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9 min read

The Rise of Influencer eCommerce

Influencer eCommerce

Social media influencers have had a large impact on online activity over the past decade. Today, they have a huge effect on the eCommerce world. Their ability to easily reach millions of people with high conversion rates has led to many of them creating their own online brands.

In this article we will follow 5 well-established social media influencers with thriving eCommerce businesses. As their following grew, they started selling things such as: gym apparel, clothing, coffee, snacks, educational kid’s toys, and high-quality women’s hats. Their brands have all become extremely successful. And success always leaves a trail for others to learn from. In this article, We have chosen a specific quality to focus on for each individual brand that they exemplify. These qualities are community, personality, product, incentive, and mission.

Although your brand may not be founded by an influencer, each of these people has been able to transform their following into a profitable consumer base while remaining a thriving online personality. They each provide key takeaways for eCommerce businesses to consider,

Yes Theory – Seek Discomfort


Yes Theory Logo Transparent


Yes Theory started in 2015 with four friends trying to take themselves out of their comfort zone. They’ve done things such as inviting strangers to skydive, visiting countries such as Afghanistan and Syria, as well as bungee jumping out of a helicopter with Will Smith! All were done with the mission to “Seek Discomfort”. According to Yes Theory this is the motto that they live by and inspire others to live by as well. “Yes Theory is far more than just a YouTube channel to us. It’s a philosophy, a way of life, and a community. We call it our 1,000 Year Project because we hope to keep creating content, tools, and spaces for people to come to connect and seek discomfort together.” (Yes Theory)

Yes Theory TeamCommunity is such a powerful word. If you want to build your eCommerce brand many times it’s important to see it as creating a community. Some mainstream examples of this are Nike, Adidas, Apple, Harley Davidson, and Tesla. People are proud of and devoted to these companies. People want to join a community when they feel a connection with the mission, brand, or the individual influencer. Having a strong community helps you build credibility, trust, and loyal consumers. This will allow you to grow you company exponentially faster. 

Yes Theory has created an incredible community that is dedicated to the brand, the influencers, and to each other. Their motto “Seek Discomfort” resonates throughout a community of thrill seekers and effortlessly attracts others to join. “Our goal is to be a companion… a daily reminder of what matter most in life. A tool to approach life in a way that would make you the best and most fulfilled version of yourself. We want to serve as a badge of honor that connects you with like-minded Seekers around the world.” (Seek Discomfort)

Seek Discomfort Store

Seek Discomfort Store

One way that people support their adventurous lifestyle and social channel is by embodying the motto “Seek Discomfort” and purchasing clothing and other accessories from Yes Theory's very popular eCommerce store. It has had great success because of their community. As they stated earlier, with their eCommerce brand they want to give them a “daily reminder of what matters most.” All their clothing contains their motto as well as other phrases such as “love over fear” and “dare to be different”. The products that they are selling help the community gain a sense of belonging as well as the ability to display their support of Yes Theory. Take a lesson out of Yes Theory’s book by creating a brand that can grow a strong and loyal community.

Emma Chamberlain – Chamberlain Coffee


Chamberlain Coffee Logo White


Emma Chamberlain is an internet sensation that grew her YouTube channel to 11M over the last few years as well as 15.9M followers on Instagram. Emma is considered a “Relationship-based creator” instead of an “Idea based creator”. Meaning, she is always the subject of the video. She relies on her personality to be able to make a connection with the viewer. Chamberlain grew rapidly because of her genuine nature, transparency, relatability, and humor. As people get to know her through her videos they developed a relationship with her. By watching and actively following her life, her viewers began to trust her more and more. This naturally happens when getting to know someone but in certain situations a person is so intriguing their follower counts skyrocket. These dedicated followers are willing to do many of the same things she does, eat what she eats, and buy the things she buys. This is a very powerful tool that she, and many other influencers, leverage into other business ventures like fashion and eCommerce.

Many of Emma’s videos start off with her having a cup of coffee, even ones long before Chamberlain Coffee existed. It has become an integral part of her brand. When her fans think of Emma they think of coffee and vice versa. That is why this was such a smart business decision for her.

