It’s very easy to log on to social media and be overwhelmed by adverts for almost any product on the market.
However, new research from YouGov suggests that stores with an online presence are actually trusted less if they appear on social media sites.
Marketing and advertising plays a large role on social media, with Facebook especially producing a great deal of its revenue through advertising streams.
A lack of trust in social media adverts
The E-commerce: Trust in Online Transactions study discovered that more than half of online shoppers lose trust in a store that is on social media.
Fewer than three in ten said they would trust a store with an online presence, although that figure did increase slightly to 37% among Twitter users, suggesting a greater amount of trust for the site.
However, 40% of those questioned in the study said they liked to keep their social media profiles and their shopping activities separate.
Many insisted the site is for being social and for talking to friends, and definitely not for shopping, although it is easy to see why many shops are trying to take advantage of the boom in social media activity.
Awareness among the younger generation
Managing spending in these instances is important, and amazingly it was those in the 16-24 age bracket that were most keen to keep their shopping habits away from social media.
Three in five people said they did not want their purchase history to be advertised on social media, while less than 15% said it was easier to sign in via a profile.
Instead, the study suggested that traditional advertising means such as television, radio and magazine adverts were far more likely to encourage online shopping.
This is a kick in the teeth for many companies who have looked to increase their online advertising profile, but it does highlight that more care is being taken with regards to the sharing of personal details online.
Taking care when online
When it does come to spending online, it’s important to be careful with personal details, as a leak of this information could easily result in fraud.
This is where a prepaid card can be of use, as it is not directly linked to a bank account, meaning funds have a greater deal of protection.
For those with concerns over their funds, transferring some to a prepaid card can also help to control spending, as only the sums on the card can be spent.
The cards can, however, be topped up if necessary and can be replaced if they are lost or stolen without funds being affected.
Expert Comment: The relationship between social media and online buying behaviour seems to represent a strange paradox. On one hand, the power of recommendation is constantly reinforced by the development of peer to peer selling and buying networks and online retailers such as Amazon have made a “killing” with its consumer reviews and recommendations. On the other hand, we seem to see this distrust of brand recommendations in the social media space. The conclusion would be that it is not the channel or the story but rather who is telling it that makes the key difference – Amit Sharma
Amit Sharma is the CEO and Founder of www.prepaid365.com and a senior prepaid industry consultant. You can follow him on LinkedIn.
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