The Second Rise of Social eCommerce

20 May 2020

While Social eCommerce has always been on the rise, the pandemic has accelerated this growth to its highest levels. As social media usage continues to soar, the amount of social purchases is also increasing. Let’s look at what this growth has meant for other companies and what it could mean for yours.

More Time Spent on Social Media and eCommerce:

There are now more than 3.81 billion social media users worldwide. Since the pandemic started, 47% of users have spent more time on social media. 15% saying they will continue to spend longer on social media once the pandemic is over. These trends are consistent across all age groups.  The top six most-used apps in the world right now are Facebook, Whatsapp, FB Messenger, We Chat, Instagram, and TikTok. There’s also good news when it comes to eCommerce, 67% of Chinese users reported spending more time shopping online, 46% in Singapore, and 47% across the world in general.  These statistics reveal a renewed opportunity for businesses to engage and sell on social media.

The Resurgence of Social Shopping:

When it comes to Social Shopping, or Social eCommerce, APAC is leading the world. For example, it has seen a huge boost recently in China. According to reports from, the eCom giant has seen an important increase in purchases made because of social recommendations. Shoppers rely on family, friends, and influencers within the platform to rate products and inspire purchasing decisions. The platform already has more than 54,000 shopping guides in the fashion and home industry alone.

Generation Z and millennials are particularly receptive to social eCommerce, with 60% being more likely to make a purchase on social if given the chance.  But, it’s not only the social aspect that is interesting to shoppers, some are looking to leverage group shopping to get better prices. Such is the case with China’s Pinduoduo, the second most popular e-commerce platform in China. It's estimated that more than $413 billion of goods will be sold through social e-commerce in China by 2022[1] .  

Some companies are already taking the plunge. Levi’s is one of the world’s first brands to integrate with Tik Tok’s Shop Now feature. As a result, they were able to more than double their product views. Kroger relied instead on Tik Tok’s sponsored hashtag feature and was able to tally an impressive  477 million views.

Another aspect of social eCommerce which has been on the rise is the use of live-streaming. According to the CMO of Lazada, “live-streaming has now become a way for people to socialise with each other and with the brands they love”. Their success is in part due to the fact that people view Lazada as much more than just an eCommerce platform, but rather “a platform where we help them to connect with each other”.

Despite the fact that social media usage is increasing, the Wall Street Journal found that advertising costs on social platforms like Facebook and Youtube are actually trending downwards, making this the ideal time to make your eCommerce more social!