Though the US social commerce market is growing at a rapid pace, China is not likely to lose its position of dominance in the near future.
According to the research data analyzed and published by Finaria, the total social commerce sales in China was worth $242.41 billion in 2020, accounting for 11.7 percent of online sales. It will grow to $363.26 billion in 2021 and account for a 13.1 percent share of the e-commerce market.
The US will take the lead in retail sales in 2021, with $5.506 trillion against China’s $5.13 trillion. But China’s e-commerce sales will outperform the US by a $2 trillion margin.
52 percent of China’s Retail Sales Will Happen Online in 2021
The total number of social buyers in China was estimated to be 357.2 million in 2020. It is forecast to increase to 392.2 million in 2021, 420.0 million in 2022 and 446.8 million in 2023.
The commerce market’s performance is partly attributable to China’s smartphone-driven culture. Most social buyers use mobile devices to shop and most digital storefronts start out on mobile layouts.
WeChat’s Mini Programs is among the most popular platforms for social commerce. In 2020, the platform facilitated transactions worth 1.6 trillion yuan ($250 billion). That was double its 2019 transaction value. WeChat hosts around 2.3 million Mini Programs, compared to Apple App Store’s 1.96 million and Google Play Store’s 2.87 million.
Based on a study by WeForum, China accounted for over 50 percent of global online retail sales in 2020. The share of online sales in the country’s retail sales went from 20 percent in 2016 to 44.8 percent in 2020. Comparatively, the UK had a 27.7 percent share while the US had 14.7 percent.
Lastly, according to eMarketer, 52.1 percent of China’s retail sales in 2021 will take place online. It will be the first time that a country records more sales online than offline. South Korea will follow with a 28.9 percent share while the UK will be third with 28.3 percent. The US will have a 15 percent share.