Consumers increasingly influenced by social networking sites

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• 15% have been influenced to make a purchase on social media sites • 48% of smartphone owners have used them to browse and research products before a purchase • 50% of UK consumers are now browsing and shopping with international retailers

Almost 4% of UK consumers have already made a purchase directly through Facebook

The latest research from eDigitalResearch and the IMRG shows that consumers are increasingly influenced by what they see and read on social networking sites. Of the 2,000 UK consumers surveyed, 15% said that they have been influenced to make a purchase by adverts, groups and discussions on social networking sites.

The eCustomerServiceIndex (eCSI) also highlights the gradual uptake of Fcommerce, with almost 4% stating that they had already made purchases from retailers directly from Facebook stores.

Derek Eccleston, Research Director at eDigitalResearch, explains, “This is an exciting time for retailers and eCommerce, as they begin to branch out into new channels and gain from developments in technology. The fact that almost 4% of UK consumers have already made a purchase directly through Facebook, despite there only being a limited number of Facebook stores, indicates the extent at which consumers are eager to use emerging channels to browse and shop with retailers. We are witnessing the continued rise of MEcommerce, where consumers now have the power to dictate to retailers where, when and how they want to shop, and it is important that retailers put into place the necessary steps to facilitate this".

The results also found that mobile will continue to play an increasingly important role in consumers shopping and browsing habits. Over half of UK consumers (53%) now own a smart device, with a considerable amount already shopping online from their mobiles. Encouragingly, another 35% intend to do so in the near future, increasing by a dramatic 16% in just four short months. Similarly, the research also shows that just under half (48%) of smartphone owners have already used their mobiles to browse and research products before a purchase, whilst another 16% intend to so in the near future, representing a huge opportunity for retailers.

Derek continues, “Consumer research increasingly indicates that mobile shopping is becoming more and more popular with UK shoppers. It is therefore essential that retailers begin to think about, or continue to develop, their mobile and multichannel strategies. With mobiles, consumers are literally holding access direct competitors in the palm of the hands, including those retailers from across the globe. The challenge now for retailers is to ensure that they differentiate themselves from others, creating a seamless customer journey in store, online and on their mobile sites”.

The results also show that 50% of UK consumers are now browsing and shopping with international retailers in a bid for a better deal, with 22% of these shoppers having increased their online purchases from abroad in the past 6 months.

David Smith, Managing Director at IMRG, commented, “With 1 in 11 human beings now on Facebook, the opportunity for engagement with retailers is massive; Lady Gaga’s Facebook shop page already has a staggering 31 million followers. It is also interesting to note that such a large percentage of UK consumers are comfortable with purchasing from foreign retailer sites, not surprising considering the popularity of online shopping in the UK, and a clear indication of the huge potential offered by international expansion".

Survey information

The eCustomerServiceIndex (eCSI) survey of 2,138 consumers was conducted between the 5th and 6th May 2011 using a nationally representative sample from a consumer omnibus.
Media Contacts

IMRG    
Andy Mulcahy    
Tel: +44 (0) 207 189 8373    
Email: market(at)imrg(dot)org    
Web: http://www.imrg.org

eDigitalResearch
Lisa Bonczyk
Tel: +44 (0) 1489 772920
Email: lisa.b(at)edigitalresearch(dot)com
Web: http://www.edigitalresearch.com

About eDigitalResearch

eDigitalResearch are research specialists with expertise in online business. When you have to make critical business decisions – we can give you the precise multichannel insight and informed direction you need. Surveys, panels and communities combine to provide holistic insight which gives clients the confidence and evidence to make crucial decisions on product range, marketing, customer service, supply chain and even basic positioning. For more information please visit http://www.edigitalresearch.com or email info(at)edigitalresearch(dot)com

About IMRG

IMRG (Interactive Media in Retail Group) is the industry body for global e-retail. Formed in 1990, IMRG is setting and maintaining pragmatic and robust e-retail standards to enable fast-track industry growth, and facilitates its community of members with practical help, information, tools, guidance and networking. Consumers can be confident when dealing with IMRG Members because all interact in an environment where they are encouraged to operate using methods that are Honest, Decent, Legal, Truthful and Fair, and have undertaken to not bring the industry into disrepute. The strength of IMRG is the collective and cooperative power of its members. For more information please visit http://www.imrg.org/ or email market(at)imrg(dot)org

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