Buying on smartphones has become a force of habit among British consumers, with 5% of the population relying on m-commerce every day according to Criteo.

The survey of 2,023 customers found that social media is playing a big part in this, giving rise to what Criteo has dubbed ‘copycart shopping’, whereby consumers are inspired to buy what crops up in their feeds.

The trend prevails among the younger generation, with 10% of millennials buying on mobile every day, and Snapchat and Instagram are proving to be the key social networks driving it.

Social shopping

Omnipresent mobiles have had a crucial impact on shopping habits, integrating brands and products into consumers’ daily lives.

Almost a third (29%) of those surveyed admit they purchase goods on their mobile phones, and as mentioned, the trend is more pronounced among the younger generations, with 49% of those under 44 using smartphones to shop.

With well over half (56%) of British adults accessing Facebook daily, the worlds of social and m-commerce are becoming increasingly connected. The research highlights that those very active on social media tend to ‘copycart’ shop more.

Heavy Snapchat users are 89% more likely to buy on mobile than the average customer for instance, while on Instagram, that figure sits at 74%.

Influencing m-commerce

Almost a quarter of the Brits buy clothes on mobile (23%), followed by music and film (16%) and health and beauty products (14%). According to the study, social media tends to drive the content of their shopping carts online too. On Instagram, users are 113% more likely to buy clothes on mobile than the average shopper, likely as an influence of the photo-sharing app’s popularity among fashion bloggers.

At the root of the trend, according to the study, is the fact that Brits love shopping, with 74% (81% for millennials) considering it an enjoyable activity.

What the survey has also revealed is that heavy social media users are more likely to enjoy shopping than those who don’t.

Criteo believes that when customers do what they enjoy, they respond better to ads and brand messaging.

“They’re also more likely to spend money. Being able to recognise individual shopping behaviour allows brands to begin to target consumers with the right message, at the right time,” commented Criteo.