20 C-commerce Statistics You Need to Know

C-commerce (conversational commerce) is becoming increasingly popular. The stats clearly show that. Most people now use the internet predominantly on their smartphones, and social media has become the norm. Likewise, the vast majority of people chat over messaging apps, and they are gradually using these apps with businesses as well.

The concept of c-commerce covers four technologies: live chat, chatbots, messenger apps, and voice assistants. They are the modern way to undertake communication. Indeed, younger generations, like Generation Z and Millennials, avoid such “old” activities as talking on the phone or emailing when they can. Even texting (SMS) is becoming old to them. Ironically, the generations that grew up with smartphones don’t like to use them for their telephone capabilities.

So, what has happened in the world of conversational commerce over the last few years? In this post, we have collated a selection of c-commerce stats that you need to know.

20 C-commerce Stats You Need to Know:

1. 5.27 Billion Unique Mobile Phone Users

Not all c-commerce involves using mobile phones, but that they have certainly helped the advance of c-commerce. We Are Social reports that there were 5.27 billion unique mobile phone users globally in July 2021 (66.9% of the world’s population), up 2.3% from the previous year. 92.1% of users access the internet via their mobile devices.

2. The Average Person Spends Just Short of 7 Hours Per Day on the Internet

We Are Social also reports that internet users aged 16 to 64 spend on average 6 hours 55 minutes per day on the internet across all their devices. This gives plenty of opportunities for brands engaging in c-commerce to reach potential customers.

3. The Average Person Spends More Than 2 Hours 20 Minutes Per Day on Social Media

Of those 7 hours per day of internet activity, the average person spends 2 hours and 24 minutes on social media. This includes all types of social media and will incorporate their use of messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. As a comparison, people only spend 2 hours 3 minutes reading press media nowadays (both online and physical print).

4. 95.2% of Internet Users Use Chat or Messaging Platforms

The survey of global internet users aged 16 to 64 found that 95.2% of respondents admitted using chat or messaging platforms in the past month. This is only slightly down on the 95.7% who use social networks, and ahead of such activities as using search engines or web portals (84.1%), shopping, auctions, or classifieds (59.7%), maps, parking, or location-based services (54.4%), email (50.9%), and music (47.5%).

5. 23.2% Used a Voice Assistant in the Last Week

We Are Social used updated data from the Global Web index in their July Report that showed 23.2% of internet users aged 16 to 64 used a voice assistant in the past week, globally. However, this figure varied somewhat from country to country. The country most advanced with c-commerce and social commerce is China. This ties in with these voice assistant usage stats. In China, 31.9% of internet users used Siri, Alexa, or another voice assistant in the past week. 

Interestingly, voice assistants have taken off more in poorer countries. The second and third highest users of voice assistants are India (29.0%) and Nigeria (25.6%). The United States, however, comes in fourth place with 24.7% usage. 

6. 13.5% of Internet Users Own a Smart Home Device

Globally, 13.5% of internet users aged 16 to 64 say they own some form of smart home device. British internet users lead this activity, with 25.1% possessing a smart home device. These devices are also popular in Canada (20.9%), Ireland (20.8%), and the USA (20.8). However, you will find far fewer in Ghana (1.6%) and Morocco (1.8). There has been little penetration of smart home devices in the Russian market (3.4%).

7. 25.3% of Internet Users Check Health Symptoms Online

An area of potential growth in c-commerce is the health sector. 25.3% of internet users aged 16 to 64 admit they have checked health symptoms online in the past week. This is possibly a result of the COVID pandemic.

Again, there are some variations in this statistic globally. There appear to be real c-commerce opportunities for the medical profession in South and Central America, with 43.3% of Colombian internet users checking health symptoms in the last week, alongside those in Mexico (39.4%), Brazil (35.8%), and Argentina (32.8%). In comparison, only 20.2% of US internet users checked their health symptoms online.

There was also a noticeable difference in the genders of those checking their health symptoms online. At all age levels, females were more likely to do so than males. For example, globally, 27.2% of females and 21.5% of males aged 16-24 checked their health symptoms online, as did 23.0% of females and 18.9% of males aged 55-64. 

8. 26.1% Claim Finding Products to Purchase is a Major Reason for their Use of Social Media

As part of a GWI survey of internet users aged 16 to 64 in Q1 2021, respondents were asked to name what they considered a main reason for their use of social media. Perhaps inevitably, the most popular reason was staying in touch with friends and family (48.6%). However, a notable 26.1% consider finding products to purchase a significant reason for their use of social media. A further 22.9% rated seeing content from their favorite brands.

9. 2 Billion People use WhatsApp

When you analyze all types of social media, including messenger apps and social video platforms, you can see just how widespread the leading messenger app usage is. The platform with the highest number of users is Facebook (2.853 billion), followed by YouTube (2.291 billion). However, WhatsApp takes the third spot with 2 billion users. Other high-performing messenger apps include Facebook Messenger (1.3 billion), WeChat (1.242 billion), QQ (606 million), and Telegram (550 million).

Active WhatsApp users make up 33% of the total world population aged 13+.

