The Inevitable Rise Of Social Commerce.

Deji Garuba

We live in a world where almost half of the entire adult population is on one social media platform or the other. Users of these platforms have taken advantage of it to either grow or expand their businesses.

 Since Yahoo! Coined the term ‘Social Commerce’ in 2005 commerce activities on social media has not taken the expected root in online commercial activities. Retailers and consumers have had to grapple with acceptability of social commerce.

In the last 2 years experts have touted 2020 as the year social commerce will finally find its foothold in the scheme of online commercial activities. Social commerce started quite slowly in the year however the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has singlehandedly changed the dynamics in the sector. 

A lot more vendors and consumers are now willing to experiment, while those who are already using these platforms are growing in confidence and are willing to do more transactions.

As we begin the 2nd half of the year 2020, a lot more commercial activities are expected across various social network and there are various factors that will drive this increase.

According to a report by emarketer adults in Africa and South America appear to be the most addicted to social networking platforms like Facebook, twitter and Instagram, the report says they spend more than 3 hours on social media every day.

This will definitely influence social commerce across Africa. In Nigeria most shoppers use social media to make buying decisions. According to a report by Absolutenet 87% of eCommerce shoppers believe social media helps them decide what to buy.

Almost a third of consumers would even make purchases within a social media platform especially for fashion and beauty products.  Half of Gen-Zer’s and millennial’s fashion purchases were inspired by something they saw on social media.

The same report by Absolutenet confirms that 30% of consumers who haven’t bought a product in a social media platform would do so.

Despite the huge potentials of the sector in Nigeria, very key elements of the value chain like logistics and payments are still a threat to the success of social commerce.

Social commerce may have had a shaky start, but all of the signs suggest that 2020 will be its year.