The social shopper

Social media shopping

Over a quarter of Australian shoppers now purchase via social media, according to a new report by e-commerce platform PayPal.

The findings indicate Generation X and Millennials are leading the push, but across the ages, social shopping is proving increasingly popular.

Here’s an insight into the social shopping habits of Australian consumers and what it means to retailers.

The rise of mobile and social

PayPal recently took an in-depth look at the online purchasing habits of average Australian consumers, interviewing 2000 survey participants about their shopping expectations and traits.

The survey found when it comes to online shopping, mobile is becoming the channel of choice, while more and more Australians are also utilising social media to scratch their retail itch.

PayPal notes:

  • 41 per cent of online consumers now use mobile devices rather than computers to make a purchase (up from 37 per cent in 2018)
  • 55 per cent of mobile shoppers make a purchase on mobile at least weekly (compared to 48 per cent in 2018)
  • 33 per cent of online sales are now taken by mobile devices

The channel of choice is changing

While online shopfronts remain a popular medium, an alternative area experiencing major growth is social shopping.

PayPal notes 27 per cent of Australian shoppers have made a purchase via social media in the past six months, with some demographics favouring it more than others.

Generation X is the most likely to shop via social channels, with 38 per cent indicating they have purchased using social media in the past six months.

Close behind are the Millennials at 36 per cent, followed by Gen Z at 26 per cent, the Baby Boomers at 20 per cent, and older consumers at 11 per cent.

Meanwhile, one in five (21 per cent) of shoppers say they have made a social shopping purchase within the past week.

That expenditure also adds up, with social shoppers indicating they spend on average $121 per month across the social media channels.

Social shopping by platform and product

Social media shopping

When it comes to which social media platform shoppers are most likely to purchase from, Facebook leads the charge at 83 per cent. It’s followed by Instagram at 34 per cent, Pinterest and Snapchat at 12 per cent, WeChat at 9 per cent and ‘other social media platforms’ also at 9 per cent.

Meanwhile, clothing and accessories are the items people are most likely to buy.

  • 21 per cent of shoppers say they would buy clothing and accessories from social media
  • 15 per cent would buy health and beauty items
  • 11 per cent would buy home and garden products
  • 10 per cent would purchase food and drink
  • 10 per cent would buy electronics
  • 10 per cent would purchase toys and games
  • 10 per cent would buy books and magazines
  • 8 per cent would purchase sporting goods
  • 7 per cent would buy groceries

Retailers not ready

Despite the clear indication that shoppers enjoy social shopping and are using it more and more, PayPal’s report also reflects that retailers are falling behind in their social shopping offering.

They note less than a fifth (18 per cent) of Australian businesses currently accept payments through social channels, while 21 per cent say they will offer this capability within the next six months.

Meanwhile, those who do offer social shopping report 38 per cent of their sales are made via this medium.

“With 50 per cent more consumers buying on social (27 per cent) than businesses selling on social (18 per cent) there’s a clear opportunity for Australian businesses who are prepared to embrace this emerging channel,” PayPal notes.