By: Matt Sonnhalter, Vision Architect
In this five-part series, we are taking a look at the 2022 social trends from Hootsuite. The fourth macro trend for 2022 is the social commerce trend.
The Social Commerce Trend
Social becomes the heart of the post-pandemic shopping experience
Lockdowns shot ecommerce forward a decade—in three months.
That all changed overnight when consumers went into lockdown and many looked to meet basic needs by buying online.
Suddenly, 84% of consumers were shopping over the internet, according to Shopify. eMarketer reported a surge in ecommerce sales growth to 18%, the highest increase the firm had ever reported for this figure. And in what McKinsey dubbed “the quickening,” ecommerce penetration rocketed ahead more in the first 90 days of the pandemic than it had in the previous decade.
This “temporary” boom in online shopping isn’t stopping
Nearly two years since the beginning of the pandemic, this shift in consumer spending has shown no signs of slowing down. And with eMarketer projecting that double-digit annual growth will drive ecommerce sales from $792 billion in 2020 to $1.6 trillion in 2025, it’s clear that our new ecommerce habits aren’t just here to stay—they’re very much on the rise.
This growth is particularly acute when it comes to social commerce. According to Hootsuite and We Are Social’s Digital 2021 report, the global social commerce industry is currently worth more than half a trillion US dollars. Simon Kemp, founder of strategic marketing consultancy Kepios, expects that number to grow.
And it’s not just discovery that gives social commerce its business utility. Buyers are using social media to search, research and evaluate the brands they buy from, making social networks the second-most important channel for online brand research after search engines. What’s more, if we look at people aged 16 to 24, social networks actually rank even higher than search engines like Google when it comes to brand research.
While the brick-and-mortar storefront lives on post-pandemic, it’s become clear that social commerce is an opportunity businesses can’t afford to miss. Small businesses in 2022 will work to extend the experience customers have with their brands across social storefronts and real life, while global enterprises test the limits of the online shopping experience.
Younger generations now turn to social networks to research brands more than search engines.
Search engines: 51.3%
Social networks: 53.2%
Percentage of global internet users aged 16-24 who use each channel as a primary source of information when researching brands. Source: Hootsuite and We Are Social, Digital 202119