Beauty, food delivery and groceries are the most purchased categories by Indians through social commerce: Essence Report


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  • 52% of respondents spend between INR 1,000 and INR 5,000 on average for a single social media transaction.
  • Direct shopping (39%) and conversational commerce (49%) are gaining popularity in India, with 9 in 10 people enjoying the shopping experience.

Global data and metrics-driven media agency Essence today unveiled its first-ever social commerce report, which studies the growing trend of consumers to purchase products and services directly from social platforms. The report illustrates the significant opportunities that brands have in social commerce, with three in four respondents saying they are likely or very likely to buy through social media in the future. Social commerce is expected to account for 13% of total e-commerce sales in China this year.

According to the Essence survey, 41% of people worldwide have made or intend to make purchases through social platforms. While social media platforms have always provided an environment of interaction for buyers and sellers, the survey demonstrates a shift towards organized commerce on the platforms. Increasingly, social commerce allows discovery, browsing, and shopping to take place on a platform without the need to interact with external websites or applications. Ultimately, this creates a seamless experience with fewer clicks and higher potential income and conversion rates.

Global trends

Unsurprisingly, China is the leader in social commerce, which is expected to account for 13% of total e-commerce sales in 2021. According to the Essence survey, nearly 80% of Chinese consumers have purchased items on social media. Singapore, India and Indonesia followed with 50%, 49% and 48%, respectively.

France, Germany and Japan posted the lowest purchasing intentions via social platforms with 22%, 27% and 24% respectively. But despite this low percentage, interest in social commerce is increasing in Germany. Almost half (44%) of Gen Z customers in Germany said they had bought or intended to buy through social platforms.

Transaction value

In most countries, the average value of social commerce transactions is higher than the average transaction value of e-commerce transactions. Respondents in Japan recorded the highest average transaction value, between JPY11,001 and JPY55,000 (USD96.74 to USD483.67) for social commerce, followed by the United States, which had an average value transactions between USD101 and USD200. China, on the other hand, had a lower average transaction value between CNY201 and CNY500 ($ 31.48 to $ 78.30).

Higher value transactions appear to be driven primarily by men (35%) and millennials in the 25-44 segment (72%). Both males and 25-44 year olds are geared toward purchasing higher value categories such as hardware, household cleaning, luxury goods, and furnishings.

Live shopping and streaming

Social innovations have propelled the growth of virtual shopping. Live shopping and conversational commerce experiences increase the propensity to buy on social media. Four in five respondents are likely to buy on social media if they’ve watched a live broadcast or engaged in conversational commerce. Live streaming has become a major factor in luxury social e-commerce.

While the use of live streaming in e-commerce was primarily focused on the Asian market, it is now common across the world. Luxury brands like Hermès, Louis Vuitton and Burberry have all kicked off their fall or winter 2021 runways by broadcasting live worldwide. Brands such as L’Oréal are also driving growth in the luxury beauty segment, in part because social media allows the brand to interact with consumers, influencers, beauty consultants and sellers on the same platform. . These innovations and collaborations drive sales of luxury items both online and offline.

Research indicates that most consumers enjoy the online shopping experience, with almost half (43%) of respondents saying they enjoyed it and 39% of respondents greatly appreciating it. These statistics have held up not only in China, but also in other markets where social commerce is still in its infancy. Globally, 85% of respondents who have watched live broadcasts of shopping say they are more likely to buy through social media.

Aniket Basu, Senior Director of Technology and Ecommerce at Essence, said: “We expect the future of online shopping – and not just social commerce – to be discovery driven. Customers tend to be exposed to new and innovative products as they browse more on social media or come across algorithmic recommendations from friends and family on social platforms. Ecommerce is maturing as a field, with social media providing brands and retailers with new ways to reach their audiences and new opportunities for growth. In this environment, social commerce is a key method of sustainability for the next five years and beyond. ”

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