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How influencers impact online shopping

Women online shoppers more likely to follow influencers: survey

Smartphones are the most important tools for online shopping but a majority of shoppers say they prefer in-person shopping if they can choose. Women, especially younger, using social media are more likely than men to follow shopping recommendations by influencers, according to a survey of US shoppers published by the Pew Research Center in connection with Black Friday.

Roughly three-quarters (76%) of online shoppers say they ever buy things online using a smartphone, while 69% say they ever make purchases via desktop or laptop computers. 28% report ever buying things online using a tablet. 

When asked whether they generally prefer to buy things online or from a physical store, 57% of adults say they prefer in-person shopping. 38% prefer online.

When it comes to influencers’ impact on online shopping, four-in-ten social media users say they follow influencers or content creators, while 52% say they do not do this. 8% are unsure, according to the survey.

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“Following influencers is correlated with age: 72% of 18- to 29-year-old social media users say they follow influencers or content creators, compared with 44% of those ages 30 to 49 and even smaller shares of those 50 to 64 (26%) or 65 and older (12%).”

The survey shows half of 18- to 29-year-old female social media users report they have purchased something after seeing an influencer’s post, compared with 28% of male users in the same age range. 

“While there are modest gender differences overall, women social media users under 50 are more likely than their male counterparts in the same age range to say they follow influencers or content creators (60% vs. 47%).”

“Women who use social media are more likely to utilize influencer recommendations than are men. This is particularly true among young women: 62% of female social media users ages 18 to 29 say influencers or content creators affect what they purchase at least a little.”

Mobile phone shopping is especially common among adults under 50. 91% ages 18 to 49 say they ever buy things online using a smartphone, compared with 69% of adults 50 to 64 and 48% of those 65 and older.  

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Ages 30 and older are more likely than those 18 to 29 to say they ever use a tablet to purchase things online (30% vs. 20%). 

Online shopping habits also vary by household income. Across all three types of devices, adults with upper incomes are more likely than middle- and lower-income adults to say they use each device to make online purchases. 

“While there are no statistical gender differences when it comes to making online purchases via a smartphone or tablet, men are more likely than women to report buying things on a computer (72% vs. 66%).”

Respondents in their 30s and 40s stand out when it comes to how often they use a smartphone to shop. Roughly half (49%) of those ages 30 to 49 say they make purchases online at least weekly using a smartphone, compared with 38% of those ages 18 to 29 and even smaller shares of those 50 and older.

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