28 November 2023

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Swift Success: How Ecommerce Businesses Can Harness the Taylor Swift Effect

If you’re a resident of planet Earth, you’ll know who Taylor Swift is. However, Swift is becoming much more than a pop sensation targeted at teen girls. She is now being recognised as an astute businesswoman whose influence is revered by marketers across the world. 

The impact that Swift has had on culture and collective behaviour has been coined as ‘The Taylor Swift Effect’. Most recently, Swift’s new romance with NFL player Travis Kelce has demonstrated this effect perhaps more than ever. 

Since being seen attending one of Kelce’s football games, it was reported that: 

  • Sales of Kelce’s jersey had increased by approximately 400%, putting him in the top 5 NFL players for jersey sales
  • Stubhub, an American ticketing company, reported that searches for Chiefs’ (Kelce’s team) tickets had increased threefold 
  • Fox Sports announced that 24.3 million viewers tuned into that one game, making it the most-watched NFL game of the weekend
  • There was a spike in female viewers between the ages of 12 and 49

So, how does Taylor Swift have such an impact on collective behaviour, and how can ecommerce businesses channel this for a boost in engagement and sales?


The Power of Collaboration

One lesson that can be learned from Swift’s effect in this case is the power of collaboration and partnerships. By engaging in collaborations or co-branding with respected brands, you could be multiplying your audience whilst also improving your brand loyalty. However, always make sure that the brand or business you’re partnering with is a reputable one that you respect, because aligning yourself with a brand that isn’t could damage your reputation irreparably. 

For example, we’re Elite BigCommerce Partners. The partnership that 5874 has with BigCommerce allows us to provide ecommerce services to clients across the world, giving them the peace of mind that we are endorsed by one of the best ecommerce platforms on offer.  This also extends to our technology partners, with us receiving accolades such as Akeneo Gold Partner to communicate and advertise our expertise to possible clients.


Opposites Attract

One of the most interesting things about this powerful collaboration between Swift and Kelce is that it merges two audiences that are rarely grouped together. Through this unlikely pairing, both Swift and Kelce have gained access to a whole new audience that could potentially become fans, and therefore consumers of their work. So, don’t be afraid to venture outside of your niche – it could open your business up to a whole new demographic that wouldn’t have otherwise seen your content/work. 

Examples of unlikely partnerships gaining traction and commercial success can be seen from a number of brand collaborations. In a similar vein to Swift and Kelce bringing together celebrity culture and sport, Kim Kardashian’s SKIMS brand has recently announced a multiyear partnership with the NBA – with SKIMS being named ‘The official Underwear of the NBA’. The collaboration comes after the brand’s recent expansion into menswear, opening up a whole new demographic that will no doubt continue to grow following this partnership with the NBA.

A surprising collaboration between the Van Gogh Museum and Pokémon also showed how unusual and creative collaborations can get consumers very excited. The museum put on an exhibition of post-impressionist paintings of the hugely popular Japanese “pocket monsters”, also taking the opportunity to sell themed merchandise. The merch proved to be incredibly popular, with the drop attracting so much traffic that their site crashed, leaving the drop postponed indefinitely. The hype around this collaboration meant that the lucky few who did manage to nab some merch were able to list the items on resale marketplaces for up to $700, creating even more intrigue for the partnership. 


Social Influence 

Although this display of collective behaviour has been coined with her name, this phenomenon isn’t exclusive to Swift. The idea of mass media igniting social influence is something that has been researched since a study in 1955 by Watts and Dobbs. The study concluded that influence isn’t driven by a single person, but by a mass of people willing to be influenced. Because of this, we can see instances of collective buying behaviour sparked by a number of celebrities and influential people. In the world of ecommerce, this can be seen reflected in the rise of influencer marketing. The reason that so many ecommerce businesses employ influencer marketing to great success is because it places the brand in front of a huge audience and begins their buying journey with trust and respect. By getting your products or services endorsed by influencers, celebrities and industry professionals, you’re removing the opportunity for potential customers to doubt your brand, as it’s being brought to them by a figure they already trust and believe. 


The Era of Economic Impact

While Swift’s relationship with Kelce has definitely shown the impact of the Taylor Swift Effect, Swift’s influence goes far beyond her relationships.  

With The Era’s Tour, and now The Eras Film, dominating social consciousness, Swift’s impact on the economy shows no signs of slowing down. In the first leg of the US tour, the opening show in Glendale brought in more revenue for local businesses in the state of Arizona than the Super Bowl, which took place at the same venue a year earlier. As the tour continued, Swift’s economic effect spread across the country. According to an estimate from market-research firm QuestionPro, Swift’s impact on the US economy is predicted to be approximately $5 billion.

Following the monumental success of the Era’s Tour, it’s no surprise that Swift decided to take the experience to movie theatres across the world. Swift’s choice to distribute the film directly through AMC Theatres, with 57% of revenue split between herself and AMC, means that theatres are getting a much needed financial boost following the decline that many saw due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Swift’s encouragement for fans to sing and dance at showings has also created a buzz that is attracting fans who haven’t been able to get their hands on a coveted Eras Tour live show ticket. Swift also included even more reasons for superfans to get hyped by the Eras Film, including easter eggs like ticket prices for adults and children/seniors being $19.89 and $13.13 – referencing her music and her lucky number. By channelling the success of the Eras Tour into an accessible and affordable experience for both loyal fans and possible new listeners, Swift has shown how you can successfully maintain momentum and continually adapt to keep audiences coming back.


Optimising Your eCommerce Website

If you want your ecommerce business to get a taste of ‘The Taylor Swift Effect’, you’ll need to be prepared for an influx of traffic. So here’s our tips for being prepared:

  • Website Speed: In order to ensure your website is equipped for an influx of visitors, you’ll need to make sure your site is up to speed. Customers expect speed and efficiency, so don’t give them a reason to go elsewhere. Take a look at our blog ‘Optimising eCommerce Website Speed for Better Conversions’ to learn how to optimise your website speed.
  • Search and Merchandising: Ensure your website is easy to navigate, intuitive and uses personalisation features to provide the best user experience. We provide integrations with Searchspring and Advanced Commerce to achieve this for our clients.
  • Mobile Optimisation: As omnichannel ecommerce is becoming the norm, more shoppers are heading to the checkout directly from apps on their mobile devices. This means that your site needs to be easy to navigate on any device. 
  • Returns Policy: Make sure your returns policy is secured and clearly outlined for the customer before they buy, this could avoid unnecessary returns and makes for a smoother process when returns are needed. For more on this, check out our whitepaper ‘The Point of No Return: A Retailer’s Guide to Returns’.

We can all learn something from the ways in which Taylor Swift drives influence, and as a result, sales. However, drawing buyers to your ecommerce store is only the first step. Just as Swift has endless music and content to keep new and loyal audiences coming back, your ecommerce store should do the same. The experience you provide users with when they get to your store is the key to turning one-time buyers into lifelong customers. Here at 5874, we can help you with this. To see how we can help your ecommerce business, contact us here.




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