Instagram most popular social commerce platform among UK shoppers

Despite the popularity of social media platforms for product discovery, just one in six UK customers have previously made a purchase using a buy button on Facebook or the likes.

According to a survey of 1,424 British consumers by, the online marketplace, one third of shoppers are opposed to using social media to purchase items.

Among the most popular platforms to make purchases, Instagram stood out with the majority of consumers (59%) open to making a purchase on the imaging app. This was followed by Facebook (27%) and Pinterest (20%).

Despite growing intent, just 17% of respondents admitted to having used a social media buy button before.

“Social commerce is a relatively new service, which is still in its infancy in the UK,” explained Cas Paton, managing director at “Naturally, it will take time for British shoppers to trust in it. After all, we all like to stick with what is familiar. But times are changing. If shoppers don’t try new advancements, they could miss out on fabulous deals, sales and launches. Plus, great insight into favourite brands.”

Among the main reasons for shoppers to not engage in social media shopping where fears over security (58%), account privacy (32%) and seller legitimacy (32%).

A large majority of customers (85%) worry that sellers on social media may be fake or not trustworthy.

“From our research, we know British consumers are most concerned with factors like security, privacy and legitimacy. Brands should therefore concentrate on producing a social commerce service that is 100 per cent transparent. Be clear on cost. Reassure your audience you are there to contact and to answer any qualms or queries. Guidelines should be exact and loophole free. It’s a must to make shoppers feel safe online; the extra work needs to be put in to make it a success for every party.”

In an effort to make consumers feel safer when purchasing on social, 64% would like to see images from customers who previously shopped with a social media seller. Another 59% would welcome customer reviews and easy payment systems (49%) as well as access to video tutorials and demo products.

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