The holidays are an incredibly stressful time of year for just about everyone. Add gift giving into the mix, and you've got yourself a ton of frazzled human beings. But, instead of spending hours at over-packed shopping centers, smart shoppers are doing their research online first. In fact, many are turning to good 'ole social media for their gift-giving inspiration. Ahead, we're sharing five habits of holiday shoppers as identified in this infographic by The Shelf.
Shoppers are prepared
Before heading to a retailer to pick up that gift this holiday season, shoppers will be researching online first. And that's usually through the recommendations of friends, peers and social media influencers. 80% of shoppers say they engage with a retailer or brand through digital channels before going to a store. With that in mind, you'll want to be partnering up with the social media influencers that are driving the conversations where your target audience is hanging out. Get in there!
Social media plays a crucial role in the decision-making process
From inspiration-seekers to well-prepared shoppers, social media plays a crucial role in choosing the perfect holiday gift. Last year, 65% of shoppers used social media as a vehicle for finding the perfect gift, while 67% of shoppers purchased a gift they stumbled upon on social media. So, whether you're promoting products through your own social media channels, or even better, through influencers, you have to be found on the right social networks. Now, the question is which social media networks your customers hang out on to do their research. This depends on what type of customer you're selling to and what your product is.
User-generated content drives awareness and sales
So, it's pretty clear that your customers are smart enough to go online and research your brand before buying from you. For that reason, it's important to note that 25% of search engine results go to user-generated content (UGC). UGC is the content that your customers and influencers create through social media networks. These people are in the best position to show off your products in a natural and relatable way. If your product is visual in nature - taking apparel, for example - then you must curate UGC to increase purchase intent. Encourage your customers to share pictures of the stuff they buy from you or work with relatable influencers to do the talking and curate that content somewhere on your website or social media channels.
YouTube makes the holidays fun to shop
From "Unboxing" videos to "Style Hauls", YouTubbers are rocking the social media space and driving sales for brands, especially during the holidays. Video gives people the chance to show off their personality and connect with their viewers. This is why vloggers like Bethany Mota are killing it on YouTube. The successful vloggers aren't afraid to be themselves, which is refreshing for their viewers. In fact, 68% of shoppers prefer product videos from "people like me". So, there's a reason why those videos of everyday girls unboxing a bunch of makeup they get from the drugstore in their bedroom actually work!
Pinterest is the inspiration behind many gifts
While no one can argue with how wildly popular Pinterest is, at times, many businesses are overlooking it from a standpoint of driving sales. But with 2M people pinning product pins daily, and 38M people already saving holiday pins, it's clear to see that Pinterest is driving inspiration for many gifts. In fact, out of all the social media networks, Pinterest is leading the way in terms of gift inspiration. Find influencers with large followings on Pinterest that share the same audience as you and plan out a visually inspiring holiday campaign with them.
Want to know more about holiday shopping habits this season? Check out this infographic by The Shelf below.