Almost 70% of Adults Shop via Social Media, Survey Reveals

Do you frequently turn to social media for shopping inspiration and purchases? UserTesting has unveiled the results from a global social commerce survey, highlighting the powerful impact of social media on shopping behaviors. The study reveals similar consumer experiences across the US, UK, and Australia, underscoring how deeply social platforms influence shopping habits and satisfaction levels.  

“Online shopping habits are continually evolving. The growth and popularity of social media have extended to online shopping, opening more channels to retailers to create positive experiences for their customers. Brands can micro-target their messages to the right audiences, connecting with people who can also evaluate feedback from friends and family who have already purchased. Customer comments in the public setting provide brands the ability to build trust and address questions from potential customers,” said Lija Hogan, Principal of Enterprise Research Strategy at UserTesting.

Approximately 68% of American and Australian adults shop via social media, closely followed by 65% of British adults. Americans tend to spend more per purchase ($262.20) compared to Australians ($211.42) and Brits ($192.40).

In its previous report regarding retail, the company highlighted that although most consumers express concerns about the privacy implications of AI, they are still highly inclined to share their data in exchange for better deals and cost savings.

Shopping experiences 

Positive social commerce experiences were reported by 68% of adults in both the US and UK, slightly higher than the 61% of Australian adults. This reflects the findings of the UserTesting Retail Benchmark Report, which emphasizes that leading retailers excel in digital experiences, leading to stronger sales.

How spontaneous are they?

Spontaneous purchases on social media are common, with 72% of Americans and Australians, and 70% of Brits making such purchases. Happiness was the primary emotion driving these purchases for 53% of Americans, 49% of Brits, and 45% of Australians.

Main issues 

A notable proportion of consumers—46% of Americans, 48% of Australians, and 44% of Brits—have bought items on social media that did not match their advertisements. Despite this, many would continue using the same platforms: 73% of Americans, 72% of Brits, and 66% of Australians.

Popular purchases 

Clothing is the most popular item bought via social media across all three regions, with 52% of Americans, 53% of Australians, and 53% of Brits purchasing clothing. Gifts and shoes/accessories are also popular in the US, while Brits and Australians prefer gifts and beauty/skincare products.

How frequently do they shop?  

About 23% of Americans shop via social media at least once a week, slightly higher than 20% of Brits and 18% of Australians. Monthly shopping rates are also similar, with 49% for Americans, 47% for Brits, and 45% for Australians.


When it comes to recommendations, family, friends, and significant others are the most trusted sources for social media shopping, averaging 75% across all regions. Content creators and influencers are trusted by about 9% of respondents, while celebrities are trusted by only 3%.

The survey also explored the rising popularity of live shopping events on social media, revealing that Americans are more engaged in this trend compared to Australians and Brits. Specifically, 21% of Americans have made purchases during live social media events, 19% have watched without buying, and 40% have not tried it but believe it is here to stay.

Elsewhere, UserTesting has introduced significant enhancements to its Human Insight Platform, including the general availability of AI Insight Summary, a GPT-powered feature within UserTesting AI.