There’s much buzz and excitement around social commerce from the advertising and tech industry, but consumer adoption in the US simply isn’t there — yet. Forrester’s Retail Topic Insights Survey, 2022, shows that 62% of online adults never complete purchases inside social media networks. While there was some uptick in social commerce in 2020, user growth remains stagnant.

Forrester recently conducted a quick “pulse check” poll of 837 adults from the US, the UK, and Canada in our ConsumerVoices Market Research Online Community (MROC) to understand their likelihood to shop via social media platforms this holiday season. We found that these consumers have little interest in doing their shopping — let alone holiday shopping — on social media platforms.

  • No: 58% vs. Yes: 37% | “Have you ever purchased a product because you saw it on social media?”
  • No: 73% vs. Yes: 24% | “Have you ever completed a purchase inside/within a social media network?”
  • No: 44% vs. Yes: 21% | “Are you open to completing a purchase inside/within a social media network?”
  • No: 73% vs. Yes: 7% | “Do you plan or expect to complete a purchase for the holidays inside/within a social media network?”

Keep Social Commerce In The Mix, But Temper Expectations

Many consumers are aware of shoppable social media ads, even if they aren’t actually transacting on them. According to Forrester’s Retail Topic Insights Survey, 2022, some online adults in the US (34%), the UK (26%), and France (39%) have seen shoppable content on the social media networks that they use. Social commerce ads can expose audiences to new products, even if they aren’t buying right in the moment. This holiday season, add social commerce in the mix to:

  • Connect with a younger audience. Forrester data shows that 61% of US online adults under age 25 have completed a purchase inside/within a social network, compared to 29% of 45–54-year-olds. American Eagle is launching three shoppable experiences on Snapchat to reach a Gen Z audience this holiday season and has seen past virtual Snapchat shops generate around $2 million in revenue.
  • Test immersive formats. Social media channels are constantly updating their social commerce offerings to be more immersive and attention-grabbing for consumers. UK-based cosmetic brand Charlotte Tilbury created a live shopping event on TikTok with influencer nis to showcase products to drive Black Friday sales.
  • Gain exposure. While consumers aren’t ready to purchase via social media channels, they’re still influenced by them. TikTok has become a viral product engine in which products, recipes, ideas, and trends can take off. Brands such as Aerie and ZARA have all sold out of products after creator posts went viral.

Interested in learning more about social commerce and current consumer adoption? Connect with me by scheduling an inquiry or guidance session, and be on the lookout for other holiday advice from my colleagues in the coming weeks!