Survey Reveals Social Shopping Habits Spanning Generations

Facebook and Pinterest are the most popular destinations for social shoppers.

social shopping

Kids these days. What do they want? That’s not really the right question any more, because they’re going to answer that themselves anyway. The real question is: How are they going to find and then get what they want? Punchtab offers some revealing clues in a brand new report.

When it comes to holiday shopping, you can’t afford faulty guesswork. Just ask Santa.

The survey reveals how three generations of shoppers pick their final purchases. Topping the list was “Talks With Friends and Family,” with boomers and Gen X-ers both tying at 61 percent, showing that generation gaps close with time and age.

Perhaps surprisingly, 77 percent of millennials — marketers’ sought-after demographic — will also rely on word of mouth for their final choices. So while 21st century society is dominated by digital technology, it’s hasn’t been totally dehumanized (yet). When deciding what to buy, people turn primarily to each other for the final call.

The second most popular category on this list was those who will “Browse In-Person at Malls or Stores,” with millennials again leading the pack at 55 percent, and Gen X-ers a close second at 53 percent.

But when it does comes to social shopping, still a crucial if not entirely dominant component in these charts, the generation gap widens significantly. Fully 70 percent of older generations will not even consult social media for their shopping interests. For the younger groups, the most popular sites are Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest, all of which will attract sizable portions of Gen X and millennials.

social shopping

Also, both millennials and Gen X-ers far outpace boomers when it comes to using one’s smartphone for such common consumer activities as browsing for items online, comparing prices or even making wish lists. Technology continues to be the defining factor when determining the differences in how different age groups will access and use basic consumer information.

More findings from the report:

  • Older shoppers spend less and shop earlier, while younger shoppers start later, but spend more.
  • Millennials report they will do 58 percent of their shopping online, compared to 52 percent of Gen X and 46 percent of Boomers.
  • 90 percent of all respondents will do at least some shopping online.
  • 58 percent of all shoppers enter the holiday marketplace undecided, meaning campaigns that exploit the right channels at the right time have time to influence their choices.

If you want the full scoop on exactly which age group is shopping where, when, and in what numbers, check out the entire report here.

@MaryCLong Mary C. Long is Chief Ghost at Digital Media Ghost. She writes about everything online and is published widely, with a focus on privacy concerns, specifically social sabotage.