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Social commerce now used by one in three consumers

But more retailers need to embrace and engage with their social media platforms.

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Almost one-in-three (27%) consumers shop on social media platforms but less than one-fifth (18%) of businesses sell on social media, according to the PayPal mCommerce Index 2019, revealing an opportunity for Australian businesses to embrace social as a sales channel.

Almost one-fifth (18%) of surveyed businesses now sell via social media (up from 13% in 2018) and an additional 21% of businesses indicated that they intend to sell via social within the next six months.

Businesses that sell products on social media platforms see an average of 38% of sales being made via social channels, the Index found. Social commerce adoption is particularly high for younger generations with 38% of Gen Z consumers and 36% of Gen Y consumers purchasing via social media in the last six months.

PayPal Australia managing director, Libby Roy said selling and shopping via social channels has experienced rapid growth as the line between social media and e-commerce continues to blur.

“The incredible amount of time people spend – especially younger people – on social media has positioned social commerce as the biggest trend we’ll see in online commerce over the next five years,” she said.

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“The rapid rise of social commerce highlights the growing complexity of modern retail and the pressure on brands to effectively deliver omni-channel sales and marketing across all devices, applications and platforms.

“With Gen Y and Gen Z almost constantly connected, mainly on social channels, and on track to become the largest consumer generation, the importance of social commerce is obvious.”

83% of surveyed businesses promote themselves via social channels, with 28% promoting themselves at least daily and almost three-in-five (59%) promoting themselves at least once a week. Only 17% of businesses do not have a social media presence.

Facebook remains the most popular social commerce platform for Australian social media shoppers (83%), followed by Instagram (34%) Snapchat (12%) and Pinterest (12%).  This order of popularity is mirrored by business social sellers with 75% selling via Facebook, 56% via Instagram, 33% via Snapchat and 13% via Pinterest.

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