How Can Brands Unlock Black Friday and Cyber Monday on TikTok?

November 24th, 2021 by

Black Friday is arguably the biggest shopping event of the year, closely followed by Cyber Monday. Although initially created as an offline, in-store sales event (featuring thousands queuing outside stores in hopes of a steal), it has since transitioned to include online shopping as a result of consumer habits changing. 

As a result of the pandemic, the way consumers shop has once again changed, with online shopping more important than ever before as consumers look for deals from the comfort of their own homes. This change, while led by stay-at-home orders, was solidified by social media phenomena, namely the “TikTok Made Me Buy It” mindset. 

TikTok has been a driving force behind changing consumer behaviour. Not only has it changed the way we spend our time (i.e. spending hours and hours scrolling through hilarious, digestible videos), but it has changed our purchasing habits and the way we view and respond to ads.  

TikTok has a unique ability to deliver authentic content that resonates with users all over the globe. The potential audience reach of the platform makes Black Friday on TikTok an opportunity that brands will not want to miss out on. 

Black Friday on TikTok

According to TikTok, 54% more users plan to find Black Friday offers through sponsored social media posts on TikTok than any other platform. In 2020, 80% of TikTok users who made a purchase on Black Friday said that TikTok played a role in their decision, and 40% of purchasers said they made a purchase after seeing an exact item on TikTok. For Black Friday 2021, 80% of TikTok users expect TikTok to inspire them to make a purchase this year. 

Pre-pandemic, Black Friday used to be about rushing to stores or malls as early as possible on Friday morning. Now, things look slightly different. Online retailers have begun stretching out their Black Friday sales over multiple weeks and offer regular customers early access to discounts. The early start of sales may have been a result of supply chain issues facing retail markets all over the world. However, TikTok users have happily embraced this change and have already begun their purchasing. 

The communities available on TikTok are almost endless. Think of a community niche and there’s an incredibly high chance they’re active on TikTok. However, TikTok has revealed there are certain categories TikTok users are more likely to buy in Black Friday sales compared to other platforms. 

TikTok users are 35% more likely to purchase gaming devices, 20% more likely to buy personal care items, 16% more personal electronics and 15% more clothes. 

How to hack Black Friday 

So, with this in mind, how can brands make the most from TikTok during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales season? 

The first thing to remember before making any content for TikTok is that authenticity rules the platform. TikTok users see straight through overly-promotional ads; you have to be genuine. Authenticity is the reason many brands have been able to succeed on the platform. 

The best way to target users on TikTok is through paid ads. TikTok offers a suite of paid ads that all offer their own benefits to brands. In general, TikTok ads capture users’ attention and encourage engagement more than other platforms. They also increase brand recall more when compared to other social platforms. The average user’s attention span has shrunk to only 8 seconds, so make sure you begin all your ads with key points and call-to-actions. 

There are a variety of paid ads available. One of the most effective at capturing attention is TopView ads. These present ads to users as soon as they open the platform, capturing their attention immediately. 

Another ad available involves creating a Branded Effect. Branded Effects are a fun way to increase reach and conversions, and can seamlessly navigate traffic to your website or dedicated Black Friday landing page. 

As with all social platforms, influencer marketing is highly effective on TikTok. Using TikTok creators to demonstrate or promote your deals not only increases reach and brand awareness, but gives your brand social proof and credibility—something brands can never have enough of. TikTok has its own Creator Marketplace you can browse to find the perfect creators for your brand. 

Another thing to remember is that, while Black Friday is technically only one day, deals can last for multiple days or weeks. You don’t need to stop promoting your deals on TikTok just because Black Friday is over. Users love deals at every time of the year, but especially in the run-up to Christmas. 

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The Future of Fashion is Digital

October 21st, 2021 by

Technology is developing at an incredible rate. With social media platforms offering in-app shopping, Facebook and Snapchat’s AR glasses, AR in retail stores and live shopping platforms, the Metaverse is creeping closer and closer with each incremental innovation. We’ll soon be spending a significant amount of time in the Metaverse, but we have one important question left: what should we wear? 

Within the past couple of years, the fashion world has actively begun adopting AR and technology—from NFTs and digital garments to AR try-ons in retail to virtual shopping, now including virtual stylists.  

The main way we interact with others nowadays is through digital. We instant message, voice call and video chat. We like, comment and watch livestreams. Living in an era of instant gratification, it’s unsurprising that our shopping experiences are taking a digital turn. 

The rise of digital in retail

Livestream Shopping & Virtual Styling

The concept of blending entertainment with instant purchasing isn’t new—it’s been incredibly popular in China for the past few years. However, it is only just making its mark in the West. Livestream shopping is an immersive experience that keeps shoppers engaged for extended periods of time. The latest development in livestream shopping is the introduction of virtual styling.

Livestream Shopping & Virtual Styling

Hero is a virtual styling platform. Brands can partner with the platform to provide text, chat and video styling assistance to their customers. Using the platform, brand teams can walk customers through key pieces in their physical stores to help identify the right items for the customer. Customers could ask real-time questions about the garments, return policies and even store availability for specific products. 

