Social commerce industry statistics
Global brands are learning from the social commerce strategies used by Chinese merchants. So, what can we expect to see over the coming year? Here are four trends to keep in mind if “master social commerce” is on your agenda.
88% of people would like to see more video content from brands
For most social media platforms, video content now takes priority. Take a look at the laundry list of new features released by social media giants over the past few years and you’ll notice one thing they all have in common: a love for video.
For retail brands, this preference for video content is good news too––88% of people say they’ve been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a brand’s video.
Off the back of these changes, consumers are becoming increasingly reliant on video throughout the shopping journey.
Brands new to the video space can test the waters by incorporating product and live videos into their social commerce strategy.
Regardless of the video format and channel you use, remember that shoppable videos are still new to some viewers, especially those outside of Southeast Asia. Make it obvious that viewers can shop products directly through the post with captions and frequent reminders.
60% of shoppers say livestreaming improves the shopping experience
While the US is still in its earlier stages in the US, livestream has made waves in China. China’s livestream selling market grew from $3 billion to $171 billion in three years. “If China’s experience is any guide, our analysis indicates that live-commerce-initiated sales could account for as much as 10 to 20 percent of all e-commerce by 2026,” says McKinsey & Company.
Current estimates suggest that the livestream market will be worth $35 billion in the US by 2024.
Retail businesses prepared to tap into livestream shopping can expect large rewards too––brands report live commerce conversion around the 30% mark—that’s 10 times higher than conventional commerce. Plus, they’re experiencing lower product return rates—the biggest thorn in ecommerce merchants’ sides.
The power of liveshopping has not been nearly tapped yet, and we’re on the precipice. We’re just starting on that, and we are really pushing into it. We already have a Head of Live Shopping.”
—Ann McFerran, Founder and CEO, Glamnetic
43% of consumers say they’re likely to use live chat in the next year
Our Future of Commerce report found 60% of shoppers think an excellent past customer service experience is a driving factor in influencing their purchase decision. Another 58% say the ability to easily reach customer service in the channel of their choice is important to them.
However you interpret that data, one thing’s clear: shoppers are demanding easy access to the brands they’re thinking about purchasing from. Social media—a place where real-time conversations with others are actively encouraged—is the perfect facilitator.
Live chat is one feature that helps make social commerce more sociable and interactive. Customers expect to interact with brands in the same way they chat with their friends––through social apps.
“Brands will also need to implement one-on-one social media experiences with prospects through conversations in private messages. These messages can range from offering discounts on new products or promotions to post-purchase customer support.
“A more personalized engagement experience will make prospective buyers and new customers feel valued and assure them that your business is there when they need you.”
If you’re not already offering live chat to social commerce customers, now’s the time. Some 43% of consumers surveyed by Shopify say they’re likely to use live chat in the next year. Miss out on those chances to connect with your customers and risk losing revenue.
In 2022, I’m expecting to see more experiments with chatbots and chat commerce. Consumers spend more when their shopping experience is personalized. AI powers chatbots on several websites that sell products or services to consumers. This technology is on an upward trajectory.”
—Jay Levitt, Founder and CEO of Lofta
Influencer marketing is set to be worth $16.4 billion in 2022
Chris expects this trend to continue throughout 2022: “We’ll continue to see TikTok dominate with normal and regular people finally breaking out of the mold and becoming people with real influence. Co-workers will quit jobs and pursue content creating full time and build real careers doing what they love.”
“Bigger brands will emerge from those creators with specific niche categories and those who have the business acumen will build actual companies from doing what they love,” Chris adds.
“Sustainability, although a big movement, will continue to push forward, and Gen Z will be super conscious about the products they’re consuming, where and how they’re made, and be more mission-focused than ever before.”
