Why Social Commerce Isn’t Trending (Part I)

Social media is undergoing yet another change. As Gen Z, a group hugely dependent on mobile looms ever bigger in the consumer space, retailers are progressively trying to meet them where they are: on the social channels where they post pics, talk, and follow their favorite people, places, and things.

There is some authenticity in social posts and the good brands use that and intensify consumer voice in their social postings as a way to make them more relatable and more honest.

What we’ve seen over the past years is folks bringing social photos into their product pages and making it a section of the traditional e-commerce experience. So that you’re bringing the shopping experience into social which is much more nascent.

So nascent, that social commerce made up just 2% of revenue in ’16. Over 30% of shoppers who had never bought anything on social media at the end of ‘17 and the only big success story of social shopping in ‘18 is the well-known 23-minute Air Jordan sellout on Snapchat. Otherwise, the channel has about as many trophies as the Chicago Cubs, meaning not many. Here’s some information on shopping on social media and how long before the industry really nails it.

Fertile ground for a social invasion

Social media platforms are now playing a big role in influencing consumer buying decisions, especially with millennials. They are twice as influenced by social media as by deals and 80% of the group are influenced by social media when buying.

Leading the charge is Instagram, which alone influences over 70% of its users’ buying decisions — not to mention the platform’s influencers, which are used by over 69% of retailers and brands. Part of the reason for social media’s success is how visual the platforms are, which has driven social media to become more of a “third channel” of sorts, behind brick and mortar and ecommerce.