While many people haven’t been frequenting physical stores during the pandemic, they have instead been flocking to digital stores—and particularly, browsing new items via social media.
A recent survey conducted between March 8-10 by Bazaarvoice’s Influenster community, a software company that connects retailers with consumers, shows that consumers are using social media to browse brands and make new purchases more than prior to the pandemic.
Before the pandemic, for instance, more shoppers opted for in-store shopping (65%) or buying directly through brands’ websites (72%). But over the past year, those priorities have shifted, with 77% of consumers shopping directly from brands’ websites and 54% preferring to use Instagram, compared to 18% pre-pandemic. In-store shopping saw a 58% decrease among those polled, with only 27% doing their shopping at a physical store.
Unsurprisingly, more people are connected to their phones and social media during the pandemic, too. Respondents who “always” shop from their phones increased activity 225% compared to pre-pandemic (8% versus 26%), while those who “often” shop from social media platforms increased activity by 164% (11% pre-pandemic versus 29% in the past year).
According to Keith Nealon, CEO of Bazaarvoice, “Brands and retailers that prioritize the ease of shopping for their social followers are sure to see increased ROI. Nowadays, social media is for shopping just as much as it is for socializing.”