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A quarter of British shoppers now follow retailers on social media: study

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More than a quarter (26%) of British shoppers now follow retailers on social media while 44% follow brands, a new study suggests.

Of those who follow brands via social media plaforms, 93% do so via Facebook and 52% on Twitter, while a third (32%) of shoppers use social media platforms for advice or to leave an opinion about a product or brand.

The study, from business intelligence research consultancy Future Thinking, also found that 92% of the 1,200 UK consumers it questioned had bought a product or service online in the last year. Only 13%, however, regularly buy their groceries online.

Asked what future technology they would most like to see introduced, 69% said they would use card-only checkouts in supermarkets. The next highest ranked was barcode technology (59%), followed by click and collect hubs (57%). Indeed, the most popular ‘future’ technologies are all, to some extent, currently in existence.

“Despite the well-documented ‘buzz’ around rapid advances in technology, including ‘delivery drones’ and mobile payments, it is interesting to see that this hype is not generally reflected amongst consumers,” said Noreen Kinsey, head of shopper insight at Future Thinking.

She added: “When it comes to loyalty schemes in the traditional sense, their prevalence renders them less than special. Retailers need to be more relevant in order to connect to consumers on social media as there is a huge market out there for these sorts of incentives. People want to spend less on their weekly shop, with 63% of consumers using a discounter store regularly; but more messaging around range and overall quality is needed to transform discounters into main shopping destinations.”

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