Insider Intelligence delivers leading-edge research to clients in a variety of forms, including full-length reports and data visualizations to equip you with actionable takeaways for better business decisions.
In-depth analysis, benchmarks and shorter spotlights on digital trends.
Learn More
Interactive projections with 10k+ metrics on market trends, & consumer behavior.
Learn More
Proprietary data and over 3,000 third-party sources about the most important topics.
Learn More
Industry KPIs
Industry benchmarks for the most important KPIs in digital marketing, advertising, retail and ecommerce.
Learn More
Client-only email newsletters with analysis and takeaways from the daily news.
Learn More
Analyst Access Program
Exclusive time with the thought leaders who craft our research.
Learn More

About Insider Intelligence

Our goal at Insider Intelligence is to unlock digital opportunities for our clients with the world’s most trusted forecasts, analysis, and benchmarks. Spanning five core coverage areas and dozens of industries, our research on digital transformation is exhaustive.
Our Story
Learn more about our mission and how Insider Intelligence came to be.
Learn More
Rigorous proprietary data vetting strips biases and produces superior insights.
Learn More
Our People
Take a look into our corporate culture and view our open roles.
Join the Team
Contact Us
Speak to a member of our team to learn more about Insider Intelligence.
Contact Us
See our latest press releases, news articles or download our press kit.
Learn More
Advertising & Sponsorship Opportunities
Reach an engaged audience of decision-makers.
Learn More
Browse our upcoming and past events, recent podcasts, and other featured resources.
Learn More
Tune in to eMarketer's daily, weekly, and monthly podcasts.
Learn More

Social commerce usage in 2021

Social commerce is one of the biggest trends in social media in 2021. The major platforms are all pushing commerce to the forefront of their business strategies, introducing new features aimed at convincing consumers to go from inspiration to purchase with a click of a button or a tap on a mobile screen.

Many businesses are gravitating toward social commerce. According to February 2021 research among 250 US marketers by Sprout Social, 85% of large companies, 84% of medium-sized companies, and 57% of small companies already sell on social commerce platforms.

Social commerce usage is approaching mass adoption among consumers. About half (48%) of US social media users bought something via a social media platform in the 12 months prior to taking our “US Digital Trust Survey,” fielded online during May 20–June 8, 2021. Two important points add context to this finding:

  • Our definition of a social media purchase is broad. It includes social media users ages 18 to 75 who bought directly on a social platform, as well as those who clicked on a link to go to an external purchase destination and make an immediate purchase.
  • More than half of social-media-driven purchases take place outside of a social platform. In research conducted in October 2021 by Bizrate Insights on behalf of Insider Intelligence, 56% of US social buyers who had made a purchase via social media in the past month did so by clicking a link to a retailer’s product page, while 44% bought directly on a social platform.

Facebook was the most popular platform for social commerce in our study, with about one-third of adult social media users making a purchase there. Instagram and YouTube came next.

  • Facebook and Instagram likely topped the list due to their overall popularity among social media users; they were used by 88% and 60% of respondents, respectively. These platforms have also significantly built out their shopping capabilities through features like Facebook Marketplace and Instagram Shopping.
  • YouTube has a long history of allowing videos to include purchasing links, either embedded in the video itself or in the description. That familiarity among its users, combined with the fact that 82% of social network users said they watch YouTube, likely contributed to its third-place showing.
  • Platforms such as Pinterest, Snapchat, and TikTok are also building social commerce tools but don’t yet have the breadth and depth of offerings compared with Facebook or Instagram. They also have significantly lower penetration among social network users—40% said they used Pinterest, and 33% were on Snapchat or TikTok, respectively.
  • Twitter, LinkedIn, and Reddit have yet to make many moves in social commerce, hence the low percentages of social users who said they made a purchase on those platforms.