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What motivates social users to make purchases?

For many buyers, it’s simple: They make a purchase when they find something they want to buy. There are, of course, many ways that social users can find products they like on social media. And our exclusive primary research reveals that there is a multitude of other reasons why buyers choose to make purchases on social platforms.

Our survey shows that ads convince many social users to tap or click “buy.” Excluding “found product(s) I like,” ads were the biggest driver of social purchases, on par with deals, offers, and coupons. Overall, 30% of social buyers said they had made their most recent purchase because they saw an ad for it.

That’s strong evidence that the platforms—and the brands that use them—should continue to prioritize social commerce advertising features over other commerce tools. It also questions the importance of newer—or more niche—commerce features like creator initiatives and live shopping in driving social purchase decisions.

  • Creator recommendations were less important for Gen Zers than many would expect. Gen Zers were at least 10 points more likely than Gen Xers or baby boomers to choose “an influencer or creator recommended it” as a reason for their latest social purchase. However, it ranked as their No. 6 reason overall.
  • Millennials were more likely than any other generation to make a purchase after seeing a livestream shopping video. Even so, it was their least-cited reason for their latest purchase overall, along with “didn’t know if I would see it again in my feed/app.”

Understanding why social buyers make purchases is vital for the social platforms and brands to reengage existing buyers and convert new ones.

Read the full report.