53% online shoppers favour social commerce owing to affordability, transparency & convenience: Report

The number of social commerce shoppers in India is expected to reach 228 million by the end 2022

Mumbai: The combination of social media with digital commerce is seeing huge growth in India considering the benefit it brings to customers as well as businesses. Currently, there are 157 million social commerce shoppers, which is 53 per cent of the total shoppers in the country, according to a report by WATConsult, an Isobar company. This number is expected to grow at a rate of 45 per cent to reach around 228 million by the end of 2022.

The hybrid digital agency, from the house of dentsu India has released ‘Digital Commerce in India - Social Commerce,’ the second report of WATInsights – digital commerce series. The report by Recogn, WATConsult’s research division that provides consumer & business insights, explores the consumer sentiments and attitude towards using social media platforms for shopping.

For businesses, it brings cost-effectiveness and reach through digital marketing, as it connects them directly to their customers. At the same time, the recommendations and comments help customers make a buying decision. This ensures that products are offered at affordable prices with an ability to shop on the platform itself rather than switching to other e-commerce apps or websites.

As per the report, most consumers use social media apps like YouTube, WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram to shop online. Apart from YouTube, the younger customers prefer to shop on Instagram and Facebook, while the older customers prefer to shop on Facebook and WhatsApp. Social commerce users are very likely to make online purchases from ShareChat in the future, says the report.

While a large majority of these customers are thrilled with the concept of browsing through social media platforms and shopping at the same time, the shopping behaviour varies between males and females, the report noted. Most male shoppers scroll through social media without any intention of making a purchase and if they end up making one, it's because the marketing campaign initiated by the brand has played a vital role in influencing the buyer. On the other hand, female shoppers specifically search for their preferable brand on the app to either know more about the product/service or to validate their final choice.

Social commerce is becoming popular as more and more Indian customers are moving online and discovering newer ways of shopping. Moreover, it includes a range of immersive shopping experiences, wherein consumers can buy customised products/services without switching apps.

“Social media and e-commerce are paving strong inroads in the regular Indian internet users’ daily routine. Since the shopping environment on social media has ripened, there is huge potential to drive sales through these platforms. Hence, the need for an optimised system revolving around building customer trust and creating seamless experiences is critical," said Isobar India group CEO Heeru Dingra. "With the customer being at the core of these platforms, focusing on rich customer feedback in the form of comments, opinions, reviews, etc. will help brands cater to their audience effectively and improve their brand consideration and loyalty. This issue of WATInsights reports the pulse of today’s shoppers and serves as an invaluable resource for anyone who intends to demystify social commerce in India."

WATConsult managing partner Sahil Shah added, “Shopping was, is & will always be social. Platforms, behaviour and mediums will keep evolving while more and more people will go online to shop. This report gives a deep view into what the current consumer behaviour is and highlights that social media in paid, owned and earned terms does get the maximum contribution across the funnel; especially where it matters the most, e-commerce."

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