Young people happy to share personal data for more intelligent search

New research from Epiphany has delved into the attitudes of different generations when it comes to sharing data and shopping online.

32% of the 18-24 year olds surveyed use social media for research with the intent to purchase, compared to 13% of 45-54 year olds.

25% of 18-24 year olds reported using video content on sites like YouTube for detailed product and service research.

“The research has uncovered some interesting behavioural themes that I expect we’ll see develop and come to the fore for marketers in the next couple of years,” said Tom Salmon, MD at Epiphany.

“Certainly, the move towards younger generations researching and purchasing on social media offers a valuable opportunity for brands to look beyond search, and assess their priority of this channel as a sales driver.”

Younger respondents showed a greater willingness to click on ads, with 35% saying they will click on a Facebook ad. This compared to 20% of 45-54 year olds. 10% of younger people reported making a purchase after clicking on a Facebook ad, while only 6% of older respondents claimed to have done so.

More intuitive search

The research also showed that a significant proportion (20%) of respondents want search to learn about their lifestyles and offer them more relevant results.

The desire for this, however, is seemingly generationally dependent. 25% of 18-24 wanted more intuitive search, compared to 21% of 35-44 year olds and 15% of those aged 45-54.

19% of 18-24 year olds are willing to share more personal data to allow for more targeted marketing, while only 11% of 45-54 year olds agreed.

Younger generations in particular are looking for innovations in search. 46% would like picture search (search by pointing a camera) and 23% would like some form of mood search.

“Likely, the trend towards camera search and mood search is being predominantly driven by the proliferation of mobile as consumers’ device of choice to go online,” Salmon continued.

“For brands, a takeaway from this research is to prepare for the shift in consumer online behaviour. It all comes back to being able to track and recognise where your audience is actually spending their time online and what for. Only then, can a brand successfully and effectively reach them.”

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