- As more platforms begin testing out social commerce tools, 68% of Gen Z consumers plan to use nontraditional shopping channels for their Black Friday and Christmas shopping, according to a new report by commissioned by Brightpearl.com, a retail operating system for brands and retailers.
- Among the top five "alternative" places where Gen Z plans to shop for the holidays are Facebook, retailer's mobile apps, WhatsApp, Instagram and YouTube. A quarter of respondents said they plan to livestream shop, per the report.
- More than half (58%) of respondents plan to use PayPal, followed by credit cards (51%) and debit cards (47%) to pay for their holiday purchases. Other payment options were also popular, including Amazon Pay (32%), Google Pay (29%), Apple Pay (26%) and Klarna (16%), according to the report.
The research from Brightpearl echoes previous reports indicating that shoppers are becoming more comfortable with social commerce. Over half of consumers who responded to an NPD survey this summer said they made purchases while browsing content in their Facebook and Instagram feeds.
"In the pre-internet age, retailers gradually realized shopping can be a form of entertainment, and a wider social activity, which is not only fun for consumers but also results in more sales," Brightpearl.com spokesman Nick Shaw said in a statement. "As such, traditional stores made more effort to make shopping 'an experience' — a form of leisure. The 'new normal' for commerce this holiday season and beyond is now likely to be framed by many non-traditional ways of shopping, which provides a huge choice to consumers and retailers."
Instagram is among the top five of the alternative channels where Gen Z consumers plan to shop this holiday season — a platform that has been adding social commerce features over the past couple of years. Last December, the social network introduced Shopping in Reels, a feature that lets sellers and creators tag products when they make reels on Instagram. The platform also rolled out Shop tab ads internationally in August as a means to build out its e-commerce potential.
Twitter and Snapchat, which came in 7th and 10th respectively in Brightpearl's ranking of alternative channels where Gen Z consumers plan to shop, have each been introducing e-commerce tools on their platforms as well. Snapchat has invested in augmented reality tools to help shoppers visualize products remotely and bolster its partnerships with brands and retailers. Over the summer, Twitter began testing its Shop Module, which allows merchants to show their products at the top of their Twitter profiles.
While many Gen Zers are looking at payment options like PayPal, Amazon Pay and Klarna, Brightpearl notes that many retailers don't yet offer those methods.
"It is inevitable that more and more shoppers will buy and spend online in a variety of ways — especially as we approach Christmas and Black Friday," Shaw said. "Unfortunately, many retailers will miss out because they aren’t set up to quickly add the new selling channels or payment methods that their customers now prefer."