From Dyson’s cult hair styling tool to Lululemon’s fast-selling fanny pack, Instagram’s shoppers spent big on products recommended by influencers last year.
According to a new report by creator commerce platform LTK (formerly Liketoknowit), released Tuesday, its 18 million monthly shoppers bought over $3.6 billion worth of goods via its influencer affiliate links in 2022. Called its Most Loved Awards, the fourth annual list calculates top products based on a combination of engagement, impressions and conversions from its links shared across all social platforms.
The beauty category dominated the platform’s overall top products list, with four of the top eight items hailing from that category. These included the Dyson Airwrap, via a QVC link; Tarte’s Maracuja Juicy Lip Balm; the Elemis Dynamic Resurfacing Pad; and the Lancôme Lash Idôle Lash-Lifting & Volumizing Mascara, via Ulta Beauty. For fashion, Lululemon’s frequently sold-out Everywhere Belt Bag made the list, thanks to its popularity with moms, in particular, said Stephanie Sandbo, LTK’s vp head of brand partnerships.
- QVC: Dyson Airwrap
- Tarte: Maracuja Juicy Lip Balm
- Elemis: Dynamic Resurfacing Pad
- Ulta Beauty: Lancôme Lash Idôle Lash-Lifting & Volumizing Mascara
- Lululemon: Everywhere Belt Bag
- Our Place: Always Pan
- Stanley: The Quencher H2.0 FlowstateTM Tumbler (40 oz.)
- Anthropologie: Gleaming Primrose Mirror
Influencers are not given access to a leaderboard of top sellers, said Sandbo; they must select items themselves. Some brands, such as Elemis, seed their products to LTK influencers via gifting campaigns. Products that are promoted by influencers often receive a “halo effect,” in which other influencers in the network are inspired to try and promote them, she said.
“Ceators are looking to one another for inspiration,” said Sandbo.
Beauty was “one of fastest-growing categories” on LTK in 2022, said Sandbo, who noted that most influencers in the network categorize themselves as “lifestyle” creators and post about products across categories. Top-selling beauty products spanned makeup, skin care, hair care and fragrance.
Beauty and Personal Care
- QVC: Olaplex Bond Maintenance No.4 Shampoo and N.5 Conditioner
- Sephora: Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Perfect Glow Flawless Oil-Free Foundation
- Kiehl’s: Rare Earth Deep Pore Minimizing Cleansing Clay Mask
- T3: Featherweight 3i
- Colleen Rothschild: Glycolic Acid Peel Pads with Blue Agave
- Saks Fifth Avenue: Baccarat Rouge 540 Eau de Parfum
For fashion trends, both athleisure and casual clothing were popular in 2022.
“A big fashion trend is all things comfortable. People want to look put together, but they want to be comfortable. People are still working from home,” said Sandbo. As a result, ‘90s-style denim pieces, such as Agolde’s pinch-waist jeans and Abercrombie’s Mom Shorts, topped the fashion list. Meanwhile, Vuori’s sherpa jacket and Outdoor Voices’ exercise dress made the health and fitness list.
- Aerie: Smoothez Padded Scoop Bralette
- Shopbop: AGOLDE The 90’s Pinch Waist Jeans
- Spanx: Faux Leather Leggings
- Amazon: Lveberw Lounge Set
- Express: High Waisted Straight Ankle Jeans
- Abercrombie & Fitch: Mom Shorts
- Walmart: Attitude Unknown Women’s Metallic Button Blazer
- Madewell: Washed Leather Motorcycle Jacket
- Revolve: Steve Madden Eldridge Coat
- Strawberry Avocados: Honey Bee Me Nude Sand And White Apple Band
Health and Fitness
- Vuori: Cozy Sherpa Jacket
- Nordstrom: On Cloudswift Running Shoe
- DSW: Adidas Retrorun Sneaker
- Outdoor Voices: The Exercise Dress
While LTK benefits from Instagram Stories links, it has been adapting to the rise of short video through boosted TikTok posts. While TikTok doesn’t allow influencers to link to commerce directly from their organic posts, LTK selects and boosts popular influencer content in order to add its shopping links.
LTK’s investment in TikTok marketing is also helping its reach among the Gen-Z demographic, which is “growing leaps and bounds,” said Sandbo. While LTK is often associated with a millennial momfluencer aesthetic, Sandbo said, “The creators we’re onboarding are very Gen Z-oriented, as well.”
Tarte’s Maracuja lip balm, for example, is one of the list-topping items popular with Gen Z. It has received a boost from breakout TikTok star Alix Earle’s LTK account.
For 2023, the platform predicts growing price-consciousness among consumers, which is expected to make beauty a top category.
“Beauty, in general, tends to be the most resilient vertical as it relates to any type of economic headwind,” said Sandbo. “A lot of the reason is because beauty, in a way, is like attainable luxury.”
“Consumers, for the first time, are shopping price first, convenience second. For a long time, it was convenience first, price second,” she said. “That flipped with the state of the economy.”