Instagram’s new DM features are similar to the messaging features of WhatsApp payments. Rather than going to a brand’s online retail store or Facebook/Instagram Shop, prospective customers can now shop and search for products with help from brand representatives on messenger.
Why is this a big deal? For starters, our Instagram Marketing Trends Report shows that using the app’s shopping tools and leveraging DMs for customer service are the highest ROI strategies on the platform.
But while these tools may be working for marketers, are people actually buying products on Instagram and turning to DMs for customer service?
The results of another recent consumer trends survey we ran might surprise you:
28% of social media users age 18-34 have bought a product directly in a social media app in the past three months
1 in 4 people age 18-24 have used social media DMs for customer service in the past three months
33% of social media users age 18-24 have bought a product based on an influencer’s recommendation in the past three months
Social media is Gen Z’s preferred channel for discovering new products. 57% of Gen Z have discovered a new product on social media in the past three months
Social media is also Millennials preferred channel for discovering new products. 1 in 2 Millennials have discovered a new product on social media in the past three months
While this data isn’t specific to Instagram, the app is currently at the forefront of the shift into e-commerce happening across social media platforms. YouTube just announced integrations with Shopify and Twitter is testing new shopping features, but Instagram seems to be slightly ahead of the curve.
Social shopping isn’t necessarily new, but it’s being implemented and adopted in real-time by both consumers and marketers. Looking forward, we can confidently say that you’ll see Instagram continue embracing the shopping experience, and other social channels will likely follow suit.
When it comes to how marketers and consumers will interact with these shopping tools, it’s too early to tell. While social shopping shows huge potential based on our data, users might flee social media platforms as they become less about connecting us with the people we know and more about selling products.
Regardless, Gen Z and Millennials spend around four hours a day on social media, and social media is their preferred way of discovering new products, so there’s no better way to reach them.
As social selling evolves, we’ll be running our consumer trends survey bi-annually to keep track of how quickly social media users embrace these changes and keep surveying social media marketers to see if using these social shopping tools remains a top strategy.