90% of consumers turn to social platforms to browse and shop beauty products
Social media has long been touted as a key future channel for products sales and it seems that the future is already here as far as beauty is concerned.
New research from Bazaarvoice’s huge Influenster community has revealed that the vast majority of global consumers (91%) now “prefer to shop for beauty products via social platforms, as just 44% opt to browse for and purchase cosmetics in-store”.
To ‘shop’ in this case also includes browsing and generally scrolling rather than being confined to making a purchase. But even with browsing added in, those are perhaps surprising figures.
Yet maybe they’re less so given that Influenster also said social media platforms are now used by a massive 96% of global internet users, “which has only boosted the potential for brands exploring the possibilities of social commerce”.
The research also showed 76% of consumers find themselves “very influenced” to shop via social media, and 73% actively shop on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and Pinterest.
Influenster added that whether browsing, scrolling for inspiration, or making a purchase, “the technologies being used by brands – be it live shopping events, or virtual AR ‘try-on’ or ‘try-out’ experiences – play right into the demands of the beauty buyer and are drawing consumer attention away from high street beauty counters”.
Beauty has resonated particularly well on social media because of the “ease with which beauty products can be showcased via social [having] set it apart”.
But other sectors also need to prepare for big change in the way their consumers shop. While “beauty is the sector to watch in the shift to social commerce, this trend is also reflected in consumers’ clothing and homeware shopping preferences”, we’re told.
Some 81% of consumers are also now ‘shopping’ (that is, browsing as well as buying) for clothes on social media compared to just 57% in-store, and rising home décor trends mean 60% also prefer to shop for home furnishings on social platforms versus 40% in-store.
Whether it’s beauty, fashion, or any other category, what’s crucially important about social media is its inspirational element. Some 65% of consumers are turning to social platforms for shopping inspiration. This is “in part due to the rise of more authentic nano and micro-influencers, with as many consumers shopping based on influencer recommendations and links shared by influencers, as they are from brands they follow (60%)”.
Brand content still has a place in social commerce, but influencer recommendations have now become so important that traditional social media advertising has taken a back seat, Influenster said. Only 28% of consumers now shop from banner ads they’ve seen for products they’ve looked at before, “pushing brands to look towards relevant influencers as part of their social media strategy”.
Bazaarvoice research showed subject matter experts – such as beauty gurus – are viewed as the most trusted by consumers to share authentic and genuine content (39%).
And 35% of consumers prefer to shop from such influencers over celebrities (5%). Alongside this, 55% of consumers are shopping on social media as a result of recommendations from friends and family – otherwise known as ‘everyday influencers’.
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