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Social Commerce- The Next Big Thing | Thrive Analytics
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Thrive Analytics / Local  / Social Commerce- The Next Big Thing

Social Commerce- The Next Big Thing

Nearly a decade ago, the idea of social commerce was gaining traction. The concept was simple- people would use social media directly to purchase product or services. The assumption was the path to purchase was linear and interacting with a Brand would lead directly to a purchase. However, it never panned out. The path to purchase isn’t linear. Consumers get information from a number of sources prior to making a decision, and early on, Brand messages were often fragmented and lacked immediate action.

With the rise of visual-based platforms like Pinterest, Instagram, and Snapchat, things started to improve. These new platforms curated content in forms that provide a more shoppable environment. Still, very little ecommerce activity could be attributed directly to a social referral. According to Adobe, social drove less than 2% of ecommerce referral as recently as 2015.

As technology has evolved around the shopping process, we are now starting to see social play a bigger role in the conversions. In fact, over the past 3 years we have seen a 120% increase in the number of online adults that have engaged in social commerce*. Today, a third of the online population has purchased a product as a result of social media.


Bar chart showing percentage of consumers that have engaged in social commerce for 2017, 2018 and 2019


As social media platforms continue to evolve, we expect this trend to continue.


*Our definition of social commerce is when a social media channel serves up a referral to an ecommerce site that in turn generates a purchase or it happens directly on the social media platform through a “buy” button.