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3 Social Commerce Trends: A Developers Guide to Social Commerce

3 Social Commerce Trends Tile


A Developer’s Guide to 3 Social Commerce Trends

What was once the digital future is now the present day. Consumers are rapidly embracing the efficiency and accessibility that digital applications offer all aspects of their lives, including the ways they shop. Research predicts that by 2025, social commerce will reach nearly $793 billion USD and continue to grow.

The visibility and connections made possible by platforms such as Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube provide businesses powerful opportunities to grow their revenue. Additionally, the growth of social commerce presents new opportunities for developers who can use their expertise integrating best-in-class payments technology into digital checkout experiences to help merchants deliver seamless shopping experiences that are user friendly and secure. 

Developers can facilitate meaningful conversations with the businesses they serve by understanding these three key trends shaping the landscape of social commerce.

1. For shoppers, trust is non-negotiable

Social commerce includes the marketing, selling, and buying of products on social media, with platforms that allow shoppers to explore products and make purchases without ever leaving their favorite app. As of 2023, an estimated 110 million consumers in the United States use social media to browse for goods and services.2 

Despite the number of consumers shopping for and discovering products on social media, only 14% of consumers make purchases there.3 Distrust is one issue that stops people from buying. 2023 survey results published by PYMNTS found that not enough trust to share personal data was the most important reason 24% of respondents skip shopping via social media, with 16% of respondents citing skepticism over seller authenticity as their most important reason to avoid social media shopping.3

The rising popularity of embedded finance provides one strategy that developers can use to address some of the trust issues consumers have with making payments on social platforms. Building in access to financial services like digital wallets or branded Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) payments at checkout can help assure customers that in-app purchases and purchases made via live-stream shopping events comply with strict regulations for handling financial data.

Friends exploring social media together

2. Across social media, shopping experiences vary

While most social media platforms support social commerce with similar features, some offer in-app shopping, while others direct shoppers to eCommerce sites via streamlined linking methods. Across the top five social commerce platforms,4 the shopping experience varies:

  • Instagram: Shoppers on Instagram can use the “View Shop” button to browse listings and make purchases within the app or by clicking through to a business’s website. 
  • Facebook: Free with a business profile, Facebook Shops can accommodate an entire eCommerce store where shoppers can make in-app purchases or move to the business’s website. 
  • TikTok Shop: Merchants can showcase products via shoppable videos and TikTok LIVE broadcasts. Shopping pages and shopping tags within the videos allow shoppers to explore and buy products within the app.
  • Pinterest Shopping: Businesses can upload product catalogs, display collections, create boards, and set up product pins that provide detailed product info and links to product-specific landing pages for purchases.
  • YouTube: In addition to product links in video descriptions, product links can now be added to YouTube live streams and videos. Merchant channels can include a “shopping” tab to display featured products, and a “merchandise shelf” section below videos is available to display curated products.

As each platform continues to evolve and offer new ways for people to shop, developers can leverage Fintech APIs to help businesses streamline the delivery of products and services with customized systems and processes. APIs like those offered by Discover® Global Network make it possible to quickly and easily connect social commerce shops with third-party services such as loyalty programs, payment gateways, and shipping providers—enabling seamless customer relationship management at every step of the customer journey. 

Consumer enjoying apps on tablet

3. Tokenization communicates and delivers security

Because trust is so critical to social commerce sales, protecting and communicating the security of payments is key. Payment tokenization tools, like the Discover Global Network Stored Tokens API, protect shoppers’ sensitive financial data by generating a secure and unique random ID with every purchase. 

Payment tokens can only be used within a specific merchant's retail environment, which limits data breach exposure. When cardmembers’ accounts change, merchants are automatically updated to reduce customer purchase disruptions. Tokens also support social commerce’s streamlined shopping experience because they are issued in real time at the moment of purchase, so they don’t slow transactions down.

Conclusion: Confident customers are key to social commerce success

Social commerce is poised to transform online retail. These new ways to shop will benefit both merchants and consumers—as long as they are guided by a focus on improving the experience for all. Developers can use embedded finance and Fintech to help merchants provide streamlined and secure payment processing and fraud prevention, ultimately strengthening customer confidence and giving merchants a competitive edge. 

Family buying toys via social media

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  1. (2022, January 10). Global Social Commerce Market Report 2021-2025 & 2030: Big Data Technology is Gaining Popularity in the Industry. Global Newswire. Viewed 16 October 2023, from
  2. (2023, July 20). Study Finds US Consumers Look a Lot But Buy Little on Social Media. PYMNTS. Viewed 6 February 2024, from
  3. (2023, August 21). Social Media Shopping Blocked by a Lack of Trust. PYMNTS. Viewed 16 October 2023, from
  4. Yuen, Meaghan. (2024, January 17). Guide to social commerce and the evolving path to purchase. Insider Intelligence. Viewed 6 February 2024.


The information provided herein is sponsored by Discover® Global Network. It is intended for informational purposes, and is not intended as a substitute for professional advice.