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Shoppers using social media more often

UK consumers are 79 per cent more likely today to discover new products on social media than they were just two years ago according to new research.

The shift is largely driven by Instagram which has seen a 64 per cent increase in shoppers finding inspiration on this platform. More than a third of UK consumers surveyed said that they visit a brand's social media feed explicitly for the purpose of being inspired by the products and content featured there.

The survey by Curalate polled 2000 consumers aged 18+ to understand how social media fits into their shopping habits and influences purchasing decisions. Of those surveyed, 62 per cent said their main aims when they go shopping are to stumble upon products they never knew existed, as well as buying what's on their shopping list. When they spot a product that catches their eye, most (77 per cent) are motivated to find out more.

"One of the joys of shopping is the thrill of the find," said Apu Gupta, CEO, Curalate. "Larger numbers of people are turning to social media for inspiration and making considered purchases, which highlights one of the key shortfalls in eCommerce today: brands are outsourcing discovery to social media."

While consumers said they are discovering products on social media more often, they're still as hesitant today to make an impulse buy as they were two years ago. Only 8 per cent of consumers are ready to buy immediately after discovering a product (up from 4.5 per cent in 2017).

As the new decade dawns, it is widely acknowledged that social media will play an increasingly key role in reaching consumers and encouraging them to spend. 

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