‘Social commerce’ rising among online shoppers

Bonn – DHL eCommerce released the first outcome of its global Online Shopper Trends Report 2024, providing valuable insights into the behaviour of online shoppers worldwide.

The initial chapter highlights trends shaping today’s e-commerce landscape, based on a survey of 12,000 consumers in 24 countries. Results show a rising popularity of social commerce, meaning the use of social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram to market and sell products and services, with Asia leading the trend. Some 57 per cent of online shoppers use their smartphone as their primary device for purchasing. App-based platforms such as Shein and Temu have gained immense popularity globally due to their vast product offerings at affordable prices. Moreover, 65 per cent of global shoppers stress the significance of knowing the delivery provider before purchasing.

Social media and smartphones
According to the report, social commerce is rising in e-commerce, allowing users to buy products directly via networks like Instagram and Facebook. Sales through social media platforms are expected to reach US$8.5 trillion by 2030 compared to an estimated US$700 billion in 2024. This would represent an approximately 12-fold increase within a span of six years.

Asia is at the forefront of this trend, with countries like China seeing 53 per cent and Thailand 59 per cent of shoppers purchasing via social media. With this also comes a shift in preferred devices for buying online. Most online shoppers prefer to browse and purchase products with their smartphones. 57 per cent use their smartphone as the dominant shop window and purchasing device.

App-based marketplaces have surged in popularity, the report says, with Shein and Temu leading the way. These platforms share the appeal of offering online shoppers an enormous range of products integrated into mobile apps. Shein is popular with shoppers in the UAE, Morocco, and Brazil, the report says, while Temu has gained traction among shoppers in the USA and the Netherlands. In Europe, Zalando remains the preferred online shopping destination.

Delivery services
Today’s online shoppers are conscious of costs. High delivery costs are a significant barrier, with 41 per cent of shoppers abandoning purchases due to expensive delivery fees. Even more, 65 per cent of global shoppers emphasize the importance of knowing the delivery provider before purchasing. This underscores the significance of transparency and trust in the delivery process, as customers want to know the logistics partner responsible for handling their orders.

DHL eCommerce commissioned the study to understand consumers’ online shopping habits across the globe. The 2024 research took place across 24 countries (Austria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, UK, Canada, USA, Argentina, Brazil, Nigeria, South Africa, Morocco, UAE, Australia, China, India, Malaysia, Thailand) and involved 12,000 participants.