Social media has a bigger influence on shopping habits, choices and decisions more than at any other time, according to Royal Mail’s UK Delivery Matters 2019 report. Almost a quarter (23 per cent) of social media shoppers have bought items after seeing posts or comments on social channels. 45 per cent of 18-34 year olds have purchased an item after viewing a post or comment from a friend, blogger or celebrity and 30 per cent of 25-34 year olds would like to be able to shop directly on social media channels.
Consumers continue to browse online for the best deals and prices, from the comfort of their home. Shoppers prefer to browse online rather than in-store for ease of being able to compare prices (54 per cent), range of choice (51 per cent), ease of searching (46 per cent) and comfort (44 per cent).
In a three-month period, the average UK shopper made an online purchase just over six times. They spent, on average, £226 online over the three months*. On average, shoppers spend £38 on each online transaction they make, up from £34 last year.
Clothing is the most popular category purchased online, with women significantly more likely to buy fashion than men (53 per cent vs 37 per cent).
When shopping online, laptops (50 per cent) are still the device most commonly used, but more and more shopping is being done on mobile devices – with 43 per cent of shoppers claiming to have made a purchase via a smartphone, which is up from 39 per cent last year.
The location where online buyers choose to make their purchases has evolved. For most (97 per cent), home is still the primary place to peruse and purchase but shopping while travelling or commuting is also popular (42 per cent) as is shopping at work (42 per cent).
Preferred timings show a bias towards later online shopping. Three-quarters (75 per cent) make purchases online in the evening, followed by 65 per cent in the afternoon and 52 per cent at lunchtime.
A spokesperson for Royal Mail said “Over the last few years, social media has had an increasing impact on the way UK consumers shop. When browsing social media, UK shoppers are making purchases after seeing posts and this, accompanied by the rise in mobile shopping, is driving more change in shopping habits. The delivery and occasional return of these items is now a core part of the customer experience, so retailers should choose a delivery provider they can trust and one which offers their customers both mobile friendly channels and convenient local access points.”