Big Tech sees social commerce as the future of online retail

WhatsApp, YouTube, snapchat, social commerce, online retail, TikTok, facebook, Instagram, facebook shops, social media

Led by Facebook Inc., social media platforms from Alphabet Inc.’s YouTube to Snap Inc. and Twitter Inc. are investing heavily in shopping features to drive revenue growth, a major theme that emerged during second-quarter results over the past week.

The companies are vying for a piece of the so-called social commerce industry, which relies on users’ ability to discover and buy products through social media apps and is expected to balloon to $50 billion from $36 billion in annual sales by 2023 in the US according to research firm eMarketer.

The success of social commerce stems in part from product targeting based on user interests, with sales generating more data that can be used for future advertising and merchandise placements.

Facebook, widely considered the leader in social commerce, and Google helped retailers bring in sales in the last quarter, with e-commerce player Shopify saying the growth rate of products sold through the two tech companies’ platforms was “several times that” of websites run by the merchants themselves.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that enabling commerce and making it easier for businesses to communicate with customers through its Messenger and WhatsApp apps was “the right long-term bet”.

Retailers are increasingly hopping on to the trend as Covid-19 restrictions weigh on brick-and-mortar sales.

Brands ranging from luxury fashion house Burberry to fast fashion giant H&M have signed up celebrities and influencers to get millions of their followers to make purchases off ephemeral stories or posts by asking them to “swipe up to purchase”.

While the business is small for now, the social media giants are eyeing the data generated from users’ shopping and browsing habits for targeted advertising. The scramble for user data has become even more crucial as recent privacy changes from Apple Inc limit tech companies’ ability to track iPhone users and serve personalized advertising, ad experts have said.

The future of commerce?

Facebook launched Shops in May 2020 during the height of the pandemic, luring brands with an easy way to sell items directly through Facebook and Instagram and consumers with a curated and personalised way to discover trendy clothes or home goods.

Facebook was the top social commerce platform according to a survey conducted by eMarketer in June 2020, with 18% of respondents saying they had purchased a product via Facebook. That compared with 11% for Facebook-owned Instagram and 3% for Pinterest.

Even as restrictions lift, analysts say the demand for shopping online is unlikely to retreat.

“People have gotten accustomed to buying online,” said Edward Jones analyst Dave Heger. “I don’t think that they’re going to go completely back to the level they were at before in terms of purchasing at brick and mortar stores.”

Snap Inc. is investing in augmented reality technology designed to help users virtually try on items like watches, jewellery and other apparel to cut down on returns, a major problem faced by online retailers.

Snapchat users can take a photo of a friend’s outfit with the app and find similar looks or product recommendations, Snap Chief Executive Evan Spiegel said last week during the company’s earnings conference call.

“The holy grail of advertising is to actually sell merchandise,” said Rich Greenfield, a partner at LightShed Partners, in a note on Snap last week. “While these initiatives are still in the early stages, we believe an increasing number of brands want to be associated with where commerce is headed.”

Popular short-form video app TikTok is testing live-streamed shopping with select brands in the UK, allowing viewers purchase clothes as an influencer models the item in real time during a live video.

Twitter, a platform most known for following breaking news or current events, said on Wednesday that it will begin testing a shopping feature that lets users browse items for sale at the top of a brand’s profile page.

YouTube, known for “unboxing” videos in which YouTubers review toys or tech gadgets, wants to integrate shopping directly into the platform, said Google’s Chief Business Officer Philipp Schindler on Alphabet’s earnings call on Tuesday.

News Related

OTHER NEWS

JoJo Siwa makes 'DWTS' history in show's 1st dance with same-sex partner

JoJo Siwa just made history on “Dancing With the Stars” as the first contestant to compete with a partner of the same sex. The “J Team” star, 18, danced a ... Read more »

Trade Setup: Nifty to consolidate further; stay away from high beta stocks

The markets were at their resilient best as it staged a remarkable recovery during the day to close on a strong note. Nifty50 saw a jittery start to the day; ... Read more »

India warns of reciprocal measures if UK does not address concerns on travel rules related to COVID-19 vaccination

India will be within its rights to initiate reciprocal measures if the UK does not address concerns over the new travel rules relating to COVID-19 vaccine certification, Foreign Secretary Harsh ... Read more »

