In 3 short years, people will use social media to buy $1.2 trillion in goods worldwide, according to a new study from Accenture. That’s up from the current $492 billion in sales made through such platforms.
The company expects “social commerce” to grow three times as fast as traditional commerce, driven primarily by Gen Z and Millennial social media users, who will account for 62% of global social commerce spend by 2025.
Accenture points to the entire shopping experience, from product discovery to the check-out process, as taking place on social media platforms. “Just under two thirds (64%) of social media users surveyed said they made a social commerce purchase in the last year, which Accenture estimates to reflect nearly 2 billion social buyers globally.”
Some interesting finding include the following:
- The majority of social media users in the UK and US have yet to make a purchase via social commerce.
- Shoppers in the UK and US place more importance on pricing and discounts.
- Trust is more important to older generations than younger generations. Older shoppers emphasize security features and value brand familiarity while younger generations are attracted to livestreams and put more faith in buyer reviews.
The Accenture report, “Why Shopping’s Set for a Social Revolution,” was based on a series of studies on social commerce conducted by Accenture Research. It conducted in-depth interviews with shoppers and sellers in May and June of 2021 and conducted an online survey of over 10,000 social media users in five countries in August and September of 2021 (China, India, Brazil, US, and UK).
It used the following definition in its report: “The social commerce market includes products or services ordered via social networks, regardless of the method of payment or fulfillment, covering business to consumer (B2C) and consumer to consumer (C2C) transactions.”
While large businesses will see a significant opportunity, Accenture believes smaller brands will also benefit:
“More than half (59%) of social buyers surveyed said they are more likely to support small and medium-sized businesses through social commerce than when shopping through ecommerce websites. Furthermore, 63% said they are more likely to buy from the same seller again, showing the benefits of social commerce in building loyalty and driving repeat purchases.”
However, Accenture found that half of social media users surveyed are concerned that social commerce purchases will not be protected or refunded properly.
Oliver Wright, global Consumer Goods and Services lead at Accenture, called social commerce a leveling force driven by the creativity, ingenuity and power of people. “Getting social commerce right will require creators, resellers and brands to bring their products and services where the consumer is, and will be, rather than the other way around.”
“It means working together within a dynamic ecosystem of platforms, marketplaces, social media and influencers to share data, insights and capabilities to deliver the right incentives and best consumer experience across an integrated digital marketplace,” he said.
You can find more information about the report on the Accenture website.