Hero allows brands to seamlessly blend online and in-store experiences. Many brands—including Levi’s, rag & bone, Nike, and Chloé—have partnered with Hero and seen incredible results. As a result of real interactions between associates and customers, Hero can yield an incredibly high conversion rate of 20%, and for some stores, up to 88% of users make a purchase within 24 hours of a virtual styling session. 

Livestream Shopping

Having the ability to speak to potential customers in real time allows chosen associates (or stylists) to offer their expertise on products they handle day in, day out. A brand’s stylists have the best understanding of the brand’s product offering and can most accurately provide a solution to a customer’s fashion query; stylists can also invite customers in for a private, reserved fitting room session to try on the clothes they discussed in their styling sessions. This not only increases footfall, but the opportunity to create a completely unique and personal experience for customers, increasing the likelihood of conversion. 

With the development of social commerce, it will be interesting to see whether digital styling will take its place on social media. TikTok and Instagram are leaders for in-app shopping, and with livestreaming capabilities where customers can purchase directly from a livestream, we could anticipate that influencers and brands may begin to offer virtual-styling services. 

Virtual Try-ons

Virtual try-ons using AR are bridging the gap between traditional brick-and-mortar retail and ecommerce. This tech allows consumers to achieve an accurate sense of look and fit of fashion items before making a purchase, all from the comfort of their own homes—something that is increasingly appealing to consumers following COVID-19. 

Sneaker and apparel resale brand GOAT launched an AR try-on feature within their app that allows shoppers to virtually try on sneakers. The brand implemented the feature to elevate the experience of discovery and to allow customers to see what some of the most exclusive trainers available would look like on their feet. 

Shopify retailer Tenth Street Hats has implemented AR tech directly onto its ecommerce website, allowing shoppers to try on selected hats on mobile and desktop devices, without having to download an app. The AR works by superimposing a real-time image of the hat onto the user’s head. 

Virtual Try-ons

The tool increased purchasing confidence significantly. For shoppers who engaged with the tech,the conversion rate increased by 52%. Data also showed that the longer a consumer engaged with the tool, the higher their average order value became.

The rise of digital fashion

Digital Clothing

A few years ago, if you suggested to customers they could buy an outfit that didn’t actually exist, you would have been laughed out the door. What’s the point in owning something that doesn’t exist? However, since the rise in popularity of cryptocurrencies and the consumer switch from a physical to digital mindset, the idea of digital fashion has become more accepted and even anticipated. 

Many fashion brands have already bought into the concept of digital fashion by creating branded items Snapchat users and gamers can dress their avatars in—including Adidas, Levi’s, Gucci, Valentino and Burberry. 

Digital Clothing

In more recent years, the fashion industry has been plagued with the issue of sustainability. As fast fashion brands have been boycotted and attacked for encouraging a disposable mindset and inflicting 10% of the world’s carbon emissions, the demand for digital fashion couldn’t have come at a better time; digital fashion could be the sustainable answer to fast fashion. 

With supply chains in tatters thanks to COVID-19, and social media revealing the impoverished worker’s lifestyles and the sad truth behind many “ethical” brands, the appeal of digital fashion has grown. For as little as $35, consumers can have a unique digital garment photoshopped onto their selected photos, which they can then share on their social media profiles. 

Digital fashion has no supply chain, no factories and no delivery delays. All digital fashion requires is a digital designer, a photo editor and a computer. With these three components, the expanse of digital fashion is limitless. Digital fashion presents the opportunity to be highly reactive to fashion trends, without any of the negative impacts of real fast fashion. 

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A post shared by Safiya Nygaard (@safiyany)

Digital Fashion & Social Media

The popularity of digital fashion on social media is rising. Popular influencers have begun investing and posting their digital looks on social media and have been met with overwhelming positivity from their audiences.  

In addition, Farfetch has become one of the first large retailers to rest digital sampling by dressing influencers in digital clothing to promote the launch of its pre-order offering from brands such as Balenciaga, Off-White and Oscar de la Renta. 

Digital Fashion & Social Media

Using digital clothing gives brands the opportunity to work with influencers in a new and exciting way, without having to send any physical products. This opportunity saves fashion brands of all sizes money and resources, all while generating a buzz on social media. 

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How to Use Finfluencers

September 23rd, 2021 by

A “finfluencer”—or finance influencer—is an influencer that shares financial information and expertise. 

They offer Gen Z and Millennials financial advice in snackable, light-hearted formats and are becoming an increasingly popular source of financial information on social media. Finfluencers have been able to solidify their relevance thanks to the rise of fintech, COVID and unemployment uncertainty and the popularity of cryptocurrency. 

Finfluencers present financial institutions with many opportunities, but they need to be used with the utmost care and responsibility. As a result of fraudulent financial promotions, fake finfluencers and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) concerns, social media platforms are becoming increasingly strict on the promotion of financial services and products. 

So, how can financial institutions use finfluencers? 

How Plum uses Finfluencers

AI money saving app Plum partnered with finfluencers including Matt Morgan (@moneywithmatt) and Timothy Paul (@tempahtime) who create content on finance, business and entrepreneurship for teens and young adults. Plum ran a series of ads and tutorials on how to save money and safely invest in stocks, alongside a “52-Week Savings Challenge” that encouraged users to save small amounts of money regularly. This use of finfluencers worked for Plum as TikTok users enjoy participation-based marketing. .

