Mammoth growth for social commerce as the pandemic pushes it to new heights

Posted by Sarah Mason

oncree ecommerce online shopping

We’ve all come to realise just how different the world has become ever since the Covid-19 pandemic hit. It continues to influence almost every part of life, and we’re not just talking about normalising working in PJs while pulling some serious hours in a makeshift home office. 

Social commerce enters the chat

ONCREE e commerce

When lockdowns hit and people retreated into their homes, smartphones became an escape from the unprecedented reality. Major behavioural changes began shaping society, and social media platforms quickly began supporting a new way of life. Lockdowns meant people were limited in what they could do in the outside world. They couldn’t simply go to the shops to buy groceries and essentials as this was a risky activity. Soon more and more people turned to smartphones for their shopping needs.

But this time around things were different. A new contender in the online shopping space was coming to the fore in the form of social commerce!

Defining a new era of shopping

In 2020, social commerce took its place in the digital retail jungle, and a new way of shopping was born. Simply defined, it refers to buying and selling exclusively on social media channels. Customers can make purchases or pay for services within the social media experience, and all of this is done in one fluid motion. 

For example, before making a purchase, a user may be watching a livestream or short video or simply scrolling. Then a link or shop now button may catch their attention, and once they click, they are directed to a brand’s product page. They can browse through products, add items to their cart, and effortlessly checkout on the platform without being directed to a website or app. It all takes place centrally. 

oncree tiktok shop

From this example, it’s clear that audiences don’t arrive on social platforms with the intention of shopping. Instead, they’re looking for some entertainment, and through this, they discover new products or services, take further steps to research and reach the final point of checking out. And once the purchase is made, it’s back to scrolling through their social media feed. In this way, the social experience effortlessly blends with shopping. 

A $600 billion industry

While the brick and mortar storefront lives on and e-commerce sites claim the top spot as the most popular e-shopping methods, there is definitely a place for social commerce. In fact, according to Statista, during the first and second waves, worldwide social commerce sales were going through the roof. It was forecast to exceed $700 billion in 2021, and China was leading the way, accounting for nearly half of global social media retail sales. 

Today, social commerce is an $89.4 billion industry with growth projected to reach a phenomenal $604.5 billion in the next seven years. According to a survey conducted in 2021, social media platforms helped 8 in 10 users learn more about brands and products. And when users were asked if they had bought a service or product promoted on these networks, around 80% said yes. This shows the incredible influence social media has on buying decisions.

Social commerce through Facebook and Instagram

ONCREE case study e commerce

Curious to know more? Here’s a glimpse of social commerce at work on Facebook and Instagram. 

Here are some tips on how to set up your digital shop on Facebook:

  • Create a business page
  • Create a product catalogue – you can either add each product manually or import of product collections from your website
  • Choose your fonts, images and colours to create a shop in line with your brand image
  • Tag your products in your social media posts

Once your Facebook Shop is live, it can be linked to your Instagram Shop. Did you know that 60% of people discover new products each day on the Gram? Yours should definitely be one of them! It seamlessly pulls data from your FB catalogue with a dynamic user experience as your potential customers can buy products featured in your photos and videos from anywhere in the Instagram app. Here’s another stat for you to consider – 81% of shoppers research products on both Instagram and Facebook, so why not give them what they’re searching for?

Find customers through hyper-targetting 

Once your shopping goes social, there’s no turning back. You will get access to a wealth of customer data on social platforms and can hyper-target your advertising to those exact people looking for what you offer and are ready to buy. So, get in on the action and make your business available in spaces your customers are hanging out!

Is it really a surprise that shopping has gone social? In the pre-pandemic world, social media was a central part of our lives, and the pandemic made it adapt rapidly to a changing digital retail landscape. 

At ONCRÉE, we are a Creative and Media Agency that blends creativity, data and strategy to help your business meet goals, drive results and ultimately grow to exciting heights! If you want to own your space and stamp of authority on social media, search engines, email, and any other platforms your audience uses, we have the expertise to make it happen. Contact us today to find out more.

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