Social Media Drives Product Discovery for UK Online Shoppers, But Conversion Remains a Challenge

A recent survey by Capterra sheds light on the evolving online shopping habits of UK consumers. While social media platforms haven’t yet cornered the market for finalizing purchases, their influence on product discovery is undeniable.

Search Engines Remain King

The 2024 Elusive Consumer Survey, which polled 499 UK citizens over 18, reveals that the vast majority (75%) initiate their online product searches using traditional search engines. This aligns with the finding that most online purchases (also 75%) are ultimately completed on retailer websites or apps.

Social Media: A Hub for Inspiration

Despite not being the primary channel for conversions, social media plays a significant role in influencing purchase decisions. The survey found that 21% of online shoppers begin their product exploration journey on social media platforms. Instagram emerges as the most popular platform for social commerce, with 69% of those who use social media for shopping utilizing Instagram for product discovery. Facebook (54%) and TikTok (50%) follow closely behind.

Finding Inspiration, Discovering Deals, and Unearthing Local Gems

The survey delves deeper into the motivations behind social commerce browsing. A significant portion of social media shoppers (73%) use these platforms to find products that pique their interest. Additionally, 61% leverage social media to discover discounts and promotions, while 58% seek out new brands. Interestingly, 46% of respondents specifically turn to social media to unearth small or local brands, highlighting the potential for these businesses to expand their reach through strategic social media marketing efforts.

The Road to Conversion: A Hurdle Remains

While social media proves adept at capturing consumer attention and igniting product interest, converting that interest into a purchase remains a hurdle. The survey reveals that a mere 7% of online shoppers finalize their orders directly through social media channels. This suggests that a seamless transition from product discovery on social media to purchase completion on retailer websites or apps is crucial for maximizing sales potential.

Looking Ahead: Optimizing the Social Commerce Journey

The Capterra survey offers valuable insights for online retailers and brands. By understanding how social media influences consumer behavior, businesses can develop targeted strategies to capture attention, nurture interest, and ultimately guide shoppers towards a smooth and successful purchase experience – regardless of the final conversion channel. DMSMatrix will continue to monitor developments in this space and provide updates as they become available.

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