Consumers are increasingly reaching out to brands via social channels and businesses are embracing the online realm to interact with users, but it seems that when it comes to shopping, people are still more likely to purchase from a high street store or an online retailer rather than one selling through social media. Not surprisingly, however, the impact of social media on consumers’ buying decisions is indisputable.
Global Market Insite (GMI) has found that 90% of social media account holders have never shopped with a retailer via a social platform. At the same time, nearly all users search, read reviews and seek good deals when browsing social media sites.
Despite consumers’ reluctance to spend money via social media, the medium is increasingly used as a source of ideas and purchase advice, as 27% of social media users said. Another 26% read comments and reviews, 23% search for photos, 18% read friends’ social media posts and 7% watch videos. The results also suggest that consumer trust of brands on social media is still much lower than the trust they have for peer recommendations, as just 13% of users look at a brand’s own product descriptions.
Meanwhile, consumers are broadly eager to show their partiality for a brand as more than four in ten have liked a brand’s social media page. However, just 2% trust online retailers selling via social media against 59% who place trust in high street retailers and 36% in online retailers.
The products most likely to be purchased on social media are entertainment, fashion and health and beauty, GMI also found.