The future of shopping online is social commerce

The future of shopping online is social commerce

Having a front-row seat to game-changing shifts in shopping is among the most exciting aspects of my job. Over the last decade on the e-commerce sales team at Facebook, I’ve partnered with businesses to help them keep up, from the rise of online marketplaces to the mobile shift and now—social commerce.

Social commerce is an extension of e-commerce that happens directly on or through social media networks. It has revolutionized the way people discover, shop and buy, and this transformation has been accelerated by the pandemic. According to this Hootsuite report, more than half of online brand discovery now happens in social feeds, and eMarketer estimates that U.S. social commerce sales will double between now and 2025 to more than $79 billion.

Indeed, the future of shopping is social, and it’s ushering in can’t-miss opportunities for brands today.


Tapping into the power of social discovery


We have moved from a “going shopping” mentality, carving out time to get what we need in-store or online, to an “always shopping” mindset that is present throughout the day. As mobile experiences become increasingly seamless, shopping is further integrated into our daily lives.

With infinite choices at our fingertips anytime, anywhere, many are turning to social apps for personalized inspiration and curated recommendations. And people like this feeling of serendipitous discovery; the majority of consumers we surveyed said they enjoy finding items they weren’t actively looking for. 

To meet customer expectations, businesses can no longer wait for people to search for them and shop. Innovative solutions like the Facebook Discovery Commerce system help brands and products find people who are most likely to love them based on content they’re already engaging with.


Building credibility with creators


Content creators are a force when it comes to building and engaging communities. Brands are partnering with them across social apps and beyond to build authenticity, to resonate with new and existing audiences and to become part of more conversations online in a way that feels personal and organic.

More than half of consumers surveyed get ideas from celebrities and creators about which products to shop for. And these influencers can also help drive action more efficiently and effectively, which is as important as ever heading into the holiday season. Across Facebook and Instagram, we found that branded content from creator handles drove action intent at an 87% lower cost per incremental person. Adding branded content ads to business-as-usual campaigns also drove more efficient purchases. When lifestyle brand Pura Vida tried this, the company saw a 21% higher return on ad spend.

Results like these are causing brands to take notice. Influencer marketing is expected to grow to be worth $13.8 billion by the end of this year, an increase of more than 700% since 2016.

U.S. skincare brand DRMTLGY used video created by beauty creators to reach new audiences and increase sales
Making storefronts more seamless  




Making storefronts more seamless


Social commerce is the new storefront. It offers the opportunity to create seamless, shoppable experiences directly in the apps that people are spending time on while catching up with friends and family, consuming relevant content and discovering new brands, products and services they love.

Shops on Facebook and Instagram are leading this evolution, with customizable collections and simple design tools for businesses to showcase featured products, bring brands to life and make shopping seamless for customers. And joyful experiences for people combine the best of online and in-store shopping, such as discovery and browsing, live shopping, augmented reality try-ons, messaging and in-app checkout.

Brands of all sizes are seeing success. Petco delivered a 1.9-times return on ad spend as it hosted a live pet fashion show and adopt-a-thon using Facebook Live Shopping. And  MAC Cosmetics sold out all of the products in its collection just one minute after launching them via Checkout on Instagram. 

Are you embracing the future of shopping? Social commerce is already a key ingredient to staying competitive and growing your business. For more info, visit the Facebook Discovery Commerce page.