How much do Brits spend on items that they’ve seen on social media, and which products sold the best as a result?

Once upon a time, decades ago, our buying habits were predominantly impacted by print magazines, billboards and TV adverts and shows. However, with Brits currently spending on average five hours a day on their phones (source), it’s no surprise that social media has become a huge influence on what we want and therefore what we buy.

To find out more about how various social media platforms affect what we buy, we conducted a survey of 2,000 nationally representative Brits to deep dive into the topic.

The data found that Brits, on average, have spent a whopping £148.40 on items that they’ve seen on social media, whether that’s through adverts, influencers or peers.

It was discovered that 35-44-year-olds are the biggest social media spenders, splashing £179.20 on average. Interestingly, males were found to spend more on such products than females; £161.60 compared to £133.50, respectively.

With regards to which platform, in particular, is the most influential, Facebook came out on top. Participants detailed which social media website leads them to shop the most frequently, and the top choices in order of popularity were:

  1. Facebook
  2. Instagram
  3. Youtube
  4. Twitter
  5. TikTok
  6. Pinterest

However, Gen-Z followed a different pattern, citing Instagram as their number one spending influence.

Unfortunately, 60% of Brits confessed that they regret multiple purchases that they’ve made after seeing a desirable item on social media. As most consumers will be familiar with, online products can often look very different or appear poor in quality upon arrival.

To dive a little deeper, we also analysed search data from the past year, in order to rank the most popular items bought as a result of the fast-growing platform, TikTok.

The top items were:

  1. TikTok Leggings
  2. TikTok Feta Pasta
  3. TikTok Ramen
  4. TikTok Starbucks Secret Menu items
  5. TikTok Lights (LED and sunset)
  6. TikTok Wrap
  7. TikTok Cloud Wall
  8. TikTok Books
  9. TikTok Phone Cases
  10. TikTok Mochi

Commenting on the data, Little Loans Personal Finance Expert, Paul Wilson, said:

“The time that Brits spend on social media is increasing as each year goes by. Not only that, but the platforms are becoming more and more commercial, and a livelihood for many influencers. So it’s no surprise that so many of us find ourselves buying items that we’ve seen when browsing, through adverts, influencers or even friends and family.”

“That being said, social media is not always what it seems. Bear in mind that some influencers have been paid to endorse products or brands before making your buying decision. Research companies that appear on your Facebook adverts before buying, and make sure to pay attention to online reviews which are arguably the most accurate source of information.”

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