The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated online shopping, including shopping on social media, as more than a third (39%) of all U.S. consumers say they have bought on social media and will do so again.
Given that 90% of consumers are aware of social media pages / orders – and only 10% of those who say they avoid social media brands – the opportunity for engagement is huge.
Katie Hansen, a retail and e-commerce analyst at Mintel, said: “Social commerce is the next evolution of e-commerce and will benefit from the widespread use of online shopping by Americans in recent years. As with adopting online shopping, consumers will need time to get ready to buy items through social media, and even more time to do so on any regular basis, but the category will experience a boost as a result of increased engagement of younger consumers as they grow and earn more. money. In addition, social commerce will in no way replace traditional e-commerce or in-store shopping, but will become a key part of their shopping repertoire. ”
As consumers become increasingly curious about social commerce, barriers such as data security and shipping are hampering some of the participation. Two out of five (38%) consumers say they did not make a purchase directly on the social media platform due to distrust in the security of their payment data, while 23% say it is because they are worried they will never get their purchase. This signals that education on social trade is still needed.
“As with any new concept, consumers still need a fair amount of education and reassurance in the process, as they are concerned that their data may not be secure and / or that they will never get the item they are buying. Brands will have to show consumers that shopping on social media is quite similar to shopping on a website or mobile app, and how, in fact, social shopping can further simplify the process, ”Hansen continued.
Mintel’s research shows that social media can be a perfect way to connect brands and consumers. Consumers of different backgrounds are interested in social trade, and the most important are parents with children under 18 (81%), millennials (81%), generation Z (68%) and black consumers (62%). Moreover, almost three out of 10 black (29%) and Asian (27%) consumers search for products on social media but buy on the website. This is true for approximately a quarter of white (24%) and Latin American (21%) consumers. This shows a significant percentage of consumers who leave social channels to make a purchase and indicates how important it is for brands to represent consumers of all backgrounds in order to encourage shopping.
Hansen added: “Diversity, equality and inclusion are not‘ nice to have ’but a‘ must-have ’these days if brands want to connect with consumers. Brands must be sure to make their social networks diverse in order to show consumers that they take diversity seriously, to care about their consumers; and offers products and solutions that meet a list of different needs. This could include posting on social media with different models, talking about charitable efforts that support colored communities, or highlighting internal operations aimed at hiring and promoting colored employees.
“Consumers want to see themselves portrayed in the efforts of brands because they are more likely to feel that the brand is for them, but a flawless, reliable experience is the first critical part that encourages them to buy. Brands should take this desire into account and make a conscious effort to highlight different individuals in their social posts in order to better connect with their consumers. ”
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