After reading Bethany’s dissertation research on The Influence of Beauty Blogs, it got me thinking about how reading and writing a blog has changed how I shop. Gone are the days when on a whim, I would just chuck something in pretty packaging into my basket or I would stick to old faithful products like they where the only options on the shelf. Sure, this still happens from time to time but when I shop consciously I can see a massive difference in my post-blogging shopping habits.
How many of your purchases are influenced by what you’ve read on a blog or watched in a YouTube haul video? Come on now, don’t be shy, my hand is raised high here too. When I look through my beauty bin and make up bag I see a lot of items and brands in there that chances are, I would never have considered purchasing if it wasn’t for what I’d been reading online.
Beauty blogs, YouTube channels, Instagram, even Pinterest pretty much influence everything I buy, from gifts for loved ones to luxuries for myself. Heck, if I see enough dazzaling reviews for a high end product, that alone can be enough to justify the splurge! In the past I’d have gone off the price tag alone and no matter what the sales assistant said, my purse would have stayed firmly shut!
Let’s say I’m in Boots and I’m looking for a new shampoo, so I pick one up and read the back, to me it sounds pretty good and I hover the bottle over my basket. My phone comes out of my bag, I type the name into Google with review tagged on the end and I hit search. Scrolling past Amazon reviews and comments on the brands website I go straight to a .blogspot url. Hey, this blogger kind of sounds like me, she too has long thick hair, but she didn’t fall head over heals in love with this shampoo. OK! I hit the back button and try the next one. 5 minutes later and half a dozen reviews under my belt I put the shampoo back down, it didn’t work for the bloggers, chances are it won’t work for me…What’s that I see at the end of the aisle? Wasn’t Zoella talking about that exact brand recently? I reach for it and the cycle continues.
Bloggers give us what the brands generally can’t. They give us a personal touch. We know the ins and outs of our favourite bloggers, we know what similarities we share, so if the shampoo worked for them, chances are we think it will work for us. Of course, it could still turn out to be the worst purchase we ever made, but we don’t feel as bad about it. After all we made our choice based on the reviews we read and listened to.
It’s all well and good reading the back of bottles and looking on the brand websites but we want advice from someone we trust. Brands are realizing what power and influence a blog can have and getting a big time blogger on your side could be just the sales boosting ticket they’re in need of!
It’s not just about buying things on recommendations of bloggers either! If you yourself write a blog and you see all the other bloggers in your niche writing about a certain product, I know I for one am more inclined to go check it out to be sure I’m not missing out on anything. More often than not I look at an item, event, even a meal on a menu and instantly think, I can blog about this.
We all say we’re individuals, we make our own choices, etc etc, I know, I say it myself too – who wants to admit they’re a sheep in the flock? But we all have the tendency to follow the flock without even realizing it!
None of this is a bad thing. In fact for us bloggers I think it’s a good thing. For those of us who are in it for the long haul, not just the freebies, it gives us some recognition as to how powerful our words can be and, credit where credit is due. Most of us bloggers blog because we can’t help it. We have this need to get our words and thoughts out there, to help others and share our adventures. We will talk about products and places with no PR involved. We’re talking about things we genuinely love (or loathe as the case my be!) and what brand doesn’t love a little free press?
Blogs and blogging clearly influences how I shop, so how about you? Do you buy things based solely on blog recommendations? Or are you buying with the intent of writing a kick ass post with pictures to boot? Let me know in the comments below!
Until next time,