Business intelligence research consultancy Future Thinking has revealed the findings of the 2015 Shopper Barometer, an annual independent study of current trends and future consumer habits of UK shoppers.
The research showed that 44% of British shoppers follow brands on social media in the hope to receive discounts and rewards for their loyalty. Social media plays an important role for shoppers, Future Thinking adds, with over a quarter (26%) of the 1,200 surveyed following retailers on social media.
The biggest group of users following brands on social media are under 35s (60%), followed closely by families (59%) and women (51%). More than half (52%) ‘like’ or ‘follow’ brands on social media, with Facebook (93%) and Twitter (52%) being the most popular platforms. Significantly, a third (32%) of UK shoppers use social media platforms to seek advice or leave an opinion about a product or brand. The survey also noted that 92% of UK consumers have purchased a product or service online in the last year.
Future Thinking’s research found that the most popular ‘new technology’ is card-only checkouts in supermarkets – 69% of shoppers would use this self-serving checkout technology. Its popularity is possibly because many shoppers are already using contactless card payments, and can easily see the need for further innovative technology. The next highest ranked was barcode technology (59%), followed by click & collect hubs (57%).
Future Thinking head of shopper insight Noreen Kinsey commented: “Despite the well-documented ‘buzz’ around rapid advances in technology, including ‘delivery drones’ and mobile payments, it’s interesting to see that this hype is not generally reflected amongst consumers. The biggest opportunity for consumers and retailers appears to be on social media, where users are engaging in the hope of receiving discounts, and retailers can employ more effective marketing to a ‘captive’ audience.”