The Influencer Marketing Factory has tapped into the rise of social commerce with its insightful “Social Commerce Report” report, offering an in-depth look into how U.S. consumers are adapting to and embracing these changes. The study, conducted in October 2023, surveyed 1,000 U.S. consumers and 500 content creators, spanning ages 16 to 55+, to gain insights into their social commerce and shopping habits.

Key Consumer Findings of the Social Commerce Report

1. Dominance of Facebook and Instagram Shops

The report highlights both Meta platforms as the top destinations for social commerce activity. Facebook ranked first place among users ages 16 to 55+ for overall social commerce experience with Instagram being a close second. In terms of social commerce checkout experience, the rankings reveal that Facebook dominated all other social commerce platforms and ranked first place.

Facebook’s social commerce dominance is the result of years of development via consumer and merchant feedback. Facebook Marketplace first launched in 2016 whereas Facebook Shops launched in 2020. Given Facebook’s headstart in social commerce, Meta users have become more accustomed to shopping on the platform, making it a go-to online shopping destination for a seamlessly efficient buying journey.

2. Demographic Preferences

The Influencer Marketing Factory has uncovered valuable demographic differences in shopping preferences in regard to core motivators to purchase on social media. Younger consumers surveyed between the ages of 18 and 34 reported that they are primarily down to social commerce platforms for exclusive, limited-time offers. In contrast, older consumers surveyed aged 35 and above distinguished that their greatest incentive to purchase on social commerce platforms was free shipping offers.

Demographic variations underscore the need for targeted marketing and tailored strategies for specific platforms. For instance, TikTok announced this summer that it would subsidize discounts of up to 50% for TikTok Shop merchants. As social commerce evolves, brands must leverage their understanding of consumer preferences to select the most effective platforms possible.

3. Top Product Categories

Apparel, beauty products, and home products have emerged as the top purchase categories in 2023 for social commerce across all age groups surveyed, accounting for 60% of all purchases reported. This marks a significant 25% increase from 2021 data collected by IMF, indicating a growing consumer preference for buying these items through social platforms.

Brands looking to promote such favored products may consider executing influencer marketing campaigns utilizing lifestyle influencers. Influencers who specialize in lifestyle content are known for their viral product review videos, authentic vlogs, and funny relatable content, all of which may be leveraged to promote products across short and long-form content platforms.

4. Consumer Spending Trends

According to the “Social Commerce 2024” Report, 37% of respondents spent more than $100 on social commerce purchases in the past year alone, making it the top spending bracket across all age groups. Furthermore, approximately 19% of users indulge in social media shopping a few times a year, 14.5% are monthly social commerce shoppers, and a noteworthy 9.3% are shopping via social media on a daily basis.

In order to boost spending and interest in shopping on social media, social commerce platforms must consider the concerns and needs of consumers. For instance, 12.5% of respondents reported that they feel incentivized to shop on rival e-commerce platforms that offer loyalty programs. Point systems and loyalty programs have yet to be introduced on top social commerce platforms but they pose an opportunity to win over a new audience of social media consumers.

5. Decision-Making Process

With users regularly seeing sponsored and paid content on their daily social media feeds, it may take several posts before they make a purchasing decision. IMF revealed that most consumers, regardless of age, need to see a product 1-2 times on social media before deciding to purchase. Not only is this finding crucial for marketers in planning their advertising frequency but also for developing creative content strategies.

Consumers sealing their decision to purchase a product via social commerce platforms is the direct result of effective product messaging and communicated value seen in promotional content. Responding to a fan’s comment with a promotion for a product on social commerce platforms such as TikTok streamlines the buyer’s journey by cutting out the research process, offering a trustworthy solution, and providing a direct link to purchase.

The Future of Social Commerce

When asked about the future of social commerce, Alessandro Bogliari, CEO of The Influencer Marketing Factory, shared, “Social commerce is set to significantly alter the landscape of brand interaction with mobile users, offering substantial enhancements in mobile conversion rates alongside a decrease in cart abandonment.” Beyond brand benefits, Bogliari predicts lucrative income streams for creators from affiliate marketing.

Spanning over 70 pages, “Social Commerce 2024” is an indispensable free resource packed with detailed insights, offering a comprehensive look into the dynamic and ever-changing landscape of social commerce. Download the Influencer Marketing Factory’s latest report today.