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From Boomers to Gen Z: How social commerce is shaping retail

How social commerce is shaping retail
How social commerce is shaping retail

Trust is the cornerstone of online shopping and social commerce. Sometimes, though, the comfort levels of social media from different generations could impact that trust. Retailers need to find a way to understand those differences and protect consumer trust. 

The Chubb E-Consumer report for 2024, titled ‘Crossing the E-commerce Trust Divide,’ sheds light on these challenges. The report underscores the balance between trust and customer satisfaction despite generational divides. 

Leveraging social commerce

Social commerce, after all, represents a potential $1.6 trillion market in 2024, according to Deloitte Insights. Meanwhile, Oberlo estimates it will surpass the $2 trillion mark by 2025. 

There were approximately five billion social media users worldwide, as of 2023. This highlights why your business would benefit from a social commerce strategy. 

THE DATA: Social commerce: Navigating a $1.6 trillion trend

Chubb partnered with iResearch to learn participants’ attitudes toward social commerce. The survey was conducted in November 2023 among consumers who use social media marketplaces. 

Generational comfort with social shopping 

The report shows a distinct generational divide in comfort levels when it comes to buying products on social media platforms. Younger demographics (Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z) trust social commerce. Individuals 58 years and older tend to proceed with caution. 

The trend to buy items from social media marketplaces was inherently believed to be driven by women. Interestingly, the report shows how social media shopping is more prevalent among men, nearly double that of women (61% versus 31%). 

That said, Gen Z leads with a two-fold higher adoption rate as they outpace both Gen X and Millennials. Approximately 89% of Gen Z participants, 78% of Millennials, and 88% of Gen X expressed “significant confidence” in social commerce.

Chubb says this is likely due to Gen Z’s acceptance of and trust in social media influencers. Gabriel Lazaro of Chubb’s international business division says the credibility of social media influencers is a potent sales tool.

HOW TO CAPTURE GEN Z: Embrace the ‘new way’ of online shopping

Social commerce’s regional trust variations 

Trust variations go beyond the generational divide – the report also delves into geographical differences in digital consumer behavior. Each region brings unique digital consumer behavior and solutions.

Latin American shoppers, for example, are quickly becoming the most avid users of online stores, with 74% engaging with e-commerce platforms multiple times a month. This surpasses North American shoppers (62%), as well as those in Europe (59%), and Asia (56%).

This divide is even more pronounced under the lens of social commerce. Chubb shows how 37% of Latin American users shop “several times a week” – a figure unmatched by other regions.

TikTok noticed the fast-paced online shopping landscape in Latin American regions in 2022 when it partnered with Adjust, an analytics company. At the time, the social media giant wanted to understand the measurable business impact of a customer’s shopping journey.

The data showed that Latin America had more than 500 million active smartphones in use, while Brazil, Colombia, and Argentina users spend more than five hours a day online.

NOW READ: Every TikTok post could be your next purchase

About the author

Cheryl has contributed to various international publications, with a fervor for data and technology. She explores the intersection of emerging tech trends with logistics, focusing on how digital innovations are reshaping industries on a global scale. When she's not dissecting the latest developments in AI-driven innovation and digital solutions, Cheryl can be found gaming, kickboxing, or navigating the novel niches of consumer gadgetry.

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