I-COM Summit 2023: Snap and Reprise Commerce chair roundtable discussion.

In this article People are using social media to discover products Social media is driving more DTC purchases The emerging technology for social commerce

The I-COM Summit Experience – an event dedicated to the exploration of smart data marketing – made its way to Malaga, Spain this year with sustainable growth as its headline theme.   

Hot on the heels of a research study into the future of social commerce, Aarti Bhaskaran, Head of Global Ad Research & Insights, Snap and Jason Cotrina-Vasquez, SVP, Global Head of Social, Reprise, chaired a roundtable discussion aptly named The Future of Commerce is Social. 

Social commerce, or sales made from a social media platform, is growing at around 30% year-on-year, and it looks set to continue on that trajectory as people gravitate toward social media for product discovery and – increasingly – product purchases.

Better product feed integrations, shoppable buttons, native checkout experiences, and augmented reality solutions for virtual try-on are just a select few of the technologies encouraging consumers to shop on social platforms.

People are using social media to discover products

Social media has changed the way people shop today and will continue to change in the future. On average, 80% of people have discovered a product via Social Media (USA, UK, DE) and 50% have made a purchase in-platform.

As the first to have grown up in the social media era and adopt new technologies, the younger generations are leading the way in using social media to discover products.

From a marketing perspective, brands and agencies need to make the experience and purchase journey as streamlined as possible to close the sale, and content needs to be entertaining in order to cut through.

Social media is driving more DTC purchases

92% of people said that they would be willing to purchase directly from the brand’s social media instead of an online marketplace.

Consumers see value in finding out about deals and new products quickly, as well as benefitting from real-time customer service, particularly in the familiar format of a well-known social platform.

It’s key to ensure that the user can trust the brand and buying process. Brands must go beyond verification ticks and build communities and relationships with their audiences. Investing in influencer marketing is one way to achieve this.

The emerging technology for social commerce

The rapid development of tech such as AR will play a key role in the social purchase process.

  • 66% of people said that AR brings the excitement of instore shopping to online – that’s because the product is brought to life, they can interact and try it on, they can share the AR with friends and family.
  • 69% of people would feel more confident about their purchase if they got to try it or experience it virtually.

Augmented Reality (AR) is moving from entertainment to utility for consumers and brands need to follow suit. Research revealed that it is a source of confidence for sellers and has the power to reduce returns.

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