Less, but more serious, colorectal cancer diagnoses during Covid

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Diagnoses of late-stage colorectal cancer increased amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but the severity of cases increased, a new study suggests. Researchers from the ... Read more »

Man arrested after £1m haul of 'irreplaceable' treasures stolen from Arundel Castle

A man has been arrested in connection with the theft of treasures from Arundel Castle. (Sussex Police) A man has been arrested in connection with the theft of treasures worth ... Read more »

Perfluence, la plataforma que unifica el marketing de influencers y rendimiento

© Proporcionado por Business Insider México Perfluence apuesta por los microinfluencers para amplificar el alcance de las marcas. Los amas o los odias, pero definitivamente los conoces. Nos referimos a ... Read more »

These are the Razer mice to buy in 2021

Razer makes some of the best PC gaming mice around, so, naturally, you’re considering one for your next purchase. But Razer also has a pretty broad portfolio, and it rarely ... Read more »

The 5 best new features in the iOS 15 update

Apple has pushed out iOS 15 to the masses, and if your phone runs iOS 14 then it’ll be able to handle the new software too. Everything since the 2015 ... Read more »

The new Specialized Toro e-bike can tackle all terrains – and help you stay in shape

Specialized has released a new all-purpose electric bike for commuting, weekend trail rides, and even personalized workouts based on a target heart rate. The Specialized Tero is an electric mountain ... Read more »

Amazon PS5 restock happening now, but Prime members get priority today

The Amazon PS5 restock now for sale, and if you follow PS5 and Xbox restock Twitter tracker Matt Swider you’ll get alerts when the PS5 in stock in the US ... Read more »

Black Friday mattress deals 2021: everything we expect to see in the sales

This year’s Black Friday mattress deals are a few months away yet. Once the holiday sales starts, we’ll be rounding up all the best offers on this page – you’ll ... Read more »

Call of Duty: Vanguard includes an iconic Halo feature, but it doesn't really work

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD LAWSUIT Publisher Activision Blizzard, responsible for the game this article refers to, is currently embroiled in ongoing litigation in regards to claims reporting a workplace culture that allegedly ... Read more »

iPhone 14 Pro to lose the notch, top analyst says

Despite not even being on sale yet, the iPhone 13 is old hat – analysts are already speculating about the iPhone 14! Ming-Chi Kuo – probably the best-respected Apple watcher ... Read more »

Here's how the $329 iPad compares to its last-gen predecessor

© Image: Apple Apple’s new iPad launches on September 24th at the same starting price as the last-gen model: $329. The iPhone 13 isn’t the only Apple device launching on ... Read more »

Brazil's Gol hails deal to bring flying taxis to Sao Paulo

© Reuters/PAULO WHITAKER FILE PHOTO: The logo of Brazilian airline Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes SA is seen inside an airplane at Augusto Severo International Airport in Natal By Gabriel Araujo ... Read more »

Make every turn with the Thrustmaster TMX racing wheel down to $130

Are you into racing games? Want to up your game and you play? Grab the Thrustmaster TMX Force Feedback racing wheel on sale today for $129.99 at Amazon. That’s a ... Read more »

This Vodafone iPhone 13 deal is easily one of the best pre-orders we've seen

Apple’s iPhone 13 series is now here and if you’re looking to pre-order one of the new handsets, we’ve got two of the best deals on the iPhone 13 and ... Read more »

Monoclonal antibodies work for Native American COVID-19 patients

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Monoclonal antibodies may be a crucial treatment for high-risk Native Americans who contract COVID-19, a new study suggests. Researchers from the Whiteriver Service ... Read more »

Treasury sanctions cryptocurrency exchange to fight ransomware attacks

The Treasury Department issued its first sanctions against a cryptocurrency exchange on Tuesday as part of a series of actions targeting the use of digital currencies in ransomware attacks. Tuesday’s ... Read more »

Echelon Stride

© Provided by TechRadar Echelon Stride treadmill Two-minute review The Echelon Stride isn’t the cheapest treadmill on the market, and the app subscription model certainly doesn’t make the full package ... Read more »

Stock your kitchen and save big on All-Clad's famous cookware right now

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. Before you start planning your Thanksgiving and holiday menus, you might ... Read more »

Facebook spent over $13 billion on safety, security since 2016

Representative Image Facebook Inc said on Tuesday it has invested more than $13 billion in safety and security measures since 2016, days after a newspaper reported the company had failed ... Read more »

