Social media has transformed the Christmas shopping experience for Gen Zers. We take a look and what this shift in shopping behaviour means for brands this festive season.
Social media is key for Gen Z’s festive purchases
Gen Z is typically known for being social media-fixated. Now the tech-savvy generation, who are born between the mid-1990s to the early 2010s, are using it for their festive shopping. The group has moved past e-commerce in favour of social commerce. A study by SimplicityDX reveals that a huge 80% of Gen Zers are planning to shop using social media this season, with TikTok and Instagram leading the way by 60% for platform shopping activity; 60% of US-based GenZers use Instagram to discover new brands, products and services according to Later.
Why does Gen Z favour social commerce?
A study by Statista states that 48% of Americans aged 18-34 have purchased from social media. Gen Z is using social networks to shop due to the rising trust in influencers that reside on Instagram and Youtube in particular. As much as 70% of teens find these online personalities relatable according to a study by Google. A survey conducted by GlobalWebIndex in August 2019 revealed that 22% of UK and US-based youngsters said they’ve made a purchase inspired by an influencer or celebrity post. These young consumers want shoppable videos and are now showing an interest in livestream shopping. YPulse states that a huge number of Gen Zers want a direct link to purchase from a social media ad, as long as the ad blends into their feed. TikTok shop leads example in social commerce, which consists of short, consumable videos of creators showing and recommending a product with a link attached to it. The customer can then quickly checkout through the TikTok app
Why might these shoppers stay away from social media?
Although a huge majority of Gen Z turn to social media to tick things off their shopping list, 61% of the group indicate that trust plays a significant part in social networks due to fears that their personal data will be abused, according to SimplicityDX. As well as this, not all Gen Zers find that influencers can be trustworthy, with many endorsing products for the sake of a paycheque. There are still some issues with influencers failing to declare their posts as advertisements, though The FTC introduced stricter regulations in 2020 on advertising on social media platforms such as Instagram, Tiktok, and YouTube.
Why should brands consider social commerce?
A study published by Statista states that social commerce generated about $724 billion in revenue in 2022, with an expected compound annual growth rate of 30.8% from 2022 to 2030, suggesting that it will thrive.
According to an article by Forbes, social commerce can benefit the marketer because of its effective use of the algorithm which can learn the preferences of its shoppers to offer relevant recommendations and a personalized shopping experience. This can also reduce the risk of abandoned carts, and can solidify persuasions towards checking out. Social commerce is desirable to Gen Zers because of the possible use of augmented reality features and live streams. Youngsters want an easy and efficient shopping experience such as shoppable videos meaning that distractions should be kept to a minimum, avoiding any possible pain points. These methods are crucial to keeping young shoppers engaged this shopping season.
With the rise in influencers across platforms and onlookers being increasingly interested in them, retailers are progressively grasping the use of influencer marketing over traditional methods. Brands can connect with new customers through the use of online personalities who can advertise their products organically and effectively due to their high engagement rates. Google states that dedicated creators on YouTube generate 3 times more views and 12 times more comments on their content than celebrities. With these incredible engagement figures, influencer marketing is key to a thriving marketing strategy for festive shoppers.
Pippa Gilroy is a Digital Marketing MSc student, content creator and social media enthusiast with a passion for writing about the latest industry trends.
Instagram: @pippagilroy / TikTok: @gilroypippa / Twitter: @pippagilroy