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  • Writer's pictureSophia Satapathy

The Rising Tide of Social Commerce in India: Statistics, Trends and the Future of Shopping


Social Commerce in India

Social media has become an integral part of our lives. We spend hours each day scrolling through our feeds. Brands have realized this massive opportunity to reach customers where they are—on social networks. This has led to the rise of social commerce, using social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook to sell products directly.

In India, social commerce is booming. With over 400 million active internet users spending considerable time on social media daily, brands can now tap into this large audience. Social platforms allow entrepreneurs and small businesses to start online stores with almost no investment. Meesho is a great example of how social selling has enabled many to become successful entrepreneurs in India.

The articles discuss some interesting trends that show the potential of social commerce. The time spent on social media, the growth of influencer marketing, and the rise of live shopping are driving more sales to social networks. Social proof and interactive features help build trust and boost impulse shopping. Social commerce is thus transforming online retail in India and global markets.

Current Social Commerce Market Size in India

India's social commerce market has grown tremendously in recent years. In 2022, India's total gross merchandise value (GMV) of social commerce orders was estimated to be around $5.5 billion. The total number of orders placed through social commerce platforms in India crossed 500 million in the same year.

This growth is quite impressive compared to just a few years ago. The social commerce market in India is growing much faster than in some other Asian markets like China. While China's social commerce market is much larger than India's currently, the growth rate in India is higher.

The increasing internet and smartphone penetration in India is one of the major factors driving this growth. More and more Indians spend time on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok. Brands can reach these users through social commerce and witness great engagement. Startups in India are also innovating in this space with new models that are finding widespread adoption.

If the growth continues at this rate, many experts predict that India's social commerce GMV is expected to reach up to $7 billion (approximately ₹51,703 crore) by 2025. The order volume is also expected to grow more than 10 times in the coming years. Social commerce is transforming how retail businesses operate in India and opening up new opportunities for entrepreneurs and customers.

Leading Social Commerce Platforms

Let us see the leading social commerce platforms: 

Meesho

  • Meesho allows individuals to become resellers and use social media platforms like WhatsApp to promote and sell products.

  • It has over 100 million users and processes over 200 million orders annually, making it one of India's largest social commerce platforms.

Shop101

  • Shop101 allows users to create online stores and share catalogs with friends and family on WhatsApp and other social media.

  • The platform has a network of over 50,000 resellers who generate millions of orders monthly through social sharing.

All the above platforms have seen tremendous growth due to the rise of social commerce in India. Social commerce allows individuals and businesses to leverage social networks and platforms to connect with customers, driving sales. It is transforming online shopping in India by making it more interactive and engaging.

Influence of Social Media on Purchase Decisions

Social media has become an integral part of our lives today. People increasingly rely on social media platforms for various purposes, including purchasing decisions. Here are the key ways in which social media influences online shopping:

Role of influencers in India

 In India, social media influencers play a huge role in promoting brands and their products. Many people follow influencers for fashion, beauty, and lifestyle tips. Brands partner with influencers with a strong fan following to get their products recommended to potential customers. Influencers share sponsored posts, stories, and videos about brands that help increase awareness. Their recommendations impact what products people decide to buy.

Impact of user reviews and comments

 Online reviews and comments posted by other users deeply influence purchase decisions. People extensively research about products by reading reviews before buying them. Positive reviews give them confidence, while negative reviews make them skeptical. 

Reviews mentioning the pros and cons help people compare products as well. User photos and videos showing how to use products are also beneficial. Thus, reviews play a big role in building or destroying the brand image and sales.

Social commerce platforms are leveraging influencers, user reviews, and social interactions to transform online shopping. As people increasingly rely on social media for the opinions of friends and influencers, it is influencing their buying behavior more than ever. Both businesses and customers are benefiting in new ways through social media-driven commerce experiences.

Emerging Categories in Social Commerce

Here are the emerging categories in social commerce:

Fashion:

The fashion industry has seen huge growth in social commerce. Many fashion influencers and brands use platforms like Instagram and Facebook to showcase outfits and sell products directly to their followers. Trending hashtags allow people to discover new styles and brands. Statistics show fashion purchases on social media have more than doubled in the past year.

Beauty:

Sharing makeup looks and skincare routines is very popular on platforms like YouTube. Brands can tap into this influence by partnering with creators or launching live streams and tutorials. Consumers are comfortable making beauty purchases on social media because they trust recommendations from their favorite influencers. The beauty category is one of the fastest growing in social commerce.

Food:

The rise of food bloggers and chefs with online followings has boosted food sales on social media. People enjoy following recipes, restaurant reviews, and foodie adventures. Brands are launching virtual cooking classes and demo videos. Statistics show food is among the most frequently purchased categories on platforms like Instagram. Food delivery apps also use social media to advertise deals and new menu items.

These categories are highly visual and lifestyle-focused, making them a good fit for social platforms. Influencers play a big role in recommendations, which helps build trust in social commerce purchases. As social media continues integrating more shopping and payment features, these categories are expected to grow rapidly in social commerce.

