Just how many of our purchasing decisions are linked to what we see on social media?

Younger generations, Millennials and Generation Z, are increasingly turning to social platforms to make online purchases. — AFP Relaxnews

It doesn’t take much to go from follower to buyer... at least for younger generations. When it comes to looking for inspiration regarding future purchases social media is a top destination. A fast-growing number of users are buying products of all kinds after seeing them on these platforms. And the phenomenon appears to be only beginning....

Advertisements, TV shows, magazines... where do you look for inspiration when it comes to new trends, or even future purchases? While these sources of influence have been around for decades, we now have to add social media to the mix, as a space where brands, retailers and other influencers share their picks and new products, particularly in the sectors of fashion, beauty and gastronomy. And it would seem that these digital channels are particularly effective in winning over potential buyers, to the point of transforming their consumption habits and purchasing behavior.

Shaping a new path towards purchasing

At least, that's what Klarna's latest Shopping Pulse report, carried out in collaboration with Nepa in 18 countries worldwide, including France, the USA, Norway and the UK, suggests.

Nearly six out of 10 American consumers (58%) say they have already purchased a product after seeing it on social networks (in the month preceding the survey).

This figure rises to 70% among American Generation Z consumers and 96% among millennials. In just a few years, social platforms have become powerful influencers for the younger generations – at least those of purchasing age.

Facebook comes out on top, with 62%, as the preferred social platform for shopping in the US. The social network created by Mark Zuckerberg is a bit ahead of YouTube (55%), Instagram (42%), TikTok (40%), Snapchat (29%) and Pinterest (23%).

This ranking is based on the responses of all the American respondents, across all generations, but changes somewhat according to each generation. Those in Generation Z, for example, turn to Instagram to make purchases (49%), followed closely by TikTok (48%), YouTube (40%), Facebook (43%), Snapchat (35%) and Pinterest (15%).

A worldwide phenomenon

While American consumers are particularly keen to use social networks to find inspiration, and even to purchase products online, the 58% of those who have already done so is followed by Australians with 54%, 44% of Britons, 43% of Greeks, 42% of Spaniards, and 41% of Portuguese and New Zealanders.

The phenomenon is therefore not confined to North America, even if some nations are (for the time being) more reluctant to transform a purchase thanks to social platforms. This is particularly true of the Czech Republic (28%) and Finland (29%).

This edition of Klarna's Shopping Pulse was conducted in collaboration with Nepa in 18 countries (USA, UK, Australia, Germany, Austria, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Sweden, Norway, Finland, New Zealand, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Czech Republic, Greece). 19,293 consumers were surveyed for this edition, which focuses on the second quarter of 2023. Sample sizes are nationally representative. – AFP Relaxnews

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