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The Impact of Social Media on Holiday Shopping Behaviors

Monday, December 9th, 2019

Social media is predicted to influence holiday shopping behavior more than ever before. Advances in commerce capabilities and the boom of constant content streamed through Story feeds are making shoppers feel festive and ready to buy.  

When it comes to commerce, shoppers use social channels for specific purposes at various points throughout the consumer journey. Here’s how social media is being used during the holiday shopping season. 

Window Shopping

If scrolling is the new window shopping, think of Story social feeds as the new Macy’s Christmas windows in New York’s Herald Square. Stories bring in massive crowds, with Story-streamed content consumption up 842% since 2016. What’s more, one-third of the most-viewed Stories come from businesses. 

Stories matter during the holiday season because they inspire purchase intent early in the shopper journey. Facebook’s 2019 holiday guide states that 62% of shoppers become interested in a product or a brand after seeing it appear in a Story feed, such as on Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat. 

Influencer content also plays an important role as shoppers scroll through social. 40% of people reported buying a product after seeing an influencer use it. Seeing an item in a real-life situation, being used by a relatable shopper, can make a gift even more must-have during the holiday season.

Making a List (and Checking It Twice)

This isn’t just a ploy to work in a Christmas song—shoppers are making holiday shopping lists straight from social apps. The top platform for list curation is Pinterest, where user behavior is rooted in planning out future moments. Pinners plan so far in advance that your shoppers most likely already have created holiday lists that span across topics like holiday meals, gift-giving, hosting, and home decoration. Pinterest reports that 45% of their shoppers begin holiday shopping and planning before November.

Making a list is not a passive activity. 67% of Pinners say the platform helps them find the right products for the holiday, making it even more important for brands to have a presence on the channel. 

Wondering where to start when it comes to Pinterest? Check out our Pinterest White Paper to learn how to quickly add this channel to your marketing mix in time for the holiday season.

Add to Cart

Shopping behavior is shifting across social media as platforms unlock new ways for shoppers to instantly purchase without ever having to leave their apps. The most anticipated update this year came from Instagram, who added in-app checkout for select brands. 

Purchasing directly within social apps is still fairly new to shoppers, but expectations around clear information on how to purchase products exist no matter what content they’re looking at. Pinterest, Instagram and Snapchat make it easy for brands with eCommerce to upload their product inventory and tag SKUs within their social posts or ads, making it seamless for people to then click through and purchase on-site. At a minimum, marketers should include clear product names and CTAs when using social content as a tactic for driving commerce.

To Wrap it Up…

As shoppers get into the holiday spirit, it’s our job as marketers to make the shopping experience as seamless as possible. From inspiration through to purchase, we can meet them where they are across social media and help their holiday season be the merriest of all.

Contributed By: Holly Harper, Social Media Manager, Integer Denver

Image Source: Unsplash

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