Social Media Is Changing The Way Parents Shop

trybe-how social media is changing the way parents shop

Social media has quickly become integrated into nearly every facet of our lives. We get our daily news, keep up with friends, and regularly post updates about our own lives on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media platforms.

A recent study we carried out which amassed over 22,000 responses from our community of parents across 12 countries further validated points leading toward the shift in how parents shop and consume social media today. Fresh findings within the global survey of parents showed that at least 70% of all respondents in each country said that they used Facebook daily. That’s a daily routine that is hard to beat in terms of its potential reach.

And retailers have picked up on that. They understand that social media is changing the way that we obtain and use information. It’s also changing the way that we shop, especially for parents who may be strapped for time.

Try to remember the last time you made a significant purchase without doing research on that item or service before buying. You probably can’t. But where did you go for that research? Was it asking a friend or family member, or was it turning to the internet? If you’re an avid social media user, it’s likely that it was both.

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Where Parents Turn For Advice

If you were to ask consumers where they would turn first for advice, many would tell you it would via the internet. Google, YouTube, and other informational sources seem to always have the answer. But social media has also turned into a powerful means of getting information on products and services.

Consumers still like to get an answer from someone they know—someone they trust to give them a good answer, or at least an unbiased opinion. That hasn’t changed. What has changed is how they get those opinions from their friends and family.

A parent who wants to hear opinions about the best brand of diapers can crowdsource an answer in minutes with a post on Facebook or Twitter. Other parents who are online can quickly chime in with their own experiences and preferences.

Parents today aren’t heading down to the actual brick and mortar store to get a salesperson’s advice on which product will fit their needs. They’re deciding to trust the firsthand experience of people they know, whether or not they’re actually experts on the topic at hand.

Social Media And Research

If you were to ask consumers where they would turn first for advice, many would tell you it would via the internet. Google, YouTube, and other informational sources seem to always have the answer. But social media has also turned into a powerful means of getting information on products and services.

Consumers still like to get an answer from someone they know—someone they trust to give them a good answer, or at least an unbiased opinion. That hasn’t changed. What has changed is how they get those opinions from their friends and family.

A parent who wants to hear opinions about the best brand of diapers can crowdsource an answer in minutes with a post on Facebook or Twitter. Other parents who are online can quickly chime in with their own experiences and preferences.

Parents today aren’t heading down to the actual brick and mortar store to get a salesperson’s advice on which product will fit their needs. They’re deciding to trust the firsthand experience of people they know, whether or not they’re actually experts on the topic at hand.

Social Media And Product Discovery

Parents are also finding information outside of polling friends on Facebook. Interestingly, Pinterest has become a significant social media site for many parents, especially in the U.S. where daily use is common in a third of the parents surveyed in the study. The seemingly endless boards and pins for various topics make Pinterest a good source for finding new products and coming across new and interesting ideas that parents may not have seen before.

Hence, even the way that parents stumble across products has changed due to social media. Instead of walking down the aisles of the supermarket or retailer, they’re scrolling through pins online.

The same can be said for a platform like Instagram, which relies heavily on keeping users scrolling and looking through their feed. The Discover section allows users to explore the posts of users they would never normally interact with. Anything from a stylish jacket to a child playing with a toy can catch a parent’s eye as they scroll.

Instagram is one of the most heavily used social media platforms after Facebook. The study on parents indicated that more than 50% of parents in Norway, Sweden and Brazil use it daily, and no less than a quarter of respondents in all 12 countries surveyed use it every day.

Discovering new products has become much easier, and in many cases the parent using social media may not have even been looking for a specific item. They simply become aware of products when they have seen it in on their Facebook feed or on a Pinterest board.

What Does It Mean?

The way that parents are exposed to new products, learn about them, and research their various options has changed drastically with the advent of social media. Businesses will have to adapt to the reality that social media plays a critical role in how their brand or products are being found, talked about, and perceived by their target audiences.