- 6 junho, 2024
Bo Liu
Bo Liu
Lead Analyst, Client Insights

Over the past decade, mobile has significantly transformed the digital commerce landscape and now accounts for nearly one-third of online retail spend. Retailers continue to optimize the mobile shopping experience, including rolling out new features such as Amazon’s Virtual Try-On that enables shoppers to see how the shoes fit in real time. As a result, consumers are more comfortable making purchases on their smartphones and tablets which has contributed to the strong growth in m-commerce.


Shopping on social media, also termed Social Commerce, has evolved over the past few years, benefiting from the growth in m-commerce. The high reach and engagement levels of top social media platforms provide a solid foundation for social commerce to thrive. We’ve observed major players like YouTube, TikTok and Instagram embarking on innovative in-app commerce initiatives, turning social media into more than just a source of inspiration, but also a marketplace where customers can seamlessly check out (Below table shows the current integration of two emerging features in this space, In-App Checkout and Live Shopping). The Apparel & Accessory category, the number 2 category in retail spend, is heavily associated with social commerce and will likely play a huge role in the growth of this space.

In App Checkout and Live Shopping

Consumers are increasingly seeking a frictionless shopping experience that encompasses everything from browsing and shopping to checking out, all within the same app, and without the inconvenience of being redirected to external websites. For instance, starting from June 2023, both Instagram and Facebook Shops require businesses to enable in-app checkout in order to feature their products on their social media platforms, further enhancing the convenience and efficiency of social commerce (below screenshot shows how in-app checkout works on Instagram).


In a 2023 survey conducted by Comscore, we found that 46% of online shoppers are interested in buying products via social media with a 1-stop shop experience, marking a significant 21-point increase from 2021.


Another emerging trend in social commerce is Live shopping. For example, TikTok launched TikTok Shop in September 2023 and one of the features enables sellers to create live shopping experiences (See below). YouTube is also getting into the game, recently partnering with Shopify to allow creators to sell products in live streams. Both new initiatives also include an in-app checkout experience so consumers can avoid being redirected outside the social media apps when placing orders. Even leading retailers like Walmart and Amazon have recently harnessed the potential of live streaming services to promote products and special shopping events. In a noteworthy move, Walmart initiated simulcast live shopping streams on Facebook in June 2023, utilizing TalkShopLive, a dynamic live shopping solution. Meanwhile, Amazon leveraged Amazon Live to invite celebrities and influencers to showcase the exclusive Prime Day deals for both 2022 and 2023.

Shopping Apps Social

With the rapid growth of m-commerce and the introduction of industrial-level initiatives such as in-app checkout and live shopping, social commerce appears poised to undergo a transformative shift as an emerging shopping channel in the coming years. This evolution could not only enhance consumer shopping flexibility but also effectively harness the substantial engagement on social media platforms, ultimately translating it into tangible sales. Social commerce could be on the verge of establishing itself as a mainstream shopping channel in the United States, following the successful patterns witnessed in other countries. It might not be too late for retailers to understand more about social commernce and start exploring this relatively new approach to engage with consumers.