Survey sheds light on shopping habits of millennials

NEW YORK — For millennials, that oft-discussed age group born sometime in the range of the early 1980s to the early 2000s, social media is more than just a tool to share — they're also using it to make purchasing decisions. Teen Vogue, a Conde Nast publication, shared details of its recent "Seeing Social" survey, which explores the role that social media plays in the decision-making process in beauty and fashion purchases.

The survey, fielded March 4 to March 11, 2014, generated 1,074 responses from the publication's It Girl community, which is composed of a sample of women from the United States between the ages of 13 years to 29 years. The findings revealed that these young women went on a detailed journey on social media before they even made a transaction.

So what goes into their decision-making process? The smartphone app Instagram is a featured player. The survey indicated that it's the No. 1 platform that inspired respondents to purchase. YouTube also shared the spotlight: 52% of respondents said that when they discover a fashion or beauty brand that they like on social media, they head over to YouTube for videos on how to best wear an outfit or apply a product.

"Comparison shopping" is another way that millennials engage on social media platforms. Some of the top behaviors highlighted in the survey include the following:

  • Finding additional product images: Pinterest (48%);
  • Read reviews and recommendations: YouTube (43%); and
  • Seek out sales and/or deals: Facebook (36%).


The survey also highlighted what these consumers want from the products and brands they're seeing on social media. When asked what they would like to see more of from brands, 81% said they wanted more product sampling; 65% wanted more information about the closest store to buy the product; and 56% wanted brands to "post more looks and products that make sense for where I live."

While the survey highlighted various social media networks that millennials utilize, respondents seemed pretty clear on what platform is the "must have" for the future: Instagram.

 

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