@tempahtime#save #saving #savemoney #finance #personalfinance #plum♬ Steven Universe – L.Dre

@moneywithmattAn Easy Way To Invest in Stocks! #plum #invest #investing #ad #stocks♬ She Share Story (for Vlog) – 山口夕依


How Snoop uses Finfluencers

UK fintech Snoop primarily uses TikTok and finfluencers for customer acquisition. Snoop has worked with finfluencer Jatz Naran since 2020 and promotes all his Snoop-related TikToks. The TikToks use simple language and explain real-life situations in an easily understandable way; some of the TikToks have received over 12 million views. Snoop has said that TikTok has been surprisingly successful in acquiring customers in their 50s and 60s, as well as younger audiences. 

@jatznaranLink in bio 🚀 ##snoop ##sponsored ##fyp♬ The Magic Bomb (Questions I Get Asked) [Extended Mix] – Hoàng Read

@jatznaranSnoop is by far the best money management app I have used 🤯🔥 ##snoop ##moneymanagement ##fyp♬ STAY – The Kid LAROI & Justin Bieber

How to use finfluencers


Host educational finance workshops

Finfluencers can be used to host branded financial workshops that provide accurate financial information and tips in a snackable format. Finance is a notoriously tricky topic to understand, especially for those who have no pre-existing knowledge. Having qualified and experienced finfluencers host workshops, mini-series or tutorials on how to use a fintech or traditional financial institution’s services and what benefits it can bring customers. By hosting multiple workshops or videos in a series, finfluencers can go into depth with their advice, offering a well-rounded and unbiased viewpoint. 

Use finfluencers as financial brand ambassadors

Financial institutions can use finfluencers as brand ambassadors. We would recommend that the finfluencers chosen to be brand ambassadors have relevant professional experience in an institution’s financial category. This gives the partnership credibility from the get-go, and businesses can ensure the advice and content created will be accurate and beneficial to audiences. In addition, finfluencer ambassadors are already established within a social media niche and can help businesses reach new and relevant audiences. 

Make your own employees finfluencers

Employees of financial institutions understand the inner workings of the business and will already abide by (and agree with) company values. This means their ambassadorship is as authentic as it can be and a brand will be accurately portrayed and promoted online. Employees have the qualifications needed to work at financial institutions, so they understand how to offer relevant and accurate assistance on social media. In addition, using “normal” people as ambassadors makes a business seem more relatable to social media users; they will also be more inclined to trust a professional opinion. 

Host a money-saving challenge

Social media users, particularly those on TikTok, enjoy participation-based marketing. Hosting a money-saving challenge not only enables users to actively participate in a challenge, but promotes and encourages downloads of a business’ app or services. It allows users to experience, for example, a new fintech money-saving platform that has been demonstrated by reputable finfluencers and gives them a chance to ask for advice as the challenge progresses, increasing engagement. Challenges are highly popular on TikTok and are a surefire way to boost awareness. 

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The Finfluencer Opportunities and Threats

September 22nd, 2021 by

A “finfluencer”—or finance influencer—is an influencer that shares financial information and expertise. 

They offer Gen Z and Millennials financial advice in snackable, light-hearted formats and are becoming an increasingly popular source of financial information on social media. 

What are the opportunities?

Connect with new generations and upcoming spenders

Using social media and influencers is one of the best ways to connect with the Gen Z and Millennials. Traditional and fintech banks can use finfluencers to help connect and teach these generations genuine and helpful financial advice. As a result of COVID uncertainty and high unemployment rates, these younger generations are actively seeking financial advice. These generations are also becoming the largest spending spenders, so banks and fintechs can use finfluencers to explain budgeting and saving advice in bite-sized and understandable ways. 

Prevent high-risk investing and crypto FOMO

FOMO culture dominates social media, but particularly on TikTok. As a result of the popularity of Fintok, many TikTok users have created videos discussing their own success with investment in stocks and cryptocurrency. However, some neglect to inform about the risks of investing in these, leaving the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) concerned at the number of high-risk investments from young people. Using expert finfluencers, financial institutions can inform TikTok users on how to safely identify and invest in real stocks and cryptocurrencies. This way TikTok users aren’t feeling like they are missing out but are being wise and safe with their investments. 

Crypto FOMO - Socially Powerful

Gain cultural relevance

Using finfluencers can be a great way to show social media users you understand their wants and needs. By using popular and relevant finfluencers, financial institutions can earn a competitive edge over their competitors as they are showing cultural relevance. Using finfluencers that can appear natively in people’s feeds, financial institutions gain social proof and allow viewers to connect with them through the chosen finfluencer. As the world continues to favour digital, using finfluencers is an easy way for traditional banks to get their foot in the social-door. 

Teach younger generations about fintech

Millennials are less financially literate than the generations before them and are also one of the most indebted generations. However, they are the most likely to use fintech. This gives an opportunity to established and upcoming fintech businesses to use expert finfluencers (or perhaps use their own employees as finfluencers?) to promote their services while teaching Millennials about personal finance. Social media offers instant access to financial information, but using finfluencers helps personify fintech companies and makes a typically confusing topic easy to understand.

What are the threats?

