India could have 228 million native social commerce consumers by the end of 2022, a 45 percent jump from the current user base, as shoppers discover newer ways of buying goods online such as through YouTube, WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram.
India’s swelling smartphone population as well as cheap data is helping consumers log online and get everything from affordable cosmetics to groceries on-demand, according to a report by Recogn, WATConsult’s research division.
"Social commerce" is shopping done or brands discovered via social media platforms such WhatsApp, Instagram, Roposo, among others. It does not include re-selling or video selling platforms such as Trell and Meesho which have proliferated currently.
There are 157 million social commerce shoppers, accounting for 53 percent of total online shoppers in India, as per the report by WATConsult, part of Dentsu’s digital agency Isobar Company.
In India, Google-backed video platform YouTube leads as a platform used for social commerce followed by Meta-owned WhatsApp and then Facebook. Younger shoppers in India prefer to shop on Instagram and Facebook, while older customers prefer to shop on Facebook and WhatsApp.
“Social media and e-commerce are paving strong inroads in the regular Indian Internet users’ daily routine. Since the shopping environment on social media has ripened, there is huge potential to drive sales through these platforms," Heeru Dingra, CEO, Isobar India group said.
Social commerce users are very likely to make online purchases from ShareChat in the future, according to the report.
Experts believe users are drawn to such platforms because recommendations and comments help them with purchasing decisions. Affordable prices and the ability to shop on the platform itself rather than switching to other e-commerce apps or websites are the other positives, the report said.
The report listed mobile and tablet accessories as the most purchased products on social commerce platforms, followed by fashion and accessories, electronics and appliances, beauty and grooming products, and sports, fitness and outdoor products.