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Buying products via social sites slow to catch on says new study

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A new study conducted by Havas Media Social and Lightspeed Research, suggests that despite the retail industry hailing social commerce as the next big thing, 89% of people have not bought anything through Facebook and 44% are not interested in doing so. However the majority of consumers (70%) feel that targeted advertising based on interests or shopping behaviour, similar to Amazon’s recommendation model, would make them more likely to buy products on social networks.

The research shows that consumers are concerned about security, and this is one of the main reasons they would choose not to shop via a social network, highlighting the need for more consumer education about social commerce. The study represents the responses of a survey to a representative sample of 1,007 UK social networkers.

Two thirds of respondents (65%) said they would not be willing to buy high value items via social networks and would only be prepared to spend between £1 and £50.

The most preferred place for consumers to redeem special offers, regardless of if the offers were advertised on Facebook, still remains the brand’s official website.

Amy Kean, director of social media for Havas Media Social, says: “Based on industry predictions and the rate of innovation in this space, social commerce is likely to become a reality – but there’s still a lot more work for brands to do to help consumers get their heads around it. It is the understanding of social behaviours – not the technology – that we need to prioritise.”

Retailers and brands including Asos, HMV and French Connection have all launched Facebook stores in recent months.

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