31% of consumers shop on social media despite worries, according to new MarkMonitor research

More than 90% of consumers have concerns about shopping via social media, yet nearly one-third still use it as a shopping platform, according to new research.

The report by MarkMonitor, a Clarivate Analytics company and a world leader in enterprise brand protection, revealed that shoppers are worried about payment security (59%), the quality of goods (56%), safety of their personal details (55%) and buying a fake (47%).

Worries around shopping on social media were warranted; 31% of consumers say they have unwittingly bought a fake item online and of that portion, 23% purchased the product via social media.

In addition, 63% of consumers say they don’t believe enough is being done by brands, online marketplaces and social media platforms to protect them from counterfeiters, fraud and cyber criminals.

This figure is especially telling as when it comes to buying decisions on social media. Reputation of the brand is the most cited influence (55%), followed by peer reviews (48%) and if friends and family have liked the channel (34%). Celebrity endorsement also plays a role for nearly one-quarter (23%) of respondents.

“With more people using social media and interest in it as a shopping channel on the rise, the number of purchases taking place over social media is likely to increase. Our research highlights that regardless of where they shop online, consumers are still being targeted by counterfeiters and are looking to brands and social media platforms to safeguard them,” said Chrissie Jamieson, VP of Marketing, MarkMonitor.

“Organisations need to ensure they incorporate social media platforms in their online brand protection strategies to protect shoppers and their own reputation. Many social media platforms already have mechanisms in place to guard against the sale of the counterfeits and are constantly improving ways to detect and report fakes, but it’s clear that consumers feel more needs to be done by all stakeholders moving forward.”

The research also revealed that consumers do have confidence in certain aspects of shopping via social media. Two-thirds (66%) of shoppers say they trust the information shown by shopping sites on social media while 30% are comfortable using their credit card to make a purchase. And while they are happy to buy clothing, home accessories and electronic goods via social media, there are items they say they would never buy via this method. This includes jewellery (27%), booking a holiday (27%), health products (26%) and event tickets (24%).

The research was commissioned by MarkMonitor and conducted by independent survey company Vitreous World. A sample of 2,603 consumers from five countries was surveyed to gauge their experiences and opinions around online shopping, safety and the role of brands. The sample was drawn from the U.K., U.S., France, Germany and Italy. Interviews were conducted online in August 2019.

Source: MarkMonitor

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