Blog readers are as varied as any cohort, but highly engaged readers of certain blog types tend to over-index in key areas. For example, parenting blog readers tend to have very young children and are likely to make impulse purchases, while fashion blog retailers follow their instincts and love buy online, return in-store (BORIS) programs. Hitting the 43% of U.S. consumers who regularly engage with blogs with the right messaging can be a serious sales driver, according to Resonate.
Blogs are also a great way of reaching new audiences: 81% of online shoppers trust information and advice from blogs, while 61% have made a purchase based on their recommendations, according to BlogHer. Resonate looked at the common habits of fashion, parenting and health blog readers, as well as the top-rated retailers of each category, to determine how marketers can leverage this trust and learn from successful brands’ best practices to grow their customer base.
Easy Returns Appeal To Fashion Blog Readers
Fashion blog readers tend to be on the adventurous side, driven by romantic love and living an adventurous life. They also have a creative streak and tend to base their buying decisions on gut instinct and brand loyalty. The combination of adventure and creativity means fashion blog shoppers are very interested in trying out new products — which also means they are 300% more likely to use a BORIS program than their peers.
“Fashion blog people way, way over-index on having an easy return policy,” said Ericka Podesta McCoy, CMO at Resonate in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “That's obviously something that you would expect for someone who wants to try the latest styles and may be trying brands that they don't know. If I were a fashion brand that was trying to tap into the people who read fashion blogs, having prominent messaging about my return policy would be really important, because people would be almost twice as likely to buy from me if I have an easy return policy.”
The shopping experience is also important for fashion blog readers, who are 542% more likely to prefer products that feel rewarding in some way, shape or form. Retailers may want to examine how the top three apparel brands among these shoppers, Madewell, Athleta and White House Black Market, make their shoppers feel special. All these brands are very active on platforms like Pinterest, which drives a sense of loyalty between these companies and their shoppers, according to Podesta McCoy.
In-Store Possibilities Are Important On Parenting Blogs
As might be imagined, parenting blog readers tend to have young children: they are 500% more likely to have a child under the age of one or two than their peers. This inspires their preferences and choices, and causes them to value sustainability and products that look good.
Parenting blog readers are also 200% more likely to buy from stores with rewards programs, further emphasizing their interest in good deals. Unsurprisingly, they prefer products that save time and are marketed as being family-friendly, and they also care about shopping in clean stores.
They also often make impulse purchases. Their top three retailers, Overstock, Nordstrom Rack and TJ Maxx, are all competitive on price, and the two brick-and-mortar companies are experts at presenting shoppers with inexpensive items that make an appealing purchase at checkout.
"These also tend to be people that are making impulse purchases, which I think is interesting,” said Podesta McCoy. “If you think about the types of stores that they might go to, maybe they're picking up that extra item, so you could probably market adding one thing to them. Think about those retailers that are quite good at end-of-the-checkout marketing with easy items that are available to add. Nordstrom Rack is a perfect example, with all those perfectly visible little items that are sitting there while you're waiting in line.”
Health Blog Messaging Should Be Inclusive
It’s no surprise that health blog readers are concerned about their health. They also tend to be compassionate about their fellow humans and have an optimistic outlook on life, according to Resonate. These beliefs lead to a preference for nice, well-made things that help express joy and happiness, but “well-made” doesn’t necessarily mean luxury — health blog readers are interested in all things inclusive, not exclusive, and they appreciate a good deal.
"I think creative and messaging that's tapping into this desire is relevant for retailers,” said Podesta McCoy. “This idea of sharing the joy or giving something special are important because these people really care about buying for everyone in their family, but don’t necessarily want the luxury category, where everything is so exclusive or so expensive. I think there's just this appreciation for the product and the experience, and the value is in good looking and enjoyable, as opposed to luxury.”
While these shoppers appreciate other people, they also want to be appreciated in turn, which leads to them being 176% more likely to buy from retailers with rewards programs and stores that offer enjoyable shopping experiences. Their top three retailers are QVC, Overstock and Stein Mart, and their top three apparel retailers are Carter’s, New York & Co. and DKNY.
While the nature of the in-store experience may seem to be outside the usual messaging for a digital marketing campaign, it highlights the fact that even e-Commerce outreach should take brick-and-mortar benefits into consideration. Likewise, working a chain’s easy-to-use return policies or clean, friendly stores into what gets presented on a blog can make outreach through this channel even more effective.
“Don't overlook the fact that just because they're bloggers doesn't mean they're not in your store,” said Podesta McCoy. “Make that connection between the digital and physical realm — they may be reaching digitally native readers, but they're going into your store and experiencing your store. How can you connect that experience for them?”
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