Brands and Social Networks Need to Provide Security, Privacy, and a Seamless Experience to Activate Growth


NEW YORK, NY—September 4, 2014 – With U.S. social commerce sales expected to reach $14 billion by 2015 (invesp), and social networks like Twitter and Facebook ramping up their commerce capabilities, a new survey commissioned by DigitasLBi, a global marketing and technology agency, and conducted online by Harris Poll shows that while only 5% of Americans have made a purchase on a social media site, 20% would consider doing so. 

“Our study reveals tremendous untapped potential for growth in social commerce, especially among younger consumers,” says Tony Weisman, CEO, DigitasLBi North America. “The 5% of Americans who have made a purchase on a social media site equates to around $14 billion in online retail revenue. If we can reach 20%, that figure scales to $56 billion. To activate that potential, brands and social networks need to provide social shopping experiences that meet the needs of consumers, including security around financial data, privacy, and a seamless buying process.”

Security of Financial Data and Privacy are Key Components to Driving Social Commerce Growth

The survey uncovers a variety of shopping features that what would make social media users more likely to make a purchase on a social network:

-       Knowing their credit card information was secure (42%)

-       Knowing their purchase wouldn’t be shared (38%)

-       A total purchase price under $25 (33%)

-       A “click to buy” feature that would allow users to complete their transaction without leaving the social network (26%)

-       The ability to save payment information within the site, so users wouldn’t have to reenter it each time they make a purchase (24%)

Our research indicates that concerns over financial security have eased somewhat since 2012, when, according to a social commerce study commissioned by DigitasLBi, 55% of social media users were not "comfortable" giving credit card information via a social network.

When looking at who has made purchases on social media, the 2014 study shows that age and region play a role:

-       Those ages 18-34 are more than three times as likely as those ages 35 or older to have made a purchase on a social media site (11% vs. 3%, respectively)

-       Nearly one in ten parents with a child under age 18 has made a purchase on a social media site (9%)

-       Those in the South are more likely than those in the Northeast to consider making a purchase on a social media site (24% vs. 15%)

-       Over a third (35%) of social media users would use a hashtag when purchasing on a social media site if it offered a discount on a purchase

Younger Consumers More Likely to Engage in Social Shopping

Among social media users, a strong majority (85%) still report they would rather make purchases from an online retailer (e.g.,, where sharing is not a central function of the site. Despite these findings, a deeper look reveals that those ages 18–44 (33%) are more than twice as likely as those ages 45 or older (18%) to say they would consider making a purchase on a social network. 

Additional results from the study include:

-       79% of Americans use social media

-       Women are more likely to be social media users than men (84% vs. 75%, respectively); that figure rises to 91% for those ages 18—34

-       Women are more likely than men to use social media on a daily basis (58% vs. 39%)

Media Contact:

Barbara Nonas – Corporate Communications – DigitasLBi  +01 (212) 699-0234


This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of DigitasLBi from August 13-15, 2014 among 2,016 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact

About DigitasLBi

DigitasLBi is a global marketing and technology agency that transforms businesses for the digital age. We help companies of all shapes and sizes decide What’s Next… and then we take them there. Also a top ten global agency, DigitasLBi is comprised of 6,000 digital and technology experts across 40 offices in 25 countries worldwide. DigitasLBi is a member of Publicis Groupe [listed on the Euronext Paris Exchange – FR0000130577 – and part of the CAC 40 index] is the world’s third largest communications group. With approximately 60,000 professionals spanning 108 countries on five continents, Publicis Groupe offers local and international clients a complete range of communications services. Web site: