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More than two-thirds of all online users are active on social media, according to a Smart Insights report. The popularity of social gives companies the opportunity to connect with customers in a more personal and meaningful way – more so than ever before. And as the capabilities of social media grow, it’s opening doors for retailers to offer new channels to purchase their products, in the form of social commerce.
Social networks have long served as a way to research and seek service and product reviews from your trusted circle of connections. But when it came to actually purchasing, buyers had to link to a third-party website to complete a transaction. With social commerce, the entire buying process takes place within the social network, cutting down on the steps to conversion and creating a seamless purchasing experience.
While social commerce has had a slower start in North America, Forrester research shows it still accounts for around 5% of the projected $375 billion U.S. online retail sales for 2016. And as online retail sales continue to grow – projected to be more than $530 billion by 2020 – social commerce has an opportunity to grab a bigger piece of that. Around 60% of U.S. consumers are willing to make a purchase through social media, according to a study by Citi Retail Services. That percentage of willing consumers could represent a large portion of that 2020 forecasted online revenue.
As the opportunity for this channel continues to grow, do you plan to include it as part of your commerce strategy for next year? To learn more about trends like social commerce, and what you can do to prepare for them, download our guide, Innovating eCommerce: Nine Top Trends for 2017.