Social media has a bigger influence on shopping habits, choices and decisions more than at any other time, according to Royal Mail’s UK Delivery Matters 2019 report. Almost a quarter of social media shoppers have bought items after seeing posts or comments on social channels. Close to half of 18-34 year olds have purchased an item after viewing a post or comment from a friend, blogger or celebrity and around a third of 25-34 year olds would like to be able to shop directly on social media channels.
Consumers continue to browse online for the best deals and prices, from the comfort of their home. Shoppers prefer to browse online rather than in-store with over half giving ease of being able to compare prices and the range of choice, with ease of searching and comfort being close behind.
In a three-month period, the average UK shopper made an online purchase just over six times. They spent, on average, £226 online over the three months. On average, shoppers spend £38 on each online transaction they make, up from £34 last year.
Clothing is the most popular category purchased online, with women significantly more likely to buy fashion than men (53% vs 37%).
When shopping online, laptops are still the device most commonly used half the time, but more and more shopping is being done on mobile devices – with 43% of shoppers claiming to have made a purchase via a smartphone, which is up from 39% last year.
The location where online buyers choose to make their purchases has evolved. For most, home is still the primary place to peruse and purchase but 42% also shop while travelling or commuting and shop at work.
Preferred timings show a bias towards later online shopping. Three-quarters make purchases online in the evening, followed by 65% in the afternoon and 52% at lunchtime.
“Over the last few years, social media has had an increasing impact on the way UK consumers shop. When browsing social media, UK shoppers are making purchases after seeing posts and this, accompanied by the rise in mobile shopping, is driving more change in shopping habits. The delivery and occasional return of these items is now a core part of the customer experience, so retailers should choose a delivery provider they can trust and one which offers their customers both mobile friendly channels and convenient local access points.”
– A spokesperson, Royal Mail