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Social Media Shopping Study

By: Sinduri Soundararajan
The holiday season is right around the corner, which means it’s time to start making lists, buying presents, and taking advantage of holiday sales. In honor of the upcoming shopping frenzy, we sat down with our network of buzzSpotters to understand their thoughts on shopping and the latest related trends! Take a look at what we discovered:

1. Online vs. In-Store Preferences
It comes as no surprise, but 100% of our respondents are online shoppers and 89% prefer shopping online to shopping in-person and a brick-and-mortar store. In fact, almost a third (32%) online shop on a daily basis and 94% even use their phones to make purchases on the Internet.

Compared to years past, Millennials are gravitating more and more toward shopping online – not only due to the convenience of clicking a button and receiving your new pair of shoes at your door within a few days, but also because there is a wealth of information available online as compared to in-store. User reviews, consumer ratings, and in-depth guides provide exactly what Millennials crave before deciding on a purchase – knowledge.

A breakdown reveals that the most popular item to purchase online is clothing, with 87% of respondents purchasing clothes online. 80% purchase cosmetic and body care products, 76% purchase books, movies, music and games, and 73% purchase shoes. The least popular items to purchase online are sports and outdoor equipment (45%), food and drink (44%) and toys and baby products (44%).

2. Advertising Trends
Although online reviews have been incredibly powerful in impacting Millennial purchases and affecting brand loyalty trends, social media is the next big promotional tool. An overwhelming majority (99%) of respondents use social media, and 92% admit to having purchased a product as a direct result of social media advertising. Even more interesting, 83% of respondents have purchased products directly from social media advertisements, which include the click-through clothing promos you scroll through on Instagram and the fun pre-video furniture ads that pop up on YouTube.
A key aspect of this trend is the “social media influencer,” individuals who have developed a strong following on one or more forms of social media and, as a result, hold a great deal of credibility among fans or followers – especially when it comes to products. Over two-thirds (68%) of respondents follow such influencers, and 6 out of 10 have actually purchased items worn or used by the influencers they follow!

When it comes to actual interaction, musicians and actors come out on top with 74% and 72% of respondents, respectively, revealing that they regularly interact with such celebrities. Photographers and models hover closer to the bottom rung with only 49% each.

3. Social Media Promotion
The strength of social media as a promotional tool expands beyond purchases of clothing, shoes, and other such items. Millennials also respond well to social media advertisements of experiences. 83% of our respondents have attended an event advertised on social media, while 8 out of 10 have visited a restaurant based on a social media advertisement.
This is a key point, especially when you consider 95% of respondents regularly use Facebook, 86% regularly use Instagram, and 86% regularly use YouTube. Each of these platforms are incredible platforms for creating, sharing, and distributing content – but the right influencer or social media guru that advocates for a certain product or particular experience can massively sway Millennial opinions and perceptions.