Social shopping trends: Facebook inspiration helped boost Black Friday sales last year

Aug 31, 2017 | E-commerce and E-retailing, Facebook marketing, Social media

Warning shots fired for retailers as consumer interest in Black Friday wanes
With a combined community of more than 40 million monthly active users in the UK, Facebook and Instagram are becoming inspiration spots for consumers when shopping for Black Friday or Christmas deals, according to new research.

A new report from Facebook has found that there were 13.6 million interactions (posts, likes, comments and shares) related to Black Friday on the social media site last year in the week leading up to renowned shopping date.

Conversations were found to be dominated by women, who accounted for 87 per cent of online chat regarding the event.

Boxing Day saw more than 21.6 million interactions in the month of December last year, with 60 per cent of conversations driven by men.

Martin Harbech, head of e-commerce and retail at Facebook and Instagram, commented: “Facebook and Instagram are fast becoming the go-to places for people to find inspiration, discover new products, and share with friends and family during the Christmas period. Whether it’s Black Friday, Boxing Day or New Year’s Day, retailers have a unique opportunity to use both platforms to reach people in a more relevant, timely and targeted way.”

Making the most of social during peak

Commenting on the findings, Alex MacPherson, Solutions Consulting Director, Manhattan Associates, highlighted the importance for retailers to leverage the fact that people are using social media to find deals, in order to target Gen Z and Millenials during peak periods.

“Social media is becoming an increasingly important channel for consumers to shop and find the best deals,” MacPherson said. “And with the Gen Z and millennial audience ever present on social media, it is the perfect opportunity for retailers to tailor Black Friday deals for this digitally enabled audience.

“Having grown up with technology, Gen Z and Millennials are digitally native and have the expectation that they should be able to browse, research and shop directly from their favourite social media channels. And with the rise of the social media influencer, consumers are increasingly scrolling through their instagram feeds for inspiration.

“And the omnichannel experience should not be forgotten in the race to keep up. Gen Z in particular expect a tied up, omnichannel experience, so retailers should leverage this expectation and make it easier for them to find deals on social media that direct them straight to their site. As for Millennials, with 56 per cent of this generation group saying they would interact more with a store assistant if their experience was tailored, social media could be the key to finding out what really keeps a consumer engaged, as well as understanding what products they are really interested in.

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