B2C Brands Are Investing In Social Commerce -- And Succeeding, Study Finds

Email teams should be on their guard for the growing move toward social media by brands. 

B2C companies are investing in social commerce and achieving a return, but they need to improve, judging by Cashing In On Social Commerce, a study by Forrester commissioned by Emplifi.  

Based purely on speculation, this might result in moving resources from email to social. 

Of the firms polled, 83% are investing in two or more social shops. 

Specifically, 46% are investing in two to three shops, while 37% are investing in four or more, and 4% are investing in one. And 14% say they are driving commerce to their online shopping cart from social media but are not currently investing in social shops. 

Of those that have invested in social commerce, 50% have realized or expect incremental revenue or distributed cross-channel sales. And 86% expect a return on their investment within one year. 



What’s more, 54% say their social commerce revenue currently accounts for 10% or less of total sales. But 58% expect to attribute more than 10% within the next 12 months.  

This kind of complex revenue and the need for accurate attribution can have an impact on a firm’s email marketing. In particular, there is a need for a strong triggered email program. 

The primary objectives of investing in B2C social commerce are: 

  • Drive revenue — 46%
  • Create enduring customer relationships — 28%
  • Increase customer engagement with the brand — 27%
  • Optimize social commerce across the most effective social channels — 22%
  • Nurture customers throughout the social purchase journey — 21%
  • Develop an understanding of customer needs and expectations, both in the moment and over time — 15%

But users identify several challenges. For instance, 45% say it’s difficult to refresh content across multiple channels. 

And 52% report they lack “the ability to manage and/or optimize inventory across social channels."

In addition, 47% struggle to convert followers into customers. 

Moreover, there are these technological challenges: 46% complain their tech is “overloaded and unable to support our projects when it comes to scaling across multiple social channels." And 43% point out that each social channel has its own set of technical integration requirements.  

Finally, 42% have limited ability to analyze performance across multiple social channels.  

Companies are using these accelerators for social commerce success: 

  • Intelligent escalation of customer issues to a customer care agent — 59% 
  • Holistic view of revenue performance per social shop(s) and storefront(s) — 57%
  • 24/7 post-purchase customer service — 54% 
  • Holistic view of inventory across all social shops/storefronts — 45% 
  • 24/7 in-purchase customer service or sales support — 45%

Forrester surveyed 228 B2C leaders in the U.S., U.K., France and Germany. 

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