“Social commerce is the next evolution of ecommerce. As with the adoption of online shopping, it will take time for consumers to become comfortable purchasing items via social media and even more time for them to do so on any kind of regular basis. Social commerce will in no way replace traditional ecommerce or in-store shopping, but it will become a key part of their shopping repertoire.”
– Katie Hansen, Retail & eCommerce Analyst

This Report looks at the following areas

  • Consumers’ overall interest in purchasing via social media
  • Actions and activities of consumers when using and shopping via social media
  • Barriers and drivers to consumers’ use of social commerce
  • Most likely items consumers would purchase through social media
  • Consumers’ attitudes toward livestreaming

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • This Report looks at the following areas
        • Definition
          • Market context
            • COVID-19: US context
              • Economic and other assumptions
              • Executive Summary

                  • Top takeaways
                    • Market overview
                      • Figure 1: Total US retail ecommerce sales and fan chart forecast, at current prices, 2016-26
                      • Figure 2: Category outlook, 2022-27
                    • Opportunities and challenges
                      • Tout the benefits of a streamlined shopping experience
                        • Increase engagement opportunities with shoppers
                          • Livestream shopping will grow slowly and steadily
                            • Education gap must be filled for consumers to shop on social
                              • Key consumer insights
                              • Market Landscape

                                • Social commerce grows rapidly but still only accounts for a small part of ecommerce sales
                                  • Figure 3: Total US retail ecommerce sales and fan chart forecast, at current prices, 2016-26
                                • Platforms see the future of social commerce (and make investments into it)
                                  • Figure 4: List of social commerce upgrades by platform in 2021
                              • Market Factors

                                • Red-hot inflation interrupts consumers’ financial health
                                  • Figure 5: Consumer Price Index change from previous year, 2020-22
                                • Transparency is key in managing supply chain issues
                                  • Digitally native younger consumers are adopting social commerce
                                    • Figure 6: Population by generation, 2021
                                • Competitive Strategies and Market Opportunities

                                  • Encourage consumers to lead content creation
                                    • Figure 7: Starbucks leans into creators on TikTok
                                    • Figure 8: Starbucks branded content on Instagram
                                  • What it means for brands
                                    • Create safe and healthy spaces for brands and consumers
                                      • Brand safety
                                        • User safety and wellbeing
                                          • What it means for brands
                                            • Figure 9: Lush pushes consumers to be somewhere else besides social media
                                          • Emphasize experiences, convenience and information
                                            • Experiences
                                              • Figure 10: Anthropologie gives consumers bucketed categories to explore on Pinterest
                                            • Convenience
                                              • Figure 11: Shop announces partnership with social media platforms
                                            • Information
                                              • Figure 12: Glossier shows off customer reviews, awards in Instagram Stories
                                            • What this means for brands
                                              • Improve ability to shop via livestreamed events
                                                • What this means for brands
                                                  • Figure 13: Walmart highlights Black-owned brands via Talkshoplive
                                              • The Social Media Consumer – Fast Facts

                                                • Interest in Social Commerce and Platforms Used

                                                  • Consumers are curious about social commerce
                                                    • Figure 14: Interest in purchasing on social media, 2021
                                                  • Social commerce opportunities extend to consumers of all backgrounds
                                                    • Figure 15: Interest in purchasing on social media, by key demographics, 2021
                                                  • Established platforms currently see the most activity
                                                    • Figure 16: Platforms shopped, 2021
                                                  • Older generations stick with Facebook, younger consumers bounce from one platform to the next
                                                    • Figure 17: Platforms shopped, by gender, 2021
                                                • Actions on Social Media

                                                  • Brands have many opportunities to engage with consumers on social media
                                                    • Figure 18: Actions on social media, 2021
                                                  • Men pay attention to livestreamed content
                                                    • Figure 19: Actions on social media, by gender, 2021
                                                  • Brands can use social to expand reach across generations
                                                    • Figure 20: Actions on social media, by generation, 2021
                                                    • Figure 21: Gen X+ influencers make their mark on social media
                                                • Products Purchased via Social Media

