Social shopping, Gen Z dualities, and creators on the big screen: 3 Shoptalk takeaways

Don’t let the myths get you down, social shopping is alive and well. Gen Z is full of contradictions. And “TikTok-famous” is becoming synonymous with Hollywood famous. Here are three key takeaways from Shoptalk 2024.

1. Social shopping is bigger than we think

“There is a very bright future for [social shopping],” Zia Wigder, our chief content officer, said on an episode of the “Behind the Numbers: Reminaging Retail” podcast. “This whole idea that it's just not going to happen, that is a myth that refuses to die.”

In 2023, Meta removed Instagram’s shopping tab, and in 2022, scrapped Facebook’s Live Shopping feature—two moves that had some industry members writing social shopping off.

These moves weren’t because people weren’t shopping and buying on the platforms, it was because people weren’t using them the way social platforms thought, our analyst Jasmine Enberg said.

Social media remains a key channel in the buying journey, where 79% of consumers worldwide have discovered products and 73% have purchased products in the last year, according to a November 2023 report by Bazaarvoice. Facebook is the most popular, with 73% of US adults having made a purchase through the platform in 2023, per October 2023 data from Feedvisor.

2. Gen Z is a generation of contradictions

They want to save, but also like to splurge.

  • Gen Zers are more likely to look up financial education, budgeting recommendations, and budgeting tools than any other generation, per our October 2023 US Banking Consumer Habits survey.
  • Yet they tend toward impulse or emotionally-driven purchases. For example, 63% of Gen Zers prefer to spend money on life experiences such as traveling and concerts rather than save for retirement, per an April 2023 survey by Experian.

They are eco-conscious, but not where they shop.

  • 44% of Gen Zers are concerned about climate change, per a May 2023 report by GWI.
  • Yet Gen Z are fueling the growth of fast-fashion retailers such as Shein and Temu.

They are digital natives, but frequent brick-and-mortars.

  • Gen Zers are quick to adopt and incorporate new technology, such as AI, into their daily lives, and spend the most time on social media than any other generation.
  • Yet browsing in-store is the No. 1 way Gen Zers discover clothing, per our November 2023 US Consumer Path to Purchase survey.

3. Stars from Hollywood and social media are converging

The line between entertainment celebrities and social media creators is blurring, Enberg said. “Creators are really branching off of social media, while celebrities are behaving like creators,” appearing increasingly outside of the big screen, such as on social media, video games, or ads.

For example, a continuation of Dunkin’s commercials that debuted during the Super Bowl features Ben Affleck receiving dance choreography from TikTok-famous Charli D’Amelio.

Hollywood’s heightened scrutiny on payment transparency and job security, following the recent writers’ and actors’ strikes, is spilling over into the creator economy—and indirectly giving it a boost. Last August, the Creators Guild of America was established to protect rights for digital creators.

To fill the content void left by the strikes, entertainment studios are leaning on creators, who we expect to cross more into episodic TV-like programming. There is appetite for the content, with almost two-thirds of US adults ages 18 to 24 and nearly half of those ages 25 to 34 saying they are likely to watch a scripted TV show or movie featuring their favorite creator, according to an August 2023 report by CivicScience.

Listen to the full episode.


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