Social Media Set To Shape The Future Of The Retail Industry

Social Retail eCommerce Digital Shopper

Consumers are increasingly embracing online shopping and currently 85% of Britons are regular visitors of e-commerce websites. This has a dramatic impact on high street retailers and is also rapidly changing the way people shop. As a result, the high street is expected to lose 31% of its tenants by 2020.

This is what I read in a study by retail researcher Conlumino, commissioned by Webloyalty. The research peeks into the future developments that will shape the retail industry and that, thanks to technology, more and more Britons are using social media platforms, price comparison sites and apps during their shopping journeys. Currently, 69% of UK consumers have a social media profile, of which 49% have approached a retailer via a social media channel. This trend is likely to result in the rise of a new type of shopper, the ‘social shopper’, Webloyalty said.

Social shopping, however, is still at its early stages as only 3.9% of Britons have bought products via social media. Sales via social platforms or sales influenced by such outlets now represent 6.5% of online trade and 0.5% of all retail sales. This is due to the fact that, at the moment, only a small number of retailers have made their offers fully transactional on social media and most of them use these outlets to bring more visitors to their websites.

Still, social media remains a source of information about new items and brands, as well as product reviews and ideas. More than a third of consumers now rely on customer reviews to decide what to purchase. Mobile shopping is also gaining traction and is expected to make up a quarter of all purchases by 2020.