Do Consumers Actually Shop Directly on Social Media Systems[New Data]

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Once the COVID-19 pandemic started, many consumers raced online to buy products they couldn’t obtain in-store. And, simply by July 2020, worldwide retail ecommerce websites cumulatively saw a list 22 billion monthly visits.

As brands scrambled to provide more products and services online, social media platforms — such as Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp –began rolling out e-commerce tools to help companies sell more products directly from their social pages.

Now, as social media systems continue to expand on in-platform shopping tools, it’s clear that social media ecommerce is gaining steam. However as with any new marketing and advertising trend, you might wonder, “Are consumers actually buying products while surfing social media? ”

The question above is worth asking. Being a marketer, creating an online catalog or e-commerce process — despite having the help of an user-friendly social media platform — takes time and effort.

Not only will you need to find out which products is going to be sold online and exactly how you’ll deliver these to customers, but there might also be a technical learning curve for the team. Odds are, an individual know that consumers are actively using social media purchasing tools before you enable them

To assist you determine if social media shopping features are worth looking at, I asked 467 consumers if that they had ever purchased products on social media systems.

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Do Consumers Actually Buy Products on Social media marketing?

There are now a lot more ways than ever to purchase products on social media marketing. But , since a few social media shopping equipment are still rather a new comer to shoppers and brand names, you might think consumers possess barely used them yet.

But , when we asked, “Have you ever purchased a product directly from the social media platform? If so which one(s)? ” more than 50% of consumers had purchased a product on at least one platform.

Do consumers shop on social media poll

Data Source

Of the forty-nine. 5% of respondents that haven’t bought a product directly from the social media platform, 9% said they still plan to do so ultimately, while 40. 5% say they choose to buy products from ecommerce websites. Although that will 9% of consumers whom plan to shop on social media one day seems like a small number, it might grow as social media marketing shopping tools obtain more use, recognition, or trust in the particular coming months.

Ultimately, while social media shopping features continue to be fairly new to customers, they might make sense for brands that are looking for the scalable way to enter the ecommerce world.

Below I’ll dive into the four social media marketing platforms consumers say they’ve purchased products from and how they may be useful for brands.

Which social media systems are consumers actually shopping on?


More than one-third of the study respondents above have got purchased a product directly from Facebook.

Facebook’s online shopping popularity actually surprising. Even before the particular 2020 launch associated with Facebook Shops, users flocked to Facebook Marketplace  to find items or products being sold by residents nearby, independent sellers, or maybe local stores.

While Facebook Marketplace is more like Craigslist ads than an ecommerce store — but still requires you to contact a seller or even go to their website before buying a product, its years of success  likely helped justify the release of Facebook’s newest shopping features.

Here’s a brief rundown of the newest methods people shop upon Facebook:

Facebook Shops

Fb Shops, which rolled out this summer, allows business page admins to create a “Shop” having a list of products or product collections.

Users who visit the particular brand’s Facebook Business Page can tap or click the View Shop switch to see products, add items to their trolley, and purchase them straight from a Facebook Peruse page.

Facebook Shop examples

Facebook Messenger

Social media users who aren’t thinking about sifting through a Shop’s list of products may also message brands upon Facebook Messenger. Once a brand creates a Facebook Shop, they can incorporate it  with their Messenger account, WhatsApp accounts, or Instagram are the cause of a smooth customer buying experience directly in their threads.

When customers message manufacturers with Shop integrations to learn more about specific products, they’ll receive automated messages with product suggestions from the Shop owner — as seen in the below.

