The future of e-commerce is social; here’s why

New Delhi | Updated: Mar 07, 2017 11:29 AM

Leading social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest have introduced different e-commerce features to help their users take advantage of this trend.

The future of e-commerce is social. According to various studies, it’s quite clear that 2016 witnessed an increase in sales through social. It’s estimated that around $50 billion sale was generated using social networks with an increase of $20 billion from the previous year. As per MindShift Interactive, more than 60% of marketers believe that social commerce will be the fastest growing trend in 2017. Leading social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest have introduced different e-commerce features to help their users take advantage of this trend.

Social networks have been competing to encourage small businesses, but have mostly failed at it. In India, some companies have managed to achieve what many international tech giants haven’t been able to pull off. For example, Roposo sees branding/advertising on its platform as another major source of revenue. Fashion and lifestyle brands look more towards advertising on such platforms considering the kind of target audience each of these platforms attract.

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With the expansion of in-app shopping, social e-commerce is bound to leapfrog in 2017. Last year, FB announced plans to make purchases through Facebook Messenger. According to Statista, the average per order value for Instagram ($65) and Pinterest ($58.95) is higher than the average per order value of FB ($55). This is because both Pinterest and Instagram are primarily visual-based social networks.

Social media marketing can help brands target buyers in a more personal manner. Professionals who embrace platforms like Pinterest and Instagram create media that translates into actual sales. It’s hard to predict what the next one year might have to offer. However, past data and trends suggest that 2017 will be a crucial year for e-commerce, with social media playing a key role. The social shopping experience is set to become bigger and better due to the burgeoning number of social media users, easy ways to initiate purchases from brand pages, and users having the option to get instant purchase suggestions from their friends.

The author, Zafar Rais, is CEO, MindShift Interactive

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