Influencer marketing for e-commerce – your complete guide

Discover the power of influencer marketing for ecommerce brands. Learn how to leverage influencers for brand success in this comprehensive guide
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Table of Contents

What came first, e-commerce or the influencer?

It’s a tough question to answer these days as the two have become so dependent on each other. 

The rise of the influencer led to a rapid growth of e-commerce as it enabled brands to communicate directly with their customers in a way that wasn’t possible before Mark Zuckerberg decided to experiment with something called TheFacebook in the early noughties.

Any robust e-commerce marketing campaign now needs to include influencer marketing. In 2022, 39% of marketers invested up to 20% of their marketing budget on influencer marketing, spending $4.14 billion in the US alone.

In 2023, 67% of firms plan to increase their influencer marketing spend, and Business Insider has predicted that influencer marketing will be worth $15billion in 2024

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What is influencer marketing? 

Influencer marketing occurs when brands ask influencers, i.e. those with a strong social media following, to promote their products or services. It works because influencer audiences are, or at least should be, highly engaged, much more so than if you embarked on a paid-for digital advertising campaign, even if you carefully selected the target demographic. 

An influencer is somebody with a strong following on social media. They can be anyone from Cristiano Ronaldo (who commands a budget-busting £1.2 million per post), through to a micro-influencer – somebody with a much smaller following (10K–100K), who will charge a lot less but still come with a highly engaged audience.

While micro-influencers generally start at around £400 per Instagram post, some with smaller followings will promote your brand for nothing, in exchange for free products.

How can influencer marketing help e-commerce brands?

Choosing to work with an influencer gives you a hotline to your target audience – people who are likely to be interested in your brand. When AdRoll conducted a survey on social media behaviour, they found that 82% of respondents aged 18–44 bought something following an influencer’s recommendations. 

Collaborating with the right influencer, one who embodies your brand values, operates within the same industry, and is trusted by followers, can be like rocket fuel to your marketing campaign. It can spark interest, add kudos, and introduce authenticity to your promotional strategy.

In addition to increasing brand awareness and endorsing products, influencers can create engaging and creative content that resonates with people. 

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What are the specific challenges of e-commerce influencer marketing?

Some influencers work via an agency or have an agent, while others are lone operators, but whichever way you work with them, remember that they’re individuals and not organiations. This comes with certain challenges. 

They may not deliver as promised; they could be difficult to get hold of; and you might find yourself pestering them to post your content. For this reason, establishing good communication is a must. Outline the non-negotiables at the start of the project and make it clear if there’s a schedule/timeline that needs to be followed. 

You also need to bear in mind that social media users are savvy and don’t like influencer marketing that’s too obvious. If it’s clear that an influencer is purely plugging a brand for the money, this may well prove a turn-off for followers. Recently, de-influencing has become a thing. This movement sees Gen Z trying to reclaim their spending power. They’re rebelling against things like diet culture, unrealistic beauty ideals, and consumerism. 

To avoid this bump in the road, it pays to choose your influencer carefully. Pick someone who is trusted, ethically sound, and genuinely has an interest in your brand regardless of the pay cheque. 88% of Gen Z and Millennials say that authenticity is key when it comes to the influencers they follow

Pay attention to engagement rates, i.e. the number of likes, comments, and views that an influencer gets for their content. A high engagement rate means that followers are really plugged into what an influencer is saying. 

Finally, don’t put all your eggs in the influencer basket. Plan a digital campaign that includes some paid for advertising, SEO, and perhaps even some PR. 

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Does e-commerce influencer marketing work?

92% of marketers think that influencer marketing is effective and 50% of Millennials trust brand recommendations from influencers. In fact, influencers are now more trusted as spokespeople than actual celebrities. Given that a third of Gen Z say they buy products based on influencer recommendations, it’s fair to say that influencer marketing works.

How to find and work with relevant influencers

Before you set out to find your influencers, you need to work out the budget and decide which type of influencers you want to collaborate with. There are four categories according to and and you expect to pay the following per Instagram post:

  • Nano-influencers with fewer than 10,000 followers. Cost: £400 to £1650 
  • Micro-influencers with audiences from 10,000 to 100,000. Cost: £1650 – £6500
  • Macro-influencers with 100,000 to 1 million followers across platforms. Cost: £6,500 to £37,000
  • Mega-influencers with audiences in the tens of millions. Celebrities in the Kim Kardashian ilk. Cost: £37,000+


If you have a limited budget and are doing the research yourself, you need to whittle down the vitals – what’s the age of your target audience; which platform are they most likely to use; what’s your niche; and which creatives within your industry share your brand values, have good engagement levels and have a great reputation? 

