by Heather Burgess, Simpactful Senior Partner
According to Statista, Social Commerce, which refers to the use of social media platforms for buying and selling products and services, is expected to grow 3X over the next 4 years and generate $2.9 trillion in sales, making it one of the most dominant forces of growth in the eCommerce industry.
Here are some predictions for Social Commerce by 2026, and what brand leaders need to do to prepare:
- Increased Adoption of Social Commerce Platforms: Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok will continue to invest heavily in Social Commerce features, making it easier for businesses to sell products and services directly on their platforms. This will lead to increased adoption of Social Commerce platforms by brands of all sizes and your brand must have a strategy.
- Rise of Live Commerce: Live Commerce, which involves selling products in real-time via live streams, will become increasingly popular. The US is trailing China where, according to Coresight Research, 74% of Chinese consumers bought a product through a live stream in 2022. Both social media platforms and retailers will continue to invest in features that enable Live Commerce, allowing businesses to showcase their products in a more interactive and engaging way. CPG brands in China are live streaming for hours a day. Amazon Live lets viewers ask live questions of the hosts and the platform is experimenting with features that enable conversion with less and less friction. If you are not testing and learning with live streaming, you could quickly fall behind the competition as US consumers catch on.
- Continued Growth of Influencer Marketing: Influencer Marketing will play an increasingly important role for brands as consumption of social content continues to supplant linear TV, Together, these forces are creating more transparency for brands seeking proof of the value of these investments over others in the marketing mix and creating incentives for influencers to invest effort in affiliate marketing of products that appeal to their followers.
- Integration with Augmented Reality (AR): AR technology will become more prevalent in Social Commerce, allowing customers to try on products virtually and visualize them in their own environments. This will provide a more immersive and interactive shopping experience, helping to drive sales and reduce returns. Walmart, Sephora, Ikea and Macy’s are all piloting new shopping solutions. While the furniture category began the craze, it is now trickling down to CPG categories including beauty, where shoppers can try on different looks.
The year 2026 will be here before we know it, and Social Commerce will revolutionize how we shop. By combining the power of social media with eCommerce, brands will be able to provide more and more personalized shopping experiences, drive engagement within highly relevant contexts, harness the power of trusted influencers, and drive and attribute sales in new and innovative ways.
Take Action Now! Brands should begin to test & learn and to incorporate all forms of Social Commerce into broader OmniChannel strategies and operational plans. Simpactful’s team of OmniCommerce, Marketing, Retail, and Digital Transformation practitioners are well positioned to help you put together test plans and strategies that incorporate best practices and emergent opportunities – and determine the capability and resourcing shifts required so that you will be ready to support this exciting new channel as it scales! Contact the Simpactful team today at firstname.lastname@example.org or 925-234-6394. Visit www.simpactful.com