Excessive positivity and encouragement for high-risk investments

Finfluencers are actively trying to reinforce their position as finfluencers. They are more likely to gain followers and a viral hit if they explain investment opportunities through rose-tinted glasses. However, by emphasizing the positive wins of investing, these finfluencers are not fully informing their audiences of the risks involved. In addition, as many platforms aren’t regulated, advice finfluencers are giving may not be correct, opening the threat of misinformation and even fraud. This means people are making high risk investments without understanding the incredibly serious risks involved. 

Influencers abusing their position of power

In recent times, many reality stars and influencers have abused their positions of power by promoting dubious finance assistants, debt schemes and cryptocurrencies to their large audience bases. When financial information is provided by a non-financial expert, the likelihood of their audience being well informed on personal finances is relatively low. This means any financial information is incredibly misleading and stands a high chance of being fraudulent; Kim Kardashian has been criticised by the head of the FCA for promoting an untested cryptocurrency on Instagram. As these stars have large fanbases, many of their audience members will follow blindly as a result of misplaced trust.

Influencers abusing their position of power - Socially Powerful

FCA concerns over social-media encouraged investments

The FCA has voiced serious concerns over young people actively seeking out investments online and says social media is responsible for young investors taking on too much risk. Research has shown that more than half of young investors have purchased a cryptocurrency using loans and credit cards. 

Discussing TikTok directly, the FCA has said people should be wary of fake finfluencers “promising high-return investments” and encourages people to do their own research. The FCA has called for social media platforms to create regulations for the promotion of financial products that have not been approved by an FCA-authorised firm. 

Platforms banning the promotion of financial services

As a result of the FCA threatening action if social media sites continue to promote risky, and occasionally fraudulent, investments to inexperienced consumers, many have begun taking steps to protect their users. In July, TikTok globally banned the promotion of certain financial services products including investment services, foreign exchange and cryptocurrency. Google has also clamping down on finance fraud by forcing all financial services advertisers to prove and display they are authorised by the FCA. 

In addition, it is likely the developing Online Safety Bill will include new regulations financial institutions and social media platforms need to be aware of. 

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The Rise of the “Finfluencer”

September 16th, 2021 by

TikTok is a popular entertainment app that’s used by nearly a billion users daily—the majority of whom are under 25. TikTok’s highly diverse audience base means there is an incredibly diverse range of content people create and consume. While TikTok began as a space for dance challenges and comedic videos, it has evolved into an all-round entertainment platform that shares bite-sized educational videos. 

As a result of this diverse content, we have begun to see new types of influencers gain traction on the platform and across other social media sites. A new type of influencer that is taking social media by storm is the finfluencer. 

What is a finfluencer?

A “finfluencer”—or finance influencer—is an influencer that shares financial information and expertise. 

They offer Gen Z and Millennials financial advice in snackable, light-hearted formats and are becoming an increasingly popular source of financial information on social media. 

Why are they relevant?

There are four main reasons finfluencer have been able to dominate TikTok:

  1. The rise of fintech has resulted in a money-savvy community of Gen Z and Millennials that live and breathe financial literacy.
  2. Amid the COVID-19 economic uncertainty, younger generations don’t know what to do with their money. 
  3. Amidst high unemployment, Gen Z & Millennial audiences are educating themselves to be financially resilient.
  4. There is interest in cryptocurrency and investing, but a limited understanding of the processes and consequences.

The impact of fintech

Fintech (financial technology) has disrupted traditional banking. As of January 2021, over 14 million Brits had a digital-only bank account (Monzo, Starling Bank. Plum etc.). 

Fintech banking offers customers 24/7 support through non-traditional channels such as social media. New fintech and traditional banks are beginning to take a mobile-first approach to reach out to customers by designing products and services with the aim of enhancing customer experience via mobile. 

With more accessible banking, more consumers are taking an interest into personal finances in order to become more financially literate. 

The impact of COVID-19 and unemployment

The pandemic has resulted in economic uncertainty. Unemployment rates among 18 to 29 year olds is expected to reach 17% in 2021 and many are in low-paid and insecure jobs. As a result, young people don’t know what to do with their money. 

76% of 25 and 29 year olds have concerns over how COVID has impacted their work and personal lives. Amidst this recession, Gen Z & Millennial audiences are using social media to educate themselves to be more financially resilient; they are learning how to plan for and in later life. 

The impact of Crypto

Cryptocurrency has become a buzzword online. As a result of its popularity on social media, many finfluencers have begun discussing investing in crypto. Thanks to the general population having a minimal understanding of crypto, finfluencers have been able to gain a following through creating crypto content. 

Crypto-memes and influence from public figures such as Elon Musk, crypto attracts people due to its perceived value; Dogecoin saw its value rise 40% after it went viral on TikTok. Many consumers don’t understand the concept and consequences of crypto. Finfluencers have the opportunity to explain these through simple, bite-sized content. 

Who and where are finfluencers?

Among top finfluencers, 34% are female aged 25-34 years, compared to 16% male in the same age bracket. This shifts when looking at finfluencers aged 35-44, of which 25% are male and only 9% are female.

Finfluencers are primarily found on TikTok (or FinTok) and YouTube. They are discoverable through the key hashtags:  #moneytok, #stocktok, #fintok, #finance and #investing.

