Survey: Nearly half of social media users spending hundreds on impulse purchases

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Monday, October 9, 2023
Impulse buying on social media? New survey shows you're not alone
Survey: Nearly half of social media users spending hundreds on impulse purchases

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A new survey by found that nearly half of social media users are spending hundreds of dollars a year while making impulse purchases, buying items suddenly without thinking it through.

"We found that in about four in 10 social media users have made an impulse buy inspired by social media over the past year," said Senior Industry Analyst Ted Rossman.

Consumers said its hard to avoid products because they are seen everywhere on social media.

"Pretty much shoved in your faces all the time," said Nathen Thomas. "It's like constant advertising."

Rossman said consumers have several options, including TikTok Shop, Instagram and Facebook.

"Instagram has gotten me," said Trish Auletta. "I have made an impulse purchase on Instagram."

According to the survey, the average consumer spent about $750 over the past year on impulse purchases.

The survey is broken down further by the generation consumers were born and found that all adult age groups spent hundreds of dollars on social media.

"Millennials, for example spent the most on average, a little over $1,000 among those social media impulse buyers," Rossman said. "For Gen Z, it was about $850 versus more like $500 for Gen X, and about $400 for boomers."

While some people like Auletta don't reach that amount, others say it doesn't take much to hit that total.

"I think because, like, one pair of shoes like UGGS are really trendy right now. That's $100 right there," said Grace Ryan.

Experts said it's of course ok to have fun and buy things on social media, but they advise you stay away from racking up credit card debt because of high interest rates of roughly 21% right now.

To help stay on track experts are offering suggestions:

-Make room in your budget for additional purchases.

-Don't link card information to sites so you avoid the temptation of one-click purchases.

-Institute a waiting period- sleep on it before buying.

"Sometimes you're just in the wave of scrolling and you see something that someone else has it and you're like, 'I have to have it too because she looks so good in that and she's having fun while she's using that product, so I need it too,' so I just add it to my cart," Ryan said.

Keep in mind the way things are presented might not always be the full story.

Before buying, It's also advised to keep in mind that what's being portrayed might not always be the full story.

"It's like people say keeping up with the Joneses, well sometimes the Joneses are in debt," Rossman said.