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Extent of Social Media’s Influence over Online Shopping Measured

11 July 2019 - 16:18 by Paul Tissington

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A report from Episerver has revealed that people under the age of 37 are more likely to have their purchasing decisions swayed by content they encounter on social media platforms than older consumers.

Internet Retailing reports that 27 per cent of people who fall into the Millennial and Gen Z brackets admit that sites like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook are incredibly potent when it comes to determining the types of products they buy via safe shopping online.

Conversely, across all age groups in the UK this level sits at 19 per cent, showing that younger consumers who spend more time on their phones are increasingly engaged with the world of social media and the retail opportunities it presents.

At the moment just 11 per cent of people actively choose to look for new products and services on social media sites. However, since these platforms are also widely used to advertise to consumers, the passive impact of marketing and the availability of integrated shopping solutions do make a difference.

Report spokesperson Ed Kennedy said that integrating e-commerce features with social media was becoming essential, since retailers and brands alike will be able to engage directly with customers and get them to commit to purchases without having to click through to a separate app or site.

He also said that the power of social media as a marketing and retail solution was growing because platforms give brands a means of personalising content to their target audiences and making sure it reaches them. This means that content can be far more focused and effective rather than having to be broadcast widely and potentially miss the mark with most of the people who view it.

As social media conversion rates are scrutinised and acceptance of online shopping in this context grows, it could become even more influential.