Social commerce on the rise as consumers turn to UGC and their peers when looking for purchase advice and inspiration

Socially acceptable: social media sites are becoming the new marketplaces

Socially acceptable: social media sites are becoming the new marketplaces

Social commerce is on the rise worldwide, driven by shoppers looking for peer-to-peer influence when looking to buy things and turning away from businesses telling them what to buy.

According to the 2022 edition of Bazaarvoice’s annual Shopper Experience Index – which surveyed more than 7,000 global shoppers, including over 1,000 based in the UK – 40% of UK shoppers purchased on social media prior to 2021, and more than half (51%) now make purchases via social. Some 41% now buy via social media between one and two times a month, up from 32% in 2021.

Globally, 58% said they would be more likely to buy if they could read customer reviews directly on the social post, marking a shift in where consumers turn for advice and influence over what they buy.

In fact, the report finds that three quarters (74%) of people in the UK say that UGC is important to them and their purchase decisions. With the increase of power in peer-to-peer communication, shoppers are becoming brands’ best salespeople.

There is a growing global trend for UGC, with 53% of global shoppers stating that it makes them more confident in their purchase decision. In the UK specifically, 45% of shoppers want brands to use a mix of both professional photography and UGC when showcasing products, with almost three quarters (70%) stating that UGC on a product page increases the likelihood of buying a product. In fact, half said they would still buy a product even if there were no professional product photos on the product page.

Globally, 86% of shoppers – increasing to 87% in the UK – read shopper reviews when browsing or buying. UK consumers were also aligned with the 75% globally who look at photos and videos from other shoppers.

There is a growing global trend for UGC, with 53% of global shoppers stating that it makes them more confident in their purchase decision. In the UK specifically, 45% of shoppers want brands to use a mix of both professional photography and UGC when showcasing products, with almost three quarters (70%) stating that UGC on a product page increases the likelihood of buying a product. In fact, half said they would still buy a product even if there were no professional product photos on the product page.

“What used to be business-to-consumer marketing, is now becoming consumer-to-business, and in some sectors, already morphing into consumer-to-consumer as consumers value and trust what other shoppers say about a brand and its products more than branded content. Brands need to rethink their paid media and content strategies and capitalize on influential peer-to-peer conversations to inform, inspire, and convert,” says Zarina Lam Stanford, CMO at Bazaarvoice. “Unfiltered user-generated content elevates authenticity, which in turn drives trust.”

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