The Potential for Social Commerce in Beauty

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Katie Young / December 21, 2017

There are few industries that have as much potential to make social commerce work as beauty.

The average Beauty Fan spends 2 hours and 46 minutes a day on social media and messaging services (about half an hour longer than the average internet user) and social platforms have an established role in the purchase journey. Over half are following their favorite brands on these platforms, for example, with a similar proportion turning to social to research new brands or products.

But when it comes to seeing value in the chance to shop directly on these platforms, appetite is still relatively nascent. Globally, only a minority of Beauty Fans show an interest in buying on these platforms (14%). Figures peak across parts of Asia where social commerce has seen some success (reaching up to a quarter in India and the Philippines, for instance), but there’s still a notable disparity between the numbers who are researching via social and the numbers who express interest in buying here too.

There’s little doubt that social commerce is an avenue that could open highly lucrative revenue streams for social media services and beauty brands alike. The challenge here is converting potential into reality, and for now (in the West at least), it seems that social’s role is for forging deeper connections between social audiences and brands, rather than as an alternative to retail sites.

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