Social commerce in India booming

| | New Delhi
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Social commerce in India booming

Saturday, 02 December 2023 | Rajesh Kumar | New Delhi

With a user base exceeding 450 million on social media, social commerce in India is a booming market, currently valued at $8 billion in 2023, with the potential to reach $85 billion by 2030.

To seize this opportunity, business communities are keen to jump on the bandwagon to expand their businesses.

The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), in collaboration with META, the owner of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, is spearheading a national initiative to train the business community across the country in maximising the use of social media for business purposes, thus promoting social commerce in India.

Qualified trainers from META provided training to traders on optimising the use of Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and short reels to ensure the growth of their businesses, as stated by Praveen Khandelwal, the national general secretary of the CAIT. In essence, social commerce refers to selling and purchasing products or services directly through social media platforms.

This could comprise every element from the discovery of products to the checkout process that covers a consumer’s complete shopping experience.  Not surprisingly, many companies conduct sales both via e-commerce sites and social media handles.

However, in India, the bulk of social commerce transactions are driven by new brands and first-time entrepreneurs. Considering the constant rise in social media users, brands are devising new ways to convert captive audiences into customers.

The CAIT on Friday launched a National Training Campaign “Vyapar Aapke Dwar” by organising a Traders Workshop on social commerce in New Delhi which was attended by trade leaders of more than 200 leading trade associations of Delhi. During the campaign, CAIT has a plan to organise 250 workshops across the country.

Khandelwal said in India there are 75 crore users on WhatsApp, 37 crore on Facebook and 33 crore  on Instagram which is much larger number than e-commerce landscape and having about 100 crore users of smartphones. Social commerce will emerge as a much larger digital commerce than e-commerce. Khandelwal said social commerce is preferred because it has simplified shopping, scalable trust-building, smart curation, tools for sellers, unlocking new consumer segments, reimagining high value

categories, and building enablers for the social-commerce

ecosystem.

“On average, people spend three hours daily online - posting, scrolling, viewing videos and messaging. This period is the window of opportunity when marketing tools deployed by brands can target consumers.  Unlike other largely transactional buy-and-sell models, social commerce revolves around developing a specific community.

In other words, brand building is based on dedicated fans or followers who admire and extol the brand, commenting about its offerings and even sharing and promoting the same,” Khandelwal said.

Social commerce is bound to expand because it already has a large number of both sellers and buyers and the only thing which is needed is to make both these ends connected in a cohesive manner which is an easier way. “The CAIT will rope in its  affiliates of more than 45,000 trade associations all over the country to carry the echoes of social commerce to every market of the country,” he added.

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