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Social commerce: how a lack of trust is holding back success

According to all forecasts, social commerce turnover will multiply by 2025, even if the figures are sometimes $1.2 trillion (Accenture) and sometimes $2.2 trillion (Statista). With the E-Commerce Berlin Expo, GFM News, therefore, takes a closer look at this market, which offers some challenges for retailers.

In many cases, the focus is on things that are already familiar from classic e-commerce. For example, 41 percent of social commerce customers consider the ability to easily return purchased products as the most important. Clear descriptions and images (29 percent), loyalty rewards (25 percent), product reviews from other shoppers, and purchase notifications (21 percent each) are also in high demand, according to Accenture’s study ‘Why Shopping’s Set for a Social Revolution.’ Added to this are the special features of social commerce – shareable deals or live streams are seen as highly relevant by 13 percent each.

Increasingly difficult to attract new customers

The bad reputation of social networks as a medium makes it more difficult to attract new customers, as distrust also transfers to the merchants active there. Those who have never shopped via social commerce are often suspicious of the merchants themselves and/or the security of the data on the platforms (41 percent each). Logically, this distrust has already subsided somewhat among social commerce users, but even here, 23 percent still have concerns about sellers and 29 percent about data security.

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Marketers have also recognized the problem, as the ‘Social Trends 2023’ study by Hootsuite shows. They overwhelmingly identify consumer concerns about sharing payment information on relevant platforms (39 percent) as one of the biggest challenges for direct selling via social media. 17 percent are concerned that consumers do not even know that this form of shopping is possible. Lack of opportunity to compare product options, lack of customer reviews, and concerns about product quality or seller reputation are also seen as negative factors.

How much potential still lies in social commerce becomes clear at another point in the survey: when searching for and evaluating brands, half of 16 to 24-year-olds now rely on social networks, and 46 percent still rely primarily on search engines. Among those aged 25 to 34, both options are now balanced.

Want to know more about the future development of social commerce? Then visit the E-Commerce Berlin Expo on 23 February 2023, where more than 250 exhibitors and more than 50 speakers await you!

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