As the last channel for consumers to get on the retailer’s website, social networks are becoming more important.
Most social e-commerce activity in the U.S. takes place on Interest, Instagram and Facebook, and Snapchat is one of them.
In the first quarter of 2019, 70.5 percent of all U.S. social referrals came from smartphone devices, according to Adobe data compiled by eMarketer. The rest consists of desktops and laptops.
The growth of sources of smartphone social referrals suggests that consumers are not only very active on social networks, they are also beginning to use their mobile devices for more frequent consumption activities.
An estimated 115 million U.S. consumers will use their smartphone devices for shopping and spending this year, it accounts for 58.9 percent of online consumers in the United States.
On the other hand, about 193.3 million people are expected to use smartphones to search and compare products.
eMarketer predicts that 86.8% of U.S. marketers will use Facebook for social media marketing in 2019 and 73.2% will use Instagram. While Pinterest (34.1%) and Snapchat (30.7%) have significantly lower usage rates, this may be because women and young people account for more of these two platforms, respectively.
Internet users spend 44.8 percent of their “social networktime” on Facebook, and facebook’s product recommendations are nearly double the average. Facebook’s recommendations for products are important.
While Facebook’s user experience is less focused on social shopping, the platform’s dominance in social media, coupled with the use of precision advertising by retail brands to capture customers, has made it a major traffic driver for e-commerce sites.
“Facebook is the platform of choice for many marketers, mainly because of its size and scale,” said Zvika Goldstein, chief product officer of digital advertising technology platform Kenshoo. But for some categories, they see Instagram as a more powerful e-commerce tool.”
Instagram, for example, has a more distinctive aesthetic that appeals to younger users and lifestyle brands, especially when it comes to fashion and makeup. The platform provides a unique combination of scale and context altogether, making it the first choice for many brands in these categories to switch to social e-commerce. If Instagram can prove its relevance to driving buying, it could be becoming a powerful platform for driving e-commerce.
So far, the company has been aggressive in e-commerce, launching Checkout on Instagram in March 2019 with partners including adidas, H&M, Nike, Prada and Warby Parker. The new feature helps brands simplify the checkout process, allowing users to pay directly within the Instagram app. It’s a big move for Instagram to move into commercial services such as textmessaging and payment.
Pinterest is another key player in social ecommerce, providing users with a place to pursue creativity and taste that is particularly consistent with shopping content. According to a Cowen and Company survey conducted in February 2019, 47% of social media users think Pinterest is a platform for discovering and buying products, more than three times more than those who mention Facebook or Instagram.
Pinterest also offers marketers a high-value audience. According to Pinterest’s ipo filing in March 2019, the platform covers 80 percent of American mothers who use the Internet — a key demographic with a lot of autonomous purchasing power. Figures from oracle in the document show that households using Pinterest spend 29% more than the average household.
Although it can reach an ideal audience that is willing and able to spend, Pinterest sometimes has limited influence over people’s final buying decisions. Most of Pinterest’s user experience is still focused on product content related to interest or taste pursuit, and the platform lacks certain transformational capabilities, especially the ability to purchase within the platform.