With the holiday shopping season already upon us (notice how quickly Halloween decorations magically morph into Christmas décor these days?), we’re all surfing online and/or standing in line. And social media remains a major consumer resource. The good news is that Facebook is more popular than YouTube or Pinterest when it comes to holiday shopping preferences. The bad news that if you’re “old” (think baby boomer), you’re probably not using either, anyway.
According to a recent report by PunchTab, social media remains a primary resource for most holiday shoppers — at least for the coveted generation X and millennial age groups. The same survey claims that 70 percent of those stubborn boomers will completely ignore social media this holiday season, at least while playing Santa. They still may drop frequent free ‘n’ friendly season’s greetings on various friends and family members’ profile pages, if only to save the cost of postage. But when it comes to shopping, they’ll most likely let their tired old legs (that trudged both ways uphill through snow to get to school) do the walking — and they’re headed right to the local mall.
This figure is not surprising considering that the last two generations grew up with digital communications. The holiday season is one of comfort and nostalgia. We return to the pleasures of youth. If, of course, you’re still in your youth, current technology will dictate your shopping habits. For those of us who grew up shopping the old-fashioned way — in-person — our childhood memories still call the shots. Old habits are hard to break, and new ones harder to make.
Among our children and their peers, Facebook is significantly the most popular social media site for gift-giving ideas, followed by Pinterest and YouTube.
The main reason for Facebook’s relative popularity in this respect is probably because it’s the most user-friendly of the bunch — no uploads, downloads or other loads required. That’s why so many of us, spanning generations, have profile pages and often scroll through the daily News Feed, seeking out ideas and deals.
Pinterest? Most folks over 40 (particularly the men among us) may ask: What’s that? A sewing or bowling site? As for YouTube, we’re too busy watching, y’know, television to be bothered looking at videos on our computer. For one thing, the screen is bigger.
But all of that relative data aside, bottom line: 90 percent of us collectively will be doing at least some shopping online, so Facebook always has its place, even in the old folks’ home.
The survey also says younger folks start their shopping later but spend more, while older folks start sooner but spend less. No wonder most marketers aim so many of their online campaigns at kids, who may dilly-dally, but who also have the most disposable income (and least amount of foresight to save some of that cash for the ever-distant future).
Want specific numbers? You’ll need to read the PunchTab report.
Readers: So how (and where) are you going to do most of your shopping this year?