Brands need to make websites more social to increase purchase [infographic]

High Street shoppers are looking for social recommendationsWhile social media is booming one area that is not is social commerce. It is struggling to take off and this study and infographic from media agency MPG Media Contacts and Lightspeed Research points to the lack of social media included on ecommerce sites.

Why that is the case is pretty simple. Consumers use social media as both recommendations and inspiration when shopping online, but are reluctant to use links from social sites to buy.

What they want the study says is for brands to make their own sites more social and invest more in developing ways for their consumers to share photos, videos and product reviews.

Brands needs to take advantage more, reach out and pull in some of that user generated content.

The research shows that 9 out of 10 of the online population have purchased online in the past six months but that three out of four people say that they have never followed a link from Facebook to make a purchase.

A third (rising to 42% for 18-34s) say their purchase decision has been influenced by social media with almost 47% of those who use social media sites for inspiration being inspired by images, 46% taking recommendations from friends and 38% looking at brand pages on social networks. 4 in 10 also said they ask for opinions on their purchases on social media sites.

The fall of bloggers

It also points to the fall in the importance of blogs as places where shoppers get recommendations. Instead people look to friends’ recommendations and visuals, which is why Pinterest is so retail friendly. On a scale of 1 to 7 (seven being the lowest) blogger opinions were marked at 5, while photos were scored at 3.5 and posts from friends being 3.6.

When asked whether they thought social media was changing shopping 35% agreed that it was.