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Consumer faith in s-commerce still low – but early signs of changing attitudes

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Consumers are more likely to trust a high street shop or an online retailer above one selling through a social networking site, a study suggests. But early signs show that attitudes may be changing.

For while 27% of social media users look to find ideas and inspiration through their networks, and 43% have ‘liked’ a produce on a brand’s social network page, only 2% say they would trust an online retailer selling through a social media site ahead of those selling through other retail channels.

The study found that 94% of social media users have shopped online in the last six months. But 59% would put the most trust in a high street, 36% in an online retailer, 3% in the social media page of a high street retailer, and 2% in the social media page of an online retailer.

The products most likely to be bought through social media include entertainment, fashion and health and beauty.

“These results show that social shopping is still at an embryonic stage although there are indications that some consumers are starting to warm up to the idea,” said Ralph Risk, marketing director Europe for GMI. “More than half the women surveyed (52%) have ‘liked’ a product on a brand’s social networking page compared to 35% of men – this may be a sign that they are starting to embrace the idea of social shopping.

“However, brands have a long way to go to build consumer confidence, with just 2% of respondents saying they would trust a high street retailer on a social media site most, even household names have their work cut out to convince sceptical consumers that social shopping is the way to go.”

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