Social media ‘the next frontier’ in shopping

Technology leading to tipping point in shopper behaviour


Social commerce is “the next frontier in shopping” according to the Tomorrow’s Shopper research just published by Bord Bia.

It says the use of social networks such as Facebook for buying goods and services is “a significant opportunity for companies and brands”. Bord Bia’s insight and brand manager Paula Donoghue points to research by information technology company Gartner, which predicts that half of all internet sales globally will take place via social media by 2015.

“It’s quite easy and risk-free for brands to set up on Facebook if they are dipping their toes into the water,” she said. “Instead of setting up an online store, they are starting to sell via Facebook.”

The Bord Bia report says the interaction between technology and consumer trends is leading to “a tipping point” in shopper behaviour.

It points to the 7.9 per cent increase in online grocery sales in the State in the past year, compared with an annual in-store growth of just 0.2 per cent and notes the finding by Kantar Worldpanel that shoppers are spending an average of €62 per trip on the internet compared with €22 in stores.

Last year, 94 cent of all Irish consumers made a purchase online. “While PCs remain the dominant device for online shopping, 16 per cent of adults have used a tablet to purchase something online, and 22 per cent have used a smartphone,” the report says.

“A much higher number are using these devices to research products and services before they buy. Eighty-two per cent of Irish consumers have completed pre-purchase research on their smartphone.”

The report highlights innovations such as one by Hellmann’s, which worked with a retailer in Brazil to encourage shoppers to use mayonnaise for more than sandwiches.

Till software identified when shoppers bought Hellmann’s mayonnaise. It then generated recipes that combined several ingredients from shoppers’ baskets and printed them on the receipts.

In a partnership with technology company Blippar, cream cheese brand Philadelphia has developed a tub which, when scanned with a mobile, allows shoppers to access videos of cookery tutorials involving the product.

And while our parents clipped coupons from newspapers, some retailers have introduced small coupon printers on its shelves, offering deals related to the products nearby.