Survey shows #FOMO builds purchase intent

Canadians often want to shop to cope with the "fear of missing out"

A new study commissioned by Citizen Relations Canada investigates the much-hashtagged “FOMO” phenomenon for its affects on consumers and driving them towards purchases.

As a social media trend, FOMO (which stands for “fear of missing out”) comes from being constantly bombarded by experiences and products through Facebook, Instagram and their ilk. Upon seeing a friend’s shopping haul on Instagram, for example, a person may tag their response with #FOMO to indicate jealousy or even their intent to hit the mall.

Marketers have started using the term as well, warning social followers not to miss out on special events and products.

Citizen Relations found that 68% of millennials said they’ve made a reactionary purchase as a result of FOMO, often within 24 hours of seeing and coveting someone else’s experience. Broadly, 64% of all Canadians said they experience FOMO.

“It’s no secret social media plays a significant role in the lives of Canadians, but now, with this in-depth look at the various influences, we discovered how they affect purchasing decisions,” said Nick Cowling, general manager for Citizen Relations Canada. “The findings in this report provide intel as to how companies can better utilize their social media platforms to influence audiences and better understanding how, and when to engage them.”

The survey found that 56% of Canadians between ages 18-30 admitted to being inspired to live more extravagantly by the content on their social networks. It also found 24% of millennials felt they would lose social recognition if they were to miss out on a popular event.

Canadians said they mostly felt FOMO when exposed to content related to trips (59%), parties and events (56%) and food (29%).

The survey findings also suggest those most likely to spend in reaction to FOMO are Canadians whose household income is upwards of $75,000; the higher the reported income beyond that benchmark, the more likely they were to start spending.

The PR agency’s report also discovered a difference in what Canadians spend FOMO money on. While millennials most often let FOMO inspire their decisions when it comes to entertainment and traveling, parents and families most often used FOMO-related posts to crowdsource for family experiences and products.

Citizen Relations gathered its data by surveying 1,200 Canadians equally distributed throughout Canada’s East, West, Ontario and Quebec.

Add a comment

You must be to comment.

Create a Commenting Account

Consumer Articles

The inevitable winner in the emotional vs. rational ad debate

Why sticking to the facts is not enough when lies are everywhere

MES 2016 maps out the customer journey for marketers

Experts from social, newspapers, direct mail and TV discuss integrated planning

Twitter party spreads research on pediatric pain management

Year-long #ItDoesntHaveToHurt initiative provides helpful tips to parents

Netflix looks at binge habits of Canadians, global users

Viewers are getting hooked faster to binge-worthy content than ever before

Study probes shopping habits of millennials

BrandSpark research finds younger shoppers aren't as into discounts as older consumers

Enercare gives Canadians a ‘wintervention’

New campaign is the latest phase in company's rebranding efforts

Classico breaks the mould with ‘Second Best’ campaign

Pasta sauce brand launches spot that shows homemade sauce will always win

Western Union finds new faces for the brand

New campaign features real Canadians and the stories of how they move money