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Social Commerce Not a Hit—Except When It Is

New data shows some people are clicking on Facebook ads

April 6, 2017 | Retail & Ecommerce | Social Media

Social commerce has been a tough nut to crack—and it will continue to be.

In many cases, consumers just aren’t interested in buying something while they’re on a social platform.

US Internet Users Who Have Clicked on a Facebook Ad in the Past 30 Days, by Age, March 2017 (% of respondents)

And this reason is likely why Twitter chose to abandon its buy button.

Still, companies like Instagram have held on, experimenting with new features like shoppable posts to persuade consumers to shop via social.

Others, like Facebook, rely on native-like ads to grab a user’s attention.

But is it catching their attention?

Not really, according to CPC Strategy. March 2016 research from the retail search agency conducted by market research company Survata looked at how internet users interact with Facebook ads. For the most part, a plurality of respondents across all ages said they hadn’t clicked on a Facebook ad in the past 30 days.

US Internet Users Who Have Completed a Purchase After Clicking on a Facebook Ad, March 2017 (% of respondents)

Millennials in the survey were least likely to click on an ad, whereas their older counterparts were more likely to do so.

But while many users may not be clicking on a Facebook ad, there are some who are: More than a third of respondents said they have.

And in some cases, many users aren’t sure whether what they’re clicking on is an ad or a regular post.

Interestingly, those who did click on a Facebook ad were roughly 3.5 more times likely to buy a product than those who didn’t.

For example, over a quarter of internet users who clicked on a Facebook ad ended up buying something, whereas just 7% of those who didn’t click on it completed the purchase as well.

—Rimma Kats

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