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The Social Platforms Gen Z & Millennials Are Open To Shopping On, In One Chart

Young consumers are more open to shopping on social platforms than ever before—here are the top apps and sites they would buy products on…


We’ve said for some time that young consumers are primed to shop on social media. It’s only getting more true. Our most recent social media marketing report found the majority (62%) of 13-39-year-old consumers are interested in purchasing items directly from their social media feeds, and 80% agree “If you are posting a social media ad there should be a direct link to purchase.”

This year, social media shopping has only accelerated, for obvious reasons. As young consumers spend less time in stores and more on social media, their shopping behavior is shifting insignificant ways. Meanwhile, during the pandemic, social platforms from Instagram to TikTok have rolled out more and more shopping features to turn social media into the new mall. And YPulse’s research on young consumers and social platforms shows that across the board, young consumers are more open to shopping on social apps and sites. Which are they most likely to click “buy” on? Our social media research shows exactly what platforms they’re most open to buying products on:

Overall, Instagram is the top platform that young consumers are willing to shop on, with 46% of 13-39-year-olds saying that they are open to buying products on the platform. This is also one of the few platforms that Gen Z and Millennials are nearly equally likely to shop on. (YouTube is notably another.) Technically, Facebook is close behind Instagram as the second platform that young consumers are willing to shop on, with 45% of 13-39-year-olds overall saying they’re open buying products on the site. But comparing generations, this is clearly driven primarily by Millennials, with 51% of the older group saying they would shop on Facebook compared to just 16% of Gen Z. Age 21 seems to be a key dividing point here: 20% of 13-20-year-olds say they would shop on Facebook, compared to 55% of 21-39-year-olds. Retailers looking to reach 21+ shoppers can rely on Facebook shopping features.

Not surprisingly, we see some other serious differences between Gen Z and Millennials. Gen Z is more likely than Millennials to say they would shop on TikTok and Tumblr. But Millennials are more willing to shop on multiple platforms, including Twitter, Reddit, Facebook Messenger, and Snapchat.

The top platforms young people are willing to shop on will be a key part of this upcoming holiday season. Already, one in five young consumers is planning to holiday shop on social media, according to YPulse’s research. (That number increases to 25% of 21-29-year-olds.) But even more importantly, 44% say that they get gift ideas for others on social media, which means they’ll be scrolling their feeds with an eye to buy. The 2020 holiday season set to be the most ecommerce and mobile shopping focused of all time, and social platforms will be a vital part of reaching young shoppers.