Canadians are increasingly turning to social media platforms and mobile apps to check items off their holiday shopping lists. PayPal Canada unveiled their inaugural Social Commerce Trend Study, which reveals that almost half of Canadian social media users are currently shopping on social media (47%) and nearly 40 per cent plan to shop on social media this holiday season. According to the study, Canadian social media users spend an average of $924 a year shopping on social media platforms.
According to eMarketer's 2019 Social Commerce Report, the percentage of retailers in North America using social media as a source of e-commerce nearly doubled from 17 per cent in 2017 to 33 per cent in 2018. An increasing appetite from Canadian shoppers to take advantage of the fast and straightforward experience that social commerce provides is one of the factors driving this trend. The combination of an increasing number of retailers offering social commerce purchase options alongside the fact that the PayPal study found Canadian social media users spend 6.4 hours on social media platforms every day– make it no surprise that nearly half of Canadian social media users say they're more likely to shop on social media this holiday season than last year (46%).
"A few years back, people could browse on social media platforms but that's as far as you could go. Today, 'Buy Now' buttons are a reality and allow people to shop when they are scrolling through social media platforms—making it a popular commerce trend," said Paul Parisi, President of PayPal Canada.
The future of social commerce is bright and shining
Consumer behaviour on social platforms is changing every day, largely due to the increased functionality, new players and an evolving social commerce experience. The PayPal study found that four in five Canadian social media shoppers like that social media shows them products they are interested in—but would not have discovered otherwise (78%). Whether it is added features and functionalities in apps like Instagram or Snapchat that help shoppers discover, research and purchase a wide array of products online or the rise of new social peer-to-peer marketplaces. like Depop and Poshmark – PayPal predicts that the popularity of social commerce in Canada will continue to rise and evolve.
The who, the what and 'wear' of social commerce
The popularity of social commerce is largely being driven by Canadian consumers' expectation of convenience—and a shopping experience that is hyper-relevant, targeted and interactive. However, there isn't a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to who is buying, what they are buying and where they are buying on social commerce. The study found that among Canadian social media users, men are shopping more (33%) than women (26%) on a monthly basis. The things they are buying most are fashion items such as clothing, shoes, and accessories (54%), electronics (26%), toys and games (21%), home décor (20%) and event tickets (19%). More than half of social media shoppers admitted to impulse purchases on social media platforms (52%).
Goods and services are now brought directly to the consumer on the platforms they frequent. Facebook was identified as the most frequently shopped social media platform among Canadians (29%) followed closely by Snapchat (26%) and Instagram (25%).
The study also revealed that when it comes to a preferred location or timing for shopping on social media, Canadians are all over the map. The study found that 42 per cent have shopped on social media while commuting, and 32 per cent have shopped on social media during a conference call or meeting at work.
Influencers affect a sale
On social media, consumers often follow content from influencers. The survey found that two in five Canadian social media users say they are inspired by product and service recommendations from social media influencers and content creators (41%). Not only that, more than six out of ten (62%) of Canadian social media shoppers say they are more inspired by the holiday gift recommendations they see on social media versus those they see in-store.
Social commerce fast facts
• Half of single Canadian social media users report that they spend more time shopping on social media than they do on dating apps (50%).
• Nearly half of Canadian male millennial social media users (48%) have shared photos of engagement rings with their partners on social media compared to (33%) of female millennial social media users.
• More than half of Canadian social media shoppers (54%) find it hard to resist buying something they love that they see on social media.
Whether they are shopping on Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat, when it comes time to hitting the 'buy' button, Canadians want an easy, straightforward checkout experience along with peace of mind. The study reveals that Canadian social media users are more comfortable paying with PayPal on social media than any other payment method (70%) versus (62%) credit gift cards, (54%) credit cards, and (43%) debit cards.