The number of customers who place high importance on the ability to discover and purchase directly through social media platforms has risen by 38 percent in a year, new figures reveal.
The annual Shopper Experience Index, published by Bazaarvoice, involved a survey of more than 2,000 consumers across the UK, US, France and Germany. One-third of UK customers now believe the ability to discover and buy products is of critical importance to their experience of social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
This comes in the wake of Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement of a shift in focus for Facebook, moving from the News Feed to encrypted, ephemeral messaging – or as he put it, “from the town square to the living room”. Meanwhile, the data has emerged as cosmetics retailer Lush announced it was to close its UK social media accounts to instead focus on channels including live chat
The new report also gathers insights from 500 of Bazaarvoice’s clients globally. Of the UK brands and retailers surveyed, 91 percent agreed that visual content makes for a more engaging shopping experience. Moreover, respondents also referenced additional benefits, such as enhanced discoverability (86 percent), deepened brand trust (77 percent), and increased conversion (73 percent).
Another recent evolution in Mark Zuckerberg’s conglomerate saw Instagram add in-app checkout as part of its big push into shopping, offering brands a huge opportunity to release a visually rich customer journey entirely based in the app.
Importantly, visual content created and shared through social platforms carries huge value to brands in the wider ecosystem. Twenty-seven percent of UK-based clients reported featuring visual content from social media on product pages, and more than half (53 percent) say they plan to in the near future.
Discussing the findings, Joe Rohrlich, CRO of Bazaarvoice, said: “The retail landscape has continued to shift over the last year, as modern consumers seek unique shopping experiences, new engagement and purchase channels, and an increased level of brand and product transparency and authenticity. Brands and retailers that recognise these evolving preferences and deliver informative, interactive experiences online and offline can both retain their existing customers and attract new ones.”