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Feb 8, 2017
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70% of UK consumers avoid purchasing through social media due to security fears

Published
Feb 8, 2017

The majority of UK consumers would not consider using SMS, Facebook, WhatsApp, Web/Live chat, Twitter, Facebook or Instagram when purchasing items, according to a new consumer survey from Aspect Software.

Instagram launched in November a new shopping feature together with brands such as Kate Spade - Instagram


Despite apps and online websites being widely used, consumers in the UK are sceptical about purchasing through social media channels as 69% has security concerns over payments and or personal details and 60% worries social media channels could be at risk of phishing attempts or fraudulent profiles.

Social media profiles are still commonly used for research purposes, but the end purchase is carried out either in store or directly through the retailers’ website, said Aspect Software. Consumers also use text-based channels, including social media, email or mobile apps, to make an enquiry (48%) or make a complaint (27%).

Meanwhile, 83% of respondents said they are happy to purchase via email and 75% feel confident about using mobile apps. In fact, mobile applications were the most popular channel for making purchases in the last 12 months, accounting for 59% of all purchases analysed.

Although popular social media networks such as Facebook and Instagram have introduced “Buy Now” buttons to encourage consumers to buy things straight off their platforms, figures have demonstrated that consumers are not as willing to make purchases via social media as they are through apps or e-commerce websites.

The survey indicates that this could be partly due to security concerts, which should be a top priority for retailers this year following a year of headline data breaches.

“In 2016, we saw numerous large organisations exposed to data breaches so it is understandable that security concerns over personal details and payments are very high. Brands need to be showing how secure their communication channels are across every outlet, not only to increase sales via these channels but to improve confidence in the whole brand,” said Stephen Ball, Aspect Software senior VP of sales in Europe and Africa.

“It is clear that a large majority of consumers are using these communication channels in some way or another, so it is important for retailers to find a way to exploit this platform.”

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