Majority of retailers failing on social commerce

Most High Street retailers are not utilising social commerce effectively, despite almost three quarters (74 per cent) of the top 50 making it possible for consumers to see featured products when they click on a social image or post.

Marketing technology company Curalate examined the take-up of commerce on three major social media channels - Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest - and the resulting customer experience.

Of the retailers offering social shopping functions, Pinterest is the most popular site with shoppable pins used by 73 per cent, while 62 per cent and 49 per cent have implemented Facebook and Instagram commerce features respectively.

Overall, just 30 per cent integrate social content on site to increase customer engagement with their brand and drive further product discovery.

“Many retailers offer some form of social shopping function, but most are failing to use social commerce to its full potential,” said Apu Gupta, chief executive of Curalate. “To win at social commerce, brands must not only make the channel shoppable, but also bring shoppable social content onto their websites to inspire their site visitors as well.”

The research also revealed that of those with social shopping functions, just 16 per cent of retailers facilitate purchasing on all three channels, while 38 per cent provide shoppable functions on two, and 46 per cent use one.

A survey of over 5,000 shoppers and 500 retailers by payment service Adyen found that UK shoppers led the field in being open to the idea of shopping via social media channels, with 66 per cent saying they would be comfortable using Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Snapchat to browse and place an order.

A study of over 2,000 UK shoppers by Qudini found that 16 per cent had posted a complaint across a company’s social media channel only to have their comments ignored. The customer relations management platform suggested that this delay in response is generating reputational damage equivalent to £500,000 in lost business.

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