January 26, 2022
A new study predicts that the growth of social commerce will increase in the coming years and represent a “democratizing force”, opening up online opportunities for individuals and small businesses.
“Any brand, big or small, can sell through social commerce, and anyone can now become or create their own ‘brand’ and directly reach a market,” Accenture said in the to study “This has hugely positive implications for small businesses and entrepreneurs, as they are able to reach potentially huge markets that were simply not available to them before.”
Social commerce, according to Accenture, engages in three main ways, via brands, influencers or individuals themselves:
- Content-driven: Through shoppable posts and in-app stores on Pinterest, YouTube, TikTok, Instagram and other platforms, unique content created by brands, influencers or individuals drives “discovery, engagement and action authentic”.
- Focused on experience: These channels allow purchases to be made as part of an overall experience, most often live, but may also include AR/VR experiences or games.
- Network Driven: People leverage their existing social networks to buy and/or sell. This could involve community shopping to get wholesale discounts – a model used by Pinduoduo, a mobile-only marketplace that connects millions of agricultural producers to consumers across China. Or individuals using their social influence and network to generate sales and earn commissions.
Small sellers are also attractive to social commerce buyers. Among social shoppers surveyed, 59% are more likely to support small and medium-sized businesses through social commerce than when buying from e-commerce sites.
“The math is changing dramatically,” Accenture wrote. “Rather than a handful of large retailers and brands selling into mass markets of millions, we now see millions of individuals and small businesses selling to each other within a vast ecosystem of commerce. social.”
Oliver Wright, global head of consumer goods and services at Accenture, said in a statement, “Social commerce is a leveling force that is driven by creativity, ingenuity and the power of people. It empowers small brands and individuals and prompts big brands to re-evaluate their relevance to a market of millions of individuals.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you think social commerce empowers small businesses and individuals to sell online in a meaningful way? What benefits, if any, could small creators, retailers, and brands have of engaging directly with consumers through social platforms?
“Social commerce is a game changer. The days of retailers being the only gateway to commerce are over.”