By Sandeep Kumar, Last Updated:
June, 7, 2021
Social commerce is a form of online activity that boosts e-commerce and allows users to actively engage with a brand.
Social commerce is a form of online activity that boosts e-commerce and allows users to engage with a brand actively. The social commerce process occurs when online users assist brands with buying and selling their products and services. Further on, users today interact with each other over online forums and social media platforms to inform one another about a brand’s range of products and services. In addition to this, reviews, ratings, customer feedback, recommendations, and referrals are all a part of social commerce and directly affect a brand’s sales.
In this article, we will be discussing some of the most recent social commerce statistics and facts and analyze the performance of some of the most used social media platforms for social commerce, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. That is to understand the significance, popularity, and contribution of social commerce to e-commerce and the business world as a whole.
(Sources: Statista, DataRePortal)
Following the most recent data on social media use, there are over four billion (4.33 bn, to be more precise) social media users worldwide since the beginning of 2021. More or less, this represents more than 50% of the world’s total population.
This itself represents an increase, compared to 2020, when it was found there are more than 3.3 bn social media users globally. However, following Statista’s latest survey on global social media users unveiled that by 2025, this number is expected to reach around 4.41 bn users.
With the increase of social media users from 2021, reports showed a rise in the number of social media accounts one has. On average, a person has as many as 8.6 to 8.8 social media accounts (on different platforms). With that said, Millennials and Generation Z typically have more or less nine social media accounts on different social media applications like Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, WeChat, etc. Considering the mere fact that just in 2014, this number was no more than four accounts per person.
In 2021, China dominates the social network market with almost 931 million social media users, just as of the start of 2021. Nevertheless, it is projected that by 2025, more than 1 bn Chinese will have registered social media accounts. These staggering figures confirm China is the world’s biggest social media market. By 2025, nearly 80% of the Chinese population will have active social media accounts and use them for various purposes, including social commerce.
(Sources: Statista, DataRePortal, Trading Economics)
India is the second most prominent social media market in the world. In 2021, India had approximately 500 million (or no less than 448 million) social media users, opposed to the 350 million social media users back in 2020—this means there’s a high increase of more than 20% in just a year’s time.
By looking at things, this number is expected to increase to an astonishing 490 million by 2025. However, unlike China, by 2025, only around 36% of the Indian population will have active registered accounts on social media.
A significant reason for this could be that around 65.53% of the Indian population lives in rural areas and has limited access to internet connections and social media platforms.
(Sources: Oberlo, Oberlo Facebook Statistics, WhatsApp Blog)
Following a recent report by Oberlo, no less than 73 percent of marketers encourage brands to use social media marketing strategies for growing their businesses. Since we are well aware that social media marketing can be very effective for expanding the consumer base and generating more direct sales.
This high percentage shouldn’t come as a surprise. Because just in 2018, there were more than 2 million small businesses around the world that were using Facebook Business to grow their business and reach a wider consumer base. Whereas, in July 2020, it was revealed that more than forty million people browse through WhatsApp Business Catalogues to search for products and services every month.
(Sources: Sprout Social, Global Media Insight)
The latest social media demographics analysis reveals that of the 2.7 billion active monthly Facebook users, as many as 44 percent are women, and 56 percent are men. Furthermore, the latest Instagram data revealed that out of the one billion active monthly users on Instagram, 57 percent are female and 43 percent are male.
The above statistics show that the ratio of women vs. men users varies according to the social media platform. Some social media applications such as Instagram and Pinterest are more women-friendly than other social media applications like Twitter and LinkedIn. Have a look at this breakdown in % on gender social media usage:
(Sources: Oberlo, Statista)
In an Oberlo report (2021), it was reported that precisely 91 percent of social media users use their social media accounts on their mobile devices (smartphones and tablets).
For instance, most millennials and generation Z find social media applications to be mobile-friendly. As a result, social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter have their ‘lite’ versions optimized for mobile applications and reduce the downloading and uploading time by reducing the image and video size and quality.
Furthermore, according to Statista’s survey results on the number of social users, it turns out that East Asia is a mobile-first market. Countries like Japan, China, Taiwan, and South Korea, have the highest number of social media users who are accessing the website via their mobile devices—America and Northern Europe aren’t holding back either., following East Asia.
(Sources: Omnicore Agency, Digital Marketing)
Instagram has no more than twenty-five million business accounts. Almost half (490 million) Instagram users are male, of one billion active monthly users. At the same time, women represent a mind-blowing 510 million.
