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Should You Treat Retailers Like Influencers and Influencers Like Retailers?

Niche retailers are specialized stores in your local community such as your local health food store, a bike shop, or yoga studio.

These niche retailers hold a lot of clout in the local community, almost like influencers do nowadays. Local shop owners and managers tend to be experts in their field, with a plethora of knowledge of best-selling products and new products coming to market.

This type of local influencer marketing is making a comeback. Let me explain. There are a lot of watered-down influencers who, unlike the local shop owners, might be faking knowledge simply to promote a product. We think the local retailer (not the Whole Foods and Targets of the world but those like Jane’s Health Food Store on Main St USA) can capitalize on their industry knowledge to help build up their social media presence and work with brands to promote them on Instagram.

For example, who would you trust to buy your next superfood from; a random fitness influencer with a six-pack or a reputable store in your community that also carries the product they are promoting?



  • Your local health food store starts to carry a new superfood supplement. It catches your eye, and you ask the manager about it = easy sell.

On social media 

  • Local – A local health food store in your area where you have been before but are not a regular consumer posts something on social media. You know they are a reputable business, so when they post, you are more likely to believe them than you would a random fitness influencer.
  • Nationally – The health food store sets up an advertising campaign (like an influencer, not a retailer). The retailer posts a slide show showcasing their retail space, a few customer testimonials (to help build credibility), and then the final slide is the superfood they are getting paid to promote.
    • That’s right → the retailer is getting paid to promote the brand. Think of it as a co-op program that builds influence on social media

How this helps the brand

  • Just like when an influencer posts about a product, the brand is getting in front of their audience via the retailer’s Instagram account.
    • In a lot of cases, you do not know who is following an influencer and why. For example, we can assume that if you are following a retail store on Instagram, you are either a consumer of the store or are interested in the type of product they are selling.
    • The brand is getting in front of the consumer on Instagram (brand awareness), and selling products in their store.

How this helps the retailer 

  • Retailers are looking for ways to increase their revenue. So let’s have these brick-and-mortar stores start to utilize their influence and extract revenue from their social media channels.