Millennials Likely to Use “Buy” Button on Facebook and Twitter

Millennials continue to be the driving force behind social commerce because of their passion for social media, according to the latest study conducted by the Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. The infographic below illustrates their social commerce usage.

The study provides an in-depth look at current purchasing habits and trends of Millennials using three of the most widely used social media platforms — Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Millennials themselves identified the lead conversion tactics they respond to.

Participants were asked specifically about the new “buy” buttons currently being tested by Facebook and Twitter. Of note, nearly half of Millennials use their smart phones to make purchases online.

Highlights of the study include:

  • 35% of Millennials are likely to use a “buy” button on Facebook and 24% are likely to use one on Twitter, should those be provided by the platforms.
  • Facebook declines but is still the most popular platform among Millennials when looking to interact with companies/brands online. While their numbers have fallen slightly, Twitter and Pinterest have made modest gains. Fifty-five percent of respondents currently like at least one brand on Facebook (down from 62% last year). Twitter has 29% (up from 23%) and Pinterest has 16% (up from 11%) of Millennials following or pinning a company/brand.
  • Nike is the most liked/followed brand on Facebook and Twitter for the second straight year.
  • Hair, Beauty and Apparel continues to be the category in which most products are purchased by Millennials across all platforms studied.
  • Pinterest again has the highest online sales conversion rate relative to users of larger platformsThe 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.
  • 48% of Millennials use smart phones to make purchases online and 21% use tablets.

The study noted that, unlike past generations, Millennials are not influenced by traditional ‘push’ marketing strategies. Born and raised in the age of technology, Millennials consume information when and how they want to. This poses a challenge to brands in developing strategies that will attract Millennials — with their combined purchasing power of $2.45 trillion worldwide by 2015 — to their social commerce sites.

This infographic summarizes key findings of the study:

Millennials study U Mass Amheartst

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  1. I understand why businesses like the buy button. But it seems advertising, is just creeping into everything. FB was a social media platform, and now it is turning into a giant internet billboard, where does it stop. This may be the sign of the times, and is unavoidable.

    • William — I like your term “giant internet billboard.” I have to agree that Facebook Pages will be where companies advertise and not where they used to get free publicity.

  2. With advancement in technology we are having so many facilities. Facebook is trend setter and many other are following.
    I know about Pinterest but I was amazed to know that many people are also buying online and it has highest ratio.
    As it has been mentioned that make up , hair etc products are being purchased online, it shows that females prefer to buy online.
    Victoria’s secret, Dunkin donuts, starbuck are popular every where.

    • andleeb — your correct, Facebook is the trendsetter. As soon as Facebook started testing its “Buy” button, Twitter was soon to follow. The social networks will become more like bazaars than community rooms.

  3. This totally makes sense. And even though Facebook has been declining, there really isn’t a total replacement for it at the moment. As Tim says, Boomers are long gone as the key target audience. But then merchants have always had to make adjustments for their customer base and how to reach them. This is really just the latest marketing challenge.

    • A.K. — It’s hard to replace a behemoth the size of Facebook with its 1.35 billion active users. That number is really quite astonishing and for advertisers it really is the only game in town for now. That’s why Facebook isn’t afraid to reduce the number of organic search results in your news feeds. It’s got the advertisers to replace them who want to reach Facebook’s vast audience.

  4. Am not surprised that millennials shop on social media. Personally am really tired of ads on Facebook and have made sure I don’t get any. Anyone targetting the millenials should definitely target them on social media in ways that make them click the buy button.

    • Catarina — for Millennials it’s al about being online. They grew up in the digital world. They also care about social responsibility so companies need to have sterling reputations if they want this demographic to click on the “Buy” button.

  5. Interesting post, Jeannette. I am in my 50’s and do make some purchases online and as a result of a social media prompt, but I’m still the type who enjoys in-person shopping, and the pleasure I get from smelling, touching, or tasting a product before I make a purchase. I’m not anchored to a smartphone as my Millennium friends seem to be.

    • I understand, Doreen. There is the serendipity of finding something you weren’t even looking for when you’re browsing in a store. That’s why I started getting the NY Times everyday in print because it’s actually easier to browse when I’m holding the paper than on the paper’s confusing website.

  6. I’d be likely to use a “buy button” if FB made one available. Advertising is indeed intrusive, but it is what it is. Just another good reason to take computer and social media breaks time and again. Admittedly, I do get a bit creeped out when FB shows me tailored ads after I browse Amazon…

    • I know what you mean, Jeri. Last year, I was looking for snow boots online and found a pair I bought. Then ads for boots followed me everywhere! It was a little eerie.