Does ‘Swipe up’ shopping signal the social future of retail?

Swipe up shopping is sweeping Ireland as 18-to-34-year-olds opt for social media future of retail, new research from Visa reveals.

There is a growing trend among consumers in Ireland to do their shopping via social media and almost a quarter (24pc) of consumers already shop this way and 45pc say they plan to do so in the future.

Dubbed ‘Swipe Up Shopping’, the study of more than 1,000 adults found that social media-fuelled purchases are being driven by those aged 18-34, with more than one in three already shopping this way (35pc).

“When shopping is so simple, it can be very easy to buy without thinking twice”

Clothing and accessories are the most popular Swipe Up Shopping purchases across all age groups, with those aged 18-34 leading the trend. But over-55s are also increasingly choosing to buy through social media platforms. Most popular categories include clothing, beauty products and homeware.

Making friends and influencing people

Being able to buy things with just a swipe or a click is key; over half (58pc) of Swipe Up Shoppers surveyed say they enjoy the convenience it allows, two fifths (40pc) love the speed and for a quarter (25pc), supporting local businesses is a driving factor.

While convenience remains a priority, Ireland’s shoppers are also Swiping Up Smart.  Of those surveyed 77pc make extra checks on the brand or company website to see if the site looks legitimate.

Two thirds (66pc) look at reviews and buyer comments before making a purchase and 41pc said they would only buy a product through influencers that are transparent about an ad and what they would gain from the sale.

However, almost one in five Swipe Up Shoppers (19pc) have bought something on social that they regretted and 28pc also admit to buying things on social media without thinking it through.

Swipe up, but be secure

“When shopping is so simple, it can be very easy to buy without thinking twice,” said Barbara Scully, a writer, broadcaster and self-confessed Swipe Up Shoppter.

“But, for greater peace of mind, I always spend a few minutes researching the website, influencer, or company to ensure they are legitimate. Then, if I’m happy to go ahead with my purchase, I use my Visa card knowing that my payment is protected if something were to go wrong.”

Additionally, despite the appeal of social media shopping, fraud is a concern for 75pc of those surveyed. So, whilst shopping on social is quick and convenient, shoppers should be mindful of buying safely and take the necessary steps to make sure they have a safe and secure experience.

“Social media provides an easy and convenient way for Ireland’s consumers to shop and it’s encouraging to see that Ireland’s consumers are taking the necessary steps to keep their payments safe,” said Dominic White, acting country manager for Visa in Ireland.

“Using your Visa debit or credit card offers a layer of protection in the event something goes wrong with a purchase, such as items failing to arrive. Our Zero Liability Policy will also mean you won’t be left out of pocket should you become a victim of fraud.”

By John Kennedy (

Published: 4 May 2021