Consumers prefer to buy goods through social media, survey shows

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Most consumers prefer to buy goods through social media, according to the 2020 social commerce report released by social commerce platform Poshmark.

Findings revealed that 58% of consumers said they were at ease with buying goods via social media rather than a company’s website. Meanwhile, 75% of the participants would likely purchase something directly from a person online.

Word of mouth remains the most effective marketing channel, with 57% of consumers reporting that they discovered new brands through recommendations. Moreover, 41% of consumers say they came across brands through influencers and 33% through social media marketing. ​

Poshmark users made up about 6,500 of the survey’s respondents (8,500 consumers). The results also included internal data from the company’s 60 million users. Researchers examined statistics on its users’ purchase patterns and sales in the report.

Poshmark’s findings support the growth of the overall resale market suggested in a 2019 report from ThredUp, which predicted that the resale market will reach $51 billion in five years.


The survey indicates that 38% of Poshmark users’ closets are secondhand clothing, versus 14% of non-Poshmark users surveyed. Other users purchased more of their apparel from mass merchants like Target and Walmart, or department stores.

Gen Z closets, according to the study, are made up of 16.5% secondhand items, followed by Gen X (14%), millennials (12.5%) and baby boomers (9.5%). Older generations reported the highest percentage of items bought from department stores and mass merchants.

Meanwhile, PayPal’s analysis of Canadian consumers reported that 40% of buyers preferred shopping on social media and mobile apps during the 2019 holiday season.

“Looking ahead to 2020, consumers are emerging with an inherent desire for connection, redefining what it means to buy and sell, making social shopping synonymous with retail itself,” Manish Chandra, Poshmark’s founder and CEO, said in a statement.

“I’ve always known that peer-to-peer engagement is critical to commerce. It makes shopping fun, personal, and human again, while also creating countless opportunities for a new generation of retailers, influencers, and brands to succeed,” added Chandra.