How the path to purchase is different for younger shoppers

The trend: The majority of US adults (57%) use social media as a source of information for product research, per Klarna.

  • That share is even higher among Gen Z consumers (72%) and millennials (70%).

More on this: The vast majority of consumers continue to rely on traditional sources such as Google (33%), product review sites (17%), Amazon (17%), or product pages (16%) as their initial source of product information.

  • Only 2% of US adults turn to social media as their first source of product research information. However, that share ticks up to 7% among Gen Z shoppers.
  • 45% of Gen Z shoppers use Instagram for product research, 1.5x more than look to Facebook and TikTok.

Why it matters: Retail has become increasingly intertwined with social media. For example, Pinterest recently rolled out a host of social commerce features, including an in-app checkout tool.

  • Social commerce stands to benefit from younger consumers growing accustomed to social media serving as a primary source of product information.
  • We expect sales to reach $45.74 billion this year, a 24.9% year-over-year increase.

The big takeaway: Gen Z already has an estimated collective buying power that is nearing $150 billion, per Barkley, even though roughly half of the cohort has yet to enter the full-time workforce.

  • Their growing use of social media as a source for product information offers a significant and growing opportunity for retailers to appeal to an influential consumer base.