The Role of Social Media in Mobile Commerce is Growing, But Millennials Still Aren’t Buying


The role of social media in mobile commerce is growing, but not thanks to millennials

Social media is having a rather large influence on mobile commerce. Brands are pushing huge amounts of their budgets into native advertising, branded content, and revamping their apps to accommodate the busy shopper. The difference between the consumers that brands expect to interact with and millennials is in the way that millennials engage with e-commerce through social media- they’re using the platforms to research items and products, rather than buy them through their favorite app.

Business Insider’s new BI Intelligence report finds that a new GlobalWebIndex study suggests that millennial shoppers use Facebook, Twitter, and the like to research products before they buy them. According to the study, 40% of global consumers ages 16 to 24 use social media to research products. Additionally, 30% of the gerneal population also use these platforms for researching products before committing to purchasing them elsewhere.

Social media isn’t acting as a direct referral to buying products- but if brands want to be successful with selective younger gene ratios, they’ll need to maintain a a strong social media presence, and that presence needs to be easy to use and informative. The mobile experience is particularly important to millennials, who spend more time on their mobile devices than any other generation.

Some takeaways from the BI Intelligence report are below:

  • Facebook continues to grow its lead as the dominant social commerce platform. Facebook accounts for 50% of total social referrals and 64% of total social revenue. The site’s changing demographics could make older consumers a strong target for retailers leveraging the platform.
  • Pinterest is a major social commerce player despite a relatively small user base. The pinning platform drives 16% of social revenue despite an audience 6.5 times smaller than Twitter. New buy and action buttons on retailer posts should make Pinterest an even stronger referral and revenue engine for brands.
  • Instagram doesn’t drive significant sales activity for retailers but high-end companies have been leveraging the platform for branding purposes. New Buy buttons on paid posts, as well as increased targeting capabilities, could make the app a more important direct-response driver.

You can find the whole report here.

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