The potential of social commerce in Germany

49% of German online shoppers can at least imagine buying on social media – most use Facebook and Instagram

Social media has become one of the most important touchpoints where retailers meet customers. According to a Stackla survey, most retailers are already aware of the great potential that social media bears in terms of marketing and customer engagement: 89% already use social media strategies in their marketing portfolio and many are planning to increase budgets for these activities. And social media platforms are more than just a means to reach out to existing and potential clients in the form of ads. They have moved past their status of mere referrers to actual shopping destinations. Most of the leading social media channels today have introduced functions for retailers to offer their products to the social media audience directly on the platform. Clients no longer have to make the detour via a link to the product provider, they can buy a product right away without having to leave the social media platform. This fairly new eCommerce concept is called social commerce. The latest Future of Commerce 2021 report by Shopify reveals that in international comparison, social commerce is most popular in the UK, but a recent Statista survey shows that many Germans are also open towards the concept of making online purchases directly on a social media platform:

The survey among more than 3,000 online shoppers in Germany reveals that 49% of German eCommerce customers can at least imagine buying a product via social media channels in the future, even if they haven’t done so yet. 14% have already used social media as an online shopping destination in the 12 months prior to the survey. Slightly more than half of respondents – 51% – however have never bought anything on social media and cannot imagine doing so in the future. Given that social commerce is a fairly new concept, however, many might just need some time to embrace the thought.

Just like for the retailers in the Stackla survey mentioned above, Instagram and Facebook are the most popular platforms also for social media shoppers in Germany: Out of those who have purchased via social media, 61% bought on Instagram, and 59% shopped on Facebook. WhatsApp is also quite frequently used as a social media shopping channel – almost one in four German social media shoppers have bought at least one product via the popular Facebook-owned messenger service. Video-sharing network TikTok and digital pinboard service Pinterest attracted 12% and 11% of German social media shoppers, respectively. The influencer platform LiketoKnowIt and the Chinese Messenger Service WeChat were also used by German social commerce customers, but by only 2% each.

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March 2021