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5 charts showing how consumers shop on social media

Gen Z shoppers diverge from the general population in terms of where they find and buy products, consumers are still into influencer-driven ads, and live shopping hasn’t taken off yet. Here are five charts to help elevate your social commerce strategy.

1. Gen Z prefers to shop on Instagram, while the general population prefers Facebook

US Gen Z consumers have a much higher likelihood of purchasing directly from a social media platform than the total population, specifically on Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat, per Jungle Scout.

A lack of trust is the top barrier to social commerce among all generations of users, according to our 2022 US Social Commerce and Digital Trust Survey. However, more trust won’t necessarily convert more buyers, as our survey results don’t show a causal relationship between trust and buying. While platforms should still foster consumer trust, they should also focus on investing in creator partnerships, prioritizing customer experience, and putting ads at the center of social commerce strategies.

2. Gen Z finds new products on TikTok

Nearly half (48%) of Gen Z shoppers find new beauty products via TikTok versus just 19% of all adults, per Tinuiti. When it comes to all adult shoppers, 26% most often discover products on Facebook, compared with just 7% of Gen Zers.

“TikTok, as opposed to platforms like YouTube, will give you more updated, recent content, giving you more exposure to new products that have recently come out or products that have [gone viral],” said Fay Shuai, a Gen Z student at the University of Pennsylvania, during last month’s CommerceNext event.

3. Social shoppers are open to both ads and ecommerce features

US adults are more receptive to ads or ecommerce features on social media platforms, preferring them over other monetization approaches like subscriptions or data sales, per YouGov.

As social media platforms refine their social commerce strategies, they seem to be splitting into two groups: those using ads to increase commerce adoption and those using in-app features to boost social purchases.

While Instagram has moved away from in-app shopping features, TikTok is going all in on its social commerce capabilities, aiming for $20 billion in ecommerce sales worldwide via its TikTok Shop feature. And Snap is using AR to boost commerce adoption on its platform.

4. Influencer marketing is alive and well

Fifty-seven percent of US adults say they have a favorable opinion toward social media ads with influencers, creators, or celebrities, per data from the Out of Home Advertising Association of America and Morning Consult.

US influencer marketing spend will grow 23.4% this year to reach $6.16 billion, according to our forecast. US influencer marketing spend on Instagram will top over $2.75 billion this year, followed by YouTube ($1.09 billion), TikTok ($1.05 billion), and Facebook ($839.9 million).

5. Livestream shopping hasn’t taken off in the US

Less than a quarter (23%) of US livestream viewers buy products via live shopping shows, according to Coresight Research. While a slightly higher number of viewers buy products recommended by the host (29%) or buy the featured products after the show (34%), it’s still a low percentage making purchasing actions.

TikTok hopes livestream commerce will help it reach its aforementioned $20 billion commerce goal, but so far, US consumers have been slow to adopt the behavior that will drive $562.62 billion in ecommerce sales in China this year.


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