Facebook Messenger Shopping Features

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The Facebook Shops’ Messenger integration basically the first feature Facebook has offered that will enabled consumers to buy via message line. Between 2016 and 2019, Facebook permitted business pages to deliver messages that incorporated a product shot, fundamental description, and a Buy Now button  which allowed customers to purchase products in the Messenger app via their phone’s payment function. Here’s what this looked like:

Facebook IM purchasing

Image Supply

Takeaways for Marketers

Currently, launching the Facebook Shop could be one of the best ways to market products on interpersonal platforms. Not only really does Facebook have the largest and broadest reach  of all the platforms on this list, but Facebook Shops can also incorporate with Instagram plus WhatsApp, allowing you to quickly expand to multiple social media platforms before you go.

Even if you already have an ecommerce site, Facebook Shops can still be beneficial should you have large audiences upon social media who primarily use mobile phones and apps to surf the web. For example , if a new prospect comes across your brand on the Fb app, they can just click into your Shop, have a look at a few products, and even buy a few utilizing their phone’s payment tool. This might create much less friction than they’d receive if they required to leave their social media marketing app to browse via a large list of items shown in your ecommerce store.

Ultimately, Shops’ versatile options could be a good suit if you sell to a broad audience, have an interest in expanding to Instagram or WhatsApp, or are an skilled online seller that also wants to turn social media followers in to customers.


Although the majority of Instagram’s shopping features  were added after Facebook Shops launched, nearly a quarter associated with respondents have bought products on Instagram.

Below are Instagram’s perhaps most obviously shopping features:

Instagram Shops

Instagram Shops basically uses the same style, layout, and technologies Facebook Shops, yet is linked to Instagram Business Pages specifically. Like Facebook Shops, you’ll also need administrative access to a Fb Business Page and a Facebook Shop  to use this feature.

To leverage this particular feature, you merely need to go to your Facebook Business Manager settings, link your Facebook and Instagram Business webpages to each other, and enable your Shop on your own Instagram Business profile so your visitors will discover a View Store button. Once this Shop is triggered, your Instagram Shop’s viewers will see exactly the same mini-online store they’d see if they joined your Facebook Store on that platform.

Instagram Shoppable Posts

While you’ll still require a Facebook catalog that will lists your items, you do not need a Facebook Shop to release Instagram Shoppable content. This feature allows you to link your Instagram feed posts and images directly to the product’s Instagram Checkout page.

Instagram shopping post and store

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While this feature started specifically with feed-style posts, it has now stretched to Instagram Stories, Instagram Reside (shown below), plus — most recently — Instagram Reels.

Instagram live shopping content

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While a good Instagram Shop allows your followers to see all the major products or collections your own selling, Instagram Shoppable posts allow you to highlight your product with creative content, such as reviews or demos, while also backlinking directly to a buying page. This enables users to discover a product, watch it in action, and buy it almost immediately if they like what they’ve seen.

Instagram’s Shopping Tabs

You  may also optimize your Instagram product content to show up in the Shopping tab of Instagram’s app. With this tool, prospects that might not know about your brand might search for products, find items from your brand, and add them to their bag. From there, they can tap the particular bag icon in the corner and purchase these items directly from the Instagram app.

Instagram Shopping tab

Takeaways designed for Marketers

Instagram’s shopping features may be useful to your brand name if you already have the presence on Instagram, target the Style Z or millennial audiences, and have appealing or intriguing picture or video resources to market your product, brand, or assistance.

If you curently have a Facebook Shop and want to expand your social media ecommerce strategy to Instagram, it’s also scalable and easy. Because Instagram Shops are co2 copies of pre-created Facebook shops, you simply need to take a few steps to place a Shops key on your Instagram Business Page. But , if you don’t have interest in a Fb account, you can nevertheless leverage Instagram Reside Shopping, Shopping Articles, and highlight your own products in the Instagram Shopping tab.

To learn more about each of these tools, how they function, and how brands may leverage them, take a look at this post  for further details.


While WhatsApp, also owned by Facebook, doesn’t have its own shopping platform, users can still chat with brand names, request to purchase a product from the companies WhatsApp for Business list, and pay for it directly in the message line.  

