Lockdown has led to a 95% increase in social e-commerce, research reveals

Lockdown has led to a 95% increase in social ecommerce, according to new research by Parcelhero.

The home delivery firm has predicted that a fifth of Brits have become “social shoppers” during the Covid-19 pandemic as many consumers have been using social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Google Shopping for their spending sprees instead of hitting the high street.

Parcelhero predicts a 95% increase in sales of products discovered on social media and said potential growth is “unlimited if UK platforms introduce checkouts.”

Even with the lockdown restrictions being eased, Parcelhero said sociable shopping will remain “off-limits” thanks to continuing social distancing measures.


However, new research reveals that online shopping has become an increasingly sociable activity thanks to a lockdown boom in social commerce. Parcelhero forecasts the closure of many high street favourites has fuelled a 95% increase in shoppers discovering new products on social media compared with 2017.

Parcelhero’s latest research found 16% of UK consumers had purchased items via social media at the beginning of the year, and that figure has soared to 20% during lockdown.

Parcelhero’s head of consumer research, David Jinks said that, by the end of 2020, nearly 11 million British shoppers will have splashed the cash after first seeing a product on social media. That’s despite the fact that, unlike the USA, most platforms still don’t have a checkout here in the UK.

He said: “Back in December 2019, long before the lockdown hit, research released by the social commerce specialist Curalate revealed a 79% increase in UK shoppers discovering new products on social media compared with 2017. 

“Instagram alone enjoyed a 64% increase in UK surfers using the platform to find shopping inspiration. We believe this growth continued exponentially as lockdown dragged on this year.”

 He added: “It’s jaw-droppingly hard to believe, but there’s still no checkout on Instagram here in Britain, nor is there on Facebook Pay. Also, in another slap in the face to UK stores venturing into social media selling, Google continues to charge retailers to place their products on the Google Shopping search page here in the UK, despite dropping these charges in the USA.

 “Nonetheless, 24% of UK businesses were selling products via social media at the beginning of the year. That’s likely to have risen to around 30% following lockdown as desperate sellers sought new ways to reach consumers.”

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