These past few years have seen consumers become more mindful in their buying decisions and striving to make more conscious purchases. In a 2021 McKinsey report, it was revealed that:
- 45% of US consumers agree companies should pledge to support Black-owned brands, suppliers, and vendors
- 62% of US consumers say their social values shape their shopping choices
- 90% of Gen Zers believe companies should address racial equality
- 92% of Black consumers say that supporting Black-owned brands is important to their buying decisions
As many are aiming to be more inclusive in the brands they support and products they purchase, it is important to remember many of these brands, specifically Black-owned businesses, face barriers to growth despite a greater demand for them. From experiencing the largest drop in business owners at the start of the pandemic to difficulty securing capital – these, and other barriers, very often lead to shortfalls. This emphasizes the opportunity for us to give BIPOC-owned brands greater exposure and propel them to success.
A non-profit organization called the Fifteen Percent Pledge was established to hold large retailers accountable for their commitments to racial equality through audits, sharing their database of Black-owned businesses, and offering business development strategies to participating companies. Skimlinks Merchants that have taken the pledge and committed 15% of their shelf space to Black-owned brands include:
Since 2020, the Fifteen Percent Pledge has shifted nearly $10B of revenue to Black- and BIPOC-owned businesses.
Many retailers are taking other decisive actions in order to show their support for these businesses – from how they switch up their supply chain to how they create spaces for BIPOC-owned businesses:
- Sephora has enhanced its website with a dedicated tab to share Black-owned brands’ stories and products as well as a filter for shoppers to identify Black- and BIPOC-owned brands. The retailer has also announced that ¼ of their brands will be BIPOC-owned by 2026.
- Best Buy has committed to spending at least $1.2B with businesses owned by the BIPOC community and other diverse communities by 2025. Their commitment includes plans to increase all forms of spending from how it brings goods and services to their stores to where and how it advertises.
- Nordstrom introduced Concept 012: Black_Space, which included a dedicated shop developed, designed, and curated by Black voices to amplify representation. The retailer has also stated they will grow purchases from brands owned or founded by Black individuals by ten times by the end of 2030.
- Retailers such as Lowe’s, Sephora, and Target have all launched programs to support diverse-owned small businesses.
As the demand for BIPOC-owned brands continues to rise, it is key to provide visibility to these brands and their stories, not only on retail shelves but in the writing and creative process as well. In fact, further research shows those who incorporate founder stories into marketing and digital placements are more likely to attract inclusive consumers than those that don’t.
To help our publishers motivate their readers to invest in BIPOC-owned businesses, we are continuing to onboard new brands onto our network, use our newsletters to our publisher network to highlight these brands, and provide resources to get started in the affiliate space. Some of the most recent additions to the Skimlinks network include:
- Arrae, a BIPOC-owned natural supplements brand
- Axiology, a Latinx-owned vegan beauty brand
- Coterie, an AAPI-owned high-performing, sustainable diaper brand
- IM-21, a health and nutrition brand founded by Mike Tyson
- Jason Wu Beauty, an AAPI-owned clean skincare and makeup brand
- Luvme Hair, a Black-owned inclusive hair extension brand
- Mented Cosmetics, a Black-owned makeup brand for women of color
- Momofuku, an AAPI-owned pantry essentials brand
- Nue, a Latinx-owned inclusive breast tape brand
- Nume, a Black-owned fragrances and candle brand
- Selfmade, an AAPI-owned sustainable, ritual-based beauty brand
- Serena Williams Jewelry, a jewelry brand founded by Serena Williams
As the call for inclusivity continues to rise, we will continue to support our publishers’ and retailers’ work in fostering the continued awareness of BIPOC entrepreneurs.