Social Commerce: Statistics, Examples, Strategies

Pauline Volovik
9 min readApr 25, 2024


According to DataReportal, in January 2024, there were 5.04 billion users of social networks worldwide. And all of them are potential consumers of various goods and services on these platforms. Facebook was the first to “convert” users into buyers. Gradually, brand pages on Instagram and Pinterest have turned into virtual storefronts that encourage customers to make purchases. Social commerce captures users in its nets, providing them with a new online shopping experience.

In this article, I suggest considering the trends of social commerce, statistical data, and strategies that can be applied to increase sales today.

About Social Commerce

Social commerce is the promotion and sale of one’s products or services on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, and other platforms. The entire purchasing process, starting from getting acquainted with the product and searching for reviews to completing the payment for the product, takes place exclusively on social media. The listed and other platforms have special built-in tools designed for selling products.

China became the pioneer in this direction. As early as 2013, Chinese online stores began to integrate into local social networks. Brands decided to take advantage of the fact that internet users in China spent on average almost two hours a day on social networks for communication, tracking news, searching for information about new products, and the best offers for their purchase. Only in 2021, S-commerce on Taobao Live and Xiaohongshu platforms brought companies over $400 billion.

Since 2020, this segment of online trading has begun to grow rapidly in the USA. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the rapid development of online shopping, leading to changes in consumer behavior and expectations. Online purchases have not yet displaced physical shopping despite their convenience and speed, but are gaining more and more fans from different age groups. In 2023, Americans purchased goods and services through social commerce channels totaling over $56 billion. According to McKinsey’s forecasts, these figures will continue to grow:

According to Statista, the global value of social commerce is projected to reach $2.9 trillion in 2026:

Why is Social Commerce Becoming More Popular Among Users? This is not ordinary shopping. The new buying experience primarily changes the way customers communicate with their favorite and new brands — where, when, and how they buy products. And global players and small companies interact with the audience differently. Entertaining communication and interactive immersive shopping experience come to the fore. Brands have moved away from traditional direct advertising to original, authentic, inspired, and interesting content. Through it, they emphasize the benefits and unique characteristics of the product, combining the convenience of online shopping with the everyday life of social networks, without which a huge number of people can no longer even imagine life.

In addition, the direct communication between the brand and the user provides a sense of community and connection. Among the results of Accenture Research, there is interesting data: 42% of consumers feel a connection through the virtual experience. This is a starting point for brands because they have to remove any possible obstacles for consumers and provide an exciting shopping journey.

TikTok offered brands a unique path to purchase — the concept of an endless cycle:

The platform emphasizes that traditional marketing funnels are becoming ineffective. As the buying behavior of modern consumers and their places of presence have changed, TikTok offers brands to use an endless cycle without a starting and ending point. Hyper-relevant, personalized, creative, and fun content created with the preferences and interests of users makes S-commerce entertaining.

Brands only benefit from this: they establish closer relationships with consumers, brand supporters form communities, and repeat purchases increase profits.

Social Commerce vs E-commerce

In general, the main goal of social commerce and e-commerce is the same, as both aim to get subscribers to buy a product or service. However, the tools for achieving this goal and the ways of making purchases differ. E-commerce is already a traditional online shopping on a website or in a mobile application of a company or on a marketplace. Social commerce can be called a branch or type of e-commerce. Without leaving their accounts on social networks, users browse the feed and buy preferred items directly on the platform without going to a website.

Advantages of Social Commerce for Business

Using social networks as a store is another sales channel for B2C, D2C, and B2B brands. There are six reasons why this is a promising idea for business:

  1. Simple shopping with minimal steps. The formula “Saw. Clicked. Bought” seems to be an advantage primarily for the buyer. Convenience and impression appeal to consumers, which promotes repeat purchases in the long term.
  2. Opportunities for more detailed customization of advertisements compared to traditional advertising. Targeted advertising on social networks allows you to finely tune advertising campaigns to a specific target audience without huge budgets. This is more effective compared to traditional advertising.
  3. During shopping on social networks, users have no obstacles or extra steps. There is no need to switch between a website and searching for reviews on independent platforms. Consumers have the simplest path from logging in to an account to paying for a product. If consumer attention is not diverted, the likelihood of them abandoning the shopping cart decreases.
  4. Social commerce helps collect feedback from the audience and data about it. In comments to posts [which essentially serve as a catalog] or on an online store, such as Facebook Shopping, customers view, study, buy, and discuss products, write what they like and what they don’t. You can communicate with them in comments or messages for personalized service.
  5. Social commerce allows for increasing sales and attracting a new audience. According to eMarketer experts, by 2025, only in the USA, the volume of social commerce will reach almost $80 billion:

6. Social commerce turns shopping into an interactive experience. Compared to classic online shopping, this is much more interesting. In addition to consultations with friends or viewing comments from other subscribers, clients can immediately post posts or stories with novelties or communicate with favorite brands.

