New research has found that 25% of millennial shoppers are using social media to help them to make decisions on purchases.

The study was commissioned by Maybe, a platform that aims to help consumers decide what to buy, and surveyed almost 2,000 young adults aged between 16 and 34. It also found that 74% of 296 Gloucestershire-based high street retailers questioned did not actively use Facebook or Twitter to engage with customers.

Polly Barnfield, founder of Maybe, said: “The research presents an interesting dichotomy. On the one hand, one in four millennial shoppers are actively using social media to influence their decision making, yet on the other three quarters of retailers are failing to tap into that market. Consequently, they’re missing a huge opportunity to engage with consumers and help to facilitate a sale.”

Maybe has teamed up with GFirst LEP, Gloucester City Council, Cheltenham Borough Council, Stroud County Council and the government to launch a pilot project called ‘What do you think?’, aimed at establishing dialogue between high street retailers and young shoppers in Gloucestershire.

Barnfield added: “The critical aspect of the consumer journey is the part between that of the act of going shopping and that of actually making a purchase. In order to survive, and indeed thrive, retailers need to shine a light on that process and bridge the gap between these where possible. Our research findings suggest that social media is a key component and one that retailers should be exploiting.”

Maybe is also working in partnership with the University of Gloucestershire and the University of Nottingham to establish retail and consumer trends.