6 Key Tips for a Successful Social Commerce Program
While we do recommend utilizing multiple social media platforms, it can be good to start with one or two channels so you don’t spread your marketing team too thin. It’s better to have one or two social media profiles that look really good than to have five that just look okay. Do your research and choose the channels that you know your target audience is using. Earlier in this article, we outlined the five best social media platforms for e-commerce brands to use. Choose wisely, start with one or two and eventually utilize all of the ones that your target audience uses (which might be all of them).
Use Social Proof
Shoppers can use social commerce to:
- Discover brands
- Research products
- Interact with customer support
- Purchase items
Social commerce is a more convenient and interactive shopping experience which may explain why it’s becoming increasingly popular. Estimates show that the global value of social commerce will reach about $2.9 trillion by 2026:
Currently, these four social media apps have built-in native social commerce features:
Вконтакте предлагает создать полноценный магазин в соцсети. В сообществе компании можно также загрузить товары и создать подборки.
Строительный магазин «Петрович» создал магазин в своем сообществе Вконтакте.
Внутри карточки товара можно загрузить несколько фотографий, описание товара и цену. Можно перенаправить клиента на сайт компании, а можно продавать и принимать оплату прямо внутри сообщества. Для этого надо подключить функцию VK Pay.
Загружать товары можно как вручную, так и автоматически. Второй вариант гораздо удобнее и помогает быстро обновлять товары. Для загрузки товаров Вконтакте предусмотрел удобные варианты — готовые решения для типовых интернет-платформ. Магазин будет работать на всех устройствах — на компьютере, планшете или смартфоне.
Вконтакте также можно размещать динамическую рекламу — показывать пользователям персональное объявление с товаром, который он просматривал на вашем сайте. Также можно показывать аналогичные товары. Такой формат рекламы подойдет магазинам с большим количеством товаров и наличием собственного сайта. Для подготовки файла загрузки стоит привлечь специалиста и обеспечить стабильную работу сайта.
Leverage The Power Of Social Commerce And Increase Conversions
Social commerce trends are constantly evolving, but there are a few best practices that you can look into for making the most out of selling through social commerce platforms.
Choose the right social commerce channel for your product.
No single social media platform is best for every retailer, but if you want to know which is best for your business, consider the demographic makeup of your brand’s audience and start with the platform that most conforms to it.
While it’s possible to find audiences across multiple platforms, don’t fall into the trap of trying to do everything at once and spreading yourself too thin. Start by focusing on the most valuable social network, and plan to scale for the future.
Use your platform’s livestreaming feature.
When you’re selling online, it’s likely that customers are going to have questions about your products. You can’t be live streaming 24/7, but you can keep your instant messaging channels open for fast and easy communication.
In a survey conducted by 99firms, 73% of respondents said live chat was the “most satisfactory” form of communication from a company. Live chat helps add a personal touch to your sales process and is a fast and convenient way to provide customer support.
Drive your growth by partnering with influencers.
Find influencers to drive sales with Shopify Collabs
Discover Shopify Collabs
And you don’t necessarily need to work with particularly large influencers in order for influencer marketing to be advantageous. Micro-influencers tend to have higher engagement rates than large influencers, which is more valuable for building a sustained, long-term engaged audience.
Social media is an integral part of a successful e-commerce marketing program. Using social media is spectacular for two big things: getting traffic and driving sales. Increasing organic traffic and using channels like email is wonderful for e-commerce businesses, and so is social media. It’s not a fad. Social media is here to stay and is only getting more popular. All of the social media sites we’ll mention in this guide have a huge reach that can vastly expand your audience and increase your sales.
The 5 Best Social Media Platforms for E-Commerce Brands
TikTok recently partnered with Shopify to roll out an integration that helps businesses create, run and optimize their TikTok marketing campaigns directly from the Shopify dashboard. The new feature lets brands create ads that turn their products into video ads that appear on TikTok’s feed. As a bonus, brands can target an audience and track their campaign’s performance. TikTok has a heavy influencer presence and a mostly Gen Z audience. If your products appeal to younger crowds, then TikTok will likely be a great asset for your social commerce efforts.
What are the benefits of social commerce?
