Purpose. Social media influencers (SMIs) play an increasingly important role in influencing youth
and their shopping behaviours in digital marketing. Research has examined various but fragmented
SMIs, which cause inconsistency in empirical results. This research seeks to categorise
the most popular SMIs in luxury fashion and examine their distinctive effects on Gen Z consumption in China.
Design/methodology/approach. We categorise SMIs into four groups based on two
dimensions, i.e. network interactivity versus social connectedness. Drawing on the social network
theory, we develop the research model. A sample of 400 survey data is collected and
analysed using the PLS-SEM technique.
Findings. The empirical results suggest that among the four popular SMIs groups, the effects of
celebrities, opinion leaders, and friends and peers on luxury fashion consumption of
Gen Z are statistically significant while that of advertisers are insignificant; that friends and
peers have the most substantial effect among the others.
Origin/value. The study contributes to understanding SMIs and consumer behaviour in
digital emerging markets. By categorising SMIs, this study reconciles inconsistencies in the
concept. This study contributes to a better understanding of SMIs and their roles in the digital
marketing of luxury fashion consumption.
Sun YanWang, Rachel
Cao DongmeiLee, Rouyi
Oxford Brookes Business School
Year of publication: 2021Date of RADAR deposit: 2021-08-03