Almost half of US consumers bought something via social media this year, according to a new survey. Here are the big takeaways on who’s buying what and where.

  • According to a new survey, nearly half of US consumers purchased products through social media this year.
  • TikTok and other social platforms are investing in shopping tools, and consumer behavior is changing.
  • Here are five key findings from The Influencer Marketing Factory’s new survey.

According to a new survey, nearly half of American consumers purchased something on social media this year, as tech companies push for people to buy and sell products on their platforms.

The Influencer Marketing Factory conducted a survey of 1,000 people in the United States in October and discovered that 43.4% of them had purchased at least one product on social media platforms in 2023.

YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok are among those promoting shopping, and they are continuing to invest in tools that make the process easier and encourage users to make purchases directly on their apps.

TikTok Shop, the latter’s offering, has found success, prompting some small businesses to capitalize on the offering and make millions of dollars by sending products on the platform, as well as allowing creators to earn substantial commissions and rewards when they promote TikTok Shop products in their videos.

“Shoppable short-form video is on fire,” Bridget Dolan, YouTube’s top shopping executive, said at a recent panel about creators and online shopping in Los Angeles.

While the Influencer Marketing Factory report found that many consumers still do not trust social media platforms with their data, this trend may be changing.

According to Insider Intelligence, social shopping in the United States will increase from $67 billion in 2023 to $101 billion in 2025. Douyin, TikTok’s Chinese counterpart, is expected to generate $334 billion in sales by 2023.

The following are five key takeaways from the Influencer Marketing Factory report.

Concerns about data and a lack of trust in platforms are the biggest reasons people didn’t buy

When asked why they didn’t buy anything, 30% said they “don’t trust social media when it comes to purchasing something,” and 22% said they “don’t want to share personal information.”

The findings reveal a significant generational divide: most respondents aged 18 to 44 said they had purchased a product directly on social media, while the vast majority of users aged 55 and up said they had not.

Beauty products and clothes are the most popular items bought on social media

More than a quarter of those who bought products on social media said they bought apparel, while 19% bought beauty products. Home products were the third most popular purchase, with 13.5% saying they had made one.

Patrick Nommensen, TikTok UK’s general manager of e-commerce, told Business Insider in June that fashion and beauty were the most successful categories on TikTok Shop, with home and living, electronics, jewelry, and collectibles gaining ground.

Over a third of those who bought on social media spent more than $100

35% of those who purchased something said they spent more than $100. Only 12.5% spent less than $20, while 20% spent $20 to $50 and 32% spent $50 to $100.

Almost 10% of those who purchased something on social media did so on a weekly basis. “I believe this figure will rise rapidly due to substantial investments in social commerce by social-media platforms,” said Alessandro Bogliari, CEO of the Influencer Marketing Factory, to BI.

Free shipping, discounts, and new products were the most popular reasons for buying on social media

When asked why they buy products on social media, 21.7% said free shipping, 20.4% said discounts or limited-time offers, and 20% said they had never seen the products before.

This aspect of discovery is a major focus for social platforms.

TikTok executives frequently cite the hashtag #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt as evidence of the platform’s success in introducing users to new products. As of November 24, the hashtag had nearly 79 billion views.

Facebook is the best platform for social commerce and checkout experience, according to consumers

According to the report, respondents ranked platforms based on the ease of the purchasing and discovery process, as well as the checkout experience. Facebook was first on both counts, followed by Instagram in second, TikTok in third, and Pinterest in fourth.

The findings are consistent with a recent survey conducted by influencer marketing platform Traackr, which discovered that Facebook was the respondents’ preferred shopping platform.

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