November 22, 2022

Students are turning to social media for holiday shopping

With the holiday season quickly approaching, many shoppers may be struggling to find that perfect gift for their loved ones. Students, however, are turning to social media for inspiration when it comes to holiday shopping. With inspiration from advertisements and influencers, Gen Z plans on using their favorite platforms to find holiday gifts this year

Social media inspires holiday shoppers

A new survey by SimplicityDX, the edge experience company, revealed how Gen Z plans to do their shopping for the upcoming holiday season – social media. Around 80% of respondents said they plan to use social media to find holiday gifts and 41% plan to use it for most or all of their shopping. The majority plan to use Instagram or TikTok for their shopping, finding inspiration from advertisements or their favorite influencers sharing ideas and products.  

Though students find products they and their friends will love on social media, not all students are inclined to order right from the platforms. The study also revealed that 74% of students prefer to make purchases on a brand’s direct site, not on social media. This is because many students are wary of “potential scams, fake news, and inauthentic influencer endorsements” when it comes to buying off social media. A majority of student shoppers prefer to buy on the brand site because they trust the brand and the brand’s ability to deliver a good quality product in a reasonable amount of time. Social media sparks ideas for holiday gifts for students, but they will finish their shopping on a trusted brand’s official site. 

TSI’s take on Gen Z seeking out authenticity 

Students are using social media to find thoughtful gifts for their loved ones, while also thinking critically about who and where they are buying from. Nowadays, 1 in 4 posts on Instagram are ads, so this is a great reminder to encourage students to be aware of how ads can target specific users based on their online actions and teach them the differences between editorial content and sponsored content. 

In our #WinAtSocial Grade 8 Find Your Influencers Lesson, Analyzing How Companies, Influencers, and Online Groups Can Influence Us, we help students understand how sponsored content works and how to spot the difference between a normal post and an ad. You can help your students spot the difference by helping them:

  1. Develop a radar for authenticity since more than 200,000 sponsored posts are shared each month
  2. Consider their options when shopping and where, whether that is from directly on an app or in a store
  3. Remember that as part of a generation that has a total population of 2.5 billion people, their choices make a difference

Your students can learn more about this in our #WinAtSocial lesson, Find Your Influencers. For more information on how to help your students navigate social media, contact us today for a personalized demo. 

The Social Institute (TSI) is the leader in understanding student experiences and creator of #WinAtSocial, a gamified, online learning platform that equips students, educators, and families to navigate social experiences — online and offline — in healthy ways. Our unique, student-respected approach incorporates topics like social media, technology use, and current events that have a significant impact on student well-being. Lessons teach life skills for the modern day to inspire high-character decisions that support the health, happiness, and future success of students, while capturing data that provides insights to school leaders to inform school policy and communications, and enable high-impact teaching and a healthy learning environment. For schools, our turnkey technology allows for easy implementation and a comprehensive game plan to support the well-being of school communities. For schools, our turnkey technology allows for easy implementation and a comprehensive game plan to support the well-being of school communities.