Discounts and rewards top priority for those following brands online.
Business intelligence research company Future Thinking has released the findings of its 2015 Shopper Barometer, highlighting that 44% of social media follow brands to acquire discounts and offers in return for their loyalty.
The survey, now in its third year, monitors the sentiments of over 1,200 consumers to determine future shopping trends.
Over a quarter (26%) of shoppers follow their favourite retailers on social media, with the biggest group of users following brands under the age of 35. This is closely followed by families and female users.
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.
Future Thinking’s research found that the most popular ‘new technology’ among consumers is card-only checkouts, with 69% admitting they use self-service machines. This popularity is thought to be down to the rise of contactless card payments.
Other advances requested by shoppers include click-and-collect hubs (57%).
Noreen Kinsey, head of shopper insight at Future Thinking, comments: “Despite the well-documented ‘buzz’ around rapid advances in technology, including ‘delivery drones’ and mobile payments, it is 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.
“When it comes to loyalty schemes in the traditional sense, their prevalence renders them less than special. Retailers need to be more relevant in order to connect to consumers on social media as there is a huge market out there for these sorts of incentives. People want to spend less on their weekly shop, with 63% of consumers using a discounter store regularly; but more messaging around range and overall quality is needed to transform discounters into main shopping destinations.”