Christmas shopping
Europe Insights Paytech

Social Media Shopping on the Rise as Christmas Shoppers Stay Online

British consumers plan to shop online for Christmas presents this year, despite less coronavirus restrictions on the high-street, with social media shopping growing in popularity. 

That’s according to the latest Generation Pay Research from Worldpay, the payments processing business from FIS. Its report reveals that sixty per cent of UK consumers plan to do all their Christmas shopping online this year.

However, while Gen Z (18 to 24 year-olds) remain most attracted to the convenience of shopping online and via mobile (68 per cent), 48 per cent of Boomers (those aged 57+) say they are more likely to return to shopping in-store.

One reason shoppers say they prefer to shop online is the variety of payment methods available at online checkouts. Seventy per cent of millennials (25 to 40 year-olds) cited this as a key preference when shopping in comparison to 46 per cent of boomers.

Nearly a third (28 per cent) of those surveyed stated that they are planning to use buy now, pay later (BNPL) to make their festive purchases this year, with this rising to 43 per cent of millennials.

Social media growth

Worldpay’s Generation Pay Research also reveals that shopping via social media is becoming more popular with over a quarter (26 per cent) preferring to do their Christmas shop this way. Thirty-seven per cent of respondents said that they made a purchase over social media in the last 12 months.

The Boomers+ age group lagged significantly behind others in terms of shopping on social media, while
Millennials were the most likely to do so. Surprisingly, Gen Z had the largest number of respondents who
hadn’t yet, but were open to the possibility.

Older generations who did make purchases favoured Facebook, while Gen Z were the biggest purchasers through TikTok, Snapchat and Instagram. Sixty-two per cent of Gen Z respondents who had bought something through social media did so through Instagram, compared to just 17 per cent of Boomers+.
The gap was even clearer with TikTok – 28 per cent of Gen Z versus just six per cent of Boomers+.


In addition, Worldpay‘s research suggests alternative payment methods could help to reduce returns. Almost one in four (24 per cent) of every purchase during the festive season in the UK is returned. But returns have dropped by almost 15 per cent when bought through BNPL, with responding Gen Z and millennials saying they return one in every five purchases bought through BNPL.

“The pandemic is having a lasting impact on UK consumer shopping preferences,” says Maria Prados, head of merchant retail growth at FIS. “Shoppers have come to expect the convenience and flexibility of shopping online and are now, more than ever, choosing to do their seasonal shopping online.”

According to Prados, retailers must respond to customers’ changing demands by ensuring they are adopting the necessary technology which will give consumers more choice at the checkout.



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