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67% of consumers purchase products they discover on retailers’ social media channels, research reveals

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More than two thirds (67%) of UK consumers go on to purchase products they discover on retailer’s social media channels, new research reveals.

A study of 1,000 consumers aged between 18 and 65 by marketing technology company Curalate found that 46% spend time thinking about it then buy later online, while 17% will buy instore. 4% make the purchase immediately online after seeing the product. 

The 18-34 year olds surveyed were most receptive to shoppable social posts, with half of this age group agreeing they are interested in learning more about items they spot on social media sites.

Overall, 39% of consumers were influenced by user generated content, saying real life images of people who had previously bought the product would make them more likely to make a purchase.

A further 57% said they have been taken to unspecific website pages when clicking on individual products on social media. 

“Buying through social media is a growing trend, as more consumers become interested in following and interacting with brands via these channels,” says Apu Gupta, CEO and co-founder of Curalate. “The influence of customer and lifestyle content on retail sales presents an opportunity for brands to monetise this environment in a coherent way, where shoppers are able to purchase the products they see at the point of discovery. Our research found that almost a quarter (24%) will make a purchase if they are taken directly to a product on the retailer’s website, rather than having to search for it.”

When asked about following brands on social media, Curalate’s research found that 45% of female respondents did so, compared with 38% of males. Over half (56%) of 18-34 year olds engaged with brands on social channels, against 21% of 55-65 year old.

Meanwhile, a third of the sample said they would shop directly on a brand’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest pages if they could use an easy payment system where their information was already saved.

Curalate also surveyed 1,000 US consumers in conjunction with the UK study, and saw that a higher proportion were keeping up to date with their favourite brands on social media – 60% and 41% respectively. Answering whether they had seen a retail product on social media they were interested in learning more about, 63% of US respondents said yes, versus 40% here, suggesting US retailers are more actively enabling social shopping. 

The news comes as a separate study by Bazaarvoice finds that such visual content sharing has a massive impact on retailer sales, generating as much as a 111% uplift in conversion and can generate 180% boost in revenue per visitor to a website.

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