Shankar Thakkar, General Secretary of the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) Maharashtra and National President of the All India Edible Oil Traders Federation, has pointed out that social commerce is rapidly emerging as a robust new business vertical in India, with significant growth potential, partly driven by the e-commerce industry.
By 2026, social commerce will outpace traditional e-commerce
It is anticipated that by 2026, social commerce will outpace traditional e-commerce. The reason behind this trend is the widespread reach and substantial user base of social media platforms, particularly WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram. Social commerce is gaining significant traction among merchants across the country.
Currently, the market size of social commerce in India is estimated at around $8 billion and is projected to reach approximately $85 billion by 2030. Given the rapid growth of social commerce among both merchants and customers nationwide, it is highly likely that these figures will be surpassed sooner than expected.
India currently boasts 750 million WhatsApp users, 370 million Facebook users, and 330 million Instagram users, which far exceeds the user base of traditional e-commerce platforms. With over 1 billion smartphone users in India, the rise of social commerce through smartphones is poised to challenge major foreign e-commerce companies, potentially surpassing traditional e-commerce by 2026, ushering in a larger digital commerce ecosystem.
Need for immediate implementation of E-Commerce policies
CAIT National President BC Bharatiya and National General Secretary Praveen Khandelwal have emphasized the need for the immediate implementation of e-commerce policies and regulations by the government. Simultaneously, they see social commerce as the primary driver of digital commerce, aiming to counter business practices and malpractices of foreign e-commerce companies effectively.
Mahesh Bakhai, Senior President, Maharashtra Region, CAIT, mentioned that CAIT has partnered with technology companies to encourage merchants to utilize WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram for direct consumer sales. A nationwide campaign is underway, with over 1 million merchants equipped with the WhatsApp Business app during the initial phase. The next phase seeks to connect over 100 million merchants across 29 states of India with social commerce. This partnership between CAIT and Meta is expected to expand merchants' customer base and contribute to India's growing digital economy.
Social commerce offer cost-effective solution to retailers & consumers
Sachin Nivangune, President, Maharashtra Region, CAIT, emphasized that technology can significantly aid businesses in meeting evolving needs. Social commerce offers a cost-effective solution for both retailers and consumers, ensuring competitive prices and high-quality goods.
Shankar Thakkar further highlighted that social commerce offers a democratic platform for micro and small businesses and entrepreneurs to explore new markets, establish a digital identity for their businesses, and connect with buyers effectively. The goal is to propagate social commerce across every corner of the country through the extensive network of over 45,000 trade associations under CAIT's purview.