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PayPal Research: Social Commerce has enabled growth for Indian small sellers

According to a research commissioned by PayPal, a global leader in digital payments, social media channels are no longer just networking platforms but have become digital marketplaces, where merchants and consumers buy and sell goods and services. Social commerce (s-commerce) is driving the adoption of digital payments as users demand more seamless and efficient payment experiences.

PayPal’s study “Beyond Networking: Social Commerce as a Driver of Digital Payments”, highlights the rapid growth of s-commerce across seven markets in Asia, including India. It also showcases the positive impact that s-commerce is having on merchants’ and consumers’ financial lives, and how digital payments plays an integral role by providing a secure way for sellers to sell on social media platforms. 

Narsi Subramanian, Director Growth, PayPal India, said: “With digitization, India is rapidly transitioning towards a digital, mobile-first economy. The very nature of social commerce inherently encourages greater digital payment adoption. Merchants are seeing social media as a viable business platform and are open to exploring social networking sites to bring grow business and tap consumers. We demonstrate our support of social commerce with features such as PayPal.me for Business that allows merchants to request money from anyone across the globe with the click of a link. We want to create a world where everyone has the ability to sell, monetise their talent and reach out to communities beyond their own.”

India leading from the front

Among all the markets surveyed, India emerged top in terms of usage of YouTube (64%), Twitter (61%), Google+ (50%), Skype (53%) and LinkedIn (33%) for the sale of goods and services. The report highlights that in addition to low overheads and an existing pool of customers, 96% of the current social sellers feel that the concept has helped them reach bigger markets and has substantially improved their financial condition.

Merchants showed significant confidence in social commerce with over 79% selling through various social platforms. Growing digitization and increasing internet penetration in India have reportedly encouraged commerce to move online. Facebook, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are used most by merchants in India, than anywhere across Asia (excluding China).

Cosmetics and beauty products are sold the most through social media

About 52% of the total consumer demand on social commerce comprises of cosmetics and beauty products. This is followed by disruption in supermarkets as groceries, food, drinks and alcohol is the second most sought after category of online purchases. The report indicates that social commerce is becoming a mainstream retail channel. The main reasons for this shift include the convenience of purchasing online and the ease of payments. 

Consumers in India cited security and speed as top preferences for choosing their payment method. With digital payments being increasingly integrated into social networking sites, allowing buyers and sellers to transact seamlessly, we could see a further lowering of barriers against the adoption of new payment methods as consumers become aware of their ease of use, security and overall benefits. 

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