Eighty percent plan to use social media to find gifts this year, with 41% planning to use it for most or all of their holiday shopping. This echoes a statement by a Google executive at Fortune Brainstorm Tech 2022 that studies show approximately 40% of Gen Z search for a place to eat first on TikTok or Instagram.
This new research was conducted in early October among 1,000 U.S. online shoppers, including 500 Gen Z shoppers (under 25’s). It shows that social media is now a mainstream shopping destination for Gen Z shoppers with:
93% use social media as part of their buying process.
51% think social media is a great place to learn about new products, while 22% think it’s a great place to buy new products.
74% prefer to checkout on the brand site, and not buy on the social platform itself.
60% of the shopping activity is covered by two platforms, Instagram and TikTok.
This reinforces the pattern of using social for product discovery, potentially with influencers, but buying directly on the brand site.
“The majority of the next generation of consumers start their shopping at the edge and finish by checking out on the brand site,” said Charles Nicholls, co-founder and chief strategy officer at SimplicityDX. “Their preference for using social media for shopping should be a wake-up call to all brands targeting Gen Z, and an early warning that the way consumers buy is changing.”
Promotions and Experience: Key Holiday Purchasing Triggers
Unsurprisingly, the most important factor triggering a potential holiday purchase for Gen Z is the availability of promotions. However Gen Z shoppers place a lot more emphasis on customer experience than older consumers.
28% of Gen Z shoppers consider getting a great bargain with a discount code or a promotional offer to be the most important factor.
26% of Gen Z shoppers consider customer experience to be the most important factor, compared with only 14% for other age groups.
SimplicityDX’s Social Commerce Returns research shows that returning products is a major friction point, and that only 17% of shoppers that bought and returned a product through a social media platform would be willing to shop on social again in the future.
“The prevalence of scams, fake news, inauthentic influencer endorsements has conditioned Gen Z to be wary and to seek out authenticity,” Nicholls continued. “The strong preference to buy on the brand site is driven by several factors: 1) trust in the brand is important, 2) product availability and assortment frequently differ on social, 3) returns, and 4) critically over the holiday period, promotions on the brand’s site are frequently not reflected in social media product catalogues.”
Gen Z – Tech Savvy, but Untrusting
Trust remains a big issue with 61% of Gen Z stating that either 1) they don’t trust social networks or 2) think that social networks are abusing their personal data.
Trust is a much bigger issue for Gen Z than just trusting the social network. The research also highlights scepticism amongst Gen Z about influencers. Almost two thirds think that influencers are most useful for finding out about new products, while nearly half think that influencers are most useful for recommendations. But when it comes to buying, 36% consider influencers to be less trustworthy, and 59% prefer to buy directly from the brand site, not from the influencer.
SimplicityDX surveyed 1,000 U.S. online shoppers in October, 2022. The online research was split into two groups for comparison: online shoppers for all age groups, sample size of 500, and Generation Z (under 25’s) only, with an additional sample of 500.
SimplicityDX makes social commerce work. Its SimplicityDX Edge Experience Platform enables brands to optimize social commerce experiences by simplifying the buying process between journeys started at the edge and the brand's e-commerce site. Founded by a team of industry veterans in May 2021 and privately funded, SimplicityDX operates in the U.S. and U.K. markets. For more information, visit www.SimplicityDX.com or connect on LinkedIn.
SimplicityDX and SimplicityDX Edge Experience Platform are trademarks of SimplicityDX Inc. All other brand names and product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.