Content Marketing Blog

Tis the season to be jolly: Consumers turn to social media for holiday purchase decisions

Many of us use social media to gauge the opinions of our friends, families and acquaintances on Facebook and Twitter, whether it be about their thoughts on a new show or on their views on a political issue.

A new study has indicated that consumers will "rely heavily" on social media to find new gift ideas and "inform" them on their holiday purchases – outranking traditional marketing sources such as TV, online advertising and newspaper.

Retailers and services may want to get their Twitter and Facebook campaigns in order to take advantage of the number of people using social media to make their decisions for holiday gifts.

The study, Social Media and Holiday Shopping: An Analysis of Consumer Attitudes, was put together by social media marketing company Offerpop and assistant professor at NYU Steinhardt Liel Leibovitz to examine the effect social media has on holiday shopping habits.

A key finding was that 90 per cent of respondents said that following a brand on social media makes them likely to consider the brand when consulting their holiday shopping list.

This is a huge majority of people admitting that they may be considering making a purchase from a brand they follow, further emphasising the importance of having engaging yet easy to navigate social media pages.

Over half (61 per cent) said they were "somewhat likely" to turn to social media before making a purchase with about a third (32 per cent) of respondents saying that the most effective use of social media for holiday shopping was finding gift ideas.

"These survey results highlight the importance of a strong social media presence for brands, particularly during the holiday buying rush," said Offerpop co-founder and chief marketing officer Mark Cooper.

"Consumers are turning to social channels to help them make purchase decisions – it’s up to marketers to guide them with information about their product offerings and establish easy paths to purchase."

Posted by April Revake.