Interviews, insight & analysis on Ecommerce

Most consumers now prefer shopping via social media

With social media used by the vast majority of global internet users, most of them now prefer to shop for products via those channels.

According to a survey of more than 14,000 global consumers by Bazaarvoice’s Influenster community, 73% of people are now actively shopping on social platforms. And the fact that so many consumers are now shopping on social media is largely down to 76% of them finding themselves to be ‘very influenced’ to shop via social media.  

Breaking down social media buying by category, 91% of people now prefer buying their cosmetics through social media, compared to just 44% enjoy browsing for and buying beauty products in-store. Meanwhile, 81% of consumers are now shopping for clothes on social platforms versus just 57% opting for in-store.

“The beauty industry has a real advantage when it comes to social commerce, as social media has long been a place for consumers to share beauty tips, recommendations and advice with their community of followers. There is a notable cross-over between the demographic of shoppers looking to purchase beauty products and those who use social media, and so it’s almost inevitable that this consumer group will want to share their experiences with others on social media,” said Ed Hill, SVP EMEA at Bazaarvoice.

“Indeed, platforms like TikTok have ushered in a new era in the way consumers consume content and this is only set to continue to grow, with our research finding a third of consumers now shop from social video content. This, coupled with new capabilities like Instagram’s live shopping feature or Pinterest’s AR makeup try-on technology, means consumers can receive a fulfilled shopping experience from the palm of their hand – and most importantly, they can share those experiences with others.”

Interestingly, 60% are choosing to shop for home furnishing on social platforms, and 40% in-store. But electronics purchases are more finely balanced with 42% of consumers using social compared to 39% in-store.

On the other hand, basic necessities – like food – are still predominantly being bought in-store (58%) rather than on social media (47%).

When it comes to seeking out inspiration, 65% of consumers are looking for tips and ideas on social platforms. This can, in part, be attributed to the 60% of consumers now shopping based on influencer recommendations – which is the same figure as the number of people getting those recommendations from the brands they follow.

“The rise of social commerce has signified a real shift away from B2C to C2C (business-to-consumer to consumer-to-consumer), as user-generated content (UGC) has become hugely influential for consumers,” said Hill. “Content from other consumers, whether they’re subject matter experts or everyday influencers, brings credibility and authenticity to the shopping experience that brand content alone can’t emulate. Consumers have become advocates for beauty brands and products through UGC, and these unofficial ambassadors should be a key consideration for brand marketers in future.”

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