The Rise of Social Commerce


The Rise of Social

February 10, 2021


With both in-person interactions and shopping heavily hindered by COVID-19 over the last year, it’s no wonder social commerce is on the rise. The surge in e-commerce that followed the path of the pandemic has led to many social platforms pursuing strategies for transforming their already-astronomical
engagement into profits.


TikTok has partnered
with Shopify.


Instagram has added shopping
to IGTV/Reels.


Facebook has bought


WhatsApp has added
checkout carts.

Influencers meet infomercials.

Livestream shopping is also taking the world and its pocketbooks by storm. It’s the digital equivalent of HSN or QVC, only enhanced with digital social interactions. And it’s gotten a particularly strong start in China, thanks to supersellers like Viya, whose viewership has surpassed that of the Academy Awards or Sunday Night Football. Viya has sold it all, from cosmetics to clothing to cars. She even sold a rocket launcher for over $5 million in 2020.

Part of livestream shopping’s success is the intimate-feeling experience it can create. You can see fellow shoppers’ comments stream across the screen throughout the event, and even interact with the host if you’re lucky. Amazon launched its own livestream shopping channel in 2019. And the Interactive Advertising Bureau anticipates $120 billion in livestream-generated sales worldwide in 2021.

Livestream shopping players on the rise:


New platforms. Same old trust issues.

It’s clear that social shopping is off to a strong start. At the same time, as we mentioned in volume 1 of Keeping the Trust, brand trust is more important than ever to consumers right now. And you definitely want that trust to extend to the personalities and platforms selling your products online—or anywhere else. Case in point: Super-seller Viya built her reputation by reportedly refusing to promote any product she and her team haven’t tried in advance.

All the chatter involved in social shopping may make it more challenging for your brand to control every message as tightly as you have through more traditional channels in the past. But you can continue to inform and empower other trusted voices to speak for you. After all, as new as social and livestream shopping may be, both benefit from a thoroughly time-tested tactic: Getting the right people talking about what you sell. We do it every day.