An average Instagram user spends around 30 mins on the app. During this time, 1/3rd of the most viewed stories belong to brands and businesses. In addition to this, statistics also showed that over 80 percent of Insta users visit the platform searching for services and products. As a result of the stats mentioned, it’s no wonder why more than 200 million Instagrammers visit at least one business page in those 30 minutes.
(Sources: Influencer Marketing Hub, Ranking The Brands, Statista)
It’s no secret that Alibaba is the biggest e-commerce company in China. That being said, in 2021, it was recognized as the 6th best retail brand in the world by Brand Finance. And in 2020, Alibaba’s total revenue was no more than 221.08 billion yuan ($34 billion).
But it wouldn’t have been possible for Alibaba to grow to such heights without the constant support of its online community. The influencers, reviewers, bloggers, vloggers, and affiliates who directed traffic towards Alibaba by reviewing, recommending, sharing, and referring to its products and services generated millions of dollars in sales for Alibaba and its sellers.
Brands are acknowledging the power of e-commerce, and they have realized that to generate traffic on their websites and increase sales, they must focus on social commerce strategies.
For example, in 2018, Nike and Snapchat, for the pre-release of its Air Jordan III “Tinker,” sold out all of them in no more than 23 minutes. This was possible because of the views and audience engagement that Snapchat created.
The results revealed that users loved the idea of purchasing shoes directly over Snapchat. That’s why within 23 minutes of its launch, it had sold out all the shoes in the stock. This stat itself supports the idea of the validity and power of the social commerce market today.
(Sources: Statista, Letter.LY, GWI.)
Recent survey results showed, on average, internet users spend around 145 minutes a day browsing and interacting on social media. Whereas we found out that the youngest social media users in Latin America have the highest average time spent on social media—they spend more than 3 hours on social media.
(Sources: Influencer Marketing Hub, Oberlo, Omnicore)
Instagram was launched on October 6th, 2010, and by 2018, the number of active monthly users has surpassed 1 bn users. This is a popular social media application amongst the millennials and Generation Z, who find its visual appeal more attractive than other social media platforms. The unique features of Instagram, such as IGTV, Insta stories, and live features, have made it very popular amongst youngsters. More or less, a thousand photographs are uploaded on Instagram every second.
(Sources: Omnicore Agency, Later)
Omnicore’s report on Instagram’s user engagement led to some interesting facts. Most Instagram users are very active on weekdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, too—when the user engagement is the highest. On the other hand, based on around twelve million Insta posts, Later.com found out that the most convenient time to post on Instagram is anytime between 9 AM and 11 AM. However, another fact states many Instagram users scroll down their Insta walls while having lunch and dinner.
Statistical data analysis revealed the best time to post on Facebook is on a Wednesday starting at 11 AM and during lunch break (1 PM to 2 PM). Whereas, the worst day to post on Facebook is a Sunday because the audience engagement is very low on Sunday as most of the users are spending time outside with their friends and families.
Generally, weekdays, anytime between 8 AM and 3 PM, are considered safe zones for posting on Facebook.
eMarketer’s report stated that in 2019, the global e-commerce sales had reached nearly $3.5 T, where the USA and China were the biggest contributors in the e-commerce industry.
China alone managed to gain a bit more than $2 T in sales and export goods purchased online. In addition to this, in 2019, it was found that e-commerce sales made up seventy percent of all the global trade conducted that year. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic and the increased popularity of e-commerce worldwide, it is expected that by 2023, this figure will double, and e-commerce sales will contribute no less than $6.4 T to the global economy.
Following the latest research, marketers concluded that 40 percent of people buy a product online after being promoted or advertised by an influencer on social media. And almost 50 percent of people purchase a product if a social media influencer recommends it.
The results show that 70 percent of the customers start to trust a brand more after an influencer has recommended it because of their level of trust in the influence itself. This is why influencer marketing is becoming a popular social media marketing strategy for marketers, and brands are actively partnering with influencers to promote, advertise and sell their products.
(Sources: eMarketer, eMarketer US Virtual Augmented Reality Users 2021)
This denotes a significant increase in numbers, compared to 2020, when nearly 44 million US people indulged in social media augmented reality usage once a month.
