51% of Facebook and Instagram Users Bought Products While Scrolling

Consumer scrolling on Instagram and making purchases

This article was contributed by Maria Monteros and originally appeared on Retail Dive.

Editor’s note: Social selling is resonating with shoppers, and the research below provides an illuminating peek into why it’s an important part of any successful omnichannel strategy. Whether you’re thinking about selling products on Instagram or rolling out social media training for your employees, these insights can give you a snapshot of how consumers are purchasing on their favorite platforms. Learn more about how to sell on social media with Square.

Dive brief

  • Brands are infiltrating platforms where consumers spend their time, and a recent study from market research firm NPD shows that it might be yielding results in the apparel category. A little over half (51%) of consumers surveyed said that the content found on their Facebook and Instagram feeds resulted in a purchase.
  • Facebook (41%), Instagram (35%), and Pinterest (21%) ranked the highest in a list of online platforms where consumers discover and learn about products, according to the report. TikTok was named by 15% of respondents.
  • When it comes to converting advertisement and other content into actual purchases, secondhand apparel platforms reign supreme (53%). Meanwhile, only 22% said that Pinterest’s content resulted in a purchase — the lowest among the nine options listed.

Dive insight

The pandemic shifted brick-and-mortar shopping to eCommerce, and social media platforms want a piece of the pie. As a result, various social platforms have added shopping capabilities to bridge the path from discovery to purchase.

“Ready or not, with consumers sheltered at home last year, fashion retailing needed to adapt, and that adaptation had to happen quickly,” Maria Rugolo, apparel industry analyst for NPD, said in a statement.

“With this shift, impulse purchasing also shifted. As these platforms make purchasing even easier, with one-click shopping and the ability to buy instantly, social media will continue to gain more impulse-purchase attention.”

Square Online Checkout

Use options like pay links, buy buttons, or QR codes for whatever you’re selling and share them with customers in all kinds of ways.

During an NRF Retail Converge panel, Matt Cleary, TikTok’s vertical director of retail and restaurants, discussed how the short-form video-sharing app leverages its highly specific algorithm to present content that caters to the user’s interests. TikTok has gained a reputation for making products go viral in recent years.

“The hashtag #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt, which has over two and a half billion views, I think is a testament to this discovery mindset,” Cleary said during the panel. Because of the “For You” page, “when something does pop and when somebody, whether it is a brand or a fan of that brand, showcases that product and kind of contextualizes it within their life as opposed to just showing it off, it has a powerful impact.”

Social media platforms have attempted to leverage their ability to allow consumers to discover new products, especially throughout the pandemic.

Instagram, for instance, launched “Shopping in Reels” in December last year, and other eCommerce features in the app also debuted in 2020. Pinterest added a “shop” tab to allow consumers to find and shop for products and Snapchat has been attempting to blend eCommerce and AR through brand partnerships and new features.

This article was written by Maria Monteros from Retail Dive and was legally licensed through the Industry Dive publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@industrydive.com.