Survey: Social media shows promise as e-commerce channel

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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A new consumer survey indicates that roughly half of consumers respond to social media as a marketing and commerce channel.

According to data from marketing performance management technology provider Allocadia, 51% of more than 1,000 surveyed consumers say social media ads influence their purchasing decisions. Among respondents who are influenced, 50% say social media ads spark gift ideas, 44% say social media ads introduce them to a product they didn’t know of, and 44% say social media ads remind them of a product they need or want.

In addition, 75% of respondents say they buy products from third-party digital sites. While Amazon (73%) is the most popular third-party retail site, social media platforms Facebook (48%) and Instagram (32%) are also used by sizable numbers of consumers for digital commerce. On social media, for 44% of respondents, influencers promoting or using a product can make a difference in the decision to buy, if the buyer likes the influencer. 

Other notable findings include:
•    42% of respondents expect their spending to be about the same in 2021 compared to 2020, while 30% expect to spend more, and 28% expect to spend less.
•    When asked what channels they will use most to shop in 2021, a leading 47% of respondents plan to shop most at a big-box store in-person. Forty-one percent plan to shop most at a small business in-person, while 40% say they will shop most at a big box store online and 38% will shop most at small businesses online.
•    Regardless of the form of advertising, 73% of respondents expect brands to incorporate more diversity into their ad campaigns in 2021.
•    Respondents cited inspiration (42%), joy (40%), hope (34%), and love (38%) as triggers for them to engage or buy. People are decidedly not likely to engage or buy if an ad incites sadness (7%), fear (8%), anger (8%), or annoyance (6%).