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A fifth of UK consumers using social to shop, driven by convenience and boredom

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Almost a fifth (17%) of UK consumers are now using social apps to shop, with one in ten (11%) making a purchase this way since lockdown began in March.   

Coined ‘Swipe Up Shopping’, the research commissioned by Visa reveals social media-fuelled purchases accounting for one in four (24%) online purchases in the past six months. Clothing and accessories are the most popular Swipe Up Shopping purchases (37%), followed by homeware (29%) and electronics (20%).

The survey of 2,000 UK consumers finds that this Swipe Up Shopping is likely to continue growing in popularity with over a third (36%) surveyed planning to continue purchasing this way in the future. Supporting independent businesses is also a key driver for social shoppers, with one in ten (11%) having made a purchase from an independent company and 16% saying that social media enables them to better support small businesses. 

Convenience is key

Being able to buy things with just a swipe and a click is key, with 35% of Swipe Up Shoppers surveyed saying they enjoy the convenience and over a quarter (26%) love the speed.

Although Swipe Up Shoppers love quick and convenient purchases, many of those involved in the survey admit to not always checking third party reviews of the website (57%), nor checking refund and exchange policies before purchasing (54%) – often idly purchasing while watching TV and to make themselves “feel better”, the study finds.

Consequently, more than half (58%) who engaged in this way of shopping said their purchases haven’t lived up to expectations and a further 38% are still chasing refunds or trying to return items. Just one in five (20%) say they have received a full refund via the method they paid, yet 88% claim they still remain out of pocket for at least one of their purchases.

Whilst shopping on social media is quick and convenient, shoppers should be mindful of buying safely. The latest data from UK Finance reveals that the number of card-not-present fraud cases is on the rise. Scammers exploiting Covid-19 increasingly move fraud online, and social media platforms are high on hit lists. 

Jeni Mundy, UK & Ireland Managing Director, Visa, comments: “Using your Visa debit or credit card to shop on social media offers a layer of protection in the event something goes wrong with a purchase, such as items failing to arrive and being unable to reach a resolution with the retailer. If this happens, you can contact your bank to ask them to pursue a chargeback claim on your behalf, whereby they may be able to reclaim your money from the retailer’s bank. Visa’s Zero Liability Policy also provides a separate guarantee that you won’t be held responsible for any unauthorised payments made on your Visa card, to ensure you are not left out of pocket should you become a victim of fraud.”

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