TikTok has become a go-to platform for Gen Z and Millennials to learn and teach all-things finance and investing. The hashtag #FinTok has over 490.5 million views, and #MoneyTok has over 8.5  billion.  

Regulations for finfluencers

Surprisingly, there are no specific regulations relating to the promotion of financial services on social media. However, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has repeatedly stated its concerns for fraudulent content on social media; cryptocurrencies aren’t currently regulated by the FCA, meaning many social media posts around digital tokens are scams. 

As a result, TikTok recently banned the advertisement of financial services and products on its platform. Google is also cracking down on financial services advertisers by making them prove they are authorised by the FCA

To summarise, there are no regulations for banks or fintechs surrounding the use of influencers. The chosen influencers must be clear about exactly what they are promoting and inform their audiences of rewards and risks involved. This isn’t a strict law, but is ethical and will avoid an investigation from the FCA.

Finfluencers must clearly label any sponsored advertisements from financial institutions, as they would with any other partnership. 

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Battle of the Digital Shopping Avenues

July 29th, 2021 by

Livestream shopping was given a new lease of life during the pandemic with retailers and influencers leaning into the new craze for video entertainment. As consumers were kept away from physical stores, the surge of ecommerce activity and sales resulted in more live shopping videos online. 

Live shopping is an immersive entertainment experience that keeps viewers engaged for longer, whilst tunneling customer decision journeys from awareness to purchase. By providing time-limited discounts in livestreams, brands and influencers are able to generate a sense of urgency in customers which accelerates conversions. Livestream commerce can increase conversion rates up to 30%—which is 10 times higher than traditional ecommerce. 

When done well, livestream shopping can pull in additional website traffic and improve a brand’s appeal. While rising in popularity, live shopping is still a novelty to many consumers. Adopting this new shopping experience early can differentiate the brand from competitors, increasing its appeal. Providing an innovative shopping channel can strengthen the connection among existing customers and attract new ones, especially within younger audiences. 

But what new shopping experiences and avenues have arisen from the rise of online shopping and livestreaming?

Shoppable TV

Have you ever watched TV before and thought “Where can I buy that?”? Well, ITV is trialling shoppable TV alongside Boots and popular reality show Love Island. The interactive shoppable TV service will be the first of its kind in the UK. Following its success in the US, the AI technology will be built directly into LG TV sets.

Shoppable TV- Love Island episodes - Socially Powerful

The shoppable TV service identifies and tags featured products during programmes and notifies viewers where they can purchase the products on screen. If a viewer is interested in a product, they can select to view more information with their remote and make a purchase through Boots’ website or through a link sent directly to their mobile phone. 

The service refreshes as new products and characters are shown on-screen throughout the programme. Users can continually scroll through products showing at certain times or choose to view all available products at once from the episode they are currently watching. 

While only currently available during Love Island episodes, ITV plans to roll out the service to other programmes in different genres throughout 2021.

Social Commerce

As with ecommerce, social commerce saw a huge rise in 2020 and 2021. The sheer volume of consumers shopping online spurred social media platforms to step up their ecommerce integration by investing in different forms of in-app product delivery and purchase. 

As more social platforms offer social commerce and in-app shopping, it will gradually become an expectation from consumers and adopted by the masses. This opens new opportunities for brands, but also risks the chance of businesses being left behind if they fail to adapt to the shift. 

Social media is a go-to for consumers to discover brands and find out more about them. In 2020, 55% of consumers made a purchase through a social media channel and 11% were motivated to purchase by seeing a “Buy” button on a social platform.

TikTok

In 2021, TikTok rolled out in-app shopping to all users and businesses. The platform had previously tested the social commerce waters in partnerships with Shopify and Walmart, but it now offers its own shopping services.

Tiktok - Shopping Experience - Socially Powerful

The new shopping experience gives brands their own dedicated shop tab on their TikTok profiles. The storefronts display a range of merchandise alongside product images and price. Users can click on a product to find out more information, retailer policies and shipping and size options. If a customer needs assistance with a purchase, TikTok offers in-app customer services. By clicking the headphones symbol, users can live text-chat with a brand representative without leaving TikTok.

Tiktok - Livestream Shopping - Socially Powerful

In addition to this, TikTok also offers livestream shopping. Accessible through a brand’s TikTok page or natively within For You Pages, viewers can instantly shop products featured within a Live by clicking the cart button or through a pinned product that is viewable on screen. 

Users are given the option to pick their sizing, shipment preferences and then pay within the app. Currently TikTok users can only purchase one product at a time as there is no customer cart available. However, the platform does have capabilities to offer discounts on products.

Instagram

Instagram offers a set of shopping features that allow users to easily shop a brand’s photos and videos across the platform. Instagram Shopping offers brands the chance to create an Instagram storefront and connect with customers that love to shop. The storefront can display singular products or collections.

Instagram Digital Shopping - Socially Powerful

Collections allow users to shop curated products into themes such as new arrivals, gifts, seasonal trends or whatever works for a business. Brands can write product detail pages to offer relevant information on items from catalogues. Product detail pages also pull in content where the product is tagged on Instagram and drive people to your website to complete a sale. 

In the US, customers are given the chance to checkout within Instagram, but this is currently only available to US businesses and creator accounts. 

