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News 23 Nov 2021 - 3 min read

Social commerce key for future-proofing e-comm strategy: GroupM’s Essence

By Sam Buckingham-Jones - Senior Writer

"We expect that the future of online shopping - and not just social commerce - will be discovery-driven," Essence's Aniket Basu says.

Users will increasingly buy clothes, groceries, food and household items through social platforms, a new report from Essence, part of GroupM, says. In China, social commerce already makes up 13 per cent of total e-commerce sales.

What you need to know:

  • GroupM’s Essence agency has released its first social commerce report, which includes a survey of 2,200 people in 11 countries around the world.
  • Social commerce is forecast to grow, and is a “key future-proofing method” for brands in the next five years, Essence’s Senior Director of Technology and E-commerce, Aniket Basu, says.

Global data media agency Essence, part of GroupM, has released a new report exploring the emerging social commerce sector, which allows consumers to buy products directly through social media platforms.

The company’s first report on social commerce, it reveals three quarters of people believe they are likely or highly likely to buy through social media in the future.

Social platforms have always been a place for brands to advertise to users, but increasingly the platforms themselves are emerging as the place where the e-commerce transaction takes place.

In China, 13 per cent of total e-commerce sales are forecast to go through social platforms.

The report includes a global survey of 2,200 people across 11 countries between the ages of 18 and 45.

In Australia, apparel (19 per cent), groceries (19 per cent), food delivery/takeaway (22 per cent) and household items (19 per cent) were the most purchased categories on social platforms.

The majority (74 per cent) of Australians surveyed use their credit or debit cards, cash, or bank transactions, while the remaining 26 per cent use emerging payment methods like digital or mobile wallets.

“We expect that the future of online shopping - and not just social commerce - will be discovery-driven. Customers tend to be exposed to new and innovative products as they browse more on social media or encounter algorithmically mediated recommendations from friends and family on social platforms,” Aniket Basu, Senior Director of Technology and E-commerce at Essence, said. “In this environment, social commerce serves as a key future-proofing method for the next five years and beyond.”

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