Social commerce is a subset of e-commerce, where social media platforms are used to promote and sell products or services directly. It combines online shopping with social networking, leveraging user recommendations, reviews, and social interactions to drive sales and enhance the shopping experience.
Table of contents
What is Social Commerce
US vs China’s Social Commerce Market
Social Commerce Survey (1,000+ responders)
Social Commerce Apps and websites
Buy Now Pay Later
Quotes from experts
We are a global influencer marketing agency that helps brands engage with Gen Z & Millennials on TikTok, Instagram and YouTube.
Social Commerce Experts Featured in our Report
“Social commerce is on the verge of mass adoption in the West. Platforms, and TikTok in particular, are rolling out functionality to support it. And, there’s a precedent for this. China is at the bleeding edge of social commerce. It’s estimated that live commerce is on track to generate $562 billion in revenue this year alone. Is it a sure thing that Americans will adopt the same behaviors? Not necessarily. But, why wouldn’t it be successful here in the US given the widespread popularity of QVC?”
Partner / Chief Innovation Officer at Mekanism
“Plenty of people buy things they’ve seen on social media. But many of those transactions are happening outside of social apps, like by visiting a retailer’s website or offline. No social platform has cracked an easy check out experience right from their own app. TikTok has been stepping up efforts to push its new shopping features, but they could risk alienating users by inundating them with shopping content, when many are there for entertainment.
A few elements are at play, including trusting social networks with sensitive information such as payment data, and making the experience of shopping on social as good as on a retailer’s website, such as being able to see sizing, reviews and other information in one place. But most importantly it’s not a user behavior that’s normal in the US yet, and that takes time to adjust. For now, consumers are happy to take inspiration from social media or check out outside the platform.”
Creator Economy Reporter – The Information
“Data – or the lack thereof is the biggest thing no one talks about in the social commerce space. One of the biggest opportunities going forward will be helping retail and brands figure out WHO converts, what they convert on, and how profitable their community actually is. Expect everyone to get into the commerce game – but weeding out the real performers from the wannabees won’t be easy.”
Editor and Publisher of Inside the Creator Economy
“Creators are the future of retail, which is why we’ve seen a significant shift in how how brands interact with creators, and how creators interact with their audience on the major platforms.
With platforms like TikTok making big bets on social commerce, to the extent that the “Friends” feed on TikTok has been replaced by a “TikTok Shop” feed, it is a really exciting time for creators to explore this monetization pathway and diversify their income – which remains a key priority for mid-tier creators who are trying to build a sustainable career. There are also new platforms emerging like Flagship, who are enabling creators to turn their community into a business, by providing the backend support that is needed and freeing up creators to focus on what they do best.
I think over the next 2 years we’ll see more creators monetizing through social commerce and a steady pivot away from relying solely on brand partnerships.”
Founder – Canopy
“Right now we distinguish commerce driven by content as social commerce because the idea is new.
That won’t be the case for long.
Eventually all commerce – from digital to physical products, from e-commerce to retail, from global to local – will be social content driven.
Soon enough, all commerce will be social commerce.”
Partners with Creators
“Creators are the present and future of social commerce. We’ve seen a continued investment into the creator economy, and it’s because brands are experiencing full funnel business impact from their work with creators. From the beginning, we’ve been empowering brands to trust creators and bring them into every aspect of the creative process. There’s such a diversity of new ways to partner with creators and leverage their expertise. Across the industry, there’s been a shift from the “why” to the “how” of creator partnerships, and that’s where I see social commerce continuing to move.”
Global Head of Operations – TikTok Creator Marketing Solutions