Study: More than half of consumers have purchased through social media

Dive Brief:

  • About 55% of consumers have made purchases via social media channels like Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, although 60% have never purchased a product promoted by a social influencer or celebrity, according to the 2018 Consumer Expectations Report from Avionos.

  • The report, based on a survey of 1,409 consumers, also stated that about 66% of those surveyed said that when they browse online, they begin by conducting searches on Amazon or Google, suggesting that major search engines have replaced traditional web browsing practices.

  • Regarding the role of physical retail, about 63% of consumers surveyed said they still prefer to buy big-ticket items like electronics or furniture in brick-and-mortar stores, and 52% admitted to researching these products online using either desktop or mobile devices.

  • Dive Insight:

    Perhaps the most important takeaway from this study is the number of consumers purchasing through social media — an encouraging sign for retailers considering the success of Nike's Air Jordan sellout on Snapchat. In addition to giving retailers more confidence about both promoting products and speaking to consumers through social, the development of social media as a shopping channel also brings great sales opportunity for retailers, as social media-engaged shoppers actually spend more on purchases than those not engaged on social.

    Avionos also found that, when buying through social channels, or really anywhere online, customers crave product information. For example, the survey also found that 54% of those surveyed will feel more confident about purchasing something online if they receive detailed product specifications from the retailer, and 49% will feel more confident if a product listing leads to extra content they can digest before or after buying. Being able to do this in the context of a social media post or a search result is becoming even more important, as customers no longer come direct to retailer websites to find all the pertinent product details.

    "Traditional shopping experiences are no longer enough. Consumers want every interaction from brands and retailers to be quick, personalized and informative whenever and wherever they are," Scott Webb, president of Avionos, said in a statement. "Amazon has changed the game, particularly in the way that it has raised the bar for consumer expectations. This has caused retailers to revamp their omnichannel strategies and focus on offering experience-driven commerce that provides engaging content, personalized experiences and shoppable moments across all channels."