Social commerce sales are projected to reach about $2.9 trillion by 2026, after hitting $560 billion in 2020. Social commerce allows customers to shop without having to leave social media platforms, making it a streamlined, one-stop experience for the customer. In contrast, social media marketing introduces shoppers to a product on social media but is redirected to a company’s website to complete a purchase.
Social commerce specifically performed way better in some countries in 2021. In China, 50% of internet users shopped from social platforms, making it leading social commerce. The United States came in second with 36%.
By early 2021, more than 22% of U.S. social media shoppers did so on Facebook, and nearly 13% used Instagram. Not surprisingly, social commerce is much more popular among 18 to 34 year-olds.
Because social commerce heavily relies on a brand’s target market to share content with friends, trust is the first step to building a social commerce strategy. As such, digital marketing agencies like Where Digital Goes are doing this through short-form video, augmented reality, live-stream shopping, and influencer marketing, according to Margo Mulvihill, the agency’s Director.
“Figure out exactly what gets your audience to share content with friends – whether it be humor, education, relatability, vibe, etc. – and leverage that in all of your organic content,” advises Annelise Hillmann, CEO and Cofounder of Frontman, a Gen Z grooming brand for men.
Authenticity is the key. Katharine McKee of Morphology Consulting, a digital commerce consultancy, adds “This isn’t the space for flashy and fluffy, this is the space for honest reviews, real use cases, and call to actions that align with who your shopper is.”