Interestingly, according to HubSpot, brands are now switching from mega-influencers to those with a smaller following. 80% of marketers use influencers with under 100K followers and only 16% work with those who have more than a million.  

If you want help finding the right influencer, Vamp is your ideal partner. It’s a comprehensive platform with a treasure-trove of tools that make it much easier to find and collaborate with influencers, manage campaigns and track return on investment (ROI).

Every creator on the Vamp platform has been hand selected, so you know you’re only dealing with genuine influencers. You can also consolidate your entire strategy from your influencer communications through to budget planning, media value calculations, and anticipated engagement metrics.

Creator rates are transparent, you can manage all your outreach from Vamp and we can give you a targeted, recommended list of influencers who fit the brief and align with your brand. If you want to execute your influencer marketing campaign like a pro, Vamp can’t be beaten. 

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The best channels for e-commerce influencer marketing 

Below are the top channels for influencer marketing, with the percentage of marketers who use them.

Top influencer marketing channels

  • Instagram 73% 
  • TikTok 61%
  • YouTube 58%
  • Facebook 57%

Choosing the right platform

When choosing a platform for influencer marketing, consider the demographic of each one and which is most suitable for your brand’s niche.


A third of marketers say they get their best ROI using Instagram influencers.

To learn more, take a look at our guide to Instagram strategy


According to a survey by Hubspot, 58% of marketers work with YouTube influencers and 20% say it has the highest ROI.

  • Demographic:51% are 18–44
  • Popular niches: music, wellbeing, entertainment, and gaming


61% of brands use TikTok influencers, but only 14% say it’s the easiest platform through which to work with creators.

  • Demographic98% are under 55
  • Popular niches: books, health and fitness, fashion and beauty, pets, parenting

For more information, check out our guide on TikTok influencer marketing.


57% of marketers say that Facebook is their favourite influencer platform and 20% say it yields the highest ROI

  • Demographic: 50% are 18–34
  • Popular niches: entertainment, food, drink, travel and events

Check out our ultimate guide to social media strategy to kick-start your digital marketing campaign. 

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How to build a strategy for e-commerce influencer marketing 

Begin your influencer marketing strategy by identifying your goals and working out a budget. Goals can be anything from increasing brand awareness, through to increasing social media following, building engagement, and driving sales. 

Next, choose the type of campaign or campaigns that would work for your brand. These can include:

  • Sponsored content
  • Mentions
  • Discount codes
  • Competitions
  • Giveaways
  • Social media takeovers


Work out the messaging. Remember, you don’t want to try too hard to sell your brand. The tone should be conversational with an accent on fun, and you need to make sure that your chosen influencers reflect your core brand values.

When you’re clear on what you want and how you aim to achieve it, start reaching out to influencers, either by doing your own research or using a platform like Vamp.

A checklist to use when picking influencers should include:

  • Have they run previous campaigns with brands similar to yours?
  • Do they have high engagement levels?
  • Does their personality, style, and outlook match your brand?

When you find the right influencer, remember that they have their own particular style, so try to resist the urge to micromanage. Strike the right balance. 

How to measure influencer marketing 

If you identified your goals before starting your influencer marketing campaign, you should have a clear idea of which metrics to track. If you have more than one influencer working on your campaign, it might be an idea to use an all-in-one platform like Vamp to track metrics accurately.

Here are some examples of the metrics you could consider analyzing to see how your campaign is working:

  • Number of website visits
  • Engagement that the influencer has generated around your brand on their social media platform – i.e. number of likes, comments, etc
  • Increase in your brand’s social media following
  • Number of positive mentions
  • Use of campaign hashtags
  • Newsletter sign-ups
  • Sales
  • Content generated by the influencer

When you find an influencer who generates the results you’re hoping for, develop a trusted relationship with them as the more they vouch for your brand, the stronger the message. A follower is far more likely to buy a product that their favourite influencer has mentioned several times than one that was only featured once.

Get started and download our latest report 

Ready to begin your influencer marketing strategy? Get started with Vamp. Select your budget and find out how we can help you boost your digital marketing campaign.

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Download the free Vamp guide and learn how your brand can succeed on the original influencer marketing platform, Instagram.

Download this free Vamp guide and learn how to succeed on the world’s most viral platform.