Consumer: Shoppers need online ‘likes’ before buying

Shoppers look for social media likes before taking an item to the till.
Shoppers look for social media likes before taking an item to the till.
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Fashion conscious shoppers are turning to their online friends when deciding which outfit to buy.

A recent survey by social shopping site Shopa found that women need an average of two ‘likes’ from friends on instant messages and social media before they take an item to the till. Surprisingly, men admitted to needing four likes before doing the same. 60 per cent of shoppers go online to get other people’s opinions before buying.

A woman looking at houses for sale.  David Cheskin/PA Wire

A woman looking at houses for sale. David Cheskin/PA Wire

One in seven shoppers even share images of their outfits from the changing room, with 35 per cent of girls and boys as young as 13 following suit. Evening dresses, trainers, wedding outfits, tops and women’s heeled shoes are the most shared fitting room items.

Dr. Linda Papadopoulos, behavioural psychologist, said: “These results are not surprising as, although online shopping is becoming increasingly popular, many of us still rely on our friends’ approval when purchasing new clothes or accessories. The research by Shopa suggests that, as shopping has migrated online from in-store, social media ‘likes’ are now one of the keys to driving purchase.”

The social media changing room has resulted in 28 per cent of in-store shoppers and 33 per cent of online shoppers spending more than two hours choosing an item of clothing or accessories while they wait for their friends’ approval - or disapproval.

Shoppers are also turning to social media sites for inspiration, with 43 per cent of shoppers checking the current trends on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.

Dr Papadopoulos said: “The ease of being able to share a visual representation of the look or style we’re trying to achieve makes it not only easier to reach out for validation, but indeed it also fits in with the norms of social networking; where acceptance of our choices is actively sought out. It’s not surprising therefore that some people are waiting up to two hours for that nod of approval before making a purchase.”

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