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By 2022, E-commerce is expected to grow to account for more than one-third (36%) of the total global fashion industry by 2020. This growth will be fueled in part by social media, as almost half (47.5%) of the 2,000 US online fashion shoppers surveyed [download page] by Yotpo for a new report say their most recent online fashion purchase was inspired by social media.

Social media is often the go-to place for discovering new products among shoppers. This is especially true for younger consumers, with three-fifths (59%) of US and UK consumers between the ages of 18-24 years old saying they discover new products on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Similarly, Yotpo’s survey found that more than half (55.2%) of Gen Z (ages 14-24 years old) respondents found inspiration for the most recent online fashion purchase on social media, while 50.6% of Millennials (ages 25-34 years old) reported the same.

Social media doesn’t have quite the same impact on Baby Boomers, a demographic that is less likely to use social media platforms than other age groups. Only about one-quarter (27.5%) of the Baby Boomers surveyed reported that their most recent online fashion purchase was inspired by social media browsing.

It isn’t necessarily the Kim Kardashians or YouTube fashionistas of the world driving all these buys. While the majority of marketers find influencer marketing effective — particularly on Instagram — research from PwC found that more shoppers were more influenced by reviews on social media than by influencers.

Yotpo’s survey reveals similar findings in regards to online fashion shoppers. Virtually all (98.9%) of Millennials and Gen Z respondents (all of whom reported doing at least half of their fashion shopping online) say they think customer reviews are important or very important in their decision making.

Additionally, in 2018 Bazaarvoice’s network of retailers reported a 51% year-over-year increase in customers submitting visual content with their reviews. This can only help online fashion retailers, as most Gen Z and Millennials respondents also say that customer photos (94.9%) and customer videos (72.5%) are important decision-making factors.

You can download the full report here.

About the Data: Results are based on a survey of 2,000 US consumers who do at least of their fashion shopping online.

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