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Trends 2023: As Seen On Social Media

The next part of the forecast report of GWI, an audience insights technology company, describes how consumers are finding products in 2023. Taker | Maker has highlighted the key insights and numbers for you.

A little less info, a little more action

According to recent data shared by Google, nearly half of young people look to TikTok or Instagram instead of Google Maps or Search for answers.

Less emphasis is being placed on researching products, and there’s been an 8% drop in consumers saying they do this before buying an item since 2020.

Finding inspiration has jumped from 9th to 6th place since 2018, overtaking product research in the process. We can see this story being played out in Google search trends too, with more of us typing in terms like “ideas” and “inspo” over time.

While Gen Z are more likely to buy online than baby boomers, they’re less likely to describe purchasing as a top benefit of the internet (25% vs 44%); instead, community/interests are worth a lot more (23% vs 10%).

In other words, younger audiences start their search from a place of curiosity and expect to be led down a fun rabbit hole of new ideas, rather than directed to a list of brands or products.

Many older consumers, who have firm expectations around using the internet, will keep relying on search engines.

How to be "searchable" in 2023

TikTok tests out a new search feature that highlights keywords in comments and links them to results, LinkedIn’s latest tweak offers users a much wider scope of possible matches.

With these spaces driven by trends, brands need to keep track of what’s culturally relevant to their audience and the questions they’re asking if they want to cut through the noise.

The hashtag #lazylazymakeupgirls got a lot of attention in 2022, reminding marketers that beauty fans crave hacks, so it’s not surprising that Fenty Beauty’s tutorials around contouring, color correcting, and blotting have hit the mark.

Younger groups are more likely to seek out products on vlogs, microblogs, and video sites, and lean less on traditional search tools.

These visual results are persuasive because they showcase real people and their views, a powerful quality that’s doing wonders for the world of ecommerce.

This also reminds us that you don’t need big names to get a reaction, and that consumers really value the influencer next door.

Buy now, decide later

Physical stores were much better at prompting impulse buys than virtual ones, though recent research suggests that the two are now more or less equal.

41% of Gen Z and millennials make an impulse purchase online every 2-3 weeks, rising to 48% among daily TikTok users. For context, this drops to 10% among baby boomers, a salute to the work being done by social media search tools.

Impulse buying isn’t purely practical among older consumers, and many do add last-minute surprises to their cart just because they fancy a treat. But deals and whether they have a clear use case for an item matter more.

Social media ads directed at older groups can therefore afford to be more product or information-focused, more in line with what we see on search engines.

Grey hair coverage company Colorsmith’s Instagram account, for example, is filled with tips, product descriptions, and written reviews

Straight from the feed to your door

On the flip side, younger consumers impulse buy for a wider range of reasons, like recommendations from their online community or flexible payment options.

And convenience is worth underlining, as it’s partly why they search for products on social apps in the first place.

Easy or quick online checkout processes (34%) and social media “buy” buttons (21%) are common reasons Gen Z and millennials give for impulse buying.

Plus, in the US, two of the three fastest-growing online purchase influencers in the last two years are same and next-day delivery.

Businesses need to build their online shopping experience around the expectations that social media searches are creating, setting the scene for a dynamic, quick, and inspirational adventure.



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