An investigation into how consumer behaviour is influenced by the retailers use of social media
The topic of how consumer behaviour is influenced by how retailers use social media to advertise their products and services is of particular interest because of social medias strong presence in society (Godey et al. 2016). Retailers may use social media to successfully and effectively meet their target market. They have realised that colourful signs and targeted advertisements are what draw consumers to purchase goods and enable retailers to make a profit. As a result, it will be important to see just how effective these advertisements are at attracting consumers and how consumer behaviour is affected as a result of seeing these particular advertisements. Therefore, the aim of this dissertation is to investigate the influence social media use by retailers has on influencing consumer behaviour. A quantitative approach was adopted in the form of an online questionnaire which helped to form insights into how the use of social media by retailers affected consumer behaviour. Inclusion criteria included participants over the age of 18, with a Facebook or Instagram account, or both. Social networking was already a growing means of communication and marketing tool before the Covid19 pandemic, but the arrival of the pandemic has accelerated this for companies that may not have considered it previously. Understanding the results obtained would allow retailers to better understand and adapt their social media advertising campaigns in order to persuade customers to engage with them and buy their goods. Therefore, this is a valuable piece of research that provides insight and possible indicators for future practices. It may also be helpful for consumers to consider the strategies that marketers use to influence their own purchasing behaviours. Findings indicated that the retail industry uses social media in order to interact with consumers, with this being especially true since the Covid19 pandemic began. People in the 18- 25 age category appeared more influenced by social media usage and more likely to purchase from advertisements. Eye catching images, realistic models and popular clothing are most likely to catch the eye of the consumer and influence their purchasing behaviour.