Increasingly, consumers are buying products with their smartphones. Many are purchasing directly on Facebook and Instagram without visiting external websites or leaving the apps.
This analysis explores mobile shopping and the social commerce trend. You'll discover which types of customers are shopping on social, which platforms are leading, and how social commerce fits into your strategy.
Mobile Shopping on the Rise
mCommerce covers online sales made via smartphones and tablets. As the chart below shows, smartphone transactions are experiencing massive growth and are expected to account for $660 billion in sales in the United States alone by 2025.
Mobile is also where it's at with social media platforms.
Take the largest player, Facebook. In 2021, more than two in three people who use Facebook use it exclusively on their mobile phones.
The Rise of Social Commerce
Social commerce is the direct purchase of a product via a social media platform without leaving the platform.
According to eMarketer, China is the global leader in social commerce and is expected to generate $351.65 billion in sales in 2021, followed by the United States with $36.62 billion—that's a 35.8% increase from 2020!
Where Is Social Commerce Happening?
No surprise, Facebook is leading the charge in social commerce:
Let's explore social platforms that consumers would consider purchasing from. According to Wunderman Thompson's Future Shopper report 2020, more than half of shoppers are likely to make a transaction using Facebook or Instagram.
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The report also found that 44% of global shoppers have already made a purchase using a social platform.
Who Is Making Social Commerce Purchases?
Looking at those who transact on social platforms, people between the ages of 25 and 44 are most likely to make purchases. Here's a breakdown of social commerce purchases by age:
- 16-24: 49% have purchased on a social platform.
- 25-34: 55% have purchased on a social platform.
- 35-44: 50% have purchased on a social platform.
- 45-54: 48% have purchased on a social platform.
- 55 and over: 26% have purchased on a social platform.
Of those who have participated in social commerce, 56% said they would do so again in the future.
What might incentivize people to make a social commerce purchase? Deals and discounts (37%) top the list, followed by ease of purchase (31%), exclusive offers (27%), and more customer reviews (24%).
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How Much Are Consumers Spending?
According to eMarketer, those who have participated in social commerce will spend slightly more than $400 on average in 2021 (that's about $34 a month spread over a year).
About 90 million Americans are expected to spend $36.62 billion in 2021. While the transaction sizes are small today, there appears to be a LOT of upside.
A study from Facebook found that 66% of global online shoppers say their mobile phone is quickly becoming their most important shopping tool.
Here's a good read from Snapchat on commerce trends the platform is seeing.
What Does This All Mean?
First, if you're selling lower-cost products to consumers who spend a lot of time on social platforms, you may want to consider setting up a shop on one of the major social platforms.
Second, as you plan for the future, remember that platforms like Instagram and Facebook want to keep users on those platforms. If you can figure out how to embrace social commerce, you could be part of a growing opportunity.
Get More Advice on Social Media Marketing
- Create a psychology-driven organic marketing funnel.
- Use buyer personas in your social media marketing.
- Research your competition’s ads on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
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