Brief • 2 min Read
Brands have increasingly invested in sponsored posts and direct partnerships with social media influences to promote their products and services. The Harris Poll recently polled a representative sample of U.S. adults on behalf of Ad Age to determine the impact that influencers have on consumer purchase decisions.
A notable sum of U.S. adults find purchase-related input from social media influencers is influential on their purchasing decisions. However, few think that input is always genuine.
Two in five (43%) U.S. adults say input (e.g., recommendations, critiques) from social media influencers related to a product or service is influential on their final purchase decision, and 21% frequently get input from social media influencers related to products or services. Eighteen-25-year-olds more frequently cite social media influencers as influential than older adults. Three quarters (75%) of 18-25 year-olds say social media influencer input related to products or services is influential on their final purchase decision, compared to just 40% of those aged 42-57 and 18% of those aged 58-72. That said, only one in ten (14%) U.S. adults think most purchase-related input (e.g., recommendations, critiques) from social media influencers is genuine.
Of those that have received purchase-related input from social media influencers, two thirds (64%) used YouTube to receive that input. A similar number (64%) used Facebook, 49% used Instagram, and 39% used TikTok. Eighteen-25 year-olds most frequently cite TikTok (73%), Instagram (68%), and YouTube (66%) as the platforms they use to get purchase related input from social media influencers.
Purchase-related input from experts and people customers know personally are more frequently cited as influential than social media influencers.
Nearly nine in 10 (84%) U.S. adults say input related to a product or service from someone they know personally is influential on their final purchase decision, and 46% frequently get input related to a product or service from someone they know personally. Four in five (79%) U.S. adults also say purchase-related input from user reviews to be influential on their final purchase decision, and half (49%) frequently get input from user reviews related to a product or service.
Three quarters (76%) of U.S. adults say purchase-related input from category experts (e.g., doctors, cosmetologists) to be influential on their final purchase decision, and a third (35%) get purchase related input from category experts frequently.
While most U.S. adults would rather purchase products through a traditional online shopping platform than a social media platform, young adults frequently cite that they purchase products through influencer-related social media shops such as LTK and Amazon Storefront.
A quarter (24%) of U.S. adults have purchased a product or service through an influencer e-shop (e.g., Amazon Storefront, LTK), and 19% have purchased a product or service based on input from a social media influencer. Unsurprisingly, consumers aged 18-25 cite that they purchase products in influencer e-shops more frequently than their older counterparts.
Two in five (40%) customers aged 18-25 say that they have purchased a product or service through an influencer e-shop (e.g., Amazon Storefront, LTK), compared to just 18% of those aged 42-57 and 16% of those aged 58-76. Half (52%) of U.S. adults would rather make a purchase through a shopping platform (i.e., website or app from a brand, retailer, or other seller) rather than through a social media platform.
This survey was conducted online in the United States by The Harris Poll from October 7, 2022 to October 10, 2022 among 1,045 respondents. Figures for age, sex, race and ethnicity, education, region, household income, and propensity to be online have been weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions within the US population. Respondents for this survey were selected from a pool of potential respondents who have agreed to participate in The Harris Poll’s online research. For this study, the sample data is accurate to within +/- 4.0 percentage points using a 95% confidence level.
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