SHEIN's Explosive Use of Influencers

It is no surprise that the fashion apparel industry has become increasingly more competitive as customers look for fashionable clothing that is "Instagrammable".

Brands like Fashion Nova, Pretty Little Things and now SHEIN are taking Instagram by storm with fashion influencers on Instagram. These brands have all used some of the top fashion influencers and micro influencers to market their products. In this analysis, we take a look at a few influencers that SHEIN has used recently in their Spring campaign in order to figure out whether the influencers they have chosen have highly credible audiences or if they are influencers with fake followers.


In the Smartfluence analysis of fashion influencers, we analyze some of the hottest "Instagram" brands and use several criteria to assess the influencers who were used by these brands. While many brands use engagement rate and follower count as one of their primary means for assessing an influencer's performance, we believe that using audience authenticity as a qualifying metric for assessing influencers is critical in ensuring that you have strong influencer marketing campaigns. We measure audience authenticity by looking at an influencer's entire audience and filter out robot (bot) followers, other fake followers, and mass followers (accounts that follow thousands of other accounts). By discounting this portion of an audience, we can accurately assess the "true reach" of an influencer's audience. Typically we like to see audience authenticity metrics of 85%+ when recommending influencers for a brand's campaigns.


Audience Authenticity: 38%

Engagement Rate: 2.65%

Follower Count: 101,000


Audience Authenticity: 22%

Engagement Rate: 1.21%

Follower Count: 77,000


Audience Authenticity: 67%

Engagement Rate: 1.35%

Follower Count: 173,000

SHEIN's influencer program has successfully generated content for the brand, however, we found that the authenticity of the audience of some of these influencers had much to be desired. On average, audience authenticity for high-quality influencers is around 85%+. Given that several of SHEIN's influencers fall below 40%, it is important to use tools like the Smartfluence platform to assess the quality of an influencer's audience before engaging with them.