Cowen Surveys Social Media Impact on Consumer Spending Habits

Emmanuella Nwokenkwo & Nikhil Gunderia

According to Cowen's "third annual proprietary Gen Z and Millennial survey," shopping/spending patterns of buyers in the age groups 18-24 and 25-34 were more likely to be affected by the influences of social media than older generations. 

They found it most surprising that this trend was valid on nearly all platforms except Snapchat. Additionally, they noticed that in this year’s survey respondents aged 35-44 were more likely to be influenced by social media relative to the 25-35-year-old cohort.

Similarly, the analysts found that the 18-24 and 25-34 cohort had a higher percentage of respondents for Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest and were more “Significantly Influenced” by the respective platform than the general population. Instagram was the most prominent site of influence for the 18-24 cohort with 22%, while Pinterest and Facebook both had good showings of 18% and 17%, respectively. In the 25-34 cohort, 21% of respondents considered Pinterest to be the most popular, followed by Facebook and Twitter at 19%.

Social media also plays an important role in the business world. Not only does it allow individuals to interact, but it also gives companies the opportunity to market their products to consumers. Cowen’s research shows that those in the age range of 18-34 are more likely than any other demographic to follow a brand on their social media account. An in-depth analysis of the study shows that ~64% of those who are 25-34 years old follow a company on Instagram.

Furthermore, Cowen reports that 40% of Gen Z/Millennials in the age range between 18-34 have used social media platforms to find and buy from a brand they discovered. Targeted advertisements substantially increase traffic to specific brands allowing users to get exposed to more tailored content.

With all of that being said, it seems that no matter which social media platform a product is found, Amazon is the preferred destination to purchase it. 54% of individuals indicated that they searched and bought a product found on Facebook through Amazon as opposed to 40% for those that use Instagram. Twitter, Snapchat, and Pinterest all yielded results demonstrating that Amazon is the e-commerce platform of choice for Generation Z & Millennials. Social media plays an important role in the lives of younger generations and will continue to do so in the future.

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Disclosure: At the time of publication, we are long Amazon (AMZN). We wrote this article ourselves, and it expresses our own opinion. We are not receiving compensation for creating this article (other than from TheStreet) and have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

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Comments (4)
No. 1-2
AlexM5
AlexM5

I agree JPotts. I look at my phone at least 5 times in one hour.

JPotts
JPotts

Our lives are literally based around social media now