When the coronavirus pandemic hit the world, everyone including students, employees, and business owners became more exposed to social media following stay-at-home orders.

While online buying and selling has become more prominent, different social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have joined the social commerce game. Given this, social media appears to be the future of eCommerce. But is social media really the future of eCommerce? Let’s talk about the changes in consumer behavior that may lead to Social Commerce becoming the next big thing.

Technology and innovation have caused the rise of eCommerce. However, global circumstances, like the recent COVID-19 pandemic, have also brought on new changes in the eCommerce industry. As early as May 2020, eCommerce transactions reached $82.5 billion — a whopping 77% increase from 2019. Traditional year-over-year increases suggested that this would normally have taken four to six years to achieve.

United Parcel Service Inc. gained higher profits and a 13% growth in revenue in the June 2020 quarter. UPS also saw a 65% increase in deliveries to residences during the same quarter. Experts predict online spending of more than $476 billion by the end of 2024.

Social distancing and strict quarantine protocols have brought changes in consumers’ shopping behaviors. For instance, there was a 35% increase from the expected growth of online shopping in essential categories. These include groceries, household supplies, and over-the-counter medicine. Even the expected growth of purchasing skin-care products, jewelry, apparel, and other discretionary categories exceeded 15%.

As consumers aim to avoid long lines at supermarkets, many choose BOPIS or buy-online-pick-up-in-store and other delivery services. More shoppers also now have the desire to buy local products. This is reflected in both the products they buy and the way they support community stores.

As eCommerce business owners and marketers, you should understand the role of social commerce in attracting your target audience, gaining more loyal customers, and growing your brand. Social commerce is what brings eCommerce functionality directly into various social media platforms. If consumers are satisfied with your product or service, they can easily share and recommend it on social media. This can help make the product go viral.

Social commerce platforms like Facebook have business retail store pages that allow consumers to browse and shop without leaving the platform. Imagine how convenient it is for your customers to scroll through Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter and just click the buy button after seeing your product.

Pinterest also has buyable pins that allow users to purchase your products without leaving the platform. According to Pinterest, 93% of pinners use the platform to plan their purchases. Then, 87% of them have purchased after seeing a product they’re interested in.

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