Chamberlain Coffee “Chamberlain Coffee is much more than just coffee... Whether you’re new to coffee, a master at matcha, or not quite sure what you like, we have something for every beverage break. At Chamberlain Coffee, we

 know that your favorite daily drink is more than just a drink — it’s a ritual. It’s a part of your day that is cherished and uniquely you. Whether you like to start your mornings with a cold brew or espresso or want to cozy up at the end of the day with a cup of decaf or hot cocoa, we have everything you need to create those comforting moments. From French presses to colorful straws and mason jars, we want to be a part of making your daily beverage experience as special as it can possibly be.” (Chamberlain Coffee)

Chamberlain Coffee’s mission is straightforward and clear, it makes sense. Emma is an avid coffee fan, so why not turn a daily occurrence in her life into a business venture that connects your community to you and your ritual.

Because Emma’s personality is so transparent, and at times enticing, followers want to be more like her. Brands can learn a lot from what she has done. She breaks down some of the unnecessary walls and lets you see what she values and who she is. Some mainstream brands that own a personality well are: Jeep (outdoors and adventure), Red Bull (energetic and extreme), Dollar Shave Club (lively and uncomplicated).

Chamberlain Coffee bag As for Emma she can be described as a likeable, fun, outgoing, and a trendsetter. When people purchase Chamberlain Coffee they want to reflect these attributes on themselves. They want to be more fun, more outgoing, and more up-to-date with all the latest trends. By tying in her personality to her brand she has created an extremely loyal customer base and will be able to grow and expand her store as she grows in popularity online.

Ginger Parrish – GIGI PIP


GIGI PIP Logo Transparent


Ginger Parrish is an Instagram influencer and popular blog writer. She currently has over 228 thousand followers on Instagram and is rapidly growing. And so is her blog “Parrish Place” where she discusses topics ranging from family and home to fashion and beauty. From the beginning Ginger was often seen in large hats – this variety of statement hats quickly became a staple in her feed. GIGI PIP was created by Ginger and has become a very successful eCommerce store.

GIGI PIP“Gigi Pip was inspired by you, the woman who wears many hats, and our mission is confidence. Empowering those who have seen themselves as anything less than worthy. Seeing differences not as flaws but as features.

We believe that a quality hat can add a sense of confidence in women. We hope, even in a small way, that these hats will encourage women to embrace the roles we lead exactly as we are!” (GIGI PIP)

GIGI’s product is the focal point for what they do. They make their products with the highest quality possible. On their website, they stated that “Each Gigi Pip hat goes through a 66-step creation process. This includes multiple quality checks, inspections, and an attention of detail that set Gigi Pip apart as the premier women’s hat brand. It’s also how we fulfill our mission to instill confidence in women and the various “hats” they wear.” (GIGI PIP) They take pride in providing a good product for their customers. GIGI PIP knows that the first step in creating a successful brand is to have a unique product offering.

GIGI PIP has developed products to satisfy their niche and demand. GIGI’s site and storefront are dedicated to hats; consumers shop with confidence seeing many hats displayed on Ginger and other influencers' pages. Today, her personal page drives traffic to her storefront effortlessly as her product is easily incorporated into her life and the photos she shares.

Ginger ParrishTheir customers see the confidence they have in their product, and this helps them trust that they will receive a quality product. Because of GIGI PIP’s emphasis on their product, they have been featured in Vogue, Vanity Fair, and Lauren Conrad! Proving that attention to product pays off in the end.

Mr. Beast – Feastables

IncentiveFeastables Logo Transparent


Mr. Beast is easily one of the biggest names on YouTube right now, with over 100 million subscribers. His videos have an incredible scale to them and attract some of the highest views on the platform. They range from “I cleaned the world's dirtiest beach” to “Last to leave circle wins $500,000” and “I built Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory”. These videos have a host (Mr. Beast), a variety of co-hosts, multiple cameramen, an editing team, and much more! His growth has been exponential over the last few years, and he has expanded his sights on multiple other business ventures as he has grown. This has included clothing merch, a very successful restaurant business that has spread across the country and now his newest project, Feastables.


Feastables are chocolate bars that can be purchased from his website. They come in flavors such as milk chocolate, sea salt, quinoa crunch, and almond! “We are on a mission to change the way you snack. We created delicious snacks with ingredients you can trust.” (Feastables) Their audience is predominantly younger but is so large that they needed to find something that would have mass appeal.

