As more of the world uses social media, commerce will continue to increase its mix with news, entertainment and communication on these platforms. Currently around 3.5 billion, or 44% of the world’s population uses social media, representing big opportunities for brands and retailers to capture not just Millennials and Gen Z users, but all consumers.
“The pandemic showed how much people use social platforms as the entry point for everything they do online––news, entertainment and communication,” Robin Murdoch, global software and platforms industry lead at Accenture, said in the study. “The steady rise in time spent on social media reflects how essential these platforms are in our daily life. They’re reshaping how people buy and sell, which provides platforms and brands with new opportunities for user experiences and revenue streams.”
Level Playing Field
Social commerce is also likely to help small businesses and brands, not just major retailers. Small brands can connect directly with consumers through social media with authenticity, according to the study.
“It's nothing short of a people-powered democratic retail revolution,” the study found. “And it's incredibly effective. Why? Because it seamlessly blends social experiences and e-commerce transactions through a single path to purchase, all enabled by a single platform.”
More than half––59%––of social buyers said they are more likely to support small- and medium-sized businesses through social commerce than when shopping through e-commerce websites. Another 63% said they are more likely to buy from the same seller again, meaning social media can also help brands build loyal customer relationships.
“Social commerce is a leveling force that is driven by the creativity, ingenuity and power of people. It empowers smaller brands and individuals and makes big brands reevaluate their relevance for a marketplace of millions of individuals,” Oliver Wright, global consumer goods and services lead at Accenture, said in a statement. “Getting social commerce right will require creators, resellers and brands to bring their products and services where the consumer is, and will be, rather than the other way around. It means working together within a dynamic ecosystem of platforms, marketplaces, social media and influencers to share data, insights and capabilities to deliver the right incentives and best consumer experience across an integrated digital marketplace.”
However, there are some remaining concerns that social commerce purchases will not be protected or refunded properly, leaving brands with a trust barrier to overcome with new customers.