a worldwide social revolution on the internet Nearly 4.5 billion of the world’s 4.8 billion internet users are also on social media. That’s 57 percent of the world’s population utilising social media.
It’s made social media its digital front entrance. According to GWI statistics gathered by We Are Social and Hootsuite, 96% of worldwide internet users utilised social media platforms in July 2021. Second, 95%, followed by 94% for search engines.
According to Statista, the average social media user spends roughly two and a half hours each day on their preferred social media sites.
While organizations recognize the value of social media as a component of their marketing mix, they may be underestimating the ramifications of the online social revolution. As per GroupM, they spent a total of $537 billion on digital advertising worldwide last year, with less than one-third of that amount going toward social media advertising, according to Statista.
People are being diverted from where they want to be (e.g. Facebook, Instagram) by social media advertising (i.e. a brand website). It’s like when folks are travelling along the highway and get diverted. They are easily lost.
Similarly, if individuals favour social media over other internet routes, forcing them off one makes little sense. Social commerce fixes that. It keeps consumers where they want to be by allowing them to purchase while chatting with friends, getting news, and watching movies.
Social commerce will impact people’s shopping habits as much as internet shopping did twenty years ago. And, like with any revolution, it will bring unexpected changes and damage.
But there’s a lot of room for improvement in the world of social commerce!
Social commerce is defined as the full shopping journey on a social media network, from product discovery to checkout.
According to a recent Accenture study, worldwide social commerce revenues will hit $492 billion in 2021 and nearly treble to $1.2 trillion by 2025.
Robin Murdoch, global software and platforms sector head at Accenture, says the rising time spent on social media underscores their importance in our daily lives. “They’re changing the way consumers buy and sell, giving platforms and companies new user experiences and revenue streams.”
Social commerce currently accounts for 10% of e-commerce revenues, but in three years it will rise to 17%. Contrary to expectations, established areas including the US, UK, and Europe lag behind emerging markets in using social commerce.
“Mobile-first societies like China, India, and Brazil have jumped to social commerce much faster than Western Europe and North America,” says Oliver Wright, Accenture’s global consumer products and services head.
“The global consumer appeal is overwhelming,” he says. Customers desire simplicity, and social commerce is a natural component of that experience.
Early adopters of social commerce appreciate its power. Shoppers may now purchase products directly from Instagram. During the summer, it hosted weekly livestream shopping shows with Facebook.
“Every indicator is that [social commerce] will be big,” said Carolyn Bojanowski, Sephora’s general manager of e-commerce. “Our partners in Sephora China tell us how important it is to the client experience. We want to be a pioneer in something we know is coming.”
Three major ways to socialize
Wright sees three main social commerce engagement models evolving:
New customers are drawn in by the uniqueness of the material. Because they already do it with their content posts, brands can easily turn it on. It’s not necessary for Pinterest, YouTube, TikTok, Facebook, or Instagram to have their own shoppable in-app stores.
Wright argues that it is this ability that allows social media content to foster true exploration, involvement, and action.
You may shop right from your phone with the Nike app, NbG (Nothing by Gold).
According to Wright, “this may be one of the most intriguing.” It uses experience-based channels like livestreaming, virtual and augmented reality games to connect with customers.
While playing “League of Legend,” Michelle Phan debuted her EM Cosmetics new foundation live on Twitch. Bots were used during commercial breaks to add purchase buttons and speak. In comparison to past Twitch debuts, the new foundation sold around three times as many units on the streaming platform.
Wright describes this as “peer-to-peer commerce.” With it, people have a greater sense of control and freedom.” “It opens up the market.”
Meesho, an e-commerce platform in India, provides social commerce over WhatsApp while Pinduoduo has more active clients in China.
With a unique twist, clothing retailer Express allows loyal customers to construct their own Express storefronts and receive rewards for bringing in new customers and increasing sales through these storefronts.
Power to the people
According to Wright, we’ve merely scratched the surface when it comes to social commerce. He argues that any company, no matter how big or little, can now create their own ‘brand’ and go for a certain market. There is more power in the hands of the consumer. “It gives people back their power.”
He believes that small businesses and entrepreneurs can now access previously unreachable markets. Millions of individuals and small businesses are selling to each other in a massive social commerce ecosystem, instead of large stores and brands.
According to Accenture study, 59 percent of social customers prefer to purchase from small businesses via social media rather than the internet.
“People’s power fuels social trade, which is a democratising force. Large corporations are being compelled to reevaluate their place in society. Every consumer product and service, platform, brand, and store will be affected. New partnerships and business strategies are needed to take advantage of this diverse environment.