More time spent on social media = more money spent on impulse buying

ABOUT THE RESEARCH|Social Media Usage Intensity: Impact Assessment on Buyers’ Behavioural Traits by Garima Gupta, Aastha Verma Vohra published in FIIB Business Review, Vol 8, Issue 2

That time you bought a new pair of shoes in the spur of the moment because they caught your eye, or those tiny candy jars you added to your shopping cart as an afterthought – those are your impulse purchases. We are purchasing more and more in terms of impulse buying and there might be a reason behind it says a recent study. 

A study of 350 Postgraduate students and teachers of Delhi University links social media usage intensity to impulse buying.  The sample population had a majority of people under 40, are married, and most of them were male belonging to an income group with 1 lakh per month. 

The study revealed that there is a significant impact of social media usage on three behavioral traits – materialism, impulse buying, and conspicuous consumption. In other words, people who are exposed to social media highly are more likely to become materialistic and do more impulse purchases. The research suggested that exposure to brands and products act as stimuli for consumers to pick up those items on impulse. Not just that, spending more time on social media also meant that consumers are more likely to buy luxury products and brands that act as indicators of their economic status (materialism and conspicuous buying)

Almost 3 Billion people across the world use various social media platforms, and e-WOM is what influences the new age consumer to buy. Suggestions in the form of reviews and recommendations are key in making such purchases. Another significant trend found among the 15-24 year olds is buying and discarding goods at the drop of a hat. Unlike the previous generation instant consumption and gratification have become the hallmark of this generation. It is generally believed that the effect of social media is mostly on the young consumers, but surprisingly there isn’t much variation in behavior influenced by social media across different age groups 

What Can Marketers Learn?

This research can be used by marketers to translate the behavioral traits of consumers to branding  strategies. Brands can use this information to make decisions on social media advertisement and engagement plans. Particularly, lifestyle and luxury brands can tap into the huge potential social media marketing offers. In the recent times, we are seeing brands participating in ‘human’ conversations with people on social media. It is safe to say that investing time and money in these new social conversations will be definitely profitable for the brands.

If you want to know more about the research findings, check out https://tinyurl.com/yy8k5968