By meeting your target audience on their own turf, social commerce offers many advantages over traditional ecommerce. If it isn’t already a part of your social media marketing strategy, here’s why it should be:
Less friction in the checkout process.
Potential customers will still make a lot of considerations before purchasing from you, but when they’re able to buy directly from the point of discovery, the effort involved in the purchase won’t be one of them.
Drive social media engagement while you sell.
A good social media marketing plan needs to perform the simultaneous functions of finding new audiences and maintaining good relationships with existing ones.
The social commerce market is huge.
With more businesses adopting social commerce, the ability to buy directly on social media will become less of an extravagance and more an expectation. Adopting social commerce now will put you in prime position to stay on top of this trend and stop missing out on lost sales.
Generate social proof while you sell.
Social proof is a psychological phenomenon that describes our tendency to rely on the opinion of others when making purchase decisions.
In ecommerce, social proof can take the form of product reviews, customer testimonials, case studies, public praise, or even just knowledge of a product’s popularity. If you’ve ever watched a movie or TV show just because everyone seems to be talking about it, you’ve experienced the power of social proof.
Easily accommodate the growing number of mobile shoppers.
The number of mobile ecommerce sales reached $359 billion in 2021, a 15.2% increase from 2020. Industry experts estimate that by 2025, mobile ecommerce sales will account for 44.2% of retail ecommerce sales in the US, for a grand total of $728.28 billion.
As online shoppers warm up to the idea of shopping on their mobile devices, and social media networks adopt more tools that help facilitate it, an easy-to-use mobile-ready storefront will become more and more crucial to the success of any online retailer.
You might be thinking, So what? I have a responsive, mobile-friendly Shopify theme that makes checkout a breeze. While that may be true, the fact is, most sales aren’t happening in browsers. They’re taking place within social media apps.
What are the benefits of tapping into social commerce?
Social commerce is big business in the US. It will account for 5.2% of all ecommerce transactions by 2025.
Global reach aside, let’s take a look at five other actions that influence DTC brands’ decisions to use social commerce.
- Publish content that convinces people to buy. For 37% of social shoppers, that’s deals and discounts. And you don’t need a customers’ most valuable digital currency—their email address—to send them. It’s why 71% of people say social media has inspired them to shop even when they weren’t actively looking to do so.
- Host livestreams. More than half of US consumers have already made a purchase on either a social or livestream video platform. Tap into social media livestreams and nudge viewers to buy the products on show.
—Shawn Munoz, Brand Manager of Pure Relief
—Bill Glaser, CEO of Outstanding Foods
Augmented reality is changing the way we shop, play, and learn, and transforming how businesses tell their stories and sell their products.”
—Jeremi Gorman, chief business officer at Snap
“With one viral video related to our business concept of creating a capsule wardrobe in April of 2021, we had our first ever $20,000 month. As a small business in the competitive apparel space, that was exciting and helped us see the potential, for the first time, in social commerce.”
- Host TikTok livestreams: TikTok turns livestreams into a profitable shopping channel for DTC brands. Big-box retailers like Walmart have already piloted the social commerce feature. Its Holiday Shop-Along Spectacular was streamed to its TikTok profile, featuring pop-up product tags that shoppers can add items to their online cart and purchase within the app.
- Partner with creators: TikTok changed the influencer marketing industry by drawing attention away from famous influencers, giving smaller creators the opportunity to produce content for brands (at a fraction of the cost). Find creators whose audiences overlap with your own through the TikTok Creator Marketplace. As part of your partnerships, include the #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt hashtag alongside any branded hashtags. You’ll scale your social media content production while reaching new audiences.
—Jean Will, co-founder of NiaWigs
- Involve shoppers in product development: Modern consumers want to connect with the brands they’re buying from. Involve them in the product development experience through Twitch livestreams. Lexus, for example, partnered with a Twitch creator to create a “show car” the brand would use to make a statement at tradeshows.
