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Millennials are a technologically sophisticated generation, who have the purchasing power to change the face of retailing. A significant proportion of their shopping is done online and they utilize their social networks while engaging in the shopping process- a current area of interest termed “social commerce.” No single group is better positioned to take advantage of social commerce, and yet, it’s possible that Millennials are participating in social networks and online shopping in order to better define their social identities. This study summarizes data from three years of longitudinal research into the use of social media by Millennials on three platforms: Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. The results show that Millennials prefer to utilize the identity shaping aspects of social media and commerce. We recommend that platforms allow more identity formation in order to increase the likelihood that Millennials not only use the platform, but also make purchases through them.

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Jacobsen, S. & Barnes, N.G. (2017). On Being Social: How Social Identity Impacts Social Commerce for the Millennial Shopper. International Journal of Management Science and Business Administration, 3(4), 38-45.


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