Holiday Shopping Becoming a Social Experience in the U.K. & U.S.

 
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A global study found that half of all consumers in the United Kingdom and the United States are making purchases through social media, rather than in stores or directly via online shops. By Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year, that number is expected to boom to two-thirds of all shoppers.

The study by GlobalWebIndex surveyed 111,899 internet users and found that 49% of U.K. and 53% of U.S. consumers are buying though social platforms with Facebook being the most popular (39% of respondents).

 

Social shopping is expected to swell by as much as 66 % in the U.K. when it comes to Black Friday and Cyber Monday campaigns. About 25% of those asked said they wouldn’t convert via social media after the sales and deals of the weekend after American Thanksgiving.

Instagram lovers are a bit different, with the photo and video sharing platform still expected to be a popular purchasing spot after seeing a Black Friday or Cyber Monday advertisement. About 25% of those questioned in the U.K. and 31% in the U.S. said seeing the product on Instagram is a primary reason for making the decision to buy.

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Analyst:

“Marketers need to remember that this winter period is a marathon and not a sprint.”

In addition to seeing the latest trends, people who buy through social media are affected because they can see what their friends are buying or interested in. More than a quarter of those from the GlobalWebIndex say they trust the social media platform to process payments just as a retailer would.

With mobile payments increasing 14.7% since 2015 and expected to rise, brick-and-mortar shops could be facing an even tougher winter. According to GlobalWebIndex, only 13% of U.K. and U.S. internet shoppers are planning to buy in-store and 12% are likely to choose “click and collect.”

“It’s not all doom and gloom for the high street, brands and retailers with physical outlets should be orientating the shopper journey in-store around experiences, rather than pure sales,” Senior Trends Analyst at GlobalWebIndex Chase Buckle said. “This will encourage that all-important loyalty online in the run-up to Christmas.”

 
It’s clear social media channels need to be taken into consideration, but brands must think carefully about how to allocate spend throughout the whole winter sales period.
— Chase Buckle, senior trends analyst
 

But advertisers shouldn’t wait until there is frost on the pumpkins to start marketing. Only 17% of consumers plan to shop on Black Friday weekend. While 7 out of 10 consumers asked would like to see more fashion, home and cosmetics deals, technology reigns supreme.

“Black Friday and Cyber Monday continue to serve a purpose for consumers at an international level,” Buckle added. “However, marketers need to remember that this winter period is a marathon and not a sprint. It’s clear social media channels need to be taken into consideration, but brands must think carefully about how to allocate spend throughout the whole winter sales period.”