US social commerce only slightly down from 2020 to 36% this year

Anne Freer | July 8, 2021

App Business

Social commerce sales in the US are expected to increase around 36% to $36.6 billion, according to new data from eMarketer.

That’s a small dip in growth compared to 2020 when sales jumped by nearly 39%, driven by pandemic lockdowns and increased social media consumption.

However, social commerce sales in the US were significantly below those in China at an estimated $351.6 billion in 2021.

While social commerce is predicted to make up 4% of total US retail eCommerce, it comes in at 13.7% in China.

And this gap isn’t going to narrow much further with social expected to make up 5% of US eCommerce sales in 2024 versus 14.5% in China.

“US marketers can look to China as a roadmap for social commerce’s development as many of the trends that will drive its growth, like livestream shopping, originated in China,” said Jasmine Enberg, eMarketer senior analyst at Insider Intelligence.

“Keep in mind, however, that it’s not an apples-to-apples comparison. The social and eCommerce landscapes in the US are far more fragmented than those in China, and consumer behaviour and attitudes toward digital shopping, social media consumption, online privacy, and payments are different as well.”

Facebook is still the top social commerce platform attracting around 22.3% of users to make at least one purchase on the network in 2021.

Around 12.9% or 32.4 million people are likely to make a purchase on Instagram and 5.6% on Pinterest.

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