The best Android VPN apps 2021

With Android offering a haven for developers, there are a number of Android VPN apps out there – but we want to ensure you’re using the best VPN for your ... Read more »

Best streaming device for your TV in 2021

Looking for the best streaming device in 2021? You’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the latest and greatest models – be they streaming ... Read more »

Forza Horizon 5 isn't messing around when it comes to multiplayer madness

Forza Horizon 5 looks like it isn’t shying away from the madcap multiplayer that’s always been a draw to the franchise, as detailed by the latest Forza Horizon 5: Let’s ... Read more »

Bushfires may have a silver lining: Algae growing to offset carbon emissions

During the summer of 2019-20, fires ravaged Australia’s southern states. They burned land equivalent to two Hungarys, destroying almost 3,000 homes. 34 people died, with hundreds of more deaths believed ... Read more »

Government name third Russian suspect in Salisbury poisoning

Home Secretary Priti Patel tells the House of Commons that Denis Sergeev has been named as the third suspect in the 2018 Salisbury poisoning. She says that if any of ... Read more »

PM: People 'shouldn't be worried' about winter energy prices

Boris Johnson has said people in the UK “shouldn’t be worried” about paying for their energy this winter, as firms grapple with a sudden rise in gas prices. The prime ... Read more »

Gloria Trevi responde en TikTok denuncia de la UIF: “Soy fuente de trabajo”

© Proporcionado por Fama Gloria Trevi se convirtió en tendencia tras darse a conocer que la Unidad de Inteligencia Financiera la denunció a ella, a su esposo Armando Gómez Martínez ... Read more »

Record every moment with Rexing's V3 4K dash cam on sale for $170

The Rexing V3 front and back dash cam is on sale for $169.99 at Best Buy. This is one of Best Buy’s deals of the day and one of the ... Read more »

Windows 11 PC Health Check app available again in preview

© Windows Central Windows 11 Logo The PC Health Check app is back, and it shows detailed information about if your computer is ready for Windows 11. What you need ... Read more »

Πόσοι Έλληνες είναι ενεργοί στα social media

© Παρέχεται από: Esquire Πάνω από τέσσερις στους πέντε Έλληνες (ποσοστό 82%) βρίσκονται πια ενεργά στα μέσα κοινωνικής δικτύωσης (social media), με το ποσοστό να φθάνει το 97% στις ηλικίες ... Read more »

Neat's first all-new microphone in the Turtle Beach era is the drab-looking Skyline

Neat Microphones has unveiled its first truly new mic since Turtle Beach bought the company in January, and… it’s not what you’d expect. The normally quirky Neat has unveiled the ... Read more »

Physicists Found a Way to Mimic Neutron Stars in the Lab

© Pitris – Getty Images Using a “laser pincer,” scientists can generate their own antimatter, simulations show. Scientists have mimicked a neutron star in a new hypothetical experiment. The goal ... Read more »

Air Marshal VR Chaudhari appointed as next Chief of Air Staff, announces Defence Ministry

Air Marshal VR Chaudhari (File image/PIB) Air Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari has been appointed as the next Chief of Air Staff, the Defence Ministry announced on September 21, nearly 10 days ... Read more »

Apple may be killing the ‘mini' iPhone next year

Apple may no longer continue with the ‘mini’ models of iPhones and the iPhone 13 mini may be the last mini iPhone. As per tipster Jon Prosser, who has a ... Read more »

The best iPhone VPN 2021

While Apple is known for releasing secure devices that are well protected against online threats, more and more iPhone users are still seeing a need for a sturdy VPN that ... Read more »

Apple iPhone users are loving the iOS 15 update

The new iOS 15 update is going down a treat with Apple iPhone owners, who are shouting their love for everything from scroll wheel clocks to 3D map affects. A ... Read more »

Star Trek: Picard: what you need to know about Q, Jean-Luc's omnipotent sparring partner

Over the past five-and-a-bit decades, Star Trek crews have repeatedly faced off against warmongering Klingons, calculating Romulans, and the technological might of the Borg. On all their voyages, however, they’ve ... Read more »

Star Wars: Visions: a galaxy far, far away as you've never seen it before

The closing credits for Star Wars: Visions describe the show as “inspired by Star Wars created by George Lucas”. The line elegantly distils the essence of this new animated Disney ... Read more »