Younger Shoppers Heavily Influenced By Social Media

According to a recent study from Yes Lifecycle Marketing by Cara Salpini and Retail Dive, one in five GenZers, or 21%, say that Snapchat influences their purchase decisions, twice as much as their millennial counterparts,.  

The study found that social media more broadly had a big impact on younger shoppers, with more than 80% of Gen Z, and 74% of millennials, influenced by social media in their shopping. These numbers drop significantly when compared to Generation X (58%) and Baby Boomers (41%).  

In particular, Gen Z is much more influenced by Instagram (44%), Snapchat (21%) and YouTube (32%) than other generations. Millennials, second in each of these categories, matches up at 21%, 11% and 22% respectively, demonstrating how much of an impact social media has with the emerging consumer base.

Growing up in a world that has always had internet, says the report,Gen Z is heavily influenced by social media. With ready and constant access to their mobile phones, apps like Instagram and Snapchat are easily accessible and, as it turns out, influential, says Dive insight.

Although Instagram and Snapchat were cited as the most influential for Gen Z shoppers, the young generation tends to be abhorrent to having ads on their phones, according to research from Kantar Millward Brown. This presents a problem for retailers trying to take advantage of Gen Z’s reliance on social media, as mobile apps are a main access point for the younger generations, notes the report.

Although older generations expressed little interest in Snapchat, YouTube and Instagram, 38% of Baby Boomers and 44% of Gen X found Facebook relatively influential, while Pinterest posted the same amount of influence across the board (about 12% to 16% for each generation).

The report states that, “When targeting Centennials, cross-channel is key. These shoppers expect quality experiences across the board, including in-store and direct mail. But they’re also more likely to use social media and mobile when shopping, because they consider these channels equally as important as email. This means that marketers must create a consistent and cohesive cross-channel experience with messaging that focuses on product or services’ quality, not price,” opines the report.

The research supports findings that Gen Z is relatively unconcerned with price and is more likely to buy luxury brands than millennials, according to InMarket. More importantly, though, the study reveals how powerful and far-reaching social media can be for retailers, says the report.

Erin Gade, a marketing strategist at Yes Lifecycle Marketing and one of the key researchers for the report, said  “Social media marketing will span across all generations in the near future, once retailers figure out how best to market through it.

But for Gen Z, there’s no question: retail is online, on mobile and on social media. Brands that don’t want to get left behind will prepare marketing strategies that include the social media outlets Gen Z is turning to before making purchase decisions,” concludes the report.

For deeper insignts into the study, please visit Yes Lifestyle Marketing here



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