Social commerce in the United States - statistics & facts
Social networks have transformed multiple aspects of people's daily lives, including how they spend and make money. When social media meets e-commerce, social commerce is born. Around the world, China is well ahead in the adoption of social media shopping. However, the coronavirus outbreak pushed this trend forward in many other countries, notably the United States, where social buyers increased from over 60 million in 2019 to an estimated 97 million by 2022. Given its massive reach and potential for monetization, marketers have doubled their efforts to include social media in their business model. A few months into the pandemic, social commerce was one of the main sales channels to attract increased investment from companies in the U.S., right behind online and mobile commerce.
A world of opportunities ahead
Businesses have traditionally used social media as a marketing tool to build their brand, increase their visibility, and connect with current and potential customers. In the United States, forecasts suggest that at least nine of every ten companies had used this channel for marketing purposes in 2022. While advertising campaigns remain fundamental to targeting and engaging the right audience, generating conversion through them has become increasingly difficult.
As a result, more and more brands and retailers started offering the possibility to make purchases directly from their social networks. According to a 2021 study, nearly eight out of ten U.S. businesses anticipated selling on social media in the following three years. Social commerce has piqued the interest of companies of all sizes. But for small and medium-sized enterprises, it is proving to be a game changer. Social commerce allows them to test their idea directly in the market without the hassle and commitment of an e-commerce site.
The ability of social media algorithms to detect user preferences and provide personalized recommendations has been key to winning over buyers in this age range. For many Gen Z and millennial shoppers, social platforms have become a go-to resource for product search and discovery. So much so that, for at least one in two U.S. shoppers in that age group, these networks appear to be preferable for learning about new products than online searches.
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