domination will make for a better world. Or if it’s all heading towards an Amazon-afflicted dystopia - where we all must pay £9.99 per month to have our post delivered via Amazon Prime, the only television and media we receive is reruns of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan on Prime Video, and Jeff Bezos has displaced the world’s leaders and declared himself as the planet’s supreme leader alongside his evil voice-activated exchequer, Alexa.
Okay, so the above might be a slight exaggeration. But it would appear that Amazon are well on their way to potential monopolisation of the digital marketing space. So what does the future hold for influencer marketing? Well, if we were a betting digital marketing agency, we wouldn’t be wagering against the e-commerce giant. But what is true is this: the future of digital marketing is looking interesting. The way consumers are reached is ever-evolving, and so are we!