Are Instagram ads effective conduits for customer purchases? Recent data indicate that Instagram may serve as an effective “platform for product discovery,” according to Mobile Marketer

  • About 60% of Instagram users have followed a new brand on the image-sharing app after seeing an appealing ad in its vertical feed or in Stories, per a study that video technology startup VidMob shared exclusively with Mobile Marketer.
  • More than one-third of survey respondents said they had bought something directly from an Instagram ad. Gen Zers showed the highest tendency to buy via an ad, while women ages 35 to 45 showed the lowest.
  • Of Instagram shoppers, men were found to be 10% more likely to buy through the social app compared to women. Among shoppers on Instagram, 81% of women and 75% of men said they had purchased from an unfamiliar brand. VidMob commissioned researcher mFour to survey 1,000 smartphone users ages 16 to 45 last month.

Social media-facilitated purchasing on the rise

The data support other findings from earlier this year that marked an increase in the percentage of adults who reported making a purchase through social media – up to 34 percent from 29 percent. This tendency was even stronger in younger generations, with 18-34 year-olds most likely to shop through social media – 54 percent of respondents in this group had made a purchase through social media. And while 42 percent of women have shopped through social media, only 26 percent of men have done so.

Source: Giphy

That being said, generally speaking, social media site referrals still account for a small fraction of Ecommerce. But over the past year, social media giants have been busily polishing their shopping features – with Instagram’s closed beta rollout of an in-app checkout function, Pinterest’s expansion of its third-party partner program to facilitate more shopping experiences, and Snapchat’s addition of a Shopping channel that lets users purchase in-app – just to name a few. 

While the future of social media-facilitated purchases is uncertain, it offers promising possibilities for product promotion.