                                                  • Consumers open to buying a wide range of products via social
                                                    • Figure 22: Comfort level buying products on social, by category, 2021
                                                  • Social media can expand brands’ target coverage
                                                    • Figure 23: Comfort level buying products on social– by category, by gender and age, 2021
                                                  • Brands should tailor social commerce strategies around platforms’ various strengths
                                                    • Figure 24: Comfort level buying products on social – by category, by social media channel shopped, 2021
                                                • Attitudes toward Social Media

                                                  • Consumers are beginning to expand their usage of social media when shopping beyond browsing
                                                    • Figure 25: Attitudes toward social media activities, 2021
                                                  • Millennials are the most open to engaging in all aspects of shopping via social
                                                    • Figure 26: Attitudes toward social media activities, by generation, 2021
                                                  • Consumers want to see themselves reflected in a brand
                                                    • Figure 27: Attitudes toward social media activities, by race and Hispanic ethnicity, 2021
                                                  • Brands can take advantage of an expansive toolkit to aid consumers shopping on social media
                                                    • Figure 28: Attitudes toward shopping on social, 2021
                                                  • Women find confidence in their communities; men want tech-based experiences
                                                    • Figure 29: Attitudes toward shopping on social, by gender, 2021
                                                  • Parents seek time-saving tools
                                                    • Figure 30: Attitudes toward shopping on social, by parental status, 2021
                                                • Barriers to Shopping on Social Media

                                                  • Security and trust remain as two big barriers to using social commerce
                                                    • Figure 31: Barriers to shopping on social media, 2021
                                                  • Women need clear security protection to shop on social
                                                    • Figure 32: Barriers to shopping on social media, by gender, 2021
                                                    • Figure 33: Old Navy Verified Merchant on Pinterest
                                                  • Younger generations are curious and looking for guidance
                                                    • Figure 34: Barriers to shopping on social media, by generation, 2021
                                                • Motivations to Shop on Social Media

                                                  • Encourage consumers to shop on social media by addressing barriers
                                                    • Figure 35: Native shows off its customer review numbers
                                                    • Figure 36: Motivations to shop on social media, by gender, 2021
                                                  • Brands can motivate younger generations by offering a number of tools to guide their purchasing decisions
                                                    • Figure 37: Motivations to shop on social media, by generation, 2021
                                                  • Surprise and delight with exclusive product access, streamlined methods
                                                    • Figure 38: Incentives to shop on social media, 2021
                                                  • Emphasize time savings and give Millennials a spotlight to shine
                                                    • Figure 39: Incentives to shop on social media, by generation, 2021
                                                • Social Media Platform Attributes

                                                  • Most social media channels are seen in a positive light
                                                    • Figure 40: Social media platform attributes, 2021
                                                    • Figure 41: Correspondence analysis – Symmetrical map – Word association, 2022
                                                • What to Watch: Livestreaming on Social Media

                                                  • Consumers are curious about livestream events
                                                    • Figure 42: Livestreaming participation, 2021
                                                    • Figure 43: Target uses livestreaming to inspire consumers’ holiday shopping
                                                  • Tap into past participants to drum up excitement for livestreaming
                                                    • Figure 44: Livestreaming participation, by key demographics, 2021
                                                    • Figure 45: Nordstrom hosts live event with NARS Global Artistry Director
                                                  • Education is still critical for getting livestreaming off the ground
                                                    • Figure 46: Attitudes toward livestreaming, by key demographics, 2021
                                                • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                  • Data sources
                                                    • Forecast
                                                      • Consumer survey data
                                                        • Correspondence analysis methodology
                                                          • Marketing creative
                                                            • Abbreviations and terms
                                                              • Abbreviations
                                                                • Terms
                                                                • Appendix – The Market

                                                                    • Figure 47: Total US retail ecommerce sales, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2016-26

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