Honestly, we at Pepper aren’t big fans of predictions and comments on the future of our company or the market we are active in. These kind of statements are always ungrateful because people take trust in your words and judge you if the situation you predict won’t arise. But in this case we will make a rare exception, because there is no reason for coming another conclusion: 2016 will be the year of Social Commerce.
1. eCommerce has become common across the world
The fast dissemination of personal computers, notebooks and mobile devices has lastingly changed the way how people across the world live. This shift also impacts our shopping behavior: Studies — like the one DigitasLBI carried out — clearly show that more and more people purchase items online: During the last thirty days 75 % of all consumers across the world have visited an online shop to order goods in the internet they would normally have bought at local shops only a few years ago. As a result the economic importance of eCommerce increases, like Retail me Not has shown in its annual study:
2. People are looking for easy ways to shop only
The growing relevance of online shopping indicates another trend in consumer’s behavior: People are hungering for easy solutions to solve their problems. This pattern, that Mindshare described in its “Let’s talk shop” study, is definitely one of the main reasons why marketers are investing million dollars in a pleasant and accommodating user experience. The possibility to get in touch with their target groups directly within social networks will allow them to increase their conversion rates. So there can’t be any doubt that “buy buttons” as a quick and easy solution to sell/buy items within social media networks will really be welcomed by many users. In 2016 we will see both — best and worst cases: As Social Commerce is still new to most online retailers they will have to learn how to get in touch and interact with consumers directly.
3. Consumers take trust in recommendations and get inspired by their peer groups
Retailers will benefit from social media networks and social commerce communities such as DesiDime or Dealabs for another reason: word of mouth marketing. According to a YouGov study 25 % of all consumers screen social networks or consumer forums for new products while 56 % take trust in reports and recommendations. That’s why social (commerce) networks have an already strong and still increasing impact on purchase decision.
4. Traditional types of marketing doesn’t work out well anymore
Marketers are currently under pressure as more and more members of their target group feel annoyed by traditional, interruptive types of marketing: PageFair states that the number of ad blocking software users grew by 41 % globally in the last twelve months and that the global cost of ad blocking is expected to be $41.6 billions in 2016. These facts show that marketers need to find other ways to get in touch with their target group. So there can’t be any doubt that an increasing number of companies will invest in social commerce marketing.
5. Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest begin to monetize on eCommerce
With Facebook, Twitter Instagram and Pinterest, social networks that count more than two billion users across the world, real heavyweights are just about to open their platforms for retailers. Being expected to implement „Buy buttons“ globally in 2016, these major networks will make headlines and present Social Commerce to a large public.