Instagram - Product Tags - Socially Powerful

Users can also discover shoppable products natively in feeds. Product tags allow brands to highlight items from catalogues in images and videos so users can tap to learn more. In addition, businesses with Checkout on Instagram can announce an upcoming drop so users can preview details and set reminders for when the products are available to purchase.

Instagram Shopping Tab - Socially Powerful

Instagram also offers users a Shopping Tab. The Shop tab is a location where users can discover new brands, products and editor’s picks, and all selected products are personalised to the user through Instagram’s algorithm.

Instagram is launching a new shopping section called Drops

Instagram is launching a new shopping section called Drops that will showcase collections of exclusive product launches. Users will be able to browse, save items to wish lists, sign up for launch reminders and shop within the app.

Instagram Drop Shop - Socially Powerful

Drops creates a great opportunity for brands to create a social buzz around launches and to increase shopper demand. As users are able to shop within the app, Drops adds excitement to ecommerce on Instagram with new and exclusive products. Products will be in limited supply and only available for a short period of time.

Shopping Entertainment

Popshop Live

Start-up livestream app Popshop Live has dedicated itself to providing a space for businesses to focus on livestreaming shopping entertainment. Popshop gives users the chance to shop on their phones as if they are browsing through products and interacting with shop assistants in a store.

Popshop Live - Shopping - Socially Powerful

The app allows sellers to share their livestreams via their own social media accounts or to embed it online, while shoppers can purchase directly from the stream. Popshop is not revealing its exact number of sellers, but it has reportedly increased by 500% in the past three months, suggesting it is going to become a go-to platform for sellers looking to build a platform in the crowded online marketspace. 

Sellers on Popshop are seeing gross merchandise value of more than $500,000 and 80% of customers returning to purchase more within 30 days. Its ethos is based around interesting people selling interesting items, socialising through a chat stream that runs alongside the live videos and an algorithmic feed that lets you watch show after show as you swipe to the right (which sounds relatively similar to TikTok live shopping). 

Popshop Live Influencers - Socially Powerful

So far, Popshop has proven to be incredibly popular with younger users and is showing signs of staying power that will make it a staple in the “new normal” of online shopping. The platform has also seen large and growing brands begin offering live shopping entertainment, including Cider, JapanLA, Mall of America and Kettle & Fire. 

Popshop has recently seen new investments from huge names such as Hailey Bieber, Kendall Jenner, TQ Ventures, Sophia Amoruso and more. With such big names backing the company, it’s safe to say Popshop has popped off.

Amazon Live

Amazon Live is a livestream shopping feature available to those signed up to the Amazon Influencer Program. Amazon sellers and influencers can promote products and drive sales by hosting live video events.

Amazon Influencer Program - Socially Powerful

The broadcasts can be found through a dedicated Amazon Live landing page or through Amazon influencer storefronts. The Amazon Live landing page informs viewers of “Live Now” streams, upcoming streams and finished streams that may be of interest to them. Users can also discover live streams based on industries (tech, home, fitness etc), through featured creators or themes (beauty hauls, amplifying Black voices or DIYs).

During Amazon Live’s, viewers can ask questions in real-time through the chat box and hosts can answer as they see the questions. As hosts discuss products, the mentioned product will be highlighted in a live carousel underneath the video. Viewers can click on the product and be taken to the product’s Amazon page where it can be added to the viewer’s shopping cart.

Amazon Influencers making sale during amazon live

Amazon influencers that make a sale through their Amazon Live’s will earn a commission for each sale. During Amazon Prime Day, Amazon offers exclusive deals to its network of influencers which they used when creating live video content for featured products. This enticed viewers to spend more time exploring the live content in hopes of finding an exclusive deal. 

There are two key ways brands can get involved with Amazon Live: by creating their own Amazon Live account or having an influencer publish via their own account.

The competition between shopping avenues

As more and more shopping avenues become available to consumers, each channel will have to compete with the others in order to succeed.

The future of shoppable TVs

Shoppable TV seems like something that should have been around for a while, but is only coming onto the ecommerce scene now. While shoppable TVs lend themselves well to impulse purchasing, it’s main selling point is likely to be the novelty of buying something through a TV. As we’ve seen with entertainment shopping, users come back for the unique experience, but entertainment shopping is likely to stick around due to the fact younger generations are quickly favouring live content over TV. 

Shoppable TVs will also present programmes, broadcasters and TV personalities with new revenue streams. If brands partner with TV programmes, they may be given a cut of any purchases made throughout the programme.

The future of shoppable TVs - Socially Powerful

The issues with shoppable TVs enter when we consider the longevity of the service. Live entertainment shopping and social commerce are popular due to the fact they reduce the buying journey for customers, making a seamless experience within one online space. With shoppable TVs, users are given a link or QR code they need to scan on a mobile device before being taken to a product’s buying page. Adding an additional step elongates the buying experience, and by using two separate devices to make a purchase, it isn’t the seamless experience consumers can have elsewhere. Furthermore, TVs aren’t renowned for great user interface or speed. Putting information into a TV with a remote is fiddly and complicated at the best of times. Without an easy purchasing route, consumers won’t make a purchase. 