Chocolate bars are the perfect fit. Not only did it appeal to a larger audience, but they also created a genius incentive program tied to the product. They slipped 10 golden tickets into the bars, which would allow them to be a guest on the show and win thousands in potential prizes! And not just any video, they would be allowed to compete in his own version of the chocolate factory.

This incentive was huge because of the combination of benefits associated with a purchase of a bar. Not only could you support your favorite creator and try his newest snack you could also be on his show, meet him in real life, and have the possibility of winning big! There are other mainstream examples of this, including McDonald’s Monopoly Sweepstakes, Dunkin Donuts DD program, T-Mobile Tuesdays, and Bombas referral program. All have created great incentives for their customers to purchase their products or to stay loyal.

Feastables Golden Ticket

Attempting to motivate customers like this shouldn’t be any different for eCommerce businesses. Whether that’s including a membership program, special discounts, bulk orders, or fun giveaways, there are an unlimited number of ideas that you can use to differentiate yourself. Use Mr. Beast as inspiration to make fun, out of the box memorable experiences for your consumers.

Mark Rober – Crunch Labs


Crunch Labs Transparent Logo


Mark Rober currently has one of the fastest-growing YouTube channels out there. With 22.3 million subscribers and multiple videos with over 50 and 100 million views he is spreading his knowledge and love of science to the world, but in a fun and entertaining way. Mark Rober didn’t have the typical influencer path. After graduating from BYU in Mechanical Engineering he got his master’s degree from USC. He then went on to work at NASA for 9 years developing their Curiosity Rover for Mars. After accomplishing so much he turned his sights to YouTube and creating fun, educational videos that utilized his mechanical engineering skills. He’s done videos such as “This Robot Eats Trash” where he teamed up with Mr. Beast to raise 30 million dollars to clean the seas! And one of his most popular videos have been his glitter bomb series. In these he uses his engineering skills to outsmart and mess with porch pirates. These videos racked up tens of millions of videos.

Mark RoberWhat makes Mark so special? His mission. He is so dedicated to inspiring and influencing the rising generations to take up interest in things like engineering and science. His videos are not only incredibly entertaining, but very educational as well! He dives into the science and mechanics behind what he does so that the viewer gets the full experience.

This is where his new venture, Crunch Labs, begins. His mission has always been to get kids thinking and working in science and engineering, but the best way to learn these skills is with hands on projects. That’s why he created Crunch Labs. Crunch Labs is a subscription-based toy store. “Every month a Build Box arrives with the most awesome build-it-yourself STEM toy kits and an exclusive video from Mark Rober! When shown the toys and videos, 9 out of 10 of our kid testers freaked out – the 10th was too busy playing with the toy to answer our survey!

Each Build Box is centered on a different engineering concept (or superpower) and features a toy that uses that superpower for kids to build, learn, and play with. Each box includes project components for the build-it-yourself toy, a booklet with picture-based instructions, STEM concept explanations, and activities and challenges that take the toy to the next level, and a gear badge that celebrates the engineering superpower they just learned about.” (Crunch Labs)

Crunch Lab Toys

This store has only been launched for a few months now but will continue to grow as his channel does. Mark is passionate about his mission and has amassed a community of people who have a similar passion for learning. He knows why he makes videos and why this eCommerce store is important to the mission. Every business needs a mission, and it needs to resonate with both the brand and the consumers. This will lead to increased customer loyalty, trust, and overall brand strength.


“Businesses should follow and learn from others successes and failures in order to better understand and predict their own.” (Ben Mezrich) Social media influencers have made quite the splash in the eCommerce space. Now is the time to learn from what they do well and adapt it to your own company. Whether that’s developing a better brand personality, gathering a community, establishing a mission, displaying your brand personality, or better incentivizing your customers. Learn from how these brands have done it and apply it to your own business.

This article also demonstrates the power of social media and the effect it can have on a business. In today’s day and age, you need to have an online presence. Without one, it is extremely difficult to do the things that these creators have done. How else can you easily share your mission, display your personality, or incentivize your followers and potential customers, etc.

The answer to growing your online community can come in many forms - to be a successful business owner, you do not need to also be an influencer. But it is important to find a way to build an online community.

Many of BUKU’s customers work closely with influencers to collaborate and create these exceptional moments for their consumers. Some have challenged their fans to create UGC (user-generated content), others have developed a loyal blog following where they share weekly insights on their niche.

Look at the personality, product, incentive, and mission of your brand and develop something unique for your brand’s community.


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