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September 30, 2021

StitcherAds announced the results of a new commissioned study on how social media advertising influences purchasing habits across generations, analyzing 500 US-based respondents, ages 18 and over. Key findings are below.

Gen Z and Millennials Drive the Push for ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ on Social  

When asked if they’ve ever purchased a product that featured a ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ option (BNPL) in a social ad, over half of Millennials (60%) Gen Zs (57%) said “yes,” versus 37% of Gen X and 19% of Baby Boomers.

“Recently, we’ve seen ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ options grow in popularity as a way to keep up with the rapid shift to online shopping during the pandemic,” said Bryan Cano, Director of Strategy at StitcherAds. “Our analysis discovered that consumers of all generations use BNPL tools, but Millennial and Gen Z shoppers are doing so at much higher rates. This is likely because BNPL provides younger consumers – whose cash flow tends to be more limited – better financial flexibility, especially for larger-ticket items.”  

Millennials Want All the Details in their Social Ads  

Per the study, nearly 60% of Millennials (58%) prefer to see all of the details about a new product or brand in an ad, and don’t want to have to go to a company’s website to learn more.  

“The way Millennials consume information is very different,” added Cano. “They are analytical and they want access to information on-demand. This also speaks to the need for retailers to work more closely with social platforms since clicking out to their own dedicated sites can seem cumbersome.

56% of Gen X agree with Millennials, while Gen Z are split on the topic, with no preference either way. However, Baby Boomers (55%) prefer to see less in an ad, and would like to discover more about the product or brand being advertised by visiting the company's website.

Instagram Most Likely to Influence Purchase Decisions for Gen Z

59% of Gen Zs shared that Instagram’s advertising influences their purchasing decisions the most, followed by TikTok (57%) and Facebook (36%), and Twitter (29%). For the best ad experience, Gen Z touted Instagram (59%), followed by TikTok (48%), then Twitter (34%).  

Nearly Two-Thirds of Millennials Have Tried a New Brand Because of a Social Ad  

63% of Millennials, 56% of Gen Xs and 52% of Gen Zs said they’ve tried a new brand or product based on an ad  they saw on social media in the past month. Baby Boomers, on the other hand, aren’t as influenced, with only 33% responding that they’ve tried a new brand or product based on a social ad in the past month.

“Millennials are the most likely to try a new brand or product based on social ads seen recently,” said Cano. “Boomers are the least likely, but still -- one-third said they’ve discovered a new brand or product after seeing an ad, which is above and beyond ROI from other channels.”  

Surprise - Promo Codes and Coupons are Key Conversion Drivers

When asked if they were more likely to purchase something based on an ad if it featured a promo code or coupon, 96% of Millennials and Gen X were very likely to do so. 94% of Baby Boomers agreed, along with 89% of Gen Zers.   

Almost Half Of Millennials Will Recommend Products Based on a Social Ad  

Just 13% of Baby Boomers and 29% of Gen X are likely to recommend a product to a friend or family member based on an ad that they saw on social media. In contrast, almost half of (46%) of the Millennials and one-third (34%) of Gen Zs shared they are likely to make such a recommendation.  

“Social ads have strong word of mouth among younger, digital-first audiences,” said Cano.  

Video Ads Conqueror Over All Other Forms Of Social Ads  

Millennials (79%), Gen Xs (71%) and Gen Zs (59%) are more likely to click on a personalized ad on mobile versus desktop. Meanwhile, the majority (53%) of Baby Boomers said they’re more likely to click on a personalized ad via desktop.  

All generations (Baby Boomers 48%, Gen X 59%, Millennials 52%, Gen Z 63%) agree they’re more likely to click on a video ad over any other format.  

“Historically, advertisers have considered video a top-of-funnel tactic,” said Cano. “Now, though, more marketers are using video for direct response and brand awareness. New ad formats across Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and other social apps, allow marketers to collapse the funnel, giving users a frictionless experience from discovery to conversion.”
 

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