In this edition of Trending Now, we’re sharing the latest updates on social media changes, how brands are re-thinking shopping seasons, and one surprising hobby on the rise.
Instagram’s new layouts | The social media giant has started testing three new layouts on the app’s navigation bar to put a spotlight on shopping and Reels. By adding a shopping tab on the home page, Instagram believes it will be able to attract more retail businesses and help monetize influencers on the platform who are selling merchandise, art, and other products, especially as young consumers are becoming more interested in “social shopping.” Furthermore, as competition with TikTok heats up, emphasizing Reels with a tab could also help boost its popularity at a key time. Reels was introduced by Instagram earlier this summer and allows users to record and edit 15-second multi-clip videos with audio, effects, and creative tools.
Brands re-thinking Black Friday | This year’s holiday season, as with everything else in 2020, is certainly going to look different. While retailers are preparing for increased ecommerce traffic, there are still questions around how comfortable shoppers will be visiting stores, how they feel about key events like Black Friday, or how much they’ll be willing to spend. In a recent study by YPulse, nearly a third of young shoppers said they will likely spend less than they did in 2019. Furthermore, only 10% of shoppers say that brands should treat Black Friday the way they always have. In fact, young consumers are far more likely to shop online for Black Friday in 2020, with only 8% saying they will shop in store, compared to 36% who say they will shop online. As such, retailers will need to re-think how Black Friday can transform into an ecommerce event this year.
Guitars rise in popularity | It appears that young consumers have been fueling guitar sales during the COVID-19 pandemic. In contrast, over the past few years, sales of electric guitars dropped, with some calling the instrument a “Boomer relic,” but during the pandemic, guitar brands are having a record year. Teens and young adults, the majority female, are fueling the guitar revival. Nearly 20% of new users were under 24-years-old, while young women accounted for 45% of new buyers. Instructional guitar sites like GuitarTricks saw spikes in views this spring, while instructional app Fender Play saw its user base increase from 150,000 to nearly a million users between March and June.