According to new data released from Customer Experience Automation (CXA), ActiveCampaign, consumers will engage with new brands across all channels, including online, in-store and on social media platforms, as long as the content is relevant and trustworthy. In fact, nearly half of the 1,000 US consumers polled said trustworthiness and transparency are among their top motivators when engaging with a new brand via social media. This is opposed to price and location, which are historically the top drivers of purchases. When looking at just the millennial population, that percentage increases to 58%.

For a generation that has grown up online, the bar is high for them when it comes to trusting new brands. To create great experiences for customers of all ages, businesses need an omnichannel approach with consistent and authentic messaging.

It’s not enough for brands to open a shop and wait for the sales to come in. This survey revealed that the content before, during and after purchases matters and different age groups have different preferences—making it crucial to send tailored product content to customers across all channels. In fact, one-third said they would engage after seeing relevant or 1:1 ads.

70% of consumers have purchased from a social ad within the past 30 days, and 76% plan to purchase gifts in-person this upcoming holiday season, revealing that a multichannel strategy is key to providing the best overall experience and bringing in repeat customers all year.

What were the additional findings?

  • Brands that run “shops” on social platforms like Instagram are attracting more customers: 59% of consumers (and 76% of Gen Z) say they’ve discovered new brands this way. For small businesses that are just starting and apprehensive about selling on social media, it’s a good way to begin a strong and holistic social media strategy.
  • Influencer-backed brands hold more weight with Gen Z and millennials: 44% of consumers (53% of Gen Z and 65% of millennials) would purchase from a small business on social media based on influencer recommendations. Because of this, retail experts predict we will see a focus on small business shopping during the 2022 holiday season.
  • Look to apparel and the food/beverage industries when seeking inspiration: 42% of consumers made purchases from clothing/apparel-centred social ads (50% of Gen Z and 62% of millennials), and 46% of consumers made purchases from food/beverage centred social ads in the past 30 days. If smaller brands are looking for social ad inspiration, these industries are good places to start.

Successful brands that are using social media as a means to engage with customers have other solutions and strategies in place to complete their omnichannel approach. For example, 89% of B2C businesses using CXA also leverage social media to share information with existing and potential customers to ensure those customers receive the right message at the right time. And 44% of e-commerce businesses using CXA also leverage an online community to engage with customers, encourage review of products and promote brand advocacy.

So as we head into back-to-school and holiday shopping seasons, it’s time for brands to consider how a great customer experience means transparency across all channels.

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