Social commerce growing 3 times faster than traditional e-commerce

Social media platforms are rearranging the cards in e-commerce. Sales on social networks are expected to grow 3 times faster than traditional e-commerce. this is what it shows the survey conducted by the services firm Accenture in India, China, the United States, Great Britain and Brazil.

A purchase within the social media platform

Social commerce is the fact that a person lives the shopping experience entirely within a social media platform, such as Instagram or Tiktok, from product discovery to payment. Growth in social media shopping will be primarily driven by Gen Z and millennials, according to the study. Generation Z are people up to 24 years old. Millennials are people over 41 years old.

Social media sales valued at $492 billion

To date, social media sales are valued at $492 billion by Accenture. These sales are expected to reach $1.2 trillion by 2025. Nearly 2 in 3 social media users surveyed say they made a purchase in 2021. That’s nearly 2 billion shoppers worldwide, according to to Accenture.

The center of gravity of internet commerce is moving to social media, where the customers are. On the downside, half of social media users say they are concerned that social media purchases are not properly protected or refunded. Lack of trust is the biggest barrier to adopting this type of purchase, as was the case with e-commerce in its early days. Product return, refund and exchange policies are areas for improvement.

China is home to social commerce

Clothing shopping in mind

By 2025, social commerce purchases worldwide will be primarily in clothing (18% of all social commerce), consumer electronics (13%) and home decor (7%). Food and snacks are also an important product category (13%), although sales are almost exclusively in China.

Social commerce sales for beauty and personal care should quickly gain traction in e-commerce

Beauty and personal care, while smaller in terms of social commerce sales, are expected to rapidly gain traction in e-commerce and capture over 40% of average digital spend for this category in key markets by 2025.

Other research findings are that consumers in developing countries are more likely to use social commerce and use it frequently. Eight out of ten social media users in China use social commerce to shop for a certain category, while the majority of social media users in the UK and US have yet to make a purchase through social commerce.

Customers in developed countries more sensitive to promotions

Customers in China, India and Brazil care more about features that help them discover and evaluate potential purchases, while those in the UK and US place more importance on pricing and discounts. Finally, the issue of trust is more important to older generations than younger generations.

Older shoppers are sensitive to security, younger shoppers to live shopping sessions

Older shoppers emphasize safety features and value brand familiarity, while younger generations are drawn to live-streamed sales sessions and rely more on reviews shared by other shoppers.

The survey was conducted online among 10,053 social media users in China, India, Brazil, the US and the UK. The study was conducted from August 12 to September 3, 2021. In-depth interviews were also conducted with buyers and sellers in these same five markets between May 26 and June 2, 2021.

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