Although social networks are still only a tiny part of e-commerce, their role in the buying process is growing rapidly, especially on smartphones. Over the last two years, the share of visits from social networks has doubled on US retailer sites. With such an increase, social platforms should soon make a maximum effort to strengthen and grow in the social commerce market.
Social commerce: growth driven by mobile usage
According to a study conducted by Adobe Digital Insights, in the 1st quarter of 2019, 70% of social referrals (visits generated via links on social networks) to e-commerce sites are mobile. This can be explained by the social uses that have become mostly mobile-centric, but also by the new purchasing habits adopted by Internet users on this device. According to forecasts, 115 million people will make at least one purchase from a smartphone in 2019 in the United States, i.e. 59% of American e-buyers.
Facebook vs Instagram
Among the various social platforms, Facebook generates the majority of social referrals traffic to e-commerce sites (80%), far ahead of Instagram (11%) and Pinterest (8%). eMarketer forecasts that 91.2% of Facebook users (or 156 M users) will access the social network via a smartphone in 2019 and 113 M exclusively from a mobile device (mobile and tablet). In addition to its high number of mobile users, the giant captures 45% of the time spent on all social media. All this makes it a powerful engine for e-commerce sites and suggests that social networks will soon occupy a central place in mobile shopping.
However, while Facebook is currently leading the way, other platforms at the forefront of social commerce such as Instagram, which is very visual and engaging, could well challenge the giant.