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).
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Marc Lolivier is Director General of Fevad, the French Federation of E-commerce & Distance Selling. Fevad is dedicated to represent and promote e-commerce and to advocate for industry standards for responsible e-commerce activities. It represents 580 companies and 800 websites including all the top leading e-retailers. Before joining Fevad in 2002, Marc Lolivier held the position of Director for European Legal and Regulatory Affairs, in an international publishing group. Along with his duties as Director General of Fevad, Marc Lolivier is also participates to the work of Ecommerce Europe as Vice-President of Public Affairs and as a Member of the Executive Committee. Ecommerce Europe is the European umbrella association representing 25,000+ companies selling goods/services online to European consumers. Marc Lolivier is also Director General of the French Union of Direct and Digital Marketing. He actively participates in governmental and non-governmental entities involved in electronic business policy, where he represents the e-commerce industry. Since 2009, Marc Lolivier chairs the working group "Protection of personal data" at MEDEF (Movement of the Enterprises of France). He was also rapporteur for the opinion of the French National Consumer Council on the protection of consumer data adopted in 2010. In 2014, Marc was appointed Chairman of the committee "Digital rights" of MEDEF. Marc Lolivier holds a Master in Private Law and a Master of Advanced Studies in Intellectual Property Law. He is also a graduate of the French Press Institute. He is a frequent speaker and author of various articles on direct marketing, e-commerce and consumer law published in France and abroad. He teaches Law of Electronic Commerce and Digital Economy at the University of Paris I Sorbonne.