Many studies have shown how people are increasingly turning to social media to inform their buying decisions – and the latest to confirm this has found that 49 per cent of people have engaged with a retailer through at least one such channel.
Retail analytics company Conlumino said, though, that a great deal of potential for interaction remains untapped, as seven out of 10 of the people it questioned said they were regular users of at least one social media site.
Perhaps surprisingly, though, two-thirds of those who took part in the survey said customer reviews played no part in their buying decisions or judgment on a product's quality.
Guy Chiswick of Conlumino said that, rather than speeding up the buying process, in many cases shoppers using the internet were becoming "considered consumers", willing to take their time over purchasing decisions.
He added: "As consumers become choosier, aggregate demand will continue to weaken and, comparative to historical standards, rates of growth in retail expenditure will be slower.
"Adapting to this slower growth will be a challenge for many of the big high street names."