Social Media Shopping Blocked By a Lack of Trust

Shopping over social media seems to be the next frontier of eCommerce spend, with 43% of consumers (approximately 110 million individuals) browsing these platforms to find goods and services. However, only 14% (36 million individuals) buy those goods and services via social media. 

Data shows trust is the top reason for this gap between browsing and pressing the “buy” button. Consumers mainly avoid making these purchases via social media due to security concerns, per the below proprietary chart created for “Tracking the Digital Payments Takeover: Monetizing Social Media Edition,” a PYMNTS collaboration with Amazon Web Services. Not enough trust to share personal data was cited as the most important reason to skip shopping over social media for 24% of respondents, far and away the top response. Another security concern, skepticism over seller authenticity, rounded out the top three issues, with 16% of surveyed consumers saying it was their most important reason to avoid social media shopping.  

Shopping over social media may be one of the few digital landscapes eCommerce hasn’t yet fully figured out how to incorporate into its online sales strategies. However, that doesn’t mean the platforms aren’t trying, with some efforts being met with success as tech provider Chicory, which makes recipe content shoppable, saw a 20% in people adding products through its network over the past year. Additionally, Pinterest’s most recent (Aug. 1) earnings release included click rates and saves on posts linked to shoppable items rising 50%, surpassing its first quarter’s growth rate.

This small but incremental increased interest, along with the enormous financial possibility shopping over their platforms may offer that is fueling social media’s continued interest in purchasing integration. In an interview with PYMNTS Karen Webster, Marie-Elise Droga, head of global FinTech partnerships at Visa, detailed these possibilities from the standpoint of the mostly untapped financial potential at the creator’s fingertips. “COVID came and put [social commerce] on steroids. There are north of 300 million individual creators out there, and they are ever-global in nature… It’s a mountain of an opportunity to play a role in getting that ecosystem of merchants, of financial institutions, of FinTech together to really help the creators accelerate growth and to build a safe, durable, scalable business globally.”

Social media shopping may still be in its early stages, but it may not be long before it gains wider adoption. Given the amount of untapped eCommerce waiting to be explored across these platforms, it may all be assured that these companies will find a way to implement more visible methods to engender trust — and turn a profit.  

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