Social commerce has reinvented itself many times over but has yet to prove itself as a solid sales tactic. According to findings in eMarketer’s new report, “The Future of Retail in 2019: Top 10 Trends that Will Shape Retail in the Year Ahead,” this could finally change next year.
The differences between a few years ago and the modern iteration is that social media is not necessarily serving as a transactional platform, and Facebook, the original focus, has shifted to more visual properties like Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat. "Buy buttons" have evolved and brands are attempting to monetize stories.
Now it's all about influence.
According to a November 2018 study by GfK, the number of US internet users who feel that social networks have become as an important as other information sources in making purchase decisions rose from 27% to 36% between 2015 and 2018.
This time last year, roughly one-quarter of US internet users had purchased a product they had discovered on a social media platform, according to Cowen and Company. No surprise, the highest occurrence was among millennials, though Gen Z was on par with younger Gen X members.