In January 2017 Quest Search & Selection conducted an online salary survey in partnership with Retail Gazette. Over 500 UK retail professionals were surveyed and their opinions and answers form the basis of this report. We would like to share some of our insights and will be launching a series of features of our key findings. The first is focused on social media usage and engagement across the retail market. Interestingly, while Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are the top three channels for retail businesses, Instagram overtook Twitter in the third spot for UK retail professionals in our survey with Snapchat being used regularly by almost a quarter of respondents. With this change possibly suggesting a shift towards platforms allowing for more visual and creative engagement strategies. For businesses looking to create a more personable and down to earth image, Snapchat, currently used by 13% of surveyed employers, offers the platform to reach over 100 million active daily users and prides itself in creating a more authentic and genuine image than some of its competitors.
Retail brands appear to show a clear preference for communicating via Twitter with nearly three quarters of the surveyed retailers using the platform to engage with consumers and prospects. With only 38% of participants report regular Twitter usage, this finding could suggest that businesses may want to consider shifting their focus and effort to alternative social platforms to strengthen engagement and help drive sales.
Surprisingly, 4% of retail businesses surveyed do not use social media to further their market reach or engage with prospects. In a market where consumers are digitally and commercially savvy, with high expectations for a personalised shopping experience, whether online or in physical stores, social engagement cannot be overlooked or ignored.