Accenture: Shopping on Social Media CAGR 26%
January 24, 2022
new study by Accenture found that the $492 billion global social commerce
industry is expected to grow three times as fast as traditional ecommerce to
$1.2 trillion by 2025. Growth is predicted to be driven primarily by Gen Z and
Millennial social media users, accounting for 62% of global social commerce
spend by 2025.
According to Accenture’s report, “Why Shopping’s Set for a Social Revolution,”
social commerce means a person’s entire shopping experience — from product
discovery to the check-out process — takes place on a social media platform.
Just under two thirds (64%) of social media users surveyed said they made a
social commerce purchase in the last year, which Accenture estimates to reflect
nearly 2 billion social buyers globally.
“The pandemic showed how much people use social platforms as the entry point for
everything they do online — news, entertainment and communication.” said Robin
Murdoch, global Software & Platforms industry lead at Accenture. “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
While the opportunity is significant for large businesses, individuals and
smaller brands also stand to benefit. More than half (59%) of social buyers
surveyed said they are more likely to support small and medium-sized businesses
through social commerce than when shopping through ecommerce websites.
Furthermore, 63% said they are more likely to buy from the same seller again,
showing the benefits of social commerce in building loyalty and driving repeat
“Social commerce is a levelling 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,” said Oliver Wright, global Consumer Goods and Services lead at
Accenture. “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.”
Half of social media users surveyed, however, indicate they are concerned that
social commerce purchases will not be protected or refunded properly, making
trust the biggest barrier to adoption, as it was for eCommerce at its beginning.
“Those who have yet to use social commerce say one reason they are held back is
their lack of trust in the authenticity of social sellers, while active social
commerce users point to poor policies on returns, refunds and exchanges as an
area for improvement,” said Wright. “Trust is an issue that will take time to
overcome, but the sellers who focus on these areas will be better positioned to
grow market share.”
Who is Buying What
Accenture’s report found that by 2025 the highest number of social commerce
purchases globally are expected in clothing (18% of all social commerce by
2025), consumer electronics (13%) and home décor (7%). Fresh food and snack
items also represent a large product category (13%) although sales are nearly
exclusive to China. Beauty and personal care, although smaller in terms of total
social commerce sales, is predicted to quickly gain ground on eCommerce and
capture over 40% of digital spend on average for this category in key markets by
Among the study’s other findings:
in developing countries are more likely to use social commerce and do so often.
Eight out of ten social media users in China use social commerce to make
purchases for a given category, while the majority of social media users in the
U.K. and U.S. have yet to make a purchase via social commerce.
Shoppers in China, India, and Brazil care more about features that help them
discover and evaluate potential purchases while those in the U.K. and U.S. place
more importance on pricing and discounts.
Trust is more important to older generations than younger generations. Older
shoppers emphasize security features and value brand familiarity while younger
generations are attracted to livestreams and put more faith in buyer reviews.