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Consumers embrace social shopping

30 May 2018 - 10:09 by Graham Miller

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The latest study from Avionos shows that the majority of people have carried out safe shopping online through a social media platform of some kind.

Fifty five per cent of the consumers questioned in the report said that their social channels had led them to complete a purchase in the past year, with Facebook taking the lion’s share of sales from its competitors.

Instagram comes in second place, accounting for 13 per cent of social sales, while Pinterest is a close third with its 12 per cent stake in this emerging market.

The survey also raised doubts about the power of so-called ‘influencers’ on social media, since almost two thirds of consumers claimed that they had not been compelled to splash out on any product that was actively promoted by the celebrities in their social feeds.

Furthermore, just nine per cent said that they had actively chosen to carry out safe shopping online as a result of a paid promotion from an influencer on social media.

The real key seems to be genuine recommendations made by other users who are not being buttered up by brands, but are taking to social media to voice honest opinions about products and services. Close to a third of those questioned said that they put more trust in recommendations made by average consumers, rather than those offered by famous social media stars.

Social media is certainly fuelling a lot of retail buying decisions, although until this report was released it was difficult to gauge the extent of its power over the marketplace. The fact that companies like Facebook are also trying to convince more users to make purchases from within their platforms, rather than heading elsewhere, will continue to cause shifts in the way that consumer habits are formed and spending is channelled.