Close this search box.

Only 17% of UK shoppers have used social media buy buttons and a third claim they never will

This is an archived article - we have removed images and other assets but have left the text unchanged for your reference

The rise of social commerce is well documented and is, in many ways, the ‘next big thing’ in mobile retail – but are consumers actually using it? Not according to a consumer study by they aren’t.

According to the study – which asked 1424 UK shoppers how they feel about social shopping and buy buttons, a third say that they actively wouldn’t use them, 85% are sceptical about them and only 17% say they have actually used one – and 10% of them have had a bad experience.

The results illustrate Britons are far less trusting of shopping on social media, compared to countries like China where 70% of Gen Zers now opt to buy direct from social.

The survey did find that British consumers are most open to purchasing items directly from Instagram (59%), followed by Facebook (27%) and Pinterest (20%.)  However, 34% say they would not be open to purchasing items through social media and only 17% of British consumers have used a social buy button.

When asked “If you have never used a social buy button, why haven’t you?” respondents revealed several concerns. Fears over “security” (58%) and “privacy of account” (32%) were found to be the two greatest concerns surrounding social commerce, while doubts over its “legitimacy” came in third (32%.)

Tellingly, 85% of respondents claimed they are sceptical that brands who offer social commerce might be fake or untrustworthy.

However, consumers did detail the factors that would make them more likely to indulge in the service. It seems 64% of Brits’ would feel encouraged to use a social buy button if they could see images from customers who previously bought the product.

Other factors include the ability to access customer reviews (59%), an easy payment system (49%) and access to video tutorials or demos of products. In fact, per Hootsuite’s latest Social Media Trends report, 74% of people draw a connection between social video and making a purchase – so it’s no surprise consumers are looking for verification in this way.

Cas Paton, managing director of, comments: “Social commerce is a relatively new service, which is still in its infancy in the UK. Naturally, it will take time for British shoppers to trust in it. Afterall, we all like to stick with what is familiar. But times are changing. If shoppers don’t try new advancements, they could miss out on fabulous deals, sales and launches. Plus, great insight into favourite brands. From our research, we know British consumers are most concerned with factors like security, privacy and legitimacy. Brands should therefore concentrate on producing a social commerce service that is 100% transparent.

Paton concludes: “Be clear on cost. Reassure your audience you are there to contact and to answer any qualms or queries. Guidelines should be exact and loophole free. It’s a must to make shoppers feel safe online; the extra work needs to be put in to make it a success for every party.”

Read More

Register for Newsletter

Group 4 Copy 3Created with Sketch.

Receive 3 newsletters per week

Group 3Created with Sketch.

Gain access to all Top500 research

Group 4Created with Sketch.

Personalise your experience on