Scottish businesses losing out to global competitors in the race to sell via social

The number of UK businesses selling via social media sites and apps is predicted to double in the next six months

THE NUMBER of UK businesses selling via social media sites and apps is predicted to double in the next six months – new research from PayPal reveals.

British shoppers will be able to purchase on the social media channels of a further 600,000 UK businesses, as the popularity of mobile shopping expands to new sites and apps. This is in addition to the 24% of British businesses already selling via these platforms.

Yet whilst the research reveals positive intent among businesses, it finds the proportion of Scottish businesses selling through social media (21%) lags behind the UK average of 24%, and even further behind the global average of 35% – meaning they could be missing out on vital sales.

PayPal’s annual Commerce Index, which surveys the latest trends in mobile commerce across the globe, found an additional one in five UK businesses (22%) plan to sell via social in future.

Currently, 8.4m British consumers shop via social media, with Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat being the most popular channels. A fifth of those already purchasing through social do so weekly, with individual social spending averaging £71 monthly.

Of the 11 countries surveyed, the UK was found to have the greatest consumer concerns about security when purchasing on mobile, with key barriers including a fear of having financial information linked to social media accounts.

Commenting on the findings, Nicola Longfield, Senior Director of Small and Medium Businesses at PayPal UK, said:

“As we continue to lead increasingly busy lives relying on their smartphones more than ever to help us make the most of our time, it’s important that Scottish businesses are in a position to cater for this. Our data reveals a substantial rise in the number of businesses that plan to sell through social media over the coming six months, capturing a consumer’s attention in the very place they go to for inspiration.

“However, the UK falls some way behind the global average for selling via social, something which must be addressed if businesses are to compete and make the most of their selling potential. Security remains key for consumers shopping on social and companies of all sizes must address these fears, offering mobile-friendly payment options like PayPal to help instil trust from shoppers and ensure purchases are made securely.”

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