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Appeal of Shopping Via Social Media Remains Limited

03 June 2019 - 20:23 by Sarah Collinson

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A report looking into the popularity of carrying out safe shopping online from social media platforms has found that many consumers in the UK are less than convinced by the benefits of this growing trend.

Commissioned by OnBuy.com, the study found that just 17 per cent of people have taken advantage of the integrated ‘buy now’ buttons that are becoming increasingly common on platforms like Instagram and Facebook.

Furthermore, a full 85 per cent of those questioned said that they were reluctant to delve into so-called ‘social commerce’, citing a range of reasons for this scepticism which might surprise some of the retailers and sites that are pushing such services.

Concerns about the genuineness of the products which are sold on social sites were at the top of the agenda, with the vast majority of consumers believing that they were more likely to encounter phoney items than the real thing.

Around a tenth of those questioned said that they had previously taken advantage of social commerce services and found that the experience of using them was less than satisfactory, suggesting that there is need for serious improvement on a technical level before serious growth can be secured.

Social networks rely on ad revenues to stay afloat, and so migrating to offering fully functional e-commerce features in a native setting makes sense. However, it is clear that most Brits would prefer to buy from dedicated shopping sites rather than trying their luck with a social platform.

Overcoming this distinction and winning the trust of shoppers will be a long and difficult process, yet it is one that the main players in the social media market will no doubt embark upon as they seek to boost revenues and cope with the eventual levelling off of user growth.