Bazaarvoice have surveyed more than 1,000 UK shoppers to create their Shopper Experience Index and as a special addition to the report, 100 British brands were also surveyed. The results revealed that as shoppers weigh their purchases more carefully in the current economic climate, they are spending less. They’re also relying heavily on UGC such as ratings, reviews, and shopper photos, while utilising social media at every stage of the shopping journey, from discovery to purchase.
Consumers are changing their shopping habits due to the current economy
77% of consumers claim to have changed their spending habits due to the current economy. They are choosing to make fewer purchases and spend less on practical (59%), delayable (67%), and non-essential (81%) products. Over half (55%) have maintained the same spending habits when it comes to essential products, but 22% are even reducing spending on those. To reduce their spending, nearly eight in ten (77%) of consumers are also open to trying a different brand for products they regularly buy.
Social media has become a search engine as well as a checkout counter
Less than half (41%) of shoppers agree they’re more likely to find products and services on social media than any other channel. One in four say they often research a product through social channels, and 39% say social media impacts their purchasing decisions.
Social media’s generational divide continues via e-commerce
Globally, 73% of shoppers aged 18-24 have purchased something on social media in the last year, the same could be said for only 25% of global consumers 65 and older. Three-quarters (76%) of those global respondents aged 18-24 also say that they are more likely to discover a product through social media than any other way.
Consumer trust and confidence in their purchases rely strongly on user-generated content
70% of shoppers feel more confident in a purchase when they view UGC, and 32% say they are relying more on this type of content in the downturn to make the right purchases. Nearly two-thirds (62%) say they trust UGC more than brand-provided content on product description pages, and 39% claim they are unlikely to buy a product without shopper content to inform their decision.
This year’s study underscores the economic impact of shoppers’ behaviours profoundly. As consumers around the world continue to rely on fellow shoppers for advice, and social media as their first source for product discoveries, purchases, and even brand loyalty, it is high time for product and brand practitioners to reassess our content and channel strategies to heighten shopper engagement and decisions.– Zarina Lam Stanford, CMO, Bazaarvoice