According to Accenture’s “Why Shopping’s Set for a Social Revolution” report, social commerce will grow three times as fast as traditional e-commerce from $492 billion in 2021 to $1.2 trillion by 2025.
Accenture’s study defines social commerce as integrating social experiences with e-commerce in a single purchase path enabled by a platform. As consumers spend more time on social media platforms for news, entertainment and communication, social commerce will become a greater priority.
We can expect the growth of social commerce to be driven by Gen Z and millennial consumers, since they are native digital consumers. By 2025, millennials will make up 33% of the social commerce market, but Gen Z will spend more in the space. In addition, the report found that clothing (18%), consumer electronics (13%) and home decor (7%) will be the most popular items worldwide, with fresh food and snack items (13%) nearly exclusively sold in China.
In spite of this, trust remains a barrier to entry in social commerce, with half of surveyed social media users believing that their purchases will not be refunded properly or protected – a similar issue that faced e-commerce when it first emerged. The trust gap indicates that brands, platforms, and retailers need to do more to alleviate customer concerns and capitalize on the interest in social shopping.
Several platforms have made strides in social commerce, including Meta’s Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok, which are rolling out shopping features and partnerships focused on attracting brands and consumers.