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08/16/2021

Survey: Social content from consumers beats influencer content

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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social content

A new survey indicates that regular people have more impact on how consumers spend their money than influencers.

“Shifts in Consumer Shopping Habits: Authenticity, Personalization and the Power of UGC,” a survey of 2,042 consumers across the U.S., UK and Australia ages 18-55 from visual content platform Stackla, shows the majority (79%) of respondents say that user-generated content (UGC), such as images and videos from other consumers, highly impacts their purchasing decisions. But only 9% say the same for content produced by influencers.

The survey also found that 72% of respondents say photos and videos from real customers are the content they most want to see on e-commerce sites when making purchasing decisions. More than half (56%) of respondents say they’re more influenced by images and videos from social media when online shopping now than they were pre-pandemic. 

The overwhelming majority (88%) of respondents say authenticity – described as relating to brands being genuine and real – is an important factor in deciding which brands they like and support. And 83% believe retailers need to provide more authentic shopping experiences to customers like them.

[Read more: Survey: Influencers have little influence on consumer trust]

Below are more interesting data points:

  • 59% of respondents say content created by other consumers is the most authentic type of content.
  • Only 10% of respondents say influencer content resonates as authentic.
  • 41% of respondents say the amount of content they post to social media has increased since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Gen Z respondents report posting the most to Instagram (68%), followed by Snapchat (51%) and Facebook (36%).
  • Two-thirds (66%) of Gen Z respondents have purchased apparel after seeing user-generated content and videos.
  • Instagram (47%), Facebook (38%) and YouTube (36%) are the social platforms respondents now look to for most of their purchasing inspiration.

“All generations of shoppers are telling brands they’re more likely to purchase products if they see authentic customer content on websites,” said Damien Mahoney, CEO and co-founder at Stackla. “The survey results tell us online shoppers are influenced by and expect to see visual content from real customers more than ever before.”