Rise of Video and Live Commerce

Live and video-based shopping is becoming very popular. Instead of just showing pictures, companies are now letting customers shop directly from videos. Influencers and brands make live videos on social media where they show products. Customers can see these products being used in real time. They can also ask influencers questions in the live chat. After seeing how a product works, many customers buy it directly during the live video.

This live and video-based social commerce is growing very fast. More people now spend time watching video content online. They enjoy interacting with influencers in live videos. It makes online shopping much more fun compared to just seeing pictures. Live videos also build trust, as customers can see the real demonstrations.

In the future, live and video commerce will become mainstream. Most big brands and influencers will use it for promotions. Customers will spend more time shopping through entertaining videos rather than websites. New social platforms are also adding features for live shopping. This will integrate online shopping experiences into video watching. As technology improves, we may also see the use of augmented reality in live videos. Customers can try seeing how products will look in real life.

To conclude, live and video-based social commerce is the new trend. It offers a more interactive way for customers to explore and buy products. In the coming years, it will play a huge role in the future of online shopping on social media. Customers and brands will greatly benefit from the new live and video commerce opportunities.

Payment and Fulfillment Developments

Social commerce platforms are enhancing users' payment experience. Many platforms now offer integrated payment options that allow users to pay for their purchases directly from the platform using different methods, such as credit cards, debit cards, net banking, UPI, and more. This makes the payment process very simple and convenient.

Delivery and logistics have also improved significantly on social commerce platforms and apps. Many are partnering with top courier services and logistics companies to offer faster delivery to customers. Users can now track their orders easily and expect doorstep delivery within a few days of purchase. Some platforms have also introduced same-day or next-day delivery options for urgent purchases in major cities.

Live commerce platforms have also started offering services like try-and-buy, where users can try outfits in different sizes by scheduling virtual or in-store fittings and paying only for what they choose to keep. This enhances the shopping experience. Overall, social commerce continuously innovates and invests in payments and fulfillment to provide a seamless shopping experience from purchase to delivery for its users.

Regional Growth and Bharat Commerce

Social commerce is growing rapidly, not just in big cities but also in smaller towns and cities across India. This growth in tier-2 and tier-3 cities is known as 'Bharat Commerce.'

More people in these smaller cities now have smartphones and access to the Internet. They are shopping online for their needs. Many local brands are emerging that better understand the local language, culture, and preferences of customers.

Social media platforms are helping this growth as they allow advertising in local languages. Regional content is also attracting more customers outside big cities. Live shopping and influencer marketing in local dialects is very effective.

If this trend continues, Bharat Commerce will have huge potential in the future. Smaller cities and towns contribute a large part of India's population. As the Internet and digital payments reach every corner of the country, social commerce can gain widespread adoption.

Local language interfaces, content, and customer support will be important in the future. Younger generations who grow up with technology will drive more growth. Social platforms and apps can unlock an enormous untapped market if made easy to use.

This can also open opportunities for many local entrepreneurs. With lower startup costs online, more local businesses may emerge to serve nearby customers. This will also create local jobs and support the 'Vocal for Local' initiative.

Overall, Bharat Commerce seems very promising. It will allow more equal growth across urban and rural India through social and local commerce models on digital platforms.

Conclusion

Social commerce has seen tremendous growth in India in recent years. Several trends were discussed, such as rising online shoppers in India, increasing investments in social commerce startups, and growing preferences for online shopping.

Social commerce is projected to account for 25% of all e-commerce sales in India by 2025. Brands will continue promoting their products through these engaging platforms as more people spend time on social media like Instagram and YouTube.

While social commerce provides convenience and deals, buyers and sellers must be transparent. Shoppers should carefully review product details and return policies. Meanwhile, companies must ensure orders are fulfilled accurately, and customer data is kept private.

A service like Kuttl helps boost transparency in social commerce. It allows users to easily track order status, file grievances if needed, and access past purchase records in one organized place. With Kuttl, people can shop freely on social platforms while knowing that their transactions are well-documented should any issues arise. Ultimately, transparency and trust are key to the continued success of social commerce in India.

FAQs

What is driving the growth of social commerce in India?

The key factors include rising internet and smartphone penetration, increasing time spent on social media platforms by Indians, especially the young population, and the influence of social media influencers on purchase decisions.

Which are the most popular social commerce platforms in India?

Some leading platforms are Meesho, Bulbul, Shop101, Instagram Shopping, and Facebook Marketplace. Meesho has emerged as the largest player, with over 100 million users.

Which categories are seeing maximum growth on social commerce platforms?

The top-performing categories include fashion and apparel, beauty and cosmetics, food and beverages, home and kitchen, and electronics. Fashion and apparel witnessed the highest growth on platforms like Meesho.

Is social commerce safe and reliable for shopping?

Most established platforms ensure order and payment security using encrypted technologies. However, one must always check the authenticity and reliability of sellers by carefully reading reviews or terms.

What are the future trends of social commerce in India?

Areas like live and video commerce, integration of hyperlocal delivery options, expansion in tier 2/3 cities, and growth of vernacular platforms are expected to further fuel the social commerce boom.

How can one start selling on social commerce platforms?

Major platforms like Meesho and Shop101 allow individuals and businesses to set up free storefronts. Sellers must stock relevant products, engage with customers, and manage orders and fulfillment to succeed on these marketplaces.


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