That being said, it’s safe to say that Snapchat was the first social media platform to launch an augmented reality feature on its app. Afterward, other social media applications like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok followed suit and improvised the AR feature with several filters, lenses, and effects.
It is believed that currently, 93.3 million social media users (28.1 percent) are using augmented reality for entertainment, branding, and e-commerce.
(Sources: Local Up, Oberlo)
Brands are using the advanced capabilities of AR, VR, AI, and voice search to optimize their user’s online experience and help them get the best out of it. While AR and VR are used to increase the user’s engagement with the brand and its products and services, features like artificial intelligence and voice searches are being used to deliver customized search results to social media users.
For example, Facebook partners with Alexa and Google Assistant to deliver customized search results for a particular brand or product. Furthermore, nearly 112 million people (1/3rd of the USA population) use the voice search feature instead of typing in the USA alone. This itself marks an increase of roughly said 10 percent compared to 2020.
With all this in hand, around 35 million Americans are projected to use the voice search feature for online shopping in the coming years.
As of January 2021, there are over 4.30 bn social media users in the world. And, in the last twelve months, there has been an addition of more or less 490 million users on social media platforms. Considering these statistics, it can be said that the year-on-year growth in the number of social media users stands at no more than 14 percent. That being said; currently, more than 51% of the world population is using social media for personal and professional communication.
(Source: Target internet, Sprout Social, Statista)
Between 2019 and 2020, TikTok proved the largest growth rate, compared to all the other popular social media platforms. In just a year, TikTok’s users grew by nearly 38 percent. Though Facebook stays as the most used social media application, its growth rate has slowed down—currently, Facebook has more than 2.8 bn active monthly users.
(Sources: Statista, Branding in Asia)
In 2020, the number of social media users in China was 927 million. However, by 2025 it is expected this number in China to reach 1.1 bn users. At this rate, China’s social media growth rate will increase by 19 percent in the next four years.
(Source: Telemedia online)
More than half, or around 51 percent of the total number of internet users around the globe, access websites via their phones. On the other hand, precisely 46.39 percent use desktops to go online. Whereas barely 3 percent use tablets to go online.
(Sources: T4, Word Stream, Single Grain, Statista, WebFX, Contevo, Statista/LinkedIn, WebFX LinkedIn)
Let us have a look at the following breakdown in percentage on social commerce market share and conversion rate by platform:
Market share: 60.68%; Conversion rate: 9.21%
Market share: 3.9%; Conversion rate: 14%
Market share: 13.9%; Conversion rate: 0.54%
Market Share: 8%; Conversion rate: 0.77%
Market share: 4%; Conversion rate: 1.08%
6. LinkedIn (USA)
Market share: 0.3%; Conversion rate: 6.1%
Following the latest reports on social media sales, no more than 91 percent of the retail brands are using social media— two social media platforms for generating sales at the very least.
For example, over fifty million small enterprises use Facebook Pages to promote their products and services and engage with their consumers.
(Source: Business Insider)
According to the Social Commerce Report (2021), published by Insider Intelligence, by the end of 2021, retail, social commerce will contribute as much as $36.09 bn to the U.S. economy. Therefore, it will make up roughly 4% of the total retail commerce sales.
Based on these stats and the most recent reports, China and the USA are the main contributors to social commerce sales. At present, social commerce is widely applicable for the fashion industry (apparel and accessories).
However, in the coming years, lifestyle brands that sell home décor products and electronic appliances will also be the major contributors to retail, social commerce sales.
(Sources: Search Engine Watch, HubSpot)
Global Web Index conducted a survey that revealed no less than 54 percent of the consumers use social media to search for products they are interested in. On the other hand, 71 percent fall easily under the urge to buy something if it is priorly advertised on social media.
(Sources: Smart Insights, Search Engine Watch)
Recent data on influencer marketing unveiled that 80 percent of marketers agree that influence marketing can be highly effective. Therefore, micro-influencers or micro-celebrities, such as Youtubers, TikTokers, and Instagrammers, can directly affect their followers’ purchase decisions.
Oberlo published a report that denotes forty percent of Twitter users buy a product after seeing it advertised through a tweet. In addition to that, Twitter stated their user’s purchasing determination is five times higher when the desired products are represented via a tweet from a brand or an influencer.
Moreover, in a different survey carried out by Statista, as much as 45.4% of social media users bought a product solely because an influencer they follow recommended it.
