As retailers regroup after a mixed finish to 2016, new research commissioned by online video solutions provider, Brightcove Inc. (NASDAQ: BCOV), shows that watching video on social media is closely connected to the purchasing process for many consumers.It also reveals generation differences in networks preferred, interaction with brands, and those most likely to buy after watching a video.

The global survey – conducted with 5,500 consumers in the UK, France, Germany, US and Australia – showed that three quarters (74%) of consumers connect watching a video on social media and their purchasing decision-making process, demonstrating why brands are so enthusiastic about video on social platforms. The survey also revealed some interesting generational differences when it came to social video viewing habits, branded video engagement, and – most importantly for retailers – social video conversion.

Here is a snapshot of the key findings across three of the generations:

18-25 year olds

  • The highest of all age ranges, the 18-25 year old generation is spending an average of nine hours a week watching social video – two hours more than the next generational average
  • Though Facebook was the second most popular social network after YouTube for all generations, Facebook’s lowest viewing figures came from 18-25 year olds – accounting for only 24% of their total viewing time versus the average of 36% for other generations
  • Conversely, 18-25 year olds reported the highest video viewing figures on both Snapchat and Instagram – accounting for 9% and 8% of their current views, respectively
  • When asked about their trust in video sources, 18-25 year olds said they were more likely to trust video from influencers and vloggers (49% more likely to trust) than from brands (40%) or publishers (44%)
  • Raising the stakes for brands, 18-25 year olds are most likely of all generations (25%) to discourage others from engaging with a brand following a bad social video experience

26-34 year olds

  • 26-34 year olds showed the most trust in content from both brands and publishers, with 51% likely to trust content from a brand, and 53% from a publisher
  • This generation recorded the highest level of interaction with brands on social media (89% versus the average of 81%)
  • 26-34 year olds are the most likely to connect watching a social video and their purchase decision making process – 84% said that social videos have an impact (versus an average of 74%)
  • That age range was also most likely to have made a purchase after watching a brand social video – three fifths (60%) stated that they had done so
  • Findings showed that 26-34 year olds are most likely (35%) to feel emotionally connected to a brand after watching a good brand video on social media – but are also most likely (32%) to disengage with a brand following a bad experience

55+ year olds

  • While YouTube was by far the dominant platform for social video viewing across all other generations, the 55 years old and over generation split its social video viewing time almost equally across YouTube (48%) and Facebook (47%)
  • Indeed, it was the generation that spent the highest portion of its social viewing on Facebook – with the 18-25 year old generation spending the lowest
  • One in three 55+ year olds (30%) had made a purchase as a result of watching a brand video on social media
  • Showing high levels of distrust of influencers, almost one in two (46%) 55+ year olds are less likely to trust video content from a celebrity or vlogger – instead placing the highest trust in content from family and friends (80% more likely to trust.

See the full report: The Science of social video