Post-pandemic India is leading the social commerce landscape in Asia: Sairee Chahal

Social commerce is much more than just selling to customers via social media channels. Consumer buying behaviour has undergone a lot of changes in the last one year, influenced mostly by the pandemic situation and being forced to be confined to one’s homes. This unprecedented situation has seen the steep rise of social commerce.

According to Grand View Research, the global social commerce market is projected to hit $3,369.8 billion by 2028. The report further states that the global social commerce market will grow at a CAGR of 28.4 per cent between 2021 and 2028.

How well are brands and retailers adapting to these rapid changes?

Adgully’s premier property – #GullyChat – in its latest episode on August 27, 2021, turned the spotlight on ‘Rise of Community Marketplaces – Social Meets Commerce’, wherein Sairee Chahal, Founder & CEO, SHEROES, decoded and analysed this growing field in Friday’s Twitter chat.

What is a community marketplace? What does community mean in the context of a marketplace?

Explaining the concept of community marketplace, Sairee Chahal elaborated, “A community is a group of people who are connected by a common purpose or interest. A community marketplace is where buyers and sellers are connected via content or conversations and social capital of buyers and sellers is reference-able.”

Best examples of a growing community marketplace

Chahal noted that some examples include: Poshmark, Little Red Book - also known as Xiaohongshu in China, and more recently our own community marketplace @SHOPonSHEROES on the #SHEROES app.

What is the big challenge for Marketplaces? How do Community marketplaces overcome the challenge?

Highlighting the challenges faced by marketplaces, Chahal noted, “Marketplaces or all commerce need to solve for - Demand, supply, retention and engagement – over the years the demand and supply playbooks got stronger, but retention and engagement continue to be large gaps.”

She further said, “Trust is the biggest enabler, and content led engagement helps fix the gap. Build trust in the system, users need to trust your platform and each other. We see this play out beautifully now on @SHOPonSHEROES, where women buy and sell through connections forged on #SHEROES.”

Two sides to marketplaces – buyer and seller – How does one identify who is the most valuable user group?

Chahal pointed out, “In a community marketplace, every buyer is a potential seller and vice versa. The most important thing is to forge connection and trust.”

The COVID-19 impact

Speaking on the post-pandemic period for social commerce, Chahal noted, “Digital payment, e-commerce adoption, video, rise of D2C brands and content-led buyer discovery are the biggest contributors.”

According to her, “Post-pandemic India is leading the #socialcommerce landscape in Asia, which is projected to be a $100 billion market by 2025.”

What is the place of women, especially in a post-COVID-19 world, with the growing access to technology in the social commerce space?

“Women are the fastest growing segment today and will be massive drivers of commerce in the next 2-5 years. Social commerce is inherently driven by women; we are seeing offline behaviours coming online. At @SHOPonSHEROES, we have seen over 2,000 shops by women within weeks of launch,” Chahal informed.

Follow the complete conversation on Twitter – @adgully.


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