Shopping is undergoing a “social revolution” according to a new study by Accenture. Social commerce—shopping that takes place from product discovery to purchase on a social media platform—is projected to grow three times faster than traditional ecommerce over the next three years. By 2025, the $492 billion global social commerce industry is expected to be valued at $1.2 trillion.
“The pandemic showed how much people use social platforms as the entry point for everything they do online—news, entertainment and communication,” said Robin Murdoch, global Software & Platforms industry lead at Accenture. “The steady rise in time spent on social media reflects how essential these platforms are in our daily life. They’re reshaping how people buy and sell, which provides platforms and brands with new opportunities for user experiences and revenue streams.”
Driving this growth are social media users within the Gen Z and Millennial demographics, which are anticipated to make up 62% of global social commerce spending by 2025.
Social shoppers cite loyalty as a key factor in their purchasing decisions, and 63% said they are more likely to make repeat purchases from the same seller again. This aligns with the sentiments of half of the survey participants, who say lack of trust about the authenticity of social sellers and poor return policies is their biggest barrier to adopting this commerce method.
“Social commerce is a leveling force that is driven by the creativity, ingenuity and power of people,” said Oliver Wright, global Consumer Goods and Services lead at Accenture. “It empowers smaller brands and individuals and makes big brands reevaluate their relevance for a marketplace of millions of individuals. Getting social commerce right will require creators, resellers and brands to bring their products and services where the consumer is, and will be, rather than the other way around. It means working together within a dynamic ecosystem of platforms, marketplaces, social media and influencers to share data, insights and capabilities to deliver the right incentives and best consumer experience across an integrated digital marketplace.”
Majority of social media users surveyed (64%) said they made a social commerce purchase in the last year—data that reflects an already estimated 2 billion social buyers globally. The report indicates that by 2025, 18% of all social commerce shopping will be for clothing, but beauty and personal care will also be a significant draw, with an expected 40% of digital spend in key markets by 2025.