In addition, TV shopping is interruptive. Consumers watching a programme may not want to interrupt their viewing to make a purchase. Nowadays, a large portion of TV watchers are passively watching and multitasking on their mobile devices, where they can type a product into Google and make a purchase in a traditional ecommerce way. Arguably, the fact they are on their phones could mean they are more willing to scan a QR code, but could also mean they are too distracted and disconnected from the TV to make a purchase. 

Shoppable Tv - Socially Powerful

A final big threat for shoppable TVs is that younger generations are moving away from TV altogether. As streaming services and social media content continues to prevail as the top sources of entertainment, many younger consumers have stopped watching TV altogether. As social platforms and live shopping entertainment platforms continue to evolve their own commerce capabilities, these generations will be less inclined to watch TV or shop through TVs.

The future of social commerce

As we have already mentioned, social commerce presents customers with an easy and seamless shopping experience. Every step of their buying journey is within one location, from discovery to purchase. Having this close journey with a brand develops the relationship between brand and customer.

The future of social commerce - Socially Powerful

For brands, social commerce is incredibly low-cost (it’s free), so they aren’t risking losing resources if it doesn’t work in the way they hoped. Listing products on social media exposes your products to new audiences if they are browsing your social media pages—if someone sees something they like, they can purchase it there and then. If not, you haven’t lost anything. Moreover, if someone makes a purchase, you gain pure profit. 

In addition, due to the fact that product tags and TikTok Lives can appear natively in people’s feeds, it increases the reach of posts. Social commerce increases a brand’s visibility and allows them to sell on platforms with large potential customer bases.

Social Commerce - Shopping - Socially Powerful

Concerns for social commerce come for consumers when considering data. As many as 95% of people don’t trust social media and are unwilling to provide any unnecessary information. As internet users, we hand over large amounts of personal information to social media anyway, but it’s a different step to hand over bank details. 

The more brands begin using social commerce, the more consumers feel they aren’t being given real, engaging posts. Consumers are unwilling to trust traditional advertisements nowadays and if brands abuse social commerce too much, the same will happen to social media. Authenticity is one of the most important factors to consumers so it’s important brands keep up the engaging and interesting content they would usually post. A variety of content will keep customers on a brand’s side. 

A concern for brands is the loss of control over their customers. While social commerce does provide businesses with many opportunities, it does raise the question: who really owns the customer? The more control social platforms have over the buying process, the less power retailers have over their customers. When a customer checks out on a social platform, the data is owned by the platform and not the business. This can make it harder for brands to continually learn about their customers and offer personalised experiences.

The future of shopping entertainment

Shopping entertainment is still in its infancy, similar to shoppable TVs, however it has already seen significant growth and uptake. In China, live commerce has developed into an innovative sales channel, with sales expected to reach $423 billion by 2022. 

Following China’s lead, Western brands and platforms have begun developing their own live-commerce ventures. The introduction of live commerce is happily met by those outside of China, with almost a quarter of adults willing to discover new products via a livestream.

The future of shopping entertainment - Socially Powerful

One of the most appealing aspects of shopping entertainment is that hosts (brand representatives or influencers) can show a product in action and tell its story in real-time. This creates an authentic environment for viewers to learn about a brand or product. With exciting and engaging hosts, brands are able to create an interactive shopping experience that makes viewers want to invest. 

Shopping entertainment is paving the way for a whole new breed of influencer. The key to solid shopping entertainment is having a power-seller. Rather than established celebrities or social media personalities, “Shopatainers” are born to sell. This new influencer will be highly relatable, trustworthy and entertaining.

Popshop Live - Socially Powerful

It will be vital that brands select their hosts correctly. Hosts need to be able to chat through an entire live stream comfortably and answer questions (even hard and uncomfortable ones) quickly and easily. Without this upfront confidence, viewers will not be kept interested, no matter how cool a product or service. 

As a result of the live nature, entertainment shopping is a great way to build an authentic relationship with customers. Shopping entertainment is particularly popular with Gen Z—the generation that demands transparency and authenticity. By connecting with a host in real time, the younger generation can form an emotional connection to a brand as they relate the host’s personality with it.

Shop the latest deals - Socially Powerful

As this new method of commerce is all about entertainment, the quality of content has to be exceptional. Younger generations are pernickety about quality and won’t sit through a grainy live stream. This will mean additional investment in a good quality camera or smartphone, but as most people use a smartphone, this may not be an issue.

Shop the latest deals - Influencer - Socially Powerful

A risk for shopping entertainment is that livestreaming sits in an odd space between active consumption and passive consumption. The content is enough to lean in and actively listen and participate in chat conversations, but live streams are often long so many consumers multitask and have it on in the background. This means they may not be fully engaged in the content. 

Another risk is that it is only currently actively being adopted by Gen Z. This means the audience is limited and might not even contain an audience relevant to a brand. 

Our Influencer marketing agency and Social agency are located worldwide, with our agency network based in the USA, UK, UAE and China.

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From Influencer to Entrepreneur

July 28th, 2021 by

For nearly the last decade, influencers have ruled over social media. Starting from sharing photos or videos online, many have been successful in building their own followings. With millions of followers, influencers could be called brands in their own rights. 

Influencer followers are essentially guaranteed customer bases that are hyper-engaged to an influencer’s every move. It’s this loyalty that makes influencers so appealing to pre-existing brands for influencer marketing. 

