Social Commerce 2021

Media and Commerce Convergence Creates Growth Opportunity for Brands

Executive Summary

The pandemic-driven ecommerce boom has helped accelerate the growth of social commerce in the US. The market is poised for continued gains as key social commerce platforms advance their shopping and checkout capabilities.

How big is the social commerce market, and how fast is it growing?

We forecast that US retail social commerce sales will rise by 34.8% to $36.09 billion this year, representing 4.3% of all retail ecommerce sales. We also revised our 2020 social commerce forecast upward, from 19.8% growth to 37.9% growth.

Which social media platforms are most effective at driving social commerce?

Instagram and Pinterest provide the most relevant social commerce experiences for brands today, but Facebook, Snapchat, and TikTok are all expanding their offerings.

Which brands and product categories should invest in social commerce?

Apparel/accessories remains the largest category for social commerce, but consumer electronics, cosmetics, home decor, and consumer goods are also key players. Brands featuring new and differentiated products and/or aspirational imagery are best suited for the social commerce environment.

What social commerce strategies should brands consider?

Brands looking to drive social commerce sales need to consider content/creative, media strategy, audience amplification, and conversion. They should also have a measurement strategy to demonstrate whether their efforts are working.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report includes our updated US social commerce forecast, analysis of the latest social commerce capabilities, and marketing strategies for brands.

KEY STAT: The number of US social commerce buyers accelerated 25.2% to 80.1 million in 2020 and will grow another 12.9% to 90.4 million in 2021.

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Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. The State of US Social Commerce
  3. The Opportunities and Challenges of Social Commerce
  4. Key Social Commerce Platforms
  1. Media-Commerce Convergence: The Evolution of Shoppable Content
  2. Brands and Social Commerce
  3. Elements of an Effective Social Commerce Strategy
  4. Key Takeaways
  1. Insider Intelligence Interviews
  2. Read Next
  3. Sources
  4. Media Gallery

Charts in This Report

Interviewed for This Report

Mark Bamford
CEO and Founder
Interviewed June 12, 2020
Courtney Christ
Partner and Director, Paid Social
Interviewed July 22, 2020
Moksha Fitzgibbons
Interviewed October 16, 2020
Jason Goldberg
Chief Commerce Strategy Officer
Interviewed June 26, 2020
Parris Ikuomola
Artist Services Manager
Interviewed June 12, 2020
Dan Lurie
Head of Shopping Product
Interviewed December 16, 2020
Graham Mudd
Vice President, Product Marketing, Ads
Interviewed June 24, 2020
Turner Novak
Gelt VC
General Partner
Interviewed November 6, 2020
Andy Pang
Snap Inc.
Head of International Marketing Science
Interviewed October 27, 2020
Katie Puris
Managing Director and Global Head of Business Marketing
Interviewed October 15, 2020
Randall Rothenberg
Interactive Advertising Bureau
Executive Chair
Interviewed November 17, 2020
Vishal Shah
Vice President, Product
Interviewed June 24, 2020
Rachel Tipograph
Founder and CEO
Interviewed January 7, 2021
Chris Walton
Red Archer Retail
Co-Founder and Co-CEO
Interviewed June 17, 2020
Deborah Weinswig
Coresight Research
Founder and CEO
Interviewed December 15, 2020

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Andrew Lipsman


Bianca Carasus
Jasmine Enberg
Senior Analyst
Nazmul Islam
Junior Forecasting Analyst
Daniel Keyes
Nina Goetzen
Junior Analyst
Amy Rotondo
Research Manager, US
Debra Aho Williamson
Principal Analyst