In recent years, a new form of shopping, known as social commerce, has been growing in popularity. But what exactly is social commerce, how popular is it in Canada, and what does that mean for retailers?

Read on to discover key statistics about social commerce in Canada.

Social Commerce Statistics for Canadians

  • 35 million Canadians use at least one social media platform.
  • Facebook is the most popular social media platform in Canada; over three-quarters of Canadians have a Facebook account.
  • Approximately 47% of Canadians have bought through social media.
  • Facebook is the most commonly used platform by e-commerce retailers.
  • While YouTube has the most influence on buying decisions, Facebook draws in the most frequent shoppers.
  • PayPal is the most popular payment method for online purchases.
  • 52% of people who buy on social media say they have made impulse purchases when they have seen an interesting item or service on their feed.
  • Globally, social commerce sales were estimated to reach $1.298 billion by the end of 2023.

What Does Social Commerce Mean?

As the name suggests, social commerce is linked to social media. It is a fairly new concept that has grown together with the range of social media platforms and refers to products and services sold directly on social media.

The most popular social media platforms that offer a social shopping experience are Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Buying is quick and easy, as you can simply click to buy a product or service you come across while scrolling through your feed.

It is growing in popularity because it removes several steps from the buying process, including clicking on an advert that will take you to the seller’s website and filling in all the payment information.

How Many Canadians Use Social Media?

According to data from Statista, 25.35 million Canadians use social networks, and Canada is one of the most connected populations in the world. The 25.35 million users represent 67% of Canadians, and if the trend continues to develop at the same rate, over 80% of Canadians will use at least one social network by 2025.

What Social Networks Are The Most Popular in Canada?

Facebook is still the most popular social media platform in Canada, with 76.9% of Canadian internet users having a Facebook account. Instagram has the next biggest penetration rate with 58.2%, followed by Twitter at 36.8%, Pinterest at 34.5%, and TikTok at 32.2%. LinkedIn, Reddit, and Tumblr are used by 31.4%, 26.7%, and 7.5% of internet users, respectively.

How Many Canadian Social Media Users Have Bought Through Social Media?

It is estimated that 47% of Canadians who use social media platforms have bought goods or services through social media. The average spending on purchases made through social media is approximately $924 million per year.

What Percentage of Canadian E-commerce Retailers Sell On Social Media?

The trend to sell goods and services through social media channels in Canada was already growing before the pandemic. Many e-commerce retailers have been quick to follow this trend and utilise social platforms. Around 55% of e-commerce retailers in Canada sell on social media actively.

What Are The Most Popular Social Media Platforms For E-commerce?

It is hardly surprising, considering the figures for the most popular social networks in Canada, that Facebook is still the number one choice for retailers wanting to take advantage of direct social media sales.

95% of Canadian e-commerce retailers use Facebook, and Instagram is the second most popular, with 69% of e-commerce businesses using the platform. Pinterest and Snapchat also get a share, but only 11% and 3% of retailers use these two platforms.

Canadians Trust YouTube The Most When Making Buying Decisions

Interestingly, Facebook is not the most influential social platform when consumers look for information on products or services. Despite having the largest number of users in Canada and being the most popular option among retailers, it is not the most trusted for product information.

The platform with the most influence on Canadians’ buying decisions is YouTube. 53% of Canadian consumers trust the information on YouTube the most. The second most influential is Instagram at 46%, with Facebook only coming in third.

Facebook is The Most Popular For Shopping

While YouTube is the most influential channel when Canadians are making their purchasing decisions, Facebook has the biggest percentage of frequent shoppers. Since 2020, users have been able to set up online shops for free on Facebook and Instagram (both owned by the same mother company, Meta), which has made the shopping experience more convenient.

29% of Canadians frequently shop on Facebook and 25% on Instagram. However, the platforms owned by Meta do not get to dominate the top three as Snapchat muscles in between the two with 26%.

PayPal is The Most Popular Payment Platform

70% of Canadians who make purchases on social media sites prefer to pay with PayPal. It is considered the most convenient way to pay for purchases online. 62% have used gift cards, 54% their credit cards, and 43% their debit cards to pay for social commerce purchases.

What is E-Commerce Worth in Canada?

In 2021, e-commerce sales dropped about 35%, following the highest peak in December 2020, which was still at the height of the pandemic. The sales amounted to $3.13 billion in 2021, compared to an all-time high of $4.82 billion. The sales from e-commerce grew by 18.2% in 2020, largely because of the COVID-19 lockdowns.

