A recent report Aibuy, titled “2023 Social Media Shopping Report,” highlights the growing skepticism among American social media users when it comes to purchasing products through social media platforms. The study found that more than half of U.S. social media users (53%) have a hard time trusting products sold via these platforms, including a significant percentage within the Millennial and Gen Z age brackets (52%).
The report also reveals that TikTok is the least trusted platform for direct purchases, with 38% of respondents expressing a lack of trust in it. The primary reasons for hesitation among consumers include concerns about illegitimate merchants and scams (63%) and discomfort in sharing sensitive checkout information, such as credit card details and personal address, with merchants through social media (57%).
Furthermore, the study identifies several other factors contributing to the skepticism towards social media shopping, including concerns about counterfeit or low-quality products (55%), lack of privacy and data security safeguards (47%), unclear return and refund policies (46%), inadequate customer reviews and ratings (38%), and the presence of unregulated homemade products (25%).
Despite these concerns, the report also highlights the potential benefits of social media shopping. Nearly three-in-ten consumers (29%) agree that shopping through social media provides a more personalized experience compared to traditional online stores, and 24% admit to making more impulse purchases through these platforms.
According to Aibuy, retailers and e-commerce platforms should take note of the motivating factors behind user purchases, which include exclusive discounts or promotions offered creators or platforms (27%), targeted advertisements based on interests (21%), and finding the cheapest available options (23%).
Randy Bapst, CEO of Aibuy, acknowledges the hesitancy towards purchasing directly through social media and believes that as new technologies emerge to enhance the customer experience, trust will increase, and social shopping will become more mainstream.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Why are social media users skeptical about buying products via social media?
Social media users express skepticism about purchasing products through these platforms due to concerns about illegitimate merchants/scams, discomfort in sharing sensitive checkout information, concerns about counterfeit or low-quality products, lack of privacy and data security safeguards, unclear return and refund policies, inadequate customer reviews and ratings, and the presence of unregulated homemade products.
2. Do consumers find social media shopping more personalized?
Yes, the report shows that nearly three-in-ten consumers (29%) believe that social media shopping offers a more personalized experience compared to traditional online stores.
3. What are some motivating factors for consumers to shop through social media?
Consumers are motivated to shop through social media exclusive discounts or promotions offered creators or platforms, targeted advertisements based on interests, and finding the cheapest available options.
4. How can retailers and e-commerce platforms address consumer concerns?
To address consumer concerns, retailers and e-commerce platforms should focus on improving trust and transparency in social media shopping. This can be achieved implementing stronger customer data protection measures, ensuring clear return and refund policies, providing adequate customer reviews and ratings, and maintaining quality control over the products being sold.