Unlock the potential of the social commerce market with our comprehensive report. Our analysis examines current social commerce market landscape, consumer preferences, and behaviors. You’ll gain invaluable insight into the social commerce market size in the US, as well as market projections, segmentation, and the latest trends. With our extensive social commerce market report, you can gain a better understanding of how to respond to changing consumer demands and take advantage of new opportunities to stay ahead of your competition. Download your copy today.

Social Commerce: Current Market Landscape

Per a study from Insider Intelligence, only about 5% of US ecommerce sales came from social commerce in 2022 and this is expected to inch up to about 7% by 2025, showing a slow growth pattern. This demonstrates the importance of brands actively engaging with consumers on social media and providing shopping opportunities, including shoppable posts and videos. As consumers grow more comfortable with this shopping option, it will soon become an expectation that brands offer the ability to shop their products directly on social media, particularly with the growth of Gen Z and Gen Alpha.

US Social Commerce — What Consumers Want and Why

Consumers are engaging with social commerce opportunities. Nearly half have made a purchase and more than half have interest in doing so in the future. Despite the slow growth in this area, consumer interest shines a bright light on the future of social commerce. It will (slowly) become a bigger portion of ecommerce sales over time, particularly as consumers are more active on their mobile devices. The key is to help consumers overcome hesitations about security and show them how the process is similar to shopping on a website.

Market Trends and Consumer Behavior in Social Commerce

  • US consumer behavior industry trends:
    While the main focus of social commerce is of course to drive purchases, brands are using their social media platforms to engage with consumers and further develop relationships with them. Showcasing consumers on the brand’s platform is also a way that companies are recognizing dedicated individuals – this tactic could be applied to those who make purchases off social media, as well. 
  • Social commerce in the US market research:
    Social commerce will grow slowly in the US for some time. Brands will need to stay patient as they wait for consumers to adapt to a new way of shopping. As online shopping took time to catch on, so will shopping via social media. However, when it does, brands don’t want to be behind the eight ball and playing catch-up. By starting now, even if with small efforts, brands will be in a better position when consumers are ready to purchase via social.

Opportunities in the US Market

  • It’s no secret that consumers are concerned about their privacy and data protection when shopping via social media. Consumers want to know that they will be safe if they do make a purchase on social media and the product will actually arrive and be as described. Brands can ease consumer concerns by highlighting return policies, customer reviews and testimonials, and more in-depth product images so consumers can better understand what they are buying.
  • Just as consumers need to see security, they also need to see value from the social commerce experience. More than a quarter (27%) of consumers would make a purchase via a social channel because they had access to an exclusive item. Brands can pique consumer interest by creating product lines only sold on social media. Alternatively, brands can gather consumer feedback or have them submit their own ideas for product creation, which can then be featured on social. This way, brands can also lean into community to give consumers what they want.

Read on to discover more about the social commerce consumer market, read our US Marketing to Generation Z Market Report 2021, or take a look at our other Ecommerce research reports.

Quickly Understand Social Commerce Trends in 2023

  • Social media platforms used and purchasing participation.
  • Shopping behaviors on social media.
  • Motivations and barriers to purchasing.
  • Attitudes toward social commerce.
  • Platform attribute associations.
  • Consumers’ attitudes and behaviors toward livestreaming.

Covered in this Social Commerce Market Report

Leading Brands in the Social Commerce Market: Snapchat, Meta (Facebook and Instagram), TikTok, BeReal, Twitter.

Expert Analysis from a Specialist in the Field

This report, written by Katie Hansen, a leading analyst in the Retail and eCommerce sector, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis of social commerce statistics to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Social commerce is growing, albeit at a much slower pace in the US compared to the rest of the globe. This, however, does not mean that brands should ignore this emerging shopping option. Nearly half of consumers have made a purchase via social media, showcasing that this avenue is not going to go away. Brands need to be prepared to help consumers understand the process of shopping via social media and make them feel safe on social media platforms. Other aspects such as product exclusivity and price advantages will help drum up interest in the future.

Katie Hansen, Retail and eCommerce Analyst
Katie Hansen
Senior Analyst, Retail and eCommerce

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • This Report looks at the following areas
    • Definition
    • Market context
  2. Executive Summary

    • Top Takeaways
    • Consumer trends
      • Figure 1: Purchase history, 2022
      • Figure 2: Motivations to purchase, 2022
      • Figure 3: Barriers, 2022
      • Figure 4: Purchasing via livestream, 2022
    • Competitive strategies
    • Brands seek out partnership opportunities by listening to their biggest fans
    • Going beyond the transaction and using social media to foster engagement
    • Brands look to understand what opportunities might lie with BeReal
    • Market predictions
      • Figure 5: Social commerce outlook, 2023-28
    • Opportunities
    • Showcase security features, customer testimonials to reduce concerns
    • Tap into exclusive products and experiences to drum up interest
    • Embrace livestreaming as a tool for engagement, purchasing
  3. Market Landscape

