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5 charts showing how consumers shop across channels

While social commerce is on the rise in the US, livestream commerce has yet to take off. In addition, advances in technology (like ChatGPT) may help jumpstart voice commerce adoption. Here’s what marketers need to know to take advantage of the increase in physical and digital shopping channels.

1. In-store advertising presents a huge opportunity for marketers

It’s no surprise that baby boomers are more likely to shop in-store, but inflationary pressure may be leading more lower-income consumers to forgo the convenience of online shopping (where there may be higher prices and delivery fees).

An increase in brick-and-mortar shopping could be good news for marketers: Our analyst Andrew Lipsman believes that physical stores are the next major media channel for brands due to their ability to reach massive audiences, particularly those that are “unreachable” by other mediums.

2. Social commerce adoption is accelerating in the US, driven by TikTok

While product interest is the No, 1 reason that US social media buyers made their last purchase, ads are also a top purchase driver.

In our “Social Commerce and the Path to Purchase” report, we recommended that brands prioritize ad features rather than commerce tools, focusing on shoppable ads and fine-tuning ad strategies to fit each platform.

3. More retailers are betting on livestream shopping

There’s been a recent effort from retailers (including Amazon, Walmart, and Macy’s) to increase livestream commerce adoption in the US.

So far, the format hasn’t taken off: An October 2022 survey by Insider Intelligence and Bizrate Insights found that only 18% of US adults had used livestream shopping. By comparison, nearly 40% of internet users in China will have made a purchase via livestream this year, according to our forecast.

But it seems retailers are living by the “if you build it, they will come” motto, hoping that by investing early in livestream shopping, they will corner the market when (if?) it does reach the mainstream US population.

4. ChatGPT could revolutionize voice commerce

Voice shopping is another channel that hasn’t gotten much traction from US consumers. But with the advent of ChatGPT and other generative AI solutions, that may change.

One of the reasons voice commerce adoption has been so low is because of the restricted responses that voice assistants can give, according to our “ChatGPT and Retail” report. But with generative AI, automated responses can be made more personable, improving the customer experience.

Unfortunately, it won’t solve for other challenges, like privacy concerns or a lack of screens on most smart speakers.

5. Shoppable media is the future

According to a November 2022 survey by the Interactive Advertising Bureau, 43% of buy-side ad decision-makers plan to focus more on shoppable ads this year.

As the fastest-growing ad format in the US (according to our forecast), connected TV (CTV) presents a huge opportunity for marketers to reach increasingly digital audiences, especially when it comes to shoppable media.

Some brands have already started to experiment with shoppable CTV ads to help promote the products featured in shows (like what NBCUniversal has done for Bravo viewers) or inspire impulse purchases (like Instacart’s partnership with Michelob Ultra).


This was originally featured in the Retail Daily newsletter. For more retail insights, statistics, and trends, subscribe here.