Scottish businesses are being urged to step up their selling via social media sites and apps to avoid missing out on vital sales – after a survey found that they lag behind both the UK and global averages.
A survey from PayPal published today found that just one in five Scottish businesses sells on social media, far behind the global average of 35 per cent and the rest of the UK at 24 per cent.
The payments giant has also predicted that the number of UK businesses selling via social media sites and apps is predicted to double in the next six months.
It said 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.
PayPal’s annual commerce index, which surveys the latest trends in mobile commerce worldwide, found an additional 22 per cent of UK businesses plan to sell via social in future.
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Currently 8.4 million 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 a month.
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.
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.”
PayPal now owns Swedish payments firm iZettle, which acquired Edinburgh-based IntelligentPos in 2016 for an undisclosed sum.