Statista’s survey on global social media purchases (based on eleven countries) pointed to India being in the lead before others. Additionally, most of India’s social online shoppers are between 35 and 54 (44 percent). Opposed to the runner-up country – The United Kingdom, with a mere 21 percent. This number is rising even today since brands expose themselves more and more on different social media platforms. Yet, these digits are incomparable with the relatively low number of 35-54-year-old’s in Japan, which has come to be no less than 9 percent.
According to a report by Affilinet, nearly 85 percent of men shop online, opposed to 77 percent of women. Furthermore, the same report let us know that the average age of male shoppers is from 25-49 years.
(Source: Oberlo, Statista/China, Statista/USA)
China and America are the most significant contributors to retail, social commerce sales; hence, most social shoppers are from China and the USA. In addition to this, a Statista survey on online shoppers in China revealed nearly 783 million Chinese were doing their shopping through social platforms.
As far as Americans go, a different survey carried by Statista stated the States are estimated to have slightly over 230 million social media shoppers in 2021.
A report by Aimia stated thirty-one percent of consumers actively search social media for new products and services. They follow the social media pages of their most trusted brands and scroll down to search for updates and product launches.
To be more precise, 130 million Instagram users have directly purchased a product from an Instagram account. This is nothing to be surprised by since more than half (fifty percent) of Insta users frequently explore new items and brands for purchase.
To add up, the products they purchase were either bought from an influencer’s account or directly from the brand’s official account.
In the USA, social media users actively use apps to connect with brands and organizations. As a result, thirty-six percent of Instagram users use the platform to follow brands. Also, thirty-five percent of US Twitter users are following the official Twitter accounts of brands.
The social commerce statistics collected by IDG pointed out that precisely 84 percent of the C-Level managers and vice presidents (the key decision-makers) for their companies use social media to conduct their research and make purchase decisions. This is achieved by actively looking for reviews, comments, customer feedback, and ratings before purchasing a product or service.
Furthermore, 55 percent of the B2B companies agree they too look for information on social media before buying a product or service from a company.
(Sources: Stackla, Facebook For Business)
Social commerce has an increased positive effect on the reputation and sales of the brands who choose to promote and sell their products and services on social media. That being said, it’s no wonder why no more than 62 percent of social media users agree that their curiosity about a brand or a product increased after seeing its Facebook story. At the same time, 79 percent of users admit that the marketing content created for social media affects their decision-making on buying a particular product.
However, for 87 percent of users, social media content helps them decide what a must-buy is. Consequently, once they understand the latest trends and the hottest selling products through social media and see their favorite influencer or celebrity wearing something, they decide to buy it.
Nonetheless, more than half of American consumers buy a product after seeing it on social media.
Apart from Facebook Inc., the following are the most followed brands on Facebook:
(Source: Instagram/Nike, Frontify, Brandwatch, Instagram/Victoria Secret
And here are some other brands that rank up pretty high on Instagram:
Let’s look at the breakdown by category and their global order increase:
There are other items with high demand like bookshelves, kitchen utensils, apparel, and fashion accessories like clothes, shoes, jewelry, and hairstyling kits are the most searched and most sold items on social media platforms.
(Source: Sprouts Social)
Sprout Social, 2020, discovered that no less than 57 percent of social media users are actively following the social media pages and accounts of brands to stay updated with the latest products and services. In contrast, a relatively high 47 percent stay loyal to a brand’s account to stay on top of things and the latest releases by the same.
(Sources: Sale Cycle, Ecwid)
According to E-Commerce Stats Reports, Monday and Thursday are the busiest days for online shopping, and social shoppers buy goods and services at night, mainly between 8 PM and 9 PM. Unlike weekends, when it is the slowest time for online shopping, people usually focus on relaxing.
Social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter (among the many) have become the leading platforms for brands to interact with their potential consumers and create more awareness about their brand.
As we’ve seen, brands worldwide use social commerce strategies like affiliate marketing, influencer marketing, reviews, ratings, referrals, and recommendations to keep their audience engaged and to generate sales.
We’ve also learned that retail, social commerce alone has the potential of delivering more than $36 bn to the U.S. economy, and it is expected by 2023; overall, e-commerce will contribute more than $6 T to the global economy.
Last but not least, brands should harness the power of social media to grow their businesses and reach a wide consumer base. We hope that these social commerce statistics give you an in-depth insight into just how important and powerful a role it has in today’s progress and economy among the masses of people.