The particular WhatsApp payment feature, shown below, is quite similar to Facebook Messenger’s older “Buy Now” feature, shown in the section above:

WhatsApp payments in whatsapp message threads

Image Source

Takeaways with regard to Marketers

Whilst buying products usually takes a bit longer upon WhatsApp than on a Facebook or Instagram Shop, roughly 13. 5% of participants have still carried out it.

As WhatsApp continues to grow and expand its company features, this application might be worth maintaining on your radar if you are interested in building a chat-based community and interpersonal revenue stream simultaneously.

While this app might be opportunistic meant for conversational marketers, this particular app might also become beneficial if you’re looking to sell internationally. While Facebook and Instagram also have audiences around the world, most of WhatsApp’s user base  lives outside of the U. S. In fact , WhatsApp’s largest audiences are from Indian and Brazil.


Till recently — Pinterest users could buy some of the products they saw directly within the Pinterest app. Oddly enough enough, it released and discontinued its tool before Fb and Instagram released similar features.

From 2015 in order to 2018, Pinterest allowed brands to create Buyable Pins that permitted you to purchased pinned products directly from the app. Next to each Buyable Pin’s “Save” button was a azure “Buy It” key. When tapped, it sent users directly to a Pinterest purchasing screen.

Pinterest's old shopping feature

mage Source

While Pinterest provided its in-app purchasing feature for years, the brand converted Buyable Pins to a lot more scalable Product Hooks in 2018.

Product Pins, which the platform now uses, send app users to a company’s internet site checkout page rather than Pinterest app page.

While the transformation to Product Hooks prevented Pinterest through needing to manage a lot of transactions a year, it had been also more good for the brands. In the 2018 statement in order to AdWeek, Pinterest exposed that Product Pins received 40% a lot more clicks than Buyable Pins.

Although Buyable Pins are no longer active, 10. 5% of respondents still say they’ve bought products directly on the woking platform.

While respondents could have purchased products from Buyable Pins in the past, they also could have made purchases by means of Product Pins, which usually open an in-app browser to a brand’s checkout page without having requiring users to leave Pinterest. Even though the transaction itself isn’t very happening on Pinterest’s servers, the function still enables users to make a quick buy without interrupting their particular social media experience.

Takeaways for Internet marketers

Although Pinterest no longer enables customers to make purchases straight from the platform, you should still take its item marketing opportunities, like Product Pins, seriously.

After all, a variety of audiences use Pinterest to create inspiration planks filled with products or items they might want to purchase. And Pinterest data shows that users like to search or even learn about products  to the platform

Aside from the brand-friendly nature associated with Pinterest’s platform, entrepreneurs should also take note of its consistent growth. By Q3 of 2020, Pinterest surpassed 442 million monthly active users, up from 322 million in Q3 of 2019. Even if it doesn’t appear to be Pinterest is the right platform for your brand now, it might be useful to your strategy later as its audience keeps growing, evolve, and use the platform to look for products or inspiration.

Which Social Systems Should You Sell Upon?

While many of the respondents above still haven’t purchased a product through a social media platform, this might change because shoppers continue to accept online shopping.

Additionally , as more brands influence social shopping equipment in place of ecommerce shops, shoppers might become accustomed to using social networking shopping options.

If and when you do decide to launch a social networking shopping feature for the brand, you’ll want to take a look at your audience when determining the right place to begin.

For example , in case your audience is made up of a variety of age groups, Facebook might be the best place to set up shop. Meanwhile, if your market is primarily Style Z, you might want to embrace Instagram’s tools.

Additionally , you should prioritize social media shopping strategies on platforms you could have already built the following on. For example , if you have a large, involved WhatsApp audience, marketing products there might be a scalable expansion to an already-strong social media strategy.

Ultimately, the best strategy will be to figure out where your audiences are most likely going to store or surf social networking and then meet all of them where they are with your product listings or even online shop

To find out more about where your target social media viewers might be, check out this particular helpful post upon social media demographics.

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