10. WhatsApp is Named the Most Popular Social Media Platform

GWI’s survey asked respondents to name their favorite social media platform. Although this data is global, it excludes China. WhatsApp (21.7%) just managed to edge out Facebook (21.5%), followed by Instagram (19.3%). As with most of these statistics, people under 16 (and over 64) were excluded, meaning TikTok’s 4.3% is lower than what would result from an “all-ages” survey. 

Despite the popularity of WhatsApp as a messenger app, this has not followed through to other such apps. Only 3.6% rate Facebook Messenger as their favorite social platform.

11. 15.2% of Internet Users Use Messaging and Live Chat Services to Research Brands

GWI survey respondents were asked about their use of social media to research brands. 71.6% use some form of social platform (social network, question and answer site, forums, message boards, messaging, live chat, micro-blogs, vlogs, or online pinboards.) 15.2% used messaging and live chat services for their brand research.

12. Facebook Messenger Has a Potential Audience of 1.07 Billion

Facebook states that the potential audience that advertisers can reach with ads on Messenger is 1.07 billion, 17.5% of the total population aged 13+. This represents a 57 million (5.6%) increase in the second quarter of 2021. Interestingly, the potential audience consists of far more males (55.9%) than females (44.1%).

Although the total reach is highest in India (140 million), as you would expect, considering it is the most populous country that permits Facebook to operate (it is not allowed in China), Mongolia holds the record in percentage terms. There, Facebook Messenger has a reach of 91.7% for those aged 13+.

13. Free Delivery Biggest Incentive to Buying a Product Online

GWI asked its survey respondents about features that would increase their likelihood of buying a product online. By far, the most popular option was free delivery (51.1%). This was followed by coupons and discounts (39.6%), reviews from other customers (33.1%), and an easy returns policy (31.8%). In addition, respondents rated having a live chat box to speak to the company at 14.0% and a “Buy” button on a social network (12.1%).

14. Up to 2/3 of Shoppers Messaged a Business When Christmas Shopping

In a 2019 holiday survey, Facebook discovered that 2/3 of the respondents who admitted to shopping during the 2018 holiday season had messaged a business during the process.

15. The Main Reason C-commerce Buyers Chat With Brands is for Product or Pricing Information

More recently, Facebook commissioned Boston Consulting to conduct focus groups, in-depth interviews, and an online survey relating to people’s c-commerce habits. They asked the respondents why they messaged brands. The most popular reason was for product or pricing information (45%). Other popular reasons included instant responses at any time (35%), an easy way to shop (33%), personalized advice (31%), and the ability to negotiate prices or offers (30%).

16. 55% of Baby Boomers Prefer to do Business in Person, Whereas More than 70% of Non-Baby Boomers Prefer Digital Business

Inmar found that Baby Boomers are slower in their uptake of new digital shopping activities. 55% percent of Baby Boomers prefer to do business in person, whereas 72% of non-Boomers prefer digital business interactions. However, Baby Boomers can adapt when they have to. For example, Baby Boomers had a 431% increase in grocery curbside pickup during the pandemic, compared to other generational cohorts who increased 169%.

17. More Retailers Expected to Introduce Voice Commerce in 2021

Inmar reported a survey of European and North American retailers by SearchNode that found that 9% intended to enable voice commerce in 2021, 10% already have voice commerce capabilities, and 30% are still evaluating the technology.

18. Frustrations with Unresponsive Brands on Social or Email has Grown 5.7x since 2019

Drift and Heinz Marketing conducted a survey in July 2020 of B2B professionals. They asked the respondents about the main frustrations that their (business) customers felt. The biggest frustration was with unresponsive brands on social or email, which grew 5.7x over the previous year. Other increased frustrations included services feeling impersonal (2x), having to deal with poor quality online forms (1.6x), and lack of service outside normal operating hours (1.4x).

19. 46% Expect a Response of <5 seconds When Using a Chatbot

Drift reports findings from Nielsen-McKinsey via HBR that show that 46% of respondents expected a response within 5 seconds or less when using a chatbot; 43% expected the same using online live chat, and 33% did so when using a phone or video call.

20. Nearly 50% Consider the Most Important Result of C-commerce is Getting Quick, Detailed, and Expert Answers

49% of the respondents in the above survey felt the most important factor in having a positive experience with a Conversational Marketing solution is getting quick, detailed, and expert answers to their questions. 36% also believe it’s important to get complaints and issues resolved quickly, and 29% say it’s important the solution is friendly, approachable, and easy to communicate with.


We Are Social - Digital 2021 July Global Statshot Report

Facebook Conversational Commerce Statistics

Inmar 2021 Ecommerce Report

Drift – 2020 State of Conversational Marketing

About the Author
Koba Molenaar brings nearly a decade of rich experience in content writing, specializing in digital marketing, branding, SaaS, and eCommerce. Her passion for helping brands, from solopreneurs to established companies, connect with their audiences shines through her work. As a member of the Golden Key International Honor Society, Koba’s commitment to excellence is evident in her work, showcasing her as a relatable and knowledgeable voice in the industry.