Rising star of digital commerce The ‘S’ commerce

Conducted via the social media platforms actively used by 3.8 billion people worldwide, s-commerce is becoming more influential in e-commerce. S-commerce is expected to achieve a volume of US$166 in 2021.

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Publication date: 25 Mart 2021 Perşembe
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With its 54 million active social media users, Turkey bears a critical potential for s-commerce. The 44 percent utilization rate of social media for business purposes in Turkey renders s-commerce effective in its e-commerce.


As social media becomes more influential, s-commerce (social commerce) is becoming a more significant channel within the e-commerce.

S-commerce’s impacts are more potent now that the global brands publish advertisements on social media and form sales channels.

S-commerce, regarded as a subset of e-commerce, covers the employment of social media platforms for e-commerce.


Therefore, researches are being carried out to identify the size s-commerce will reach. Technavio Global Social Commerce Market Report is one of the outputs of such studies and according to this report;

s-commerce will achieve a volume of US$166 in 2021. Global e-commerce retail sales are projected to reach US$4.92 trillion in the same year. In other words, 3.4 percent of the e-commerce will be realized through s-commerce in 2021.


The main reason behind the occurrence and development of the s-commerce concept is without doubt, the social media’s becoming a part of the daily life. We Are Social and Hootsuite’s joint report, ‘Digital 2020’, revealed that 3.8 billion people worldwide are using social media platforms. According to the global averages, every person spends an average of 2 hours and 24 minutes per day on social media. This duration displays that more than one-third of the total amount of time spent in the internet is spent on social media platforms.


In terms of social media, the source of s-commerce, Turkey is a country with intense utilization since there are 54 million active social media users. This figure implies that social media is used by nearly 64 percent of the total population. The daily time of social media usage in Turkey is 2 hours and 21 minutes on average. This duration renders the 15th in the world. Considering the total number of active users based on the population, social media penetration is 64 percent. Taken together with this rate, Turkey remains at the 28th rank in the globe.


The global social media penetration is at 49 percent. The social media accounts per person are an average of 8.6 in the world; in Turkey, the rate is at 9.1. The rate of social media utilization for business is reported to be at 44 percent in Turkey.


In addition to being a powerful advertisement platform for the brands, social media is also an ever-developing platform for s-commerce purposes. Under KPMG’s ‘Is the era of s-commerce near’ report, brands used to benefit from the social networks rather than create awareness.

Yet, nowadays the social media platforms started to be used for performance marketing. Additionally, as they become accessible for the consumers, social networks are being used as online reputation platforms since many consumers benefit from the social media for product recommendations or reviews.


KPMG’s report states that seeing positive reviews on a product or a service on social media encourages 61 percent of the consumers to buy. According to Gartner’s research, 74 percent of the consumers state that they depend on social networks when deciding to purchase. On that note, the social platforms are expected to turn into the shop windows of the future.


Companies’ interest in social media platforms can be identified with their advertising investments in these areas. The research conducted by Statistica revealed that the advertising expenditure in the social media segment in the globe reached US$92.85 billion in 2019. The 2020 projection for this figure is US$98.64 billion. The report on ‘Media and Advertising Investments Forecast in Turkey by the end of 2019’ by Deloitte hints about Turkey’s situation. According to the report, the digital media investments’ size reached TRY2 billion 940 million in 2019. Meanwhile, in 2019 the social media investments increased by 46.7 percent compared to the previous year and achieved TRY603 million. Moreover, 20.5 percent of the digital media investments are comprised of social media investments. Global digital media investments, on the other hand, have already reached half of total media investments.


Doç. Dr. Adnan Ertemel, Istanbul Commerce University academician, underlined the upward trend of s-commerce and commented on the issue: “Lately, we have been witnessing the undeniable rise of the influencers and their impact on the decision-making process in purchasing. Therefore, a severe increase has been achieved in social commerce, which gained momentum thanks to platforms such as Instagram. Compared to 2019, the volume of social commerce is projected to increase by 20 percent and reach US$23.3 billion only in the USA, despite the pandemic. This year, the rate of increase is expected to be 34 percent. Online shopping became inevitable for consumers of all age groups during the pandemic, resulting in an increase by 119 percent compared to last year in the consumers’ rate using e-commerce for the first time. Qualified as the social version of the e-commerce, social commerce enables e-commerce’s execution by benefiting from social media. Consumers trust the recommendations of people like themselves instead of trusting the brands and this fact indicates the importance of social media (on a global scale, 14 percent of the consumers trust the brands while 79 percent trust other buyers’ recommendations).

The researches reveal that over 30 percent of the consumers are open to shopping over social media platforms. This rate reaches the level of 50 percent for the millennials. Grasping the importance of the battle of social media platforms that peaked with the TikTok between the USA and China is possible from this point of view.”