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Demand for social shopping outpacing supply: PayPal

While the number of business that sell through social channels grew over the last year, consumer demand is still outpacing supply according to the latest PayPal mobile commerce report.

The payment provider said social commerce has grown almost 38 per cent over the last year, with around one-in-five businesses now selling via social media, and a further 21 per cent aiming to do so within the next six months.

However, the adoption rate on the consumer side is higher than business, with 27 per cent of customers having used social commerce in the past six months – a 42 per cent increase from the year prior.

“Selling and shopping via social channels has experienced rapid growth as the line between social media and e-commerce continues to blur,” PayPal Australia managing director Libby Roy said. 

“The incredible amount of time people spend – especially younger people – on social media has positioned social commerce as the biggest trend we’ll see in online commerce over the next five years.”

Businesses that sell through social media see almost two-in-five sales made through social channels, the research found.

With 50 per cent more customers shopping on social than businesses selling there, the opportunity for businesses to take advantage of the channel is significant.

“With Gen Y and Gen Z almost constantly connected, mainly on social channels, and on track to be the largest consumer generation, the importance of social commerce is obvious,” Roy said. 

Much of this growth has come from the rise of mobile commerce, with more and more people using smartphones to shop. In fact, while 55 per cent of Austrlaians purchase via a smart phone each week, this number increases to 73 per  cent for Gen Z and Gen Y.

“In Australia, almost 90 per cent of the population has a smartphone… it’s inevitable that our shopping habits have evolved to include this indispensable tool for our lives,” Roy said. 

“Smartphones are driving a convergence across all channels for retail, but the fundamentals of customer service have not changed.”

This story first appeared on sister site, Inside Retail.

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