Overview

The growing adoption of smartphones and tablets by consumers has begun to transform our shopping habits, including how we browse, or “window-shop,” and consummate transactions for goods and services. As social media has become a larger part of our daily lives, it has also become a platform for the media networks, and merchants using them, to enable consumers to window-shop 24/7, often while reading a news article or looking up a recipe. The development of “buy buttons” to enable consumers to make purchases with a single click, without having to leave the article or recipe they were reading, has created the virtual impulse shopping aisle.

This report examines how the development of social media buy buttons has capitalized on the explosive growth in consumer ownership of mobile devices and usage of social media. It also examines the power users of mobile shopping and how they align with the power users of social media buy buttons. Finally, it reflects on the impact of buy buttons and what they mean for financial institutions and merchants.

Key questions addressed in this report:

  • What is a buy button and how does it work?
  • Who are the power users of buy buttons?
  • How has smartphone and tablet ownership changed in recent years?
  • How does buy button usage align with power users of mobile shoppers?
  • What does the evolution of buy buttons mean to FIs and merchants?

Companies Mentioned: Amazon, Apple, Bigcommerce, Facebook, Google, IBM Commerce, Instagram, Magento, MasterCard, PayPal, Pinterest, Shopify, Twitter, Visa 

 

Methodology

The consumer data in this report are based on information collected from several Javelin surveys that targeted populations representative of the overall U.S. population in proportions of gender, age, and income:

  • A random-sample panel of 3,200 respondents collected online in October 2015. The overall margin of sampling error is +1.73 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. 
  • A random-sample panel of 3,195 consumers with mobile phones or smartphones in June/July 2015. The overall margin of sampling error is +1.73 percentage points at the 95% confidence level
  • A random-sample panel of 3,225 consumers with mobile phones or smartphones in June/July 2014. The overall margin of sampling error is +1.73 percentage points at the 95% confidence level
  • A random-sample panel of 3,285 respondents collected online in July 2013. The overall margin of error is +1.71 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. 

This report examines consumer behavior based on three segmentations by generation as well as two segmentations within one generation. Putting labels on entire generations can place exaggerated emphasis on specific birthdates, suggesting that someone born on New Year’s Eve is somehow unlikely to think and act differently than someone born on New Year’s Day. To minimize that effect, Javelin applies slightly overlapping 20-year periods to define the generations as follows: 

  •  Baby boomers: born between the years of 1945–1965
  •  Gen X: born between the years of 1961–1981
  •  Gen Y: born between the years of 1979–1999.