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Purchases on social media platforms are expected to reach $1.2 trillion globally by 2025, according to new research from Accenture

Growth expected to be driven primarily by Gen Z and Millennial social media users

NEW YORK, January 04, 2022–(BUSINESS WIRE)–New research from Accenture (NYSE:ACN) has found that the $492 billion global social commerce industry is expected to grow three times faster than traditional e-commerce to reach 1,200 billion by 2025. Growth is expected to be primarily driven by Gen Z and Millennials social media users, accounting for 62% of global social commerce spending by 2025.

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Accenture’s “Why Shopping’s Set for a Social Revolution” report estimates that social commerce will account for 17% of all e-commerce spending by 2025. (Graphic: Business Wire)

According to Accenture’s report, “Why shopping is poised for a social revolution“, social commerce means that a person’s shopping experience – from product discovery to checkout – takes place on a social media platform. Just under two-thirds (64%) of Social media users surveyed said they made a social commerce purchase in the last year, which Accenture says represents nearly 2 billion social shoppers globally.

“The pandemic has shown how people are using social platforms as an entry point for everything they do online – news, entertainment and communication,” said Robin Murdoch, global head of software industry and platforms at Accenture. “The steady increase in time spent on social media reflects how essential these platforms are in our daily lives. They are reshaping the way people buy and sell, giving platforms and brands new opportunities for experiences user and revenue streams.”

While the opportunity is significant for large corporations, individuals and small brands stand to benefit as well. More than half (59%) of social shoppers surveyed said they were more likely to support small and medium-sized businesses through social commerce than when buying from e-commerce sites. Additionally, 63% said they were more likely to buy from the same seller again, showing the benefits of social commerce in building loyalty and driving repeat purchases.

“Social commerce is a leveling force that is driven by creativity, ingenuity and the power of people. It empowers small brands and individuals and forces big brands to reassess their relevance for a market of millions of people. ‘individuals,’ said Oliver Wright, Global Consumer Goods and Services Manager at Accenture. “Successful social commerce will require creators, retailers and brands to bring their products and services to where the consumer is and will be, rather than the other way around. This means working together within a dynamic ecosystem of platforms , marketplaces, social media and influencers to share data, insights and capabilities to deliver the right incentives and the best customer experience in an integrated digital marketplace.”

However, half of social media users surveyed indicate that they are concerned that social commerce purchases are not protected or refunded properly, making trust the biggest barrier to adoption, as was the case for social commerce. e-commerce in its infancy.

“Those who have not yet used social commerce say that one of the reasons they are held back is their lack of trust in the authenticity of social sellers, while active social commerce users point to poor policies of return, refund and exchange as an area for improvement,” says Wright. “Trust is an issue that will take time to overcome, but sellers who focus on these areas will be in a better position to grow market share.”

who buys what
Accenture’s report found that by 2025, the most social commerce purchases globally are expected in apparel (18% of all social commerce by 2025), consumer electronics (13%) and interior decoration (7%). Fresh foods and snacks are also a large product category (13%), although sales are almost exclusive to China. Beauty and personal care, while smaller in terms of total social commerce sales, is expected to rapidly gain traction in e-commerce and capture over 40% of digital spend on average for this category in key markets here. 2025.

Among other findings of the study:

  • Consumers in developing countries are more likely to use social commerce and often do. Eight out of ten social media users in China use social commerce to make purchases in a given category, while the majority of social media users in the UK and US have yet to make a purchase through social commerce.

  • Buyers in China, India and Brazil care more about features that help them discover and assess potential purchases while those in the UK and US place more emphasis on prices and discounts.

  • Trust is more important for older generations than for younger generations. Older shoppers emphasize safety features and value brand familiarity, while younger generations are drawn to live streams and trust buyer reviews more.

For more information and conclusions on social commerce, Click here.

Research methodology
Accenture Research has conducted a series of studies on social commerce to better understand the nature of this opportunity. We designed and conducted an online survey of 10,053 social media users in China, India, Brazil, USA and UK. The online study was conducted from August 12 to September 3.rd, 2021. We also conducted in-depth interviews with buyers and sellers from these same five markets between May 26 and June 2.n/a, 2021.

Accenture’s Social Commerce Market Forecast was produced using econometric modeling, taking into account the optimization of consumer preferences to accelerate existing market dynamics. The social commerce market includes products or services ordered through social media, regardless of payment or fulfillment method, covering business-to-consumer (B2C) and consumer-to-consumer (C2C) transactions.

About Accenture
Accenture is a global professional services company with industry-leading digital, cloud and security capabilities. Combining unparalleled experience and specialist skills in more than 40 industries, we offer strategy and advisory, interactive, technology and operational services, all powered by the world’s largest network of advanced technology and intelligent operations centers. Our 674,000 people deliver on the promise of technology and human ingenuity every day, serving customers in more than 120 countries. We embrace the power of change to create value and shared success for our customers, employees, shareholders, partners and communities. Visit us at

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Quentin Nolibois
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Tara burns
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