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The End of the Influencer? Most Consumers Doubt Social Media Influencers Use the Products They Promote

Survey: Only 11% of Americans Believe Influencers Deliver Trustworthy Reviews, While a Majority of Americans (53%) Rely Most on Recommendations From Product Experts

CHICAGO, Sept 7, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Social media has given influencers the clout and the platform to promote products, but many consumers doubt the credibility of their recommendations. According to initial findings from a survey of 1,000 U.S. adults commissioned by The Desire Company, a vast majority of consumers (87%) say it is likely that influencers don’t even use the products they advertise and, furthermore, only 1 in 10 (11%) believe that a social media influencer with millions of followers is a trustworthy source of information.

It doesn’t help that many consumers have had a bad experience when purchasing an influencer-promoted product: More than 4 in 5 (82%) consumers who have purchased something based on an influencer’s pitch say they have had some sort of negative experience with the product, with the most common being that the product didn’t match the influencer’s claims (41%).

“Social media influencers have evolved into becoming the billboards of the Internet,” says Eric Sheinkop, co-founder and CEO of The Desire Company. “Great at spreading mass awareness but lacking in their ability to properly educate consumers about products. Our experts have dedicated their lives to becoming the best at what they do which is why they are qualified to provide trusted product information to shoppers. Clearly trust takes time to earn, certainly longer than the length of a TikTok.”

“Social media influencers have evolved into becoming the billboards of the Internet.”

Eric Sheinkop, The Desire Company Co-Founder and CEO

While a company may make a quick buck when they bring on an influencer to promote their product, poor customer experience has a lasting impact. More than 2 in 5 (42%) consumers who have dealt with the consequences of purchasing an influencer recommended product say they are unlikely to purchase from that company again.

When it comes to a dependable way to cut through the glut of information available, consumers are beginning to look for trusted experts and professionals in their field. The study found that when making purchases, the majority (53%) of Americans rely most on recommendations from product experts in making purchasing decisions. About half (51%) agree that an expert product demonstration is the only review they need to be confident in their purchase decisions.

The Desire Company was founded to provide shoppers with access to experts to help them find the right products for their needs and ensure they know how to use them. Its community of product reviewers is required to meet certain standards to ensure that the reviews provided are authentic and accurate.

“Consumers are weary of sorting through massive amounts of online misinformation when shopping online,” continues Sheinkop. “Our study shows that the old approach of ‘more is more’ is not working for consumers who are being overwhelmed. This study clearly shows a demand from consumers for brands to move away from Influencer Marketing to Expert Marketing.”

Notes to Editors

The study of 1,000 U.S. adults was conducted by independent research firm, Wakefield Research, commissioned by The Desire Company. More about the study can be found here:  https://thedesirecompany.com/studies/retail-returns

About The Desire Company

The Desire Company is the world’s only community of Experts who tell the truth about the products they actually use and trust. Our mission is to empower shoppers to make more educated, confident purchase decisions by providing reliable, expert-driven product reviews, how-tos, and classes. The company was created around the passions of accomplished professionals at the top of their game, in order to democratize their knowledge and build a community to share it.

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