More than half (57 per cent) of 18 to 24-year-olds have turned to non-traditional ways of spending over the last year – and this is likely to continue into the festive period and beyond.

A study of 2,000 adults revealed Facebook (32 per cent), voice assistants like Alexa (31 per cent), TikTok (16 per cent), and Pinterest (17 per cent) will also be popular – as will livestream shopping via retailer websites (19 per cent).

And the trend isn’t limited to younger adults – many over-35s intend to use similar ways of spending during their Christmas and Black Friday sprees too – 25 per cent and 17 per cent respectively.

Commissioned by Brightpearl.com [https://www.brightpearl.com/ ], a retail operating system for some of the world’s biggest brands and retailers, the study found why these ‘alternative’ methods have become increasingly appealing to shoppers of all ages.

Four in 10 prefer new social buying channels and livestream as they combine entertainment and shopping – much like traditional malls do.

Similarly, 36 per cent of Brits think they are better because they can interact and socialise with their friends more easily while they enjoy a spending spree.

Despite new ways to buy rapidly emerging for this Holiday season, Brightpearl researchers found very few businesses are set up to facilitate non-traditional ways of shopping.

A study of 200 retailers found low adoption for new discovery and selling channels, including  TikTok (15 per cent), YouTube (20 per cent) and livestream spending (nine per cent).

And this could be detrimental to their profit margins because a quarter of consumers have decided against purchasing goods and services from a retailer who didn’t offer new ways to buy.

Nick Shaw, a spokesman for BrightPearl.com, said: “In the pre-internet age, retailers gradually realised shopping can be a form of entertainment, and a wider social activity, which is not only fun for consumers but also results in more sales.

“As such, traditional stores made more effort to make shopping ‘an experience’ – a form of leisure.

“And we’re now seeing this happen with online shopping thanks to a host of new ways to buy online – from new social media channels, to voice and live streaming – that combine shopping with socialising and entertainment.

“The ‘new normal’ for commerce this holiday season and beyond is now likely to be framed by many non-traditional ways of shopping, which provides a huge choice to consumers and retailers.

“But, there’s a very real danger of retailers losing out on sales this holiday season if they don’t – or can’t – enable shoppers to spend in these ‘new’ ways.”

The study also found it’s not just where consumers are shopping online which is changing – shoppers appear to be paying for their purchases in different ways too.

While debit (55 per cent) and credit cards (50 per cent) remain popular they aren’t the number one choice – that goes to PayPal (58 per cent).

The likes of Apple Pay (13 per cent), Google Pay (11 per cent), and Amazon Pay (11 per cent) are popular too – as are Klarna (10 per cent) and Shopify (eight per cent).

However, the study carried out through OnePoll found many retailers don’t offer these payment methods.

For instance, of those polled two thirds aren’t set up for Shopify and 42 per cent don’t allow consumers to pay through Amazon.

BrightPearl’s Nick Shaw added: “We really are at the beginning of a new trend – things are changing in the world of online shopping and changing quickly.

“It is inevitable that more and more shoppers will buy and spend online in a variety of ways – especially as we approach Christmas and Black Friday.

“Unfortunately, many retailers will miss out because they aren’t set up to quickly add the new selling channels or payment methods that their customers now prefer.”

Brightpearl, which works with thousands of retailers introducing software that puts orders, inventory, financials, POS (point of sale) and CRM (customer relationship management) in one place, has distilled the data into a new report on the trends driving buying behaviours of shoppers during Black Friday and Christmas, which can be found at https://www.brightpearl.com/ecommerce-guides/tis-the-season-uk

TOP 10 ‘ALTERNATIVE’ WAYS CONSUMERS WANT TO SHOP THIS WINTER:

Dedicated retailer apps

YouTube

Facebook

Voice assistants (Amazon Alexa/Amazon Echo/Apple Siri/Google Assistant etc)

WhatsApp

Instagram

Livestream shopping

Twitter

TikTok

Pinterest

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