As social media continues to have impacts on consumer shopping behaviors, Instagram is no exception. Of 2,000 Instagram users surveyed, the vast majority (85%) reported following accounts that are style, fashion or lifestyle-focused, while 63% consider themselves a fashion-forward person, according to a recent study by Dana Rebecca Designs.
The report also noted the influence that Instagram has on purchase decisions, with 72% saying they have made fashion, beauty or style-related purchases after seeing something on Instagram, with the most-purchased categories being clothing, makeup, shoes and jewelry.
According to the study, the generational breakdown of Instagram users is made up of: 89% of millennials, 82% of Gen Xers and 65% of baby boomers, while the percentage of those who made purchases based on Instagram followed a similar pattern: 74%, 63% and 54% respectively.
As consumers become increasingly digital-savvy and social media-driven, platforms that can be used to reach the younger generations are constantly under examination.
Although this study surveyed exclusively Instagram users — which no doubt impacted the results — the report nevertheless found that of those interviewed, half said Instagram was the social media platform that most influenced their shopping habits, followed by Facebook (23%), Pinterest (22%), Twitter (3%) and Snapchat (1%).
Snapchat held its ground much better in a July study by Yes Lifecycle Marketing, which found that 21% of Gen Zers were influenced by the platform while making purchase decisions, along with 11% of millennials. Instagram, however, was also highly popular with Gen Z in that study (44% said they were influenced by it while making purchase decisions).
Despite the ostensibly large impact that Instagram has on shoppers — one in three of those surveyed by Dana Rebecca Designs had used Instagram inside a retail store to help with their purchase decisions — the platform’s "Shop Now" feature, which allows users to shop products straight from their feed, remains highly unpopular. Only 18% of respondents said they use it.
"Considering how much visibility fashion has on Instagram, and how likely followers are to make purchase[s], it’s surprising that this natural next step hasn’t caught on," the study states. "Perhaps the SHOP NOW feature is too new and users are waiting for it to become more mainstream, but until then, Instagram certainly still has more influence than other social media platforms."
Whether or not Instagram is the chosen path for retailers looking to reach their consumers via mobile, a convincing mobile strategy will still be important for those trying to appeal to the younger generations — and increasingly the older generations — whether that’s during the back-to-school season or any future holidays.
One study by ContentSquare found that Gen Z converts twice as much on mobile as any other generation, which indicates that mobile retail is in the future.