Social Shopping

Social Shopping is Evolving: Why Gen Z Sales are Primed to Boom

College Marketing
25th June, 2020  • 5 min read

Social shopping – the inevitable combination of e-commerce and social media – is transforming how customers discover and purchase new products. Not only does it simplify the purchasing process, but it also begins where the customer is most active and engaged. According to Instagram, 60% of people discover new products through the platform, and over 200 million+ users visit at least one Instagram Business Profile daily. By meeting customers where they already are and streamlining the purchasing experience, social shopping is poised for a big boom.

How strolling store aisles became scrolling for miles

Shoppable media – the game-changer brands and customers didn’t even know they needed. From “swipe up” actions and “buy” buttons to shoppable stories and posts, turning social shoppable has never been easier.

Platforms like Facebook and Instagram currently sit at the top of the hill as the most popular social platforms enabling social shopping. At the beginning, marketing success through these channels relied heavily on vanity metrics, like impressions or follower counts. As digital marketers and agencies stressed a need to validate their social efforts, success leaned more towards tracking “engagement” or “likes” and “comments” – metrics that relate heavily to brand equity. Now, through a more modern product suite, these platforms are enabling brands to push down-funnel actions and prove ROI through their social profiles. And these products are evolving QUICKLY.

Starting in 2015, Instagram alone launched the Shop Now button – mimicking Facebook’s “buy now” button. A year later, Instagram introduced product tags, so viewers could shop individual products they see in ads. Fast forward a few years and Shoppable Posts launched – giving brands the options to tag items in all posts – ads and organic, alike. It’s a booming feature, with Instagram reporting over 130 million users tapping on shopping posts every single month. But social shopping didn’t stop there.

Welcome in the next big game-changer: Facebook Shops.

No surprise here, Facebook and Instagram are continuing to lead the charge on the social shopping front. They are leaning into the belief that social platforms should be used to encourage discovery and “serendipitous” shopping behavior – behaviors that older generations experienced only during trips to the mall.

Their newest introduction within Facebook Shops is built around one idea: “connecting you to what you love.” What is it? Your brand’s very own storefront, hosted on Facebook and Instagram.

The gist of it:

Businesses choose the products they want to feature from their product catalog and host them in their custom-branded shop. Customers can then discover brands’ Shops directly via their Facebook and Instagram profiles or through stories and ads. The best part: customers can fully place an order and transact without leaving the app.

Sounds simple. Why is this so huge?

Social shopping was bound to explode, given the evolving behaviors of consumers worldwide. Just let these stats sink in:

  • 91% of consumers prefer to engage with interactive or visual content, such as video (Forbes)
  • 87% of people say social media helps them decide what to buy (16Best.net)
  • 55% of U.S. consumers have bought a product online after social media discovery (Curalate)

But there’s something your brand should be taking note of when drafting your social commerce strategy.

Two words. One generation. Gen Z.

Only one stat is needed to prove why you need to hop on the social shopping train to capture this generation: Gen Z spends 2-3x more shopping on social media than the average consumer.

Looking for a bit more reinforcement? College consumers spend the majority of their shopping dollars on products they find on Instagram and Snapchat.

But what’s driving this behavior? Put simply, Gen Z is more prone to impulse buying compared to every other generation.

(Source: BigCommerce)

Impulse buying + social media usage = a massively profitable process for your brand.

Now is the time to jump in on the social shopping trend, and Gen Z will be there waiting. So set up your Facebook Shop and get to it. And when you’re ready to get your product in the hands of Gen Z, call PurPics – we’ve got a knack for engaging the newest generation.

Download our latest report on how COVID-19 is impacting Gen Z consumers nationwide.

Download our latest report on how COVID-19 is impacting Gen Z consumers nationwide.

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