Social Commerce: The role of social media in the eCommerce industry

The growth of the eCommerce industry is the main factor why so many companies became involved in the development of online sales to improve operations. One of the most important occurrences associated with eCommerce is social commerce, which means using social media to sell products. In this regard, it is vital to discuss the concept of social commerce, important statistics, and its future.

Basics of social commerce

Introducing Facebook Shops. Meta

The concept of social commerce implies that retailers can use social platforms not only to advertise their products and build brand image and awareness but also to sell to customers directly. A social media user has the opportunity to buy an item directly from the page of a brand. This notion makes the customer journey easier and removes the need to visit the website, find the needed item, and complete the purchase. Basically, a user sees a product and can buy it right away. Although this model is not suitable for all the companies and mainly popular among the fashion and beauty retailers, there are countless possibilities on how to improve the social selling. Moreover, the core idea of social commerce remains to be the fact that people rely on social opinions to buy something. Thus, seeing the recognized and well-perceived brand on social media evokes the trust and desire of the consumer to buy from this brand.


Value of social commerce sales worldwide from 2020 to 2026. Statista

The rise of social commerce is not only about the changes in general trends of shopping experience but also about the objective indications that this concept is becoming profitable and effective. Namely, the value of social commerce in 2022 has reached 958 billion dollars, while in 2020, it was 560 billion dollars. By the estimates, the value of social commerce in 2026 is expected to be 2,900 billion dollars. More and more companies started to consider social commerce because it is where most customers are, and this model offers substantial growth. The 2021 statistics also show that 12% of the eCommerce companies from Europe and North America planned to adopt social commerce, while 30% of companies had already been selling through social platforms. Lastly, another research indicates that 1 out of 3 Facebook users will make a purchase on this social media.

Future of social commerce

Speaking about the potential of social commerce to evolve even further, one may mention the example of China, which managed to achieve significant results from selling on the popular social media platform TikTok. Social commerce in China has reached an incredible level compared to other markets. Namely, in 2021, customers have spent 351 billion dollars buying from social media platforms

Also, TikTok has created a unique social experience in shopping with live streaming where people can watch the influencers and buy items immediately. This notion works for the customers because they see how the products are interacted with and see the demand of other people during the streaming. As a result, the customers are very eager to make an instant purchase because a big group of people are also engaged in this shopping event. No wonder that such respectable eCommerce platform like Shopify launched the collaboration with TikTok to use this platform to scale the business. 

Scaling social commerce: Shopify introduces new in-app shopping experiences on TikTok. Shopify

All in all, one may mention that at the core of social commerce is the idea that people can purchase the products in the social space where they can see the reviews and approval from other people. From the business perspective, social commerce is an effective way to make the shopping experience more convenient and relatable. The statistics about the current state and future of social commerce only prove that this way of selling is becoming an integral part of the eCommerce industry.

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