Why consumers can’t resist social media ads

The outlook for social commerce for this past holiday season was strong—according to research from Smartly.io, a leading social media advertising automation platform. While final numbers aren’t yet available, the study shows consumers now “not only recognize that social media presents a new way to shop for holiday gifts, they are also more likely than ever to purchase those gifts after being influenced by social advertising.”

Part of the social commerce growth stems from the surge in online shopping in general. In the runup to the holidays, Smartly.io found 57% of holiday shoppers said social media ads help them source new gift ideas.

Currently, “shoppers mostly browse social platforms to discover products and engage with brands but transact outside the app—typically on a company’s website or separate messaging system,” reports Mobile Marketer.

Robert Rothschild, VP and global head of marketing for Smartly.io noted, that “2019 was tipping point year” where consumers are ready to buy via social commerce. Consumers, he added, who are “flocking to highly visual platforms like Instagram and Facebook as new marketplaces…expect the digital ads they encounter there to blend seamlessly into their browsing and shopping experience…The brands that stand out are, ironically, those that design their ads to be as unobtrusive to the consumer as possible, and conform to the native content each placement has.”

What influences a consumer to make a purchase from a social media ad? The research shows:

  • Compelling or engaging video, animation or image: 35%
  • Customer testimonials: 32%
  • Influencer participation: 26%

The most popular product categories for social selling:

  • Apparel & accessories: 17%
  • Electronics: 15%
  • Beauty/Wellness: 11%
  • Home goods: 10%

Consumers who buy socially mostly make purchases from Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

Does this bode well for 2020—beyond holiday sales? Mobile Marketer says, “2020 may be the year when social commerce becomes a more mainstream shopping channel, allowing brands new opportunities to engage users on the go and offering a fresh revenue stream

If you’re a retailer 2020 is the time to test incorporating more paid social into your marketing plans.

Social commerce stock photo by Tashatuvango