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73% of shoppers buy from social, the key place to find out about small and interesting brands

Socially acceptable: social media sites are becoming the new marketplaces

Almost three quarters (73%) of younger UK shoppers are already shopping from brand and retailer social posts, with 78% of younger shoppers saying social media makes it easier to find out about new, small and interesting brands.

The research, from retail and shopper marketing agency Savvy, finds that shoppers in general are turning to social media as a primary source of retail inspiration, with younger ones doing it more so.

Around 63% of Gen Y/Z shoppers said in the research that social media was their first port of call for ideas and inspiration, while 67% of Gen Y/Z said that they regularly used social media to find inspiration for meals and food. 66% used social media to look for ideas and inspiration for gifts.

This growth in social media shopping is opening up new opportunities for smaller and challenger brands, with 78% of younger shoppers in the research saying social media makes it easier to find out about new, small and interesting brands. 

“Over recent years we’ve seen thousands of new brands, born on social channels, enter the market and flourish. Unlike big brands, the success of these businesses is based on innovation, creativity, and relevance, rather than the size of their marketing budgets. Retailing through social channels is far more democratic than store-based and traditional online retailing,” explains Catherine Shuttleworth, CEO of Savvy. 

She continues: “In 2017 only one in 10 of us had clicked on a ‘shop now’ or ‘buy now’ button on social media. Now, that has increased to 56%, rising to 73% among Gen Y and Gen Z.  As Gen Y drove the smartphone retail revolution in the past five years, we can see how Gen Z will drive the social retail revolution over the next five years.”


The metaverse heralds disruption

When planning for the next five years, the rise of Gen Z will not be the only major driver of change. In recent weeks the idea of the metaverse has come to the fore, making front page news, following Facebook’s rebranding to Meta. 

Alastair Lockhart, Insight Director at Savvy says: “As we consider the online retailing environment of the future, the metaverse is where we should look. It is the next incarnation of social media which will provide virtual 3D spaces where people cannot only interact with each other, play and learn, but shop in new interesting ways. Already, from pretty much a standing start, we find that a quarter of UK shoppers are aware of the metaverse and, of them, 60% believe they understand what it is. This is not simply an evolution, this would require retailers to fundamentally rethink how they present themselves, how they communicate what they stand for, and how they sell.”

Some key shoppers stats about social

  • 92% of respondents had used social media in the past month.
  • 22% check their social media feeds at least once an hour, rising to 35% among 18-34 year olds. 
  • Social feeds are influencing what we eat and drink. In the past month: 
  • 49% have followed a recipe they saw on social (62% for 18-34s).
  • 48% watched video about food and drink (64% for 18-34s).
  • 35% have asked their social contacts to recommend somewhere to eat or drink (51% for 18-34s)
  • 33% posted a picture of food they were about to eat (rising to 45% for 18-34s) and 32% posted a picture of a drink (rising to 46% for 18-34s)

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