Consumers Look to Social Media for Holiday Shopping Deals & Discovery

A consumer study from Bazaarvoice explored where, what, when and how shoppers will make purchases this holiday season, especially during Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend.
Jacqueline Barba
Digital Editor
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Bazaarvoice, a product reviews and user-generated content (UGC) tech company, released its latest consumer research exploring where, what, when and how shoppers will make purchases this holiday season, especially during Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend (BFCM).

The research was commissioned by Bazaarvoice and conducted in August 2023 by Dynata among 1,000 consumers from the U.S. Some survey highlights include:

  • Shoppers prefer holiday shopping in-store, but not by much: 81% said they will holiday shop in-store, while 72% said online and 22% said social media.
  • Consumers want to learn about deals in certain places: Ads (64%) are where consumers want to hear about Black Friday deals most, but social media (46%), marketing emails from brands (46%) and news articles and gift guides (42%) are not far behind.
  • Social media is a big discovery tool for BFCM: 49% of consumers said they follow brands on social media to discover Black Friday deals, 45% are more likely to discover a product via social media than any other channel over Black Friday, and 25% of shoppers prefer to shop via social media over BFCM. 63% said they expect to discover new products on social media over BFCM.
  • Reviews are a top priority across channels: Three quarters (74%) of shoppers agree that reviews impact their purchasing decisions over BFCM, while over half (59%) say the same about their purchasing decisions on social media.
  • UGC gives shoppers confidence to purchase: 73% said they feel more confident in a purchase when they use user-generated content to make a purchase decision over BFCM and 64% said they trust shopper content more than brand-provided content like product descriptions and professional product photos.
  • Brands should be holiday-ready now: 11% already holiday shopped in July and 14% in August, while 19% will in September, 35% in October, 57% in November and 48% in December.
  • Holiday shoppers prioritize big and local businesses: While large chain retailers (82%) are where people usually holiday shop; small, local businesses (58%) beat out online-only ones (55%).
  • Hot-ticket items this holiday season: 70% said they’re gifting apparel, 51% said games and toys, 47% said electronics, 40% said food and beverages, 37% said health and beauty and 36% said jewelry.

"It seems like every year the holiday shopping season starts sooner, and this year it’s already well underway,” Zarina Lam Stanford, Bazaarvoice chief marketing officer, said in a media release. “As purse strings continue to tighten, consumers are on the lookout for deals. To engage and to inspire shoppers to purchase, brands need to ensure that they are meeting their customers with holiday deals at all of the watering holes at which they can be found: social media, e-commerce, in-store and more. With reviews being a top priority for shoppers, now is the time for brands to assess the recency, volume, and quality of their product reviews and social content including customer photos and videos to validate purchase decisions by authentic and trustworthy voices of their fellow peers."