Social Commerce – Learn why you can’t ignore this trend

Social isolation fostered the use of social networks and encouraged purchases from them

One of the strongest trends and one that has been reframed since 2020 is Social Commerce. This concept emerged in 2005, with the growth of social networks, and predicts that more and more purchases will occur on these channels – without the customer having to leave the interaction application that he or she is using at that moment.

The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the process of digitalization of everyday life, and with more time at home, social networks have become an almost exclusive alternative for connecting with the outside world. This buying modality crystallized from 2020, and is still going strong as a direction for those who want to bet on it in 2021.

A strong point of this trend are the digital communities. Social networks are spaces where people with common interests come together. This is where the phenomenon of so-called “Social Proof” takes place: publications about the products and services being offered. This means that betting on this trend, ignoring the power of online communities, could be a big mistake.

Looking at the Brazilian scenario, the recent approval by the Central Bank for WhatsApp transactions should accelerate Social Commerce in the country, similarly to what happens in China, where this market has been growing considerably in recent years, with an expected revenue of US$ 474.81 billion by 2023. 

Brazilians are already showing interest in this buying modality. According to a survey conducted by Mastercard, more than half (53%) of the country’s consumers want to make payments via messaging or social networking applications.


Social Shopping x Marketplaces

Within this great field that is Social Commerce there are some modalities that we need to clarify to facilitate its understanding:

Social Shopping: this is when the purchase, in fact, takes place within the social network environment, without the customer needing to go to another environment to conclude it. This is a high level of integration between social network and e-commerce. In the West, this movement is beginning to take its first steps with Instagram Shopping and in a second moment with Instagram Checkout, still in the testing phase.

Marketplaces: platforms managed by third parties, such as Mercado Livre, Facebook, OLX, among others in which people and companies can sell to consumers, ensuring a commission for the tool. They were the great protagonists of 2020, arousing the interest of chains like Carrefour, GPA among others that glimpse the potential of this channel.

Limited to certain categories?

If you think that this shopping modality is limited to categories such as fashion and decoration, for example, start rethinking your strategy. A total of 29% of Brazilian consumers state that they would like to buy supermarket and grocery products both online and offline, according to a survey by Social Miner, jumping from 13% in 2020 to this new level in 2021.

Also, according to the Webshoppers report, 2021 edition, for the “Food” category, social networks were the largest channel to reach out online stores. Among the digital channels analyzed in the study, 27% of the participants said they reached out to e-commerce to buy food brought to them by social networks.

For the “Cash and Carry” segment – which includes supermarkets and hypermarkets – the visit to the supermarkets’ own websites accounted for 45% of all purchases. The arrival on these platforms was through search engines (23%) and typing the name of the store in the address bar (22%). Social networks, on the other hand, were responsible for 6% of the purchases.