Amber Venz Box just wanted to make more money as a fashion blogger when she and her husband started RewardStyle in 2011. The Dallas-based company quickly grew to be the premier platform for retailers to reach social media influencers and their audiences, and for those influencers to increase their earnings through affiliate links. ShopBop, Neiman Marcus, and Net-a-Porter were among the first retailers to work with RewardStyle. By 2016, more than 4,000 stores were working with the company to reach 11,000 social influencers posting original content about 30,000 pieces each day.
RewardStyle’s most well known product is LiketoKnow.it, an online content management system that allows influencers on Instagram to determine what products sell best with their followers, and track those sales and the resulting commissions. RewardStyle vets influencers before releasing its suite of tools to them—more than 100,000 have applied to work with the company, according to Venz Box. The company negotiates commissions on their behalf and provides tools to help them track the impact of their posts. In that way, she’s an advocate for the nascent influencer industry.
RewardStyle’s footprint is growing beyond the influencer community. When Google launched its Shop the Look functionality in September 2016, it used LiketoKnow.it to surface the content and affiliate links. In 2016, RewardStyle drove more than $700 million in sales. Up next for the company: refining its digital offerings to help retailers more accurately target their ideal customers, and launching a style-centric search engine.