Social commerce: Shopping tips come from YouTube

The "Social Commerce Switzerland" study shows that the Swiss population aged 18 and over surveyed spends almost an hour a day on social media. The majority stores online and makes purchasing decisions with the help of social media.

Social media, e-commerce and social commerce are concepts that emerged with digitization and now play an important role in society and business. The Study "Social Commerce Switzerland 2022 of the School of Business of the University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland FHNW in collaboration with Gfs-zürich aimed to understand the use of these media and consumer behavior on social media, the fusion with e-commerce to social commerce.

Results to Social media

WhatsApp (87%), YouTube (80%), Facebook (48%) and Instagram (34%) are the most frequently used social media platforms among the Swiss population surveyed. There are also gender differences in usage behavior on social media: women use WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram more frequently, while men use YouTube, LinkedIn and Telegram more frequently. Platforms such as TikTok, YouTube, Pinterest, Xing and Twitter are used passively by the majority. This means that posts are only read or viewed.

According to self-assessment, respondents spend 1.7 hours a day on their cell phones, around half of which - almost an hour - on social media.

E-commerce / online shopping

Around 84 percent of the population surveyed shop online, 14 percent once or several times a week. It was found that the higher the monthly household income, the more frequently people shop online.

Fashion items such as clothing, shoes or jewelry (42%) are most frequently purchased online, followed by technical products (33%) and music and books (including streaming services: 22%). The online market leaders Galaxus (22%), Digitec (20%) and Zalando (17%) are the three most frequently used online stores.

Social commerce: interface of social media and e-commerce

Twenty-four percent of respondents said YouTube helps them make purchasing decisions. Facebook (9%), Instagram (6%) and Pinterest (2%) were also cited as helping with purchasing decisions. However, at 64 percent, the majority currently still believe that no social media platform helps them make purchasing decisions at all.

At 11 percent, more than one in ten of the respondents post experiences, satisfaction or recommendations about products/services on social media, and do so at least once a month.

Social commerce is a new way of connecting customers with e-commerce in order to increase sales via social media. Commenting on the results, study leader Marc K. Peter says that the steadily growing popularity of social media lends itself particularly well to SMEs as a way of establishing a relatively efficient and direct communication and sales channel.

The aim of the study was a systematic survey of platforms, providers, and the type and frequency of use of social media and online stores. To this end, 1,008 interviews were conducted in the first quarter of 2022 in German- and French-speaking Switzerland among people aged 18 and over.

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