Some 90% of social media users are influenced to make a purchase after seeing a relevant video, with 33% of those participating in the survey admitting that social media influencers are their most trusted sources for shopping. In fact, social media influencers now are trusted nearly seven times more than celebrities, according to data released Thursday.
"There's a trust factor being built in social media and in videos from influencers," said Jessica Thorpe, president of gen.video, an influencer marketing platform with a specialty in ecommerce. "Information is the top consideration when deciding who to follow."
The most surprising finding from the study, Thorpe said, is the shift in trust. "People are most influenced by relevant videos, more so than celebrities," she said.
Other sources such as brands, retailers, celebrities such as musician and athletes did have influence as well, but only on Instagram and Facebook. The study did not identify high influence scores across sources on Snapchat.
Presented at VidCon on Thursday, the research — The Influence of Influencers — from gen.video, in partnership with Geometry Global, a WPP company, is based on a survey of more than 1,000 shoppers using traditional survey techniques and advanced facial coding technology to observe respondents as they watched different types of influencers videos, including review, lifestyle and charitable, to measure impact, brand engagement, and purchase intent.
The goal was to determine how social media impacts shoppers and how those who are influenced shop, and take a deeper looking into the videos that influence shoppers most.
About 84% said it's important for consumers to hear about the experience of others before they make a purchase. Some 77% said social media is the main source of inspiration for the products they buy, and 77% tend to trust other consumers more on social media.
Most people who view videos from influencers are influencers themselves. About 61% share, like or click video content at least once per day versus 37% of other shoppers. About 23% of respondents watch influencer video to completion "no matter what," and 79% are "willing to spend more on a product after watching a social media video."
Video is the most effective influencer content in driving sales, per the findings. More than 75% of respondents believe video is more enjoyable, relevant, believable and credible than other types of content -- and nearly twice as effective in driving sales, especially at Amazon and Walmart, and in categories including electronics, fashion, food/beverage, health and beauty, and travel.
YouTube and Instagram have the greatest impact for shoppers. Instagram is in the top two in every category, from baby products to pet supplies. YouTube only slips where products do not have a central need.