- Partner with influencers: Capture a streamer’s existing loyal fan base through sponsored livestreams. For example, ELF Cosmetics sponsored a streamer who used its products to turn themselves into a gaming character.
- Encourage reviews and ratings. The downside to some in-app social storefronts is that customer reviews are often missing. Taggshop acts as a customer review platform so you can show words from happy customers alongside shoppable social content.
- Track influencer ROI.Almost of all marketers say ROI from influencer marketing is better than other channels. Benchmark your own campaigns against other marketing strategies with a custom Taggshop link for each influencer. The platform will automatically track revenue directly attributed to each creator.
Here’s how to sell on WeChat and capture international shoppers.
—James Rehm, Chief Operating Officer at Skuuudle
“By hosting our first livestream, we were able to connect with fans across the country who could watch the action unfold live, and actively participate without ever leaving the comfort of home.” —Ashleigh Gibson, brand director, Kraft Heinz (via Modern Retail)
In the US, social commerce is predicted to be worth $79.64 billion by 2025. For retail brands interested in using social commerce tools, there’s a large piece of the pie to claim.
Other than the potential boost in ecommerce sales, using social commerce brings retail businesses plenty of other benefits too.
Here are the top five benefits of social commerce:
- Reach a larger target audience
- Frictionless shopping experience
- Gather data on your audience
- Lean into social proof
- Receive customer feedback
Reach a larger target audience
4.59 billion people, or 57% of the global population, currently use social media. This figure is projected to reach 5.17 billion by 2024. There’s more opportunity than ever before to reach a global audience through social media.
Frictionless shopping experience
Functionality like in-app checkout, Buy buttons, and instant messaging tools make buying through social media convenient.
Using social commerce helps eliminate unnecessary steps in the purchasing process. With extra steps in the buying process, there’s more chance of customers losing interest and abandoning purchases.
Gather data on your audience
Social media platforms are a top source of customer data. This valuable data can inform future marketing campaigns and product development.
Using this data, retailers can build highly targeted ad campaigns so their products appear in front of their ideal audience. Social commerce gives brands the chance to get products in front of specific and highly targeted audiences that traditional ecommerce sites can’t replicate.
Lean into social proof
Eighty-nine percent of online shoppers check reviews before purchasing. People need to trust brands before they press Purchase, so they’ll look at past customer reviews, compare products, and even talk to other customers before making a decision.
Influencer marketing also helps build trust and generate social proof. When well-known influencers showcase your products, it increases your brand’s credibility. For instance, 89% of YouTube viewers trust the recommendations YouTube creators provide.
Using YouTube Shopping, brands can pin products next to their video so viewers can like, subscribe, and buy.
Receive customer feedback
Using this feedback, retailers can tailor their offerings to meet customer expectations. Whether that’s better customer service, more product size options, or a new clothing collection, once retailers have these insights they can take action.
What are the best social commerce platforms for retailers?
With nearly every major social media platform investing in social commerce features, retailers have a lot of options when it comes to which tools they want to use to sell online.
If you’re looking to get started selling through social commerce, here are the best platforms to explore:
If your Pinterest marketing strategy doesn’t include an element of social commerce, you’re likely missing out on a lot of sales. Social commerce may be an added convenience on other social media platforms, but on Pinterest, it’s a necessity.
Plus, buyable pins are synced to products in your Shopify store and automatically update when pricing or stock information changes.
As your products start to pick up on engagement and get more repins, clicks, and purchases, Pinterest may add a “Best-seller” label to the product, which helps its visibility in “Popular” exploration pages.
💡TIP: Add the Pinterest app to your online store to begin using Pinterest’s buyable pins.
Currently, TikTok shopping is exclusive to Shopify, so you’ll need to have your store set up before you’re able to use TikTok’s shopping features. When you sign up and install the TikTok Shopify app, products are pulled directly from your Shopify store for easy setup.
TikTok shopping allows retailers to tag products within their organic content and paid TikTok ads, making it easy for interested customers to go from seeing your product to buying it.