Intent on remaining internet leaders, the social networks Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest and soon even Snapchat, are each experimenting with options enabling e-commerce functionalities to be integrated into their platforms, at more or less advanced levels.
Studies have clearly shown that consumers use these platforms to search for products. They just need that final nudge to convince them to make purchases on the network itself. Asia has already passed this stage, with messaging applications such as LINE in Thailand and Japan, and WeChat in China, which have successfully integrated e-commerce options and have become sources of inspiration for global players.
E-commerce start-ups are well aware of this social trend and have no intention of being sidelined, adding social ‘chat’ or ‘share’ functionalities, helped by B2B startups.
Another major trend in Asia are the C2C (consumer-to-consumer) e-commerce platforms which have grown strongly this year. In Thailand, for example, almost half of e-shoppers have already bought on these platforms.
Here are some major statistic showing the impact of social networks on consumers purchasing habits around the globe:
- 40% of consumers aged between 16 and 24 and 30% of the worldwide population of all ages, use social networks to find products (GlobalWebIndex study, Business Insider).
- Facebook accounts for 50% of sales generated by social commerce. Pinterest, despite its smaller user base, accounts for 16% of revenue generated by social commerce (GlobalWebIndex study, Business Insider).
- Around 1/3 of the world’s population uses social networks, a 10% increase on last year (We Are Social, Global Web Index, 2016).
- In the most enthusiastic markets, such as the Philippines, Brazil and Mexico, users spend more than 3 hours a day on social networks, while Europeans spend around 1 to 2 hours a day (We Are Social, Global Web Index, 2016).
- In 2015, 75% of internet users in the world used a mobile messaging application (Statista). By 2018, 90% of the world’s internet population should use at least one messaging application (Activate).