Going Viral: Social Commerce Statistics for 2018

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What do you use social media for?

If you’re like most people, you check Facebook to keep up with your friends, scroll through Instagram to see vacation pictures, and use Twitter to follow your favorite celebrities. But do you use any of these platforms for research? Do you turn to them if you’re looking for a new product or brand?

More than likely, the answer is “yes.”

Right now, the average web user spends about 2 hours and 15 minutes on social media each day. According to SmartInsights, 28% of them are using at least some of that time to research brands and find new products to buy.

If you run an ecommerce business, these buying patterns are exciting! Social commerce represents a fantastic opportunity for ecommerce companies, and taking advantage of it now is a great way to boost your business today and in the years to come.

2018 Social Commerce Statistics You Should Know

How big is social commerce?  Here are some must-know statistics about social commerce, and why it matters so much for modern retailers:

  • Retail ecommerce sales are projected to grow to $4.5 trillion by 2021. This represents a 15% growth from 2014 when sales sat at $1.3 trillion. If you’re an ecommerce business owner, missing out on this $4.5 trillion of purchases is pretty unthinkable.
  • 80% of internet users shop online. Online shopping is more popular now than ever before. While the vast majority of people have shopped online at least once, about 50% of the internet’s users shop online on a regular basis. These rising use rates represent a significant opportunity for ecommerce stores and retailers.
  • 71% of shoppers prefer to shop online. When you consider that online shopping makes finding a new item fast, easy, inexpensive, and streamlined, this statistic makes a ton of sense. After all – who wants to drive to the nearest store when you can order the same item online in just a few clicks? Today, shoppers largely believe they’ll get better deals online than at physical establishment, and that the variety of goods will be more extensive.
  • Shopify is the largest ecommerce platform. With more than 500,000 active customers and an annual sales volume of about $46 billion, Shopify has been a significant force in driving small ecommerce businesses forward and ensuring their success.
  • There are 3.196 billion global social media users in 2018. This represents 42% penetration, and will only continue to grow in the coming years.
  • Extra costs are the top cause of sales abandonment. It doesn’t matter how high-quality your product is or how pretty your packaging is – if you’re saddling customers with extra costs at checkout, you’ll see increased rates of cart abandonment. According to a survey by the Baymard Institute, 61% of people who abandoned their cart did so because they’re put off by extra costs. Meanwhile, 35% of abandon carts because the company requires them to create an account, and 27% do so because the checkout process is too complicated.
  • 71% of consumers who have had a good experience with a brand on social media will recommend the brand to others. With this in mind, ecommerce brands want to focus on using social media to increase brand engagement and deliver outstanding customer service.
  • In 2015, Facebook influenced 52% of customers’ purchases – online and offline. This represents a 36% increase from 2014.

Quick Ways to Improve Social Commerce

If you want to make the most of social commerce, you’ll need to work to establish a meaningful presence on your various social media channels. Here are three unique ways to do just that:

1. Get Insta-Famous

By the end of 2017, Instagram had a staggering 800 million users. This growth is due to many different things. On the one hand, modern consumers love video content. Since Instagram is a visual platform, it’s a great place to position yourself as an authentic, engaging brand.

One of the best ways you can get more Instagram followers is to focus on cultivating a presence that improves your brand’s UX.  High-quality posts featuring unified color schemes and a curated appearance will communicate quality and diversity to your customers, and encourage them to visit your store and purchase your products.

Need an example? Check out how Patagonia tugs at the heartstrings in their Instagram feed:

2. Locate Micro-Influencers

Influencer marketing has long since been an attractive tactic for brands from all backgrounds. Unfortunately, not everyone can afford to pay a Kardashian to rep their product.

Enter the micro-influencer.

Micro-influencers are real-life people who live their best lives using a product, good, or service. Because people tend to identify more deeply with micro-influencers than they do celebrity influencers, using them is a great way to connect more deeply with customers.

What’s more, paying micro-influencers is likely to be a good deal less expensive than paying celebrity influencers.

Need an example of a micro-influencer at work? Check out how van-life celebrities WheresMyOfficeNow rep the products they love on Instagram:

3. Use Customer-Generated Content

If you’ve never ventured into the land of customer-generated content before, now is a great time to do it. Ideal for going viral on social media, customer-generated content helps you grab customer attention and keep it.

With this in mind, use customer reviews and photos to replace the traditional creative in your advertisements and social media posts. Not only will this save you time and effort when it comes to creating your posts, but it’s a great way to make your social content more engaging and meaningful for your users.

Retail brand Blenders Eyewear does this on their Facebook page, with great results:

This same company also retargets visitors by pairing products a visitor was looking at with customer reviews about that product. That helps motivate customers to make a purchase. In fact, the tactic is what earned Blenders a 38% drop in cost per acquisition and a 2x increase in CTR.

Time to Get Onboard

If you’ve been playing it safe when it comes to social commerce, now is a great time to pounce. As the industry continues to grow, retailers across all verticals are seeing outstanding results. If you want your brand to follow suit, take advantage of the social commerce tips above. Flexible enough to suit a variety of brands and powerful enough to skyrocket your sales in the coming year, these social commerce tactics are a great place to start growing your brand and meeting your goals.

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