Business China eCommerce Marketing

Social commerce is the future of e-commerce

The economic and social fallout of the latest lockdowns and china’s “zero covid” policy will weigh down the outlook for China’s e-commerce industry through 2023, according to GlobalData. Despite this, China is still ahead of the curve in new consumer trends as it has been for almost a decade now.

China is the world’s largest e-commerce market, far ahead of the United States, and is set to develop new e-commerce trends and platforms as explained in an article by Stéphanie Decollas.

As nowhere is e-commerce more imaginative or widely adopted than in China from live streaming, digital wallets, short form videos to social commerce and m-commerce (mobile-commerce). All of those being AI inventive, digital first, social and gamified. Among those new trends one stands out for its ability to challenge the e-commerce model itself : social commerce.
A trend whose growth was accelerated by a pandemic, supply chain problems and a cost of living crisis.

Phenomena which have enabled high rates of mobile internet penetration, accelerated the need for digitalisation of businesses and reshaped the way that  consumers consume products and services across the world. In the face of this phenomenon worldwide brands have been struggling to adapt.

One of the major changes of habit is the time spent on social media. In 2021, online users spent an average of 90 minutes on social media. Fast-forward to 2022, and the daily amount of time we spend on social platforms per day has grown to 147 minutes. Hence, the growth of popularity of social commerce during and post covid-19. Even though, social commerce is not a new concept its commerce model has now shifted to answer to a real need. Indeed, businesses had to find a way to target people and to adapt to the new demand from consumers during lockdowns.

What is social commerce?

Social commerce refers to promoting and selling products and services through social and networking sites like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Weibo or Pinduoduo in China.

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