Despite the hype, most US consumers won’t make a purchase via social media in 2021. Discovery and consideration, rather than direct transactions within social apps, will remain key opportunities for brands next year.
“The major social platforms worked hard in 2020 to make social checkout happen,” said Jasmine Enberg, eMarketer senior analyst at Insider Intelligence. “While there was already plenty of commerce-related activity on social media before 2020, it was mostly upper-funnel.
“As the pandemic elevated ecommerce adoption—and temporarily slowed social ad spending—Facebook, Instagram, and others quickly expanded their social commerce offerings to help drive conversions within their apps,” she said.
We don’t expect most users to check out on social in 2021, at least not regularly. In our June 2020 “Facebook Flash Survey” conducted by Bizrate Insights, only 18.7% of US social buyers said they paid for their most recent social purchase directly through a social app’s checkout process versus 57.8% who completed the transaction on the retailer’s website. Those figures likely won't change next year without the pandemic-related conditions that spurred much of the growth to begin with.
Social media will continue to shine (and grow), however, in product discovery, browsing, and consideration. New features like livestreaming shopping and shoppable ad formats from creators and brands will also help increase the number of customer touchpoints.
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