Social media ad solutions and shopping experiences platform StitcherAds has revealed the results of a study on how social media advertising influences purchasing habits across generations, analysing 500 US-based respondents, ages 18 and over.
Among the key findings:.
Gen Z and Millennials Drive the Push for ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ on Social
When asked if they’ve ever purchased a product that featured a ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ option (BNPL) in a social ad, over half of Millennials (60 per cent) Gen Zs (57 per cent) said “yes” versus 37 per cent of Gen X and 19 per cent of Baby Boomers.
“Recently, we’ve seen ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ options grow in popularity as a way to keep up with the rapid shift to online shopping during the pandemic,” notes Bryan Cano, Director of Strategy at StitcherAds. “Our analysis discovered that consumers of all generations use BNPL tools, but Millennial and Gen Z shoppers are doing so at much higher rates. This is likely because BNPL provides younger consumers – whose cash flow tends to be more limited – better financial flexibility, especially for larger-ticket items.”
Millennials Want All the Details in their Social Ads
According to the study, nearly 60 per cent of Millennials (58 per cent) prefer to see all of the details about a new product or brand in an ad, and don’t want to have to go to a company’s website to learn more.
“The way Millennials consume information is very different,” adds Cano. “They are analytical and they want access to information on-demand. This also speaks to the need for retailers to work more closely with social platforms since clicking out to their own dedicated sites can seem cumbersome.”
Fifty-six per cent of Gen X agree with Millennials, while Gen Z are split on the topic, with no preference either way. However, Baby Boomers (55 per cent) prefer to see less in an ad, and would like to discover more about the product or brand being advertised by visiting the company’s website.
Instagram Most Likely to Influence Purchase Decisions for Gen Z
Fifty-nine per cent of Gen Zs shared that Instagram’s advertising influences their purchasing decisions the most, followed by TikTok (57 per cent) and Facebook (36 per cent), and Twitter (29 per cent). For the best ad experience, Gen Z touted Instagram (59 per cent), followed by TikTok (48 per cent), then Twitter (34 per cent).
Nearly Two-Thirds of Millennials Have Tried a New Brand Because of a Social Ad
Sixty-three per cent of Millennials, 56 per cent of Gen Xs and 52 per cent of Gen Zs said they’ve tried a new brand or product based on an ad they saw on social media in the past month. Baby Boomers, on the other hand, aren’t as influenced, with only 33 per cent responding that they’ve tried a new brand or product based on a social ad in the past month.
“Millennials are the most likely to try a new brand or product based on social ads seen recently,” advises Cano. “Boomers are the least likely, but still – one-third said they’ve discovered a new brand or product after seeing an ad, which is above and beyond ROI from other channels.”
Surprise – Promo Codes and Coupons are Key Conversion Drivers
When asked if they were more likely to purchase something based on an ad if it featured a promo code or coupon, 96 per cent of Millennials and Gen X were very likely to do so. 94 per cent of Baby Boomers agreed, along with 89 per cent of Gen Zers.
Almost Half Of Millennials Will Recommend Products Based on a Social Ad
Just 13 per cent of Baby Boomers and 29 per cent of Gen X are likely to recommend a product to a friend or family member based on an ad that they saw on social media. In contrast, almost half of (46 per cent) of the Millennials and one-third (34 per cent) of Gen Zs shared they are likely to make such a recommendation.
“Social ads have strong word of mouth among younger, digital-first audiences,” ss Cano.
Video Ads Conqueror Over All Other Forms Of Social Ads
Millennials (79 per cent), Gen Xs (71 per cent) and Gen Zs (59 per cent) are more likely to click on a personalised ad on mobile versus desktop. Meanwhile, the majority (53 per cent) of Baby Boomers said they’re more likely to click on a personalised ad via desktop.
All generations (Baby Boomers 48 per cent, Gen X 59 per cent, Millennials 52 per cent, Gen Z 63 per cent) agree they’re more likely to click on a video ad over any other format.
“Historically, advertisers have considered video a top-of-funnel tactic,” said Cano. “Now, though, more marketers are using video for direct response and brand awareness. New ad formats across Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and other social apps, allow marketers to collapse the funnel, giving users a frictionless experience from discovery to conversion.”
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