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The New Retail Landscape: Mobile Phones and Influencers are Changing the Way Young Adults Shop
The advent of smartphones has changed the perception of shopping and the market for fast transactions in general. Now you can get any product in two clicks. It is becoming a decisive factor in favor of online shopping, especially for teenagers and young people. The new generation does not want to spend time trying on clothes, lines, walking with a cart, and other boring things.
As per the Pew Research Center study, young people have a high level of trust in influencers and opinion leaders on social networks regarding consumption. This is very stimulating for the development of e-commerce because stores want to get positive feedback or advertising from media people who, in turn, choose to be in their digital world rather than go out.
And more and more buyers prefer to pay by credit card rather than cash. After all, such a payment method is also available for online purchases, making shopping more convenient. In the question What credit card should I get, almost unsurprisingly, Americans turn to influencers too.
After all, anyone would like to maximize the benefits of using online transactions with minimal risk. Especially given the historically high-interest rates and inflation that the world is facing. Therefore, advertising from an opinion leader looks like help in solving a problem, like advice from someone who knows everything for sure.
The Future is in Mobile Commerce
Mobile phones are becoming the main communication channel between the seller and the buyer. Insider Intelligence predicts that in the next 5 years, consumers will prefer to shop using their smartphones. Therefore, sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest have already added a buy button that allows buyers to make purchases without leaving the platform.
As app usage continues to grow, this will be a major driver of sales growth, especially since millennials and Gen Z have huge purchasing power. These tech-savvy users can increase sales because they are likelier to make most of their purchases from their smartphones.
American Gadget Preferences
According to a survey from the Pew Research Center, three-quarters of American adults (76%) have ever bought something online using a smartphone. This gadget is also the most common among millennials. While a slightly smaller proportion of those surveyed (69%) say they have ever made purchases using desktops or laptops. Far fewer Americans (28%) choose to shop online using a tablet.
Using a mobile phone to make an online purchase or order service is more popular with people aged 18 to 49. Americans aged 50+ prefer to use a computer or laptop (67%). The age difference is small when it comes to tablet shopping. The older generation prefers to use a tablet for scrolling and ordering than the younger generation (32 and 31% vs. 20 and 29%).
Purchasing preferences also depend on consumer income. Across all three device types surveyed, adults with higher incomes are more likely than middle- and low-income adults to use each device to shop online.
It is most clearly seen in the situation with computers. 86% of adults with higher incomes say they use a computer to shop online, compared to 74% of those with average incomes and a bit more than half (51%) of individuals with lower incomes.
Source: Pew Research Center
The race and ethnicity metric has interesting indicators. Asian (84%) or White (72%) adults are more likely to use a computer to shop for goods and services online than Black (61%) or Hispanic (57%).
Smartphone count statistics show little difference, while similar proportions of these racial and ethnic groups report online purchases using a tablet. More men than women make purchases using a computer (72% vs. 66%).
Every third American visits the Internet for shopping at least once a week. Millennials prefer a mobile phone, while the remaining 21% say they do so from a desktop or laptop computer. When it comes to weekly or more computer purchases, the difference in age is not big.
And there is no age difference to make these purchases on a tablet. While most Americans are turning to the Internet to shop, many still value in-person purchases. 57% of American adults said they prefer to shop in person when given a choice. Fewer individuals, namely 38%, go for an online experience.
The role of influencers in online shopping
Many young people under 30 subscribe to influencers and then shop on their recommendations. Thus, social networks have become a means for stores to promote their products. They have partnered with media influencers to get more clients and are reportedly spending billions on influencer marketing.
According to the Center's survey, 40% of Internet and social media users follow influencers or content creators, while about half (52%) say they don't, and less than 10% are unsure. The most interested influencers are users aged 18 to 29, followed by millennials (44%). People over 65 are the least interested (12%).
The statistics are more significant when it comes to gender. Women under 50 are more likely than men in the same age range to say they follow influencers or content creators (60% vs. 47%). The same can be said about race. About six in ten Hispanic social media users say they trust influencers' opinions about online shopping, compared to 44% of black users and one-third of white users.
Less than half (44%) of lower-income users say they follow influencers, compared to higher-income users, where more than one-third trust their favorite blogger to choose. Three in ten Americans say they bought something after seeing a social media post about it from an influencer or content creator. Blacks or Hispanics are more likely to post on their social media that they purchased a product or service under the influence of an influencer position.
The future of online shopping belongs to Generation Z. 54% of them spend at least four hours a day on social networks, and above one-third of them spend even more time. In total, 95% of young people spend more than 10 hours on the Internet.
For this reason, we can say that their generation makes 2 times more purchases from mobile devices than millennials. Nearly 90% of them use their phones to find out what's new and what influencers have to say.
All the statistics that were given in this article show that online shopping is growing very rapidly. It is likely that online shopping will become a major player in retail for years to come. And all because of e-commerce and the development of mobile technologies.
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