What Percentage of Canadians Regularly Buy Online?

Just over a third (34%) of Canadians buy online every month. The percentage of weekly shoppers is still only 11%, while another 34% shop online infrequently, making between two and six online purchases per year. The rest of the population is not currently shopping online.

Men Buy More Frequently Through Social Media Than Women

Statistics on social commerce show that men are more likely to buy using a link on a social media platform than women. Approximately 33% of Canadian men say they shop on social media, compared to 26% of Canadian women.

What Are The Most Popular Categories?

The most popular category for purchases via social media platforms includes shoes, clothing, and accessories, with 54% of shoppers saying they have purchased items from this category. 29% of consumers have bought electronic items, and 21% have bought toys or games.

More Than 4/10  Canadians Shop On Social Media While Commuting

When consumers were asked when they were most likely to make purchases through social media, the most popular time was while commuting, with 42% of social media shoppers having purchased something while on their commute.

32% of Canadian consumers admit to having used a social media link to complete a purchase while in a meeting or on a conference call. Interestingly, half of single Canadians spend more time buying through social media than they spend on dating apps.

Over Half of Canadians Have Made Impulse Purchases on Social Media

Being able to buy an item or service with just a click of a button has made impulse buying easier than ever. 52% of Canadians say they buy impulsively when seeing something interesting on social media.

Global Social Commerce Facts

It is useful to look at global statistics on social commerce to see how Canada compares with the rest of the world.

Global Social Commerce Sales Are Expected to Reach Almost US$3 trillion by 2026

The growth of social commerce in Canada goes hand in hand with its growth globally. In 2023, the sales from global social commerce were estimated to reach US$1.298 billion by the end of the year. This trend is expected to continue, and sales are expected to be close to US$3 trillion by the end of 2026.

Over a Quarter of Social Media Users Say They Mainly Use Social Media Platforms For Shopping

It seems that staying connected is no longer the main draw for some social media users. Instead, 28% of people who use social media say they use it mainly to find inspiration for things to buy and do. 26% said they use social media to find things to buy, and 23% to see content from their favourite brands.

Globally, China Has The Most Social Media Shoppers

In 2022, 84% of Chinese consumers bought something through social media channels. This is almost twice the percentage of Canadian consumers (47%). In China, 45.3% of the country’s retail sales come from e-commerce, and it is estimated that the industry could be worth US$2 trillion by 2028. Thailand is another leading social e-commerce country, with 62% of users having completed social media purchase transactions.

In the UK, social media shopping is increasing in popularity, especially among the younger generations, with 78% of Gen X and 70% of millennials having bought directly from social media channels. In the US, 32% of consumers have bought through social media.

YouTube is The Most Trusted Social Network

When it comes to which platform consumers trust the most, the global picture is the same as in Canada, with YouTube seen as the most trusted social network. Instagram is the second most trusted, with Facebook taking the number three spot.

Consumers Look For Deals And Discounts When Buying From Social Media

A key to closing sales on social media platforms is to give users deals and discounts. Globally, almost 40% of people who buy online said getting something at a discounted price was their biggest motivator. The convenience of shopping was the second biggest motivator, with 31% of shoppers buying through social media because it is easy. Finding exclusive deals was the third driver, with 27% of consumers citing this as their primary reason for shopping on social media.

Conclusion

Social commerce, which refers to purchases made through social media platforms, is growing in popularity. The main reasons for this, both in Canada and globally, are discounts, convenience, and exclusive deals. While Canada is dragging behind some countries, with 47% of internet users having bought through social media, the popularity of social commerce is growing in Canada just like it is growing across the world.

Facebook is still the most popular platform for users and e-commerce retailers alike, with most sales completed via this platform. However, YouTube is considered the most trusted social platform in Canada and globally.

Since the market share of social commerce is only predicted to grow further, e-commerce companies that are not yet selling through social media should consider it to remain competitive.

Frequently Asked Questions

Facebook is still by far the most popular platform for social commerce, with Snapchat and Instagram in the second and third places.

34% of Canadians make an online purchase every month, with another 34% shopping online occasionally. This group of Canadians completes two to six purchases online per year. Only 11% of Canadians shop online every week.

Canada is lagging behind the global leaders in social commerce, such as China and Thailand. However, buying through social media sites is expected to grow in popularity in Canada as well as globally.

Sources