Millennials Drive Social Commerce According to a New Study From the University of Massachusetts

According to study, 47% of respondents with Pinterest accounts said they had purchased something online after pinning it

Online PR News – 01-February-2014 –Millennials are leading the social commerce movement. They are more likely than any other group to like/follow/pin companies and brands. They are enticed by coupons and discounts, purchase hair/beauty products and apparel, often using mobile phones and tablets. They are multi-channel shoppers, buying both online and in-store. This cohort is active online in ways that allow them to connect, organize and stay informed and shop. They spend more money on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest than other groups making them the ones to watch as social commerce surges forward.These are some of the key findings of the latest social media study, “Millennials Drive Social Commerce: Changing a like, follow or pin into a sale, ”conducted by Dr. Nora Ganim Barnes, Ph.D., and Ava Lescault, of the Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Dr. Barnes is a Senior Fellow and Research Co-Chair of the Society for New Communications Research.

This study is the result of a nationwide electronic and physical survey. Qualification for participation required the respondent to be a member of the Millennial generation, using the popular demographic for this group of having been born between 1980-2000. The surveys were hosted on online and the URL was shared online by channels including, but not limited to, email, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. All data was collected during the fall of 2013. A total of 576 surveys provide the basis for this report.

Key findings of this study include:

• Facebook is the most popular platform among Millennials when looking to interact with companies/brands online. Sixty-two percent of respondents currently like at least one brand on Facebook. Twitter has 23% of respondents following a brand and Pinterest has 11% of Millennials pinning a brand (Nike is the most liked/followed brand).

• Across all platforms, the top reason why Millennials ‘like/follow/pin’ is to support a brand. Being unlike any other generation, Millennials pick and choose not only which information they will be exposed to, but also how the information is delivered. By liking/following/pinning a particular brand they support, Millennials are customizing their exposure to advertising based on their preferences.

• Of those who reported they had never purchased something after liking, following or pinning it online, offering a coupon or discount was the most frequently cited lead conversion tactic for Millennials. Respondents indicated this is the top motivator leading to a sale. Similarly, Millennials indicated that companies giving exclusive offers or appealing to their interests were more likely to see an increase in sales as a result of online interaction.

• Relative to users of larger platforms, Pinterest has the highest sales conversion rate. The user-friendly highly visual design of the website facilitates information search and evaluation of alternatives. Pinterest makes the transaction process flow with optimal ease for consumers.

• Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest contribute to both online and in-store purchasing. Seventy-seven percent of Facebook users, 66% of Twitter users and 63% of Pinterest users are multi-channel shoppers.

“It is estimated that social commerce totaled $2.7 billion in 2013 and Millennials are leading the way,” stated Barnes. It is exciting to see this cohort of 76 million strong change the way business in done”.

“This is a group that is comfortable with technology, she continued, and even assumes that businesses will come to them”.

A full copy of the new research report as well as an info graphic version of the results can be downloaded at: http://www.umassd.edu/cmr/studiesresearch/

For questions or inquiries regarding corporate speaking engagements Barnes can be reached at nbarnes@umassd.edu.

About the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research:
The Center’s mission is to facilitate the economic development of the region by providing an affordable, high-quality economic alternative to meeting business needs for research, training, and consulting in any and all aspects of Marketing. This work is primarily conducted by graduate and undergraduate marketing students. The Center for Marketing Research is associated with and maintains a close relationship with the Chambers of Commerce within southeastern Massachusetts. This unique relationship provides the Center with an effective business networking capability. For more information, visit http://www.umassd.edu/cmr/.

About the Society for New Communications Research (SNCR):
The Society for New Communications Research is a global nonprofit 501(c)(3) research and education foundation, think tank, and public service organization, dedicated to the advanced study of the latest developments in new and emerging communications tools and technologies such as digital, social media, and mobile, and their effect on business, culture, and society. For more information, visit: http://www.sncr.org/.

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