Trendspotting: Commerce has become a priority for social platforms—yet it’s clear that some have more sophisticated shopping features than others. When it comes to innovation, Meta’s Instagram and Facebook, and Gen Z favorite TikTok are leading the way for now, but platforms like Pinterest and Twitter are trying their best to prove their social commerce bona fides.
Compare and contrast: Instagram and Facebook lead the pack in features like in-app checkout, but TikTok and Pinterest are leveraging their strength in product discovery to deliver value to retailers.
A caveat: While 48% of US social media users reported making a purchase via social media in the past year, per our "US Digital Trust Survey 2021," social commerce hasn’t quite become mainstream. We forecast sales in the US will reach $36.62 billion this year, a mere one-tenth the size of China’s social commerce market.
Still, brands are enthusiastic about the prospect of social commerce: A study by The Harris Poll and Sprout Social found that 73% of businesses are currently selling via social media, with that number expected to rise to 79% in the next three years.
Looking ahead: Even though social commerce has not yet become standard behavior, it is still an incredibly valuable tool for brands.
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