Social Media Influences Purchases for Millennials, Who Look for Retail Promotions

October 26, 2017

About half (49%) of US Millennials say that social media influences their purchase decisions, a rate more than twice as high as non-Millennials (19%), reports UPS in the fourth installment [pdf] of its Pulse of the Online Shopper series.

The study shows that among shoppers who have bought products on social media, 55% find daily deals to be important. This attitude is held more by Millennials who have bought on social media (60%) than others (47%).

Millennials are also keen on finding coupons on social media: 46% of young social media users seek out promotions, compared to 33% of non-Millennials.

There’s more generational parity when it comes to the use of Facebook for coupons:

  • 42% of Millennial and 44% of non-Millennial Facebook users follow retailers to receive promotions for holiday shopping; and
  • 40% of Millennial and 44% of non-Millennial Facebook users have searched for retail coupons.

Social media’s potential influence on retail purchases extends beyond coupons, though. Some 61% of respondents who have bought on social indicate that finding a unique product is important.

That brings to mind earlier research showing that many young Americans learn about new products on social media, suggesting that these platforms can serve as an awareness vehicle for unique items.

Another Influencer of Shopper Behavior? Free Shipping

Free shipping has long been shown as a key influencer of shopper behavior – and this latest study is no different in that way.

Almost three-quarters of online shoppers surveyed by comScore for the UPS report say that free shipping options are important when checking out online. Moreover, more than one-third say that free shipping is the single most important option when checking out.

Shoppers are willing to take a number of actions to qualify for free shipping, ranging from adding items to their cart (48%) to choosing the slowest transit time (44%), searching online for a promo code (41%) and even joining a loyalty program (29%).

In an earlier report [download page], comScore revealed that 62% of e-commerce transactions in Q1 were completed with free shipping.

About the Data: The sixth annual UPS Pulse of the Online ShopperTM study was fielded in Q1 2017 and is based on the input from more than 5,189 qualified comScore panelists who made at least two online purchases in a typical three-month period.


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