To reach the Gen-Z audience of 18-24-year-olds, new research shows charities should embrace social commerce

To reach the Gen-Z audience of 18-24-year-olds, new research shows charities should embrace social commerce

Rosie Hayes

Rosie Hayes
29th October 2018

New research about charity retailers using social media by Cybertill here has shown that charities could be missing out on vital revenue and awareness by not capitalising on the free tools offered by embracing social commerce. One of the statistics from the research shows that only 2% of charity retailers are using social commerce, an alarming result that could easily be changed if charities amend their social media strategies.

What is social commerce?

Social commerce essentially means the usage of social media applications to assist in the buying or selling of products and services. Social media, therefore, acts to support transactions.

Who is Gen Z?

Generation Z is the collective term for 18-24-year-olds, and being a young demographic, they are active on social media. Unsurprisingly, the research noted above shows that by not embracing social commerce, charities are missing out on interaction with this group that could potentially lead to revenue.

Key findings about charity retailers using social media include:

  • Gen Z shopping habits: Gen Z is heavily influenced by social media and e-commerce when buying in-store fashion purchases, with 49% stating they look online before buying in-store.
  • Social media generation: Instagram is very popular with Gen Z, as 31% of worldwide users are aged 18-24, along with Millennials they make up 61% of global users, but there are still 15% of charities without an Instagram account.
  • Getting charities online: Not all charity retailers have an e-commerce offering, 55% of those researched are yet to open an online shop and 45% use eBay as a means of selling. But one trick charity retailers are missing out on is linking their social channels to their e-commerce URLs.
  • Don’t put all your eggs into the Facebook basket: Over 90% of Gen Z who use Facebook also use Instagram: the two go hand-in-hand. Although there is still a high percentage of Gen Z with a Facebook account, they spend more time on Instagram, averaging 330 minutes per month.

Rob Finley, Business Development Director and Head of Charity at Cybertill said:

 “Charity retailers need to engage more on social media with Gen Z, these are their new volunteers, shoppers and donors. They need to make the most of these free social media tools to enhance their ecommerce and extend their reach across all people of all ages. Charities have goods that are simply not available anywhere else, you have unique products but they’re only available in one charity shop. If you have an item that has a particular personal value to someone, then they won’t see it unless they walk into that one charity shop. If we can take that item and have it in store, online, on eBay, on Amazon then you can ensure you’ll get the maximum value for it. Promoting this on social media with ‘shop now’ features, particularly on Instagram will reach a wider audience and can only benefit the charity.”

What can charities do?

The simple answer is to simply link social media posts to where the charities want the people to go – such as linking a post about donations straight to their donations page, or linking a post about volunteering straight to their volunteering page. With the Instagram statistics considered, linking posts from Instagram should surely begin to help charities with their social commerce strategies and alleviate the risk of alienating Generation Z.

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