e-comm

Despite Growth, Social Commerce Still Small Portion of US E-Commerce: Report

Still, eMarketer's principal analyst explains why retailers should keep investing in social.
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Francis Scialabba

· less than 3 min read

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Social media companies have invested time, money, and mega ring lights into their native shopping experiences. But their digital carts haven’t attracted followers quite like “time for a thread 👇👇👇.”

  • In a new report, eMarketer found that US social commerce sales will reach $36 billion in 2021, a nearly 35% increase from 2020.
  • Even with that growth, receipts from Instagram et al will only account for 4.3% of total e-comm sales.

The holdup? Users still see apps like Pinterest and TikTok as places to build their personal brands—not to shop brand brands. Only 9% of US social media users “regularly” made purchases via social commerce as of August 2020, per an eMarketer and Bizrates Insights survey.

Francis Scialabba

What’s a ’gram to do?

Keep posting anyway—especially if they’re a fashion or accessories brand. Even if retailers aren’t converting sales on social, “social commerce strategies also influence e-commerce and brick-and-mortar purchases that happen days and weeks after exposure,” eMarketer principal analyst Andrew Lipsman told Retail Brew.

As for in-app purchases...Lipsman suggested retailers can jump-start sales by defining their visual identity and ensuring their non-ad content is shoppable.

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