July 23, 2024

Don’t Let the TikTok Influencers Fool You: Amazon Storefronts Fuel Overconsumption

By Tatum Mundy

In a world overrun by social media, influencers and immediate consumption, such as Two-Day Amazon Prime delivery, consumer behavior has quickly taken a turn for the worse and has become detrimental to the environment.

The global conglomerate Amazon recently joined the digital influencer bandwagon, allowing influencers — individuals with large followings on social apps like TikTok, Instagram and YouTube — to partner with Amazon and showcase the products they use and/or recommend on their platforms.

Amazon, which generated $513.98 billion in revenue in 2022, created the storefront as a part of its Amazon Influencer Program. The program allows creators with a substantial following to advertise products across their social media platforms and direct followers to purchase said products on their Amazon Storefront. When an individual makes a purchase from an influencer’s storefront, the influencer receives commission for each item purchased.

Darcy McQueeny, a 21-year-old college student and social media influencer, got her ticket to fame by posting videos of her unboxing her massive Amazon orders, also known as hauls. McQueeny’s content ranges from clothing and product hauls to “get ready with me” videos, and she has 1.4 million followers on TikTok as of April 12.

In a recent video from March 3 with the caption “Massive haul spring break addition,” McQueeny first mentions, “You’ll be able to find everything in my Amazon storefront in the recently bought list.” Amazon influencers, including McQueeny, typically have their Amazon storefront conveniently linked in their bio for viewers to click and start shopping, as well as having the products organized in groups called “Idea Lists.”

Although the Amazon storefront can be a handy tool for shopping online, it has expanded the mindset of constantly “needing” new products and has accelerated the trend cycle exceedingly.

According to the World Resources Institute in 2019, The average consumer bought 60 percent more clothes in 2014 than in 2000, but kept the garment for half as long. Additionally, if the demand for clothing continues to grow as expected, total clothing sales would reach 160 million tons in 2050 — more than three times today’s amount.

The pressure to overconsume clothing, cosmetics and other products that you “can’t live without,” from individuals with a significant social impact, only exacerbate the disastrous effects of climate change and force us to question the reliability of certain digital influencers.

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One thought on “Don’t Let the TikTok Influencers Fool You: Amazon Storefronts Fuel Overconsumption

  1. Hi Tatum!
    I loved this blog post. I think you brought up a great point about how Amazon storefronts contribute to overconsumption. I’ve never really thought about that because I have never bought an item linked to a Tik Toker’s storefront and I assumed most people didn’t either. I would be interested to know the percentage of people that buy items from popular influencers’ storefronts now.

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