    • Social commerce sees slow growth but a bright future
  4. Market Factors

    • We don’t talk about TikTok
    • Budget-conscious consumers see a dim light at the end of a (very, very) long tunnel
      • Figure 6: Consumer Price Index change from previous year, 2020-22
    • Social media platforms appealing to younger consumers add security features to ensure user safety
      • Figure 7: Population by generation, 2026
  5. Competitive Strategies and Market Opportunities

    • What’s happening: the main platforms in a snapshot
    • Snapchat
      • Figure 8: Snapchat helps consumers find Halloween costumes with AR features, 2022
    • Meta: Facebook & Instagram
    • TikTok
      • Figure 9: TikTok highlights its livestream capabilities at the 2023 Super Bowl, 2023
    • Leverage organic content on social to create natural partnerships for brands
      • Figure 10: Tabasco partners with Tinx to launch new hot sauce salad dressing, 2023
    • Involve consumers to increase their engagement with the brand outside of sales
      • Figure 11: Doritos involves consumers in its Super Bowl campaign on TikTok, 2023
    • Getting real with BeReal
  6. The Social Media Consumer – Fast Facts

  7. Platforms Used and Purchase Habits

    • Most platforms see (slow) growth in social commerce
      • Figure 12: Platforms shopped, 2022 and 2021
    • Some platforms reach specific audiences; others reach the masses
      • Figure 13: Platforms shopped, by key demos, 2022
    • Consumer interest remains stagnant
      • Figure 14: Purchase history, 2022
    • Millennials lead in current purchases, Gen Z will follow suit
      • Figure 15: Purchase history, by key demos, 2022
    • Consumers will be most comfortable purchasing the same items on social media that they do already online
      • Figure 16: Products interested in purchasing, by key demos, 2022
  8. Actions on Social Media

    • Consumers are social on social media
      • Figure 17: Actions on social media, 2022
    • Generations take social media and make it their own
      • Figure 18: Actions on social media, by generation, 2022
    • Women consume more passively, men are more engaged with social content
      • Figure 19: Actions on social media, by gender, 2022
  9. Shopping Behaviors

    • Consumers use social media for its convenience
      • Figure 20: Starbucks leans into social commerce but misses easy opportunity to make post shoppable, 2023
      • Figure 21: Shopping behaviors, 2022
    • Men want more transparency from brands
      • Figure 22: Opportunity to link shoppable posts with experts’ opinions, 2022
      • Figure 23: Shopping behaviors, by gender, 2022
    • Millennials lead in exploring digital tools on social media
      • Figure 24: Shopping behaviors, by generation, 2022
    • Social media is still viewed mainly as a place of inspiration not purchasing
      • Figure 25: Adore Me educates consumers about how to shop via social media, 2022
      • Figure 26: Social media uses, 2022
    • Involve younger consumers in product creation, marketing elements
      • Figure 27: Social media uses, by generation, 2022
    • There’s opportunity for more budget-friendly posts
      • Figure 28: Social media uses, by household income, 2022
  10. Motivations and Barriers to Social Commerce

    • Special pricing, encouragement from others could lift social commerce
      • Figure 29: Motivations to purchase, 2022
    • Platforms that embody fun, creativity are seen as most inviting
      • Figure 30: Motivations to purchase, by platform used daily, 2022
    • Create a streamlined experience for Millennials
      • Figure 31: Motivations to purchase, by generation, 2022
    • Consumers need security, reassurance in order to make a purchase via social media
      • Figure 32: Barriers, 2022
    • Consumers are wary about platforms’ ability to deliver purchases
      • Figure 33: Barriers, by platforms used daily, 2022
    • Gen Zs seek engagement from brands
      • Figure 34: Barriers, by generation, 2022
  11. Attitudes toward Social Shopping and Platform Perceptions

    • Clear privacy policies, closer product inspection will help drive interest and purchase
      • Figure 35: Attitudes, 2022
    • Social commerce can assist parents’ decision-making process
      • Figure 36: Attitudes, by parental status, 2022
    • Platforms are entertaining with room to improve on trust
      • Figure 37: Platform attributes, 2022
  12. Emerging Trend: Livestreaming

    • Participation remains stagnant
      • Figure 38: Adore Me gives insight into New York Fashion Week via livestream, 2023
      • Figure 39: Livestream participation, 2022
    • Livestreaming can do more for brands besides driving transactions
      • Figure 40: Livestream participation, by platform used daily, 2022
    • Involve Gen Z as active participants, not passive viewers
      • Figure 41: Livestream participation, by generation, 2022
    • Consumers are split when it comes to purchasing through livestream events
      • Figure 42: Purchasing, 2022
    • Brands should look to keep up with Millennials and Gen Z
      • Figure 43: Purchasing, by key demos, 2022
    • Consumers remain somewhat passive about livestreaming
      • Figure 44: Attitudes toward livestreaming, 2022
    • Providing a positive experience is key in garnering return participants
      • Figure 45: Attitudes toward livestreaming, by livestream participation, 2022
  13. Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

    • Data sources
    • Consumer survey data
    • Abbreviations and terms
    • Abbreviations

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