Who Uses Social Media on Their Path to Purchase?

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Who Uses Social Media on Their Path to Purchase?

Social media’s part in the economic system has accelerated over the past decade, and shoppers are driving the shift. The rise of ecommerce coincided with the rise of social networking platforms, and consumer behavior has married the two to the point where social media isn’t just another place to advertise and integrate storefronts: it’s a vital information source for shoppers as they do research on their purchases.


Our Shopper Influence Research program kicked off with a study of 6,000 US-based recent purchasers across six different product and service categories. The findings include rich insights about who uses social media to shop, how they use it, and how social channels stack up against each other. Here’s a preview of what we’ve published about these social shoppers in our Shoppers & Social Media Report, available now:

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Nearly two-thirds of shoppers use social media to research purchases.

Social media has taken such a huge role in shoppers’ information diets, including how they go about collecting information on their potential purchases. When a strong majority indicates that it’s a place to which they turn, the consequences of not taking the channel into prominent consideration for your marketing strategy are high. It’s not a question of whether you should engage here: it’s a question of how.


Four in every five shoppers making over $100,000 a year use social media for shopping.

The subset of consumers who gather shopping information from social media holds significant purchase power. If your target market comes from households with higher-than-average annual income, social media is the channel for you. Study how this group peruses social networks for purchase inspiration and information to parse out what they want to learn and where they want to learn it.


Shoppers using this channel for research are more likely to be eco-conscious than the average person.

Social media shoppers are a green bunch, at least more so than the average consumer. Our research shows that they’re more likely to consider a product’s environmental impact and the sustainability practices of its manufacturer, so tell them what they want to know: that your brand cares about the planet and has taken concrete steps to be good stewards of the earth. Doing that helps align the story of your brand with the story your customers want to tell about themselves.


This shopping demographic skews male.

You may not expect it – we didn’t – but men are more likely than women to say that they get shopping input from social media. In fact, 71% of men said so, compared to 55% of women. A number of factors could be behind this, including our finding that men tend to identify more sources of information for their purchase journeys. Whatever the reason, if your product or service is designed to appeal to men, social media is a marketing channel for your brand.


These shoppers are less likely to be impulsive buyers.

Our findings also show that this group also tends to more carefully consider their purchases. That’s not to say that they don’t indulge in some impulsive purchases, but they describe themselves as less likely to do so regularly. Help them along your funnel by providing the information they want to see so they can feel more confident in choosing your brand.
We’ve got more insights to share in the report! Each category is different, so if you’re interested in learning more about our Shopper Influence Research program and how it can help you boost your brand, we’re happy to talk.

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