THE SOCIAL COMMERCE REPORT: How Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, and other popular apps are upending the e-commerce space

BI Intelligence

This is a preview of a research report from BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service. To learn more about BI Intelligence, click here.

Social media is becoming increasingly influential in shoppers’ purchasing decisions. In fact, the top 500 retailers earned an estimated $US6.5 billion from social shopping in 2017, up 24% from 2016, according to BI Intelligence estimates.

In addition to influencing purchase decisions, social media is a large part of the product discovery and research phase of the shopping journey. And with more and more retailers offering quick access to their sites via social media pages, and shoppable content becoming more popular, it’s likely that social media will play an even larger role in e-commerce.

In this report, BI Intelligence examines the advantages and disadvantages of each platform, and reviews case studies of successful campaigns that helped boost conversion and increase brand awareness. Additionally, we explore how retailers can bring social aspects into their own sites and apps to capitalise on consumers’ desire for social shopping experiences.


Here are some key takeaways from the report:

  • Social media is becoming more influential in all aspects of the purchasing journey.
  • Facebook is the clear winner in social commerce, with its huge user base and wide-ranging demographics.
  • However, retailers should have a presence on every platform their target market is on. Each platform will require a different strategy for retailers to resonate with its users.
  • Retailers can also benefit from bringing social aspects in-house. They can do this by building their own in-house social networks, or by embedding social media posts into their sites.


In full, the report:

  • Provides an overview of the top social media platforms – Facebook, YouTube, Instagram – that retailers should be using, the demographics of each platform, as well as their individual advantages and disadvantages.
  • Reviews tools recently developed by these platforms that help retailers create engaging content.
  • Outlines case studies and specific strategies to use on each platform.
  • Examines how retailers like Sephora, Amazon, and Poshmark are capitalising on consumers’ affinity for social shopping by creating their own in-house social networks.

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