Which Social Networks to Choose for Social Commerce

The best platform for a brand is where its target audience is concentrated. It is important to rely on the experience of certain audience segments, taking into account gender and location. Representatives of different generations can be found on different channels.

Today, four media platforms have their tools for social commerce:

  • Facebook Business account can create its own store on Facebook and set up an online store, accept orders through personal messages or the “Buy” button;
  • on Instagram, images in posts and videos are the brand’s showcase that needs to be supplemented with Instagram Shopping tools. Business accounts, like on Facebook, can showcase their products through a virtual storefront. Almost half of Instagram users use this platform for weekly shopping. Shopping Tags help brands tag products in posts in the feed and stories. Ads created using Meta Ads drive new users to the page;
  • TikTok has transformed from an entertainment platform into a giant hyper-relevant advertising platform. It confidently outperforms search engines, as Generation Z representatives and audiences from other age groups actively use the network and look for information about products, services, cafes, recipes here. With TikTok Shop, brands can showcase and sell their products in the app, collaborate with creators, build communities, analyze transactions using the sales interface and promotion tools, including TikTok Ads for business or TikTok Ads Manager;

YouTube and Shopify have launched a joint tool for real-time purchases or during video viewing, as well as in other Google services — Images, Lens, Maps. Businesses can also interact with consumers through Amazon Live, the Verint Community platform, and other solutions. There are many possibilities. It is important to find the best solution for your brand and choose the right tools for successful sales.

Tactics to Help Brands Increase Sales on Social Media

I want to share with you several tactics that can help increase the number of customers on social media.

  • It’s better to focus on channels where your clients are. It’s not worth spending budgets on advertising on channels where your target audience is not present. It’s better to choose one platform and focus attention on it, rather than managing several superficially. It’s not worth scattering efforts, especially since each network has its own specifics and special tools.
  • Interact with subscribers. Create and regularly publish interesting content, respond to questions, react to feedback [including negative], hold contests, repost UGC.
  • Use social proof. This is one of the most important factors in making a purchase decision. 92% of people trust recommendations from friends and colleagues. According to BrightLocal data for 2024, 50% of consumers trust reviews from other users as personal recommendations. Encourage customers to share information about your brand’s products or services on their pages. Encourage them to share their experiences in comments, carousels, reels, or videos. For example, the cosmetics brand Curology regularly posts customer reviews about the results of using its products, which strengthens the audience’s trust:
  • Use user-generated content [UGC]. It also works as a personal recommendation. According to Stackla, people consider images, videos, reviews, and testimonials from other users 2.4 times more authentic than brand content. This helps companies build a strong emotional connection with subscribers. For example, brands like Drunk Elephant, GoPro, EdloeFinch, Welltraveledclub, SpaceNK, YETI, Day Designer, and many others regularly publish UGC from their customers on their feeds and websites:

Thanks to the Art of the Trench campaign, the fashion brand Burberry increased its Facebook subscribers by 1 million. The company encouraged customers to share their photos in Burberry coats, and others to comment on them, like them, and share images via Facebook and Twitter. Canadian sportswear brand lululemon encourages subscribers to use the hashtag #thesweatlife when they share photos in lululemon clothing.

  • Retain customers and work on their loyalty. It’s better to turn subscribers into repeat customers and encourage them to make repeat purchases. Attracting a new audience is more expensive for a business than retaining existing customers.
  • Engage influencers. This is an effective tool that influences consumer trust. 37% of social media users trust bloggers more than brands. It’s not necessary to spend huge budgets on “millionaires”. According to HypeAuditor, nano-influencers, who have fewer than 5000 subscribers, have the highest engagement rate [5%] and a more active audience.

Social commerce is primarily about content. Informative, entertaining, inspiring. This is what users are looking for on their favorite social networks. Therefore, it’s worth investing in great photos, cool videos, and interesting captions. Other tools are also effective — retargeting, using chatbots for customer service 24/7/365, live shopping, engaging ambassadors, and many other tactics.


The cost of acquiring customers is increasing every day. Banners on websites don’t always work effectively. Direct advertising repels many people. What will help businesses attract a new audience, communicate with customers, and increase sales? S-commerce! Use your social media pages as another channel for sales and interaction with the audience. Don’t delay! The only way to outperform competitors is to offer users an additional convenient platform for shopping and interacting with favorite brands.

What do you think about social commerce? Share your thoughts in the comments!