Shopping directly within social media apps is all the rage these days. I mean, who wants to find a product on TikTok or Instagram, find the brand’s website, and search for that particular product to complete a single purchase? That’s simply too much work.
This is where social commerce (also known as social shopping) comes in. A product catches your eye on Instagram, you click on it and select the buy now option, complete payment right there, aaaand you’re done!
But, hey, this is a plus for brands, too, because they get to have more eyes on their products. And the convenience of social shopping is also bound to result in fewer abandoned carts. But how has social commerce fared in the past year? And is it still worth investing in it? The Social Commerce 2024 report by Influencer Marketing Factory answers all of your questions.
In order to create this report, IMF gathered data about social commerce from various credible sources such as Insider Intelligence, eMarketer, Hootsuite, and Hubspot. IMF also conducted two exclusive surveys. The first survey collected information from 1000 participants from the U.S, aged 16-54+ years. The goal of the survey was to find out people’s opinions about social commerce. The second survey collected reports from 500 U.S. content creators from TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram, aged 18-44.
Key Insights From The Social Commerce 2024 Report by Influencer Marketing Factory
Here’s a look at some general social commerce stats:
Social Commerce Statistics
The social commerce industry had a blowout between 2020 to 2021 when the pandemic increased social media usage and, consequently, social shopping. During this year, sales increased by 46.5%. However, after the boom, social shopping has been declining. In 2024, social commerce sales are predicted to surpass $82.82 billion in the U.S.
According to IMF’s research, 50% of internet users between 16-24 years prefer searching for brands on social media, with 97% of Gen Z using it for shopping inspiration. In 2023, there were 107.6 million social commerce shoppers in the U.S. with Facebook being the most popular platform for it.
Influencers are driving sales when it comes to social commerce by forming genuine connections with the target audience of brands. On average, influencer partnerships are giving brands a 650% ROI. i.e. $6.5 earned for every $1 invested.
Livestream e-commerce shopping by influencers is also rapidly gaining popularity. It’s estimated that the livestream e-commerce market will surpass $67.8 billion in 2026, accounting for 5% of all e-commerce sales! In fact, in China, livestream shopping has already revolutionized the e-commerce industry, with nearly half of the internet users (48.8%) using live commerce.
Some of the best channels for livestream shopping for influencers are:
- Amazon Live
- TikTok Live
- YouTube Live
- Pinterest TV
Takeaways from IMF’s Exclusive Survey
The survey showed that 17.6% of the respondents preferred online shopping while 48.8% liked shopping online as well as in store. When it came to social shopping versus using e-commerce stores, 62.4% preferred the latter with only 22% claiming that social shopping was their preference.
When asked whether they had purchased a product directly through social media in the past year, 43.4% of the respondents said yes, while 56.6% revealed that they had not. Among the latter, these were the main reasons for not buying anything via social shopping:
- Lack of trust in social media when it came to purchasing something
- Not wanting to share sensitive information like credit card info, address etc.
- Not knowing the sellers
- Lack of incentives like promo codes, loyalty programs etc.
- Preference for using brand websites to purchase due to loyalty programs
When it came to frequency of social shopping, other than 12.1% of the people who revealed that they rarely or never use social commerce, all the others had made a purchase directly through social media at least once. As many as 14.5% of the respondents made purchases monthly, with 9.3% using social shopping every week.
More than 35.6% of the respondents had spent over $100 on social shopping, with 31.8% having spent between $50 to $100. Here are some of the reasons people gave for purchasing via social media:
- Free shipping
- Limited time offers
- To easily discover and bookmark new products
- Convenience (not having to fill in sensitive information every time)
- Product was posted by a trusted influencer or content creator
On average, most respondents saw a product 1-5 times on social media before deciding to purchase it.
When it came to the social commerce experience, including product discovery and checkout experience, Facebook ranked first, followed by Instagram, TikTok, and, finally, Pinterest.
40% of the people revealed that product reviews were extremely important when purchasing something on social media.
Takeaways from IMF’s Creator Social Commerce Survey
Among the content creators surveyed, only 25.8% had actively sold their products/ services via social commerce, with a majority of them belonging to the 35-44 age range.
Among the ones who said no, these were the main reasons:
- Lack of knowledge about social commerce and affiliate programs
- Lack of time
- Early stage content creators who want to wait
- No space to store products
However, nearly 3/4ths of them (74.7%) declared that they do plan to sell on social media in the future.
When it came to earnings via social commerce’s affiliate programs, the majority of the content creators (28%) revealed that they had made between $1000 – $5000 per year. However, 23.4% of them had earned more than $10,000.
Most of the content creators also preferred YouTube for selling, followed by Instagram and TikTok.
Among products sold, merchandise was the most popular, followed by digital products and beauty and skincare items.
Finally, here are the top social commerce platforms in the U.S:
- Shop App
Tips To Leverage Social Commerce To Increase Brand ROI
Based on the insights from IMF’s Social Commerce 2024 report, here are some of our expert tips on how you can leverage social shopping and increase sales:
- Partner with niche influencers who have a loyal fanbase
- Highlight positive reviews from previous customers for social proof
- Offer exclusive rewards for people who shop for your products via social media
- Give people the assurance that their sensitive information will be safe
- Make the process smoother by adding all relevant info in one place (such as price, size etc.)
- Make sure users come across your products at least 2 times. This is because the more times a user sees your product, the more likely they are to purchase it
Social commerce is an excellent way to drive sales and increase ROI. So, if you haven’t invested in social shopping, the time to start is now!