Consumers seek physical-digital shopping mix, embrace social commerce – report

Consumers have moved heavily to online shopping in the past year although when stores reopen, many will also be glad to get back to physical shopping. Yet digital habits are now ingrained for consumers worldwide and social commerce is on the rise.

That’s according to the latest Bazaarvoice annual Shopper Experience Index. It said that digital shopping “isn’t replacing brick-and-mortar, but it is surpassing it”. In fact, “most shoppers want a mix”.

The global Bazaarvoice Network of over 11,500 brands and retailers saw online orders increasing 39% year-on-year in 2020, although that’s understandable given the pandemic and its associated lockdowns.

However, as mentioned, some consumers aren’t willing to give up physical shopping just yet. In the UK, 45% of respondents said they would still prefer to go to a store in person if they could only choose one method of shopping for the next year. And this figure was 54% globally.

But there are so many other channels battling for their attention these days, especial social media. Overall, 23% of UK shoppers now use social media to “discover new products to buy”. And over one in three global shoppers have actually made a purchase on social media in the past year.

When broken down by age, that number climbs to 43% of 18-24-year-olds and 47% of 25-34-year-olds. Purchasing directly through social media is more popular in the UK (33%) than in other European countries, such as France (28%) or Germany (30%).

However, social media isn’t the only place that consumers find feedback and inspiration and the study found that user generated content is key too. Some 37% of Britons won’t go through with a purchase on a brand or retailer website if there’s no user generated content available and 48% look on product pages specifically for customer photos.

Source: Fashion Network