Given that consumers spend more time on social media than any other online activity, new research from marketing tech firm Curalate offers new insights into the growing and changing role of social in digital commerce.
The firm’s new study highlights how social media content has become the new storefront, with 76 percent of U.S. consumers purchasing a product that they discovered in a brand’s social media post. The 2017 Curalate Consumer Survey also found that 40 percent of U.S. consumers shop online at least once per week, a number that rises to 52 percent for 18-34-year-olds.
Product discovery happens across all social media channels, illustrating the need for brands to create compelling content for each channel
While more consumers in general discover products on Facebook than any other channel, younger consumers are much more likely to discover products across the whole range of social channels:
- 18-34-year-old consumers are 3.3 times more likely to discover products on Instagram than U.S. consumers on the whole.
- Younger consumers are 3 times more likely to discover products on Snapchat; 2.7 times more likely on Pinterest; and twice as likely on Twitter.
The data presented in this report highlights an evolution taking place in digital commerce. Traditionally e-commerce has been rooted in consumers searching for products that they knew they wanted. Today, content posted on social media causes consumers to stop scrolling and ask “what’s that?” creating moments of discovery which represent a huge opportunity for e-commerce.
While social media content is great at sparking inspiration, that inspiration can sometimes quickly turn to frustration for many online shoppers
Sixty-five percent report being taken to a product they weren’t interested in after clicking on a link in a social media post. Often the specific product the brand links to is not the one that caught the consumer’s eye in the first place.
Curalate’s own data shows that when given the opportunity to shop all of the products in a particular post—and recommended products—consumers browse longer and spend more.
Other key takeaways from the survey:
- It’s not just younger people shopping through social. Nearly 60 percent of 35-65-year-olds have purchased something they discovered on a social channel.
- 50 percent of consumers say user-generated content (UGC) is the leading factor that would make them purchase through a brand’s social media channels.
- 85 percent of daily online shoppers say that an easy payment system with their information already stored (like Amazon Pay) would make them more likely to shop through social media.
“With billions of people inhabiting social networks, the content they thumb through has the potential of setting in motion a journey that leads from discovery to purchase,” said Curalate CEO Apu Gupta, in a news release. “Creating those moments of discovery represents a massive opportunity for e-commerce to go beyond search and to introduce people to their next great find.”