SOCIAL SHOPPING increases by 43% in 2020

According to new Mastercard research, when bricks and mortar shops were forced to close due to the pandemic, Brits found new ways to shop on social media, with 43 percent of those surveyed increasing their social media spending in 2020 in comparison to previous years.

Many customers have explored new digital ways to get their retail therapy fix as a result of lockdowns and restrictions. Clothes and fashion accounted for 41% of purchases made via social media, followed by beauty (24%), and homeware (24%).

92 percent of people who shop on social media claim they purchased something on Instagram, followed by 39 percent on Facebook, 22 percent on Twitter, and 20 percent on TikTok.

While younger people have been driving these purchasing patterns, 54% of over 55s have admitted to buying more using social media as a result of lockdown, with 25% of their purchases going towards technology products. Sports, and food were also popular purchase choices, in addition to fashion, beauty, and homeware.

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The key factors driving the acceptance of social shopping are efficiency and ease of purchase. Since they can pay with a ‘press of a button,’ 28% of Brits choose to buy on social media. So it’s no surprise that when it comes to payment methods, the younger generation prefers quick and safe checkout methods, with 48% of Gen Zs opting for digital wallets. The conventional method of entering credit card information is still common among older shoppers, with 41% of Baby Boomers opting for this more traditional method. Influencers and targeted advertising are also a major part of the social shopping experience and boosting sales, according to the research. Nearly a quarter (24%) of Gen Z enjoys it when their favourite influencers link items directly to purchase, which saves them time searching. Similarly, thanks to targeted advertising and supported content, 18% of Brits choose to shop on social media.

Supporting small businesses is also a driving force behind this growing trend, with 35% of Brits choosing to purchase from newly discovered independent brands and businesses when they shop on social media in 2020. According to the results, nearly a third of people in the North (29%) want to continue to help independent brands and companies they have previously shopped from.


Mastercard reveals five top tips for shopping on social media

  1. Be aware of the differences between a review or a paid-for post. Look out for #AD, #Gifted, ‘Sponsored’ or ‘Paid Partnership’
  2. Check other customer reviews to confirm details about the product
  3. Review the shipping terms – be mindful of where the  product is being shipped from as it could take several weeks to arrive and have customs duty requirements 
  4. Check out a company’s website or other social media pages to double-check legitimacy
  5. Be secure – when you use your Mastercard to pay, you benefit from enhanced consumer protection


Katherine Templar-Lewis, Creative Scientist and Neurologist said:

The rise of social media shopping makes sense at a very fundamental and scientific level. It goes above and beyond just the convenience, and exception of personalisation that today’s customer desires, but to our deeper needs as a human. Being highly social beings, we are wired to thrive and feel good when we are part of a community. Social media shopping provides this, it is like a social gathering giving us a necessary sense of belonging and connection, it’s an expression of self and community. We can see that in the top categories shopped for (fashion, beauty etc). That need for connection right now is greater than ever in these times of high isolation, without that connection we suffer. Social media platforms have become a powerful way to connect with others.

Not only is the nation’s shopping habits changing in terms of the platforms use, but people are using social media to buy smaller, daily things like food (11%) or pet accessories. Although these adjustments were made in response to lockdown, they were easily embraced due to their ease and natural progression.

While many Brits plan to equal or surpass their level of social media shopping in 2021, many remain skeptical. Just under a third of Brits (27%) have had bad experiences, such as getting a product that was of lower quality than anticipated. Safety and security are still very much at the forefront of many Brits’ minds too, with over a fifth (23%) choosing not to shop socially with concerns about safety.

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