Influencers can get paid to sway shoppers.
An entrepreneurial Powell couple is helping fashion bloggers monetize their online posts while also building traffic to the couple's retail aggregator site, Modalist.com.
ModalistSocialRunway.com launched recently to share commissions that Modalist gets from retailers when consumers use its site to buy clothes, shoes, jewelry and fashion accessories. Modalist co-founder and CEO Tina Fisher sees no limit for how many digital influencers could tap into Social Runway.
“There are thousands and thousands of fashion bloggers,” Fisher says.
Fisher and her husband, Bob, with Chief Technical Officer Suresh Pillai created Modalist in 2015 with a custom-built platform to promote fashion merchandise from retailers and designers including Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Michael Kors and Under Armour, among others. Consumers shop on their site and then are redirected to the retailers and designers when they click to purchase.
Modalist is a global search engine that has relationships with retailers and brands paying commissions for the site to drive traffic for online purchases. To incentivize shoppers to use their site, Modalist shares its commissions with quarterly cash-back rewards via check or PayPal. And now with Social Runway, digital influencers get a share of the commission for any purchase that is initiated from their posts on platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Polyvore.
How much can shoppers and bloggers make with Modalist and Social Runway?
Fisher says some large-scale buyers that shop for clients spend as much as $1 million a year and can reap $50,000 in rewards. She notes shoppers can also combine Modalist's cash back, a retailer's reward points, free shipping and other promo codes. “You can stack your savings as a shopper; that's very powerful.”
Social Runway pays influencers a flat rate for every item purchased. “One of our competitors pays per click,” Fisher says. Influencers with that competitor get pennies per click, but no bump for purchases, she says, while Social Runway pays a percentage of sales that amounts to dollars. She declined to share the commission percentage Social Runway pays to approved influencers, or what Modalist pays shoppers, but she says both shoppers and influencers can track incentives on their personal online dashboards.
The FTC requires digital influencers to disclose if they are getting paid for any product endorsements, and Social Runway notes that federal regulation in its terms of service with bloggers, Fisher says.
Fisher worked in healthcare with AmerisourceBergen and Cardinal Health before Modalist became her fulltime career.
“I see Modalist as on the winning side of retail,” she says.