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Social Shopping 2024: The Biggest Trends To Adopt Now

By FedEx | February 16, 2024

Social shopping – the space where e-commerce and social media meet – has transformed the e-tail environment. We share the important focus areas for SMEs who want to expand as competitively as possible in Asia and beyond.

Shopping on social media certainly isn’t new. User trends and behavior have been shifting toward social platforms for some time. And thanks to the rapid digitalization of online channels, social shopping has evolved just as quickly as the rest of the online universe.

Lines between social media and e-commerce have now overlapped, making it practically seamless to complete in-app purchases or shop something found on social.

E-tailers have been quick to expand their footprint onto social platforms. Today, social shopping is a significant revenue stream for many businesses, with the global social commerce market expected to hit $2 trillion by 2025.

4 social shopping trends e-tailers should focus on in 2024

At FedEx, we work closely with regional e-tailers, whose smart investments in social commerce have resulted in explosive business growth. Through in-depth interactions with these enterprising e-tailers, we’ve identified four key trends worth tapping into as the social shopping space grows and matures:
Woman in business suit smiles at phone sitting in coffee shop

1. An end-to-end e-commerce experience on social media

A conventional social commerce strategy sees e-tailers publishing social media posts to promote their products. Next, they encourage customers to purchase by tapping the link in their social media bio.

It works, but it’s a process full of friction. Jumping between platforms, the customer has to tap away from the e-tailer’s post to visit its store – a point where many potential buyers drop away.

We’re seeing the barriers to shopping on social platforms fall with the launch of features like TikTok Shop, which enables e-tailers to build entire storefronts on social platforms.
SMEs investing in frictionless purchase streams will benefit from far less cart abandonment.

Purchase infrastructure - for users to discover the e-tailer’s products, place orders, and securely make payment - all sits within the social platform itself, with no need to leave to make a purchase.

E-tailers’ storefronts will also benefit from sophisticated recommendation engines, which social platforms have refined for maximum engagement. By monitoring users’ content consumption habits, social platforms know exactly what they are interested in. The platform then personalizes the stream of e-commerce content and products they serve to users, driving more views and sales.

SMEs investing in seamless, frictionless purchase streams like this will benefit from far less cart abandonment and potentially greater revenue from social shopping.
SMEs investing in frictionless purchase streams will benefit from far less cart abandonment.

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2. Customer engagement goes omnichannel

Social platforms aren’t just a medium for customers to discover and buy products. With their messaging features, they’re also windows of opportunity for e-tailers to interact with customers pre- and post-purchase.

Think answering product questions, sending timely order updates, providing after-sales support, and more.

Popular social messaging channels in the Asia-Pacific region include WhatsApp, WeChat, Zalo, and LINE. Juggling chats across multiple channels can pose a challenge and take up time. In response, e-tailers are investing in omnichannel messaging tools to manage their conversations.

Tools like and SleekFlow can consolidate e-tailers’ chats from different channels into a single inbox so that communications are all in one place. From this inbox, e-tailers can also craft responses, which appear in their customers’ channel of choice. The result is a smooth chat experience, no matter which platform a customer initiates a chat from.

Consumer demand for in-app messaging is growing. At FedEx, e-tailers using our FedEx® Delivery Manager International e-commerce solution are equipped to send their customers delivery notifications via WhatsApp.

This allows recipients to chat with us to check on the status of a package. They can also customize their shipment experience by redirecting delivery if they need to.

RELATED: Download our trend report on what's next for e-commerce
Hands on computer keyboard click floating virtual icons

3. Bringing virtual interactions to life with live commerce

Social shopping has roots in livestreaming, a craze that took much of Asia by storm when it was launched in China in 2016. Since then, it has branched out into an avenue of shoppertainment, delighting prospective buyers with personal attention and service.

We’re seeing e-tailers interacting with customers in real time via flash sales, live auctions, product demonstrations, and question-and-answer sessions.

Livestreaming is a one-to-many format, allowing e-tailers to reach large audiences at once. However, the direct-to-camera approach can feel surprisingly intimate. E-tailers connect with customers on a personal level, address concerns on the spot, and close deals while interest to purchase is high.

Almost five in 10 Southeast Asian consumers surveyed by Milieu Insight report that they watch livestream sales at least once a week. E-tailers need to capitalize on the popularity of livestreams if they want to capture more sales in the crowded e-commerce arena.

4. Transforming user-generated content into seamless shopping opportunities

It is any e-tailer’s dream to see users spontaneously posting about their products simply because they love them. This kind of user-generated content (UGC) is created not only for free, but also organically - far more authentic to customers than paid advertisements.

As one study of Indonesian consumers has shown, quality UGC can strongly influence users to purchase products - even if those posting aren’t product experts.

The trend is being fueled by Gen Z, who prefer to follow the recommendations and endorsements of ‘nano-influencers’. In markets like Singapore, Gen Z-ers are spending their shopping dollars on platforms like TikTok and Instagram, often watching hours-long livestreams featuring KOCs (key opinion customers).
Hands on mobile phone tap screen in the street

We’re seeing e-tailers adding value by making their UGC assets shoppable.

As e-tailers recognize the power of earned UGC, we’re seeing e-tailers adding value by making their UGC assets shoppable. Using tools like Emplifi and, e-tailers are creating UGC galleries tagged with the products featured in them. Users who click these posts can get more information and buy them directly from the post without needing redirection to the e-tailer’s store.

One more thing: savvier e-tailers don’t wait for UGC to materialize, but craft social campaigns with the potential for virality in mind. With good fortune and timing, these campaigns can spark waves of UGC that can be curated and tagged to boost sales.

How small businesses can get ahead in 2024

It’s possible for SMEs to leverage just a couple of these trends to build their business. Delivering on each one will help businesses deliver an intuitive and truly personalized customer experience.

In the same way, putting customer experience first means e-tailers need to think omnichannel. Proactive exploration of different channels and tactics will make it easier to win customers and personalize the customer relationship.

As the growth trajectory of e-commerce continues to soar, social shopping will help SMEs scale up and reach new markets.

To get your e-commerce business off the ground and find the right shipping solutions, head here.
We’re seeing e-tailers adding value by making their UGC assets shoppable.

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