Social Commerce: Taking e-commerce by storm

As online businesses gear up for the holiday shopping season, social commerce is poised to shake up sales, and as more and more companies use social media platforms to sell products and services, many brands are still struggling to find the right strategy.

Pre-Covid19, China led in social commerce. The pandemic, however, gave the trend a huge boost in the United States as 80 million social buyers in the U.S. spent about $27 billion in e-marketplaces in 2020, a 30% increase from the year before, according to Statista. This year, social commerce sales are predicted to grow more than 35%. By 2025, social commerce in the U.S. is seen to hit about $80 billion, a mere 5% of the country’s retail e-commerce sales.

While in Southeast Asia, things look a little different, as data by Bain & Co. shows, social commerce accounted for almost half (44%) of the region’s U$109 billion e-commerce market last year.

How can your small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) build a social commerce strategy for your brand? Tactics to consider include user-generated content, influencers partnerships, and adding consumer calls to action to posts. 

The right platform is also key. Facebook is still the most popular platform in the U.S., predicted to reach 56 million buyers this 2021. The platform last year developed free Facebook Shops to support SMEs during the pandemic. While in Southeast Asia, almost 6 in 10 (59%) say that more than one-quarter of all their online shopping is influenced by social media, with the two most popular channels triggering a purchase being Facebook (78%) and YouTube (52%).

If influencer marketing is suited to your brand, you should also use Instagram, which recently introduced Instagram Checkout, and a shop tab to make purchases easier.

Another platform to seriously consider is TikTok, from which you can optimize user-generated content to sell your products through TikTok Shopping. TikTok is taking giant steps into the e-commerce business releasing more and more integrations and new features to enable a seamless buying experience.

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