However, some influencers are taking the steps to become entrepreneurs and start their very own businesses. With a guaranteed customer base, why wouldn’t you turn your passion into a business venture?

Which influencers have started their own businesses?

We’ve compiled a list of our favourite influencer-owned businesses across the beauty, food and fitness industries.

Grace Beverley: Shreddy

Grace Beverley built her audience by sharing relatable, but inspirational, workout tips, food guides and daily vlogs under the social tag GraceFitUK. She was one of the most popular fitness influencers on YouTube before she decided to venture into creating her own businesses. 

Shreddy is a fitness app that was launched in 2019, but before it became the popular app it is today, it started as a gym equipment company called B_ND. Shreddy provides users with home workouts, meal plans and classes for a monthly, quarterly or annual subscription fee. The app offers its own social aspect with a “Club” zone, where subscribers can share their own progress, workout tips and inspiration or recipes and ask questions to other members. 

Shreddy members can personalise their Shreddy experiences by choosing meal plans and workout levels, depending on their skill or time availability. By sharing their experiences and progress within the in-app forum, subscribers have the chance to be featured on Shreddy’s social channels.

 

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A post shared by SHREDDY | Daily Workouts (@shreddy)

Shreddy has two Instagram accounts: one for the general app and another for club members. The general app account posts more general content and fitness inspiration, including positive quotes, aesthetic food pictures, brand collaborations and giveaways. The account is geared towards gaining interest and building brand awareness. 

The Shreddy Club account posts content more relevant to those who have access to the app’s features. It showcases the gym equipment available to purchase, specific guides and meal plans and recommended supplements.

 

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A post shared by SHREDDY CLUB (@shreddyclub)

Both accounts use every Instagram feature available, including grid posts, Stories and Highlights, IGTVS, Reels and Guides. It’s Stories and Highlights are geared towards users by providing branded wallpapers, specific workouts and challenge highlights and results.

 

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A post shared by SHREDDY CLUB (@shreddyclub)

Shreddy is also active on Twitter and TikTok, but both of these have significantly less followers than both Instagram accounts. Shreddy uses Twitter to interact with users and support Instagram and TikTok content. 

The Shreddy TikTok account showcases Shreddy products, workouts as well as videos that are joining in with popular TikTok trends. 

While Grace remains the co-founder and CEO of Shreddy, she doesn’t feature on the social accounts. However, she does keep her followers updated of any key meetings or big updates and discounts coming to the app. 

Jess Hunt: Refy Beauty

Instagram model Jess Hunt launched her beauty company Refy Beauty late 2020. Jess was known on Instagram for her eyebrows, so it was only natural she started her beauty line with an eyebrow kit. 

The brand launched on Instagram with a large number of influencer sponsorships and gifted PR gifts. The partnerships were posted on both the influencers’ pages and the most aesthetically-fitting were posted to Refy’s.

 

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A post shared by REFY (@refybeauty)

The Refy Beauty Instagram page features influencer content, user-generated content, aesthetic images and photos from Jess herself. The heavy influencer endorsement meant the brand grew significantly and quickly. 

The brand expanded its range with a launch on Instagram in June 2021, now offering blush, highlight and bronzers. The beauty brand continued its diverse model casting to showcase its products and relating to more consumers. 

Jess frequently posts Refy content onto her main profile, promoting her brand to her 1.4 million followers. She uses grid posts, Stories and Highlights on her own profile to promote her brand.

The brand is also active on Facebook, which has its own store within the platform. All posts featuring a product feature a link to Facebook users to use to make a purchase. 

Michael Pearce: Clean Kitchen

Ex-YouTuber Michael Pearce started Clean Kitchen in August 2020 in Brighton after committing to a healthier lifestyle. The plant-based restaurant quickly became popular and Verity Bowditch joined Michael as a business partner.

 

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A post shared by Clean Kitchen (@cleankitchenuk)

The restaurant opened different London locations and expanded its Deliveroo options in September 2020. Since then, it has committed to various sustainable and ethical initiatives including planting a tree in Ghana for every meal sold and partnering with Compassion in World Farming to end cruel practices in factory farming. Clean Kitchen currently has plans to open a Clean Allotment, a Clean Arts Fund and to offer loyalty points to customers. 

The restaurant has an active and influencer-filled Instagram page. Alongside showcasing their influential restaurant guests, the account posts aesthetic pictures of its food and restaurant locations, store opening IGTVs and Reels, promotion for the supporting podcast and press snippets.

 

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A post shared by Clean Kitchen (@cleankitchenuk)

Clean Kitchen regularly uses influencer marketing and gifting to support new meals or openings. This content is posted to influencers’ own profiles and curated and reposted to the Clean Kitchen page. They are also stored in Highlights, which gives the restaurant social proof when a new user is searching its page. 

The supporting podcast is called “Get Me to Vegan” and is hosted by both Verity and Michael. It discusses the behind the scenes of building a plant-based business, the benefits of plant-based, fun challenges with influencer guests and sustainability in general life.

 

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A post shared by Clean Kitchen (@cleankitchenuk)


Using a podcast is another audience-building technique that casually but interestingly promotes the restaurant to new audiences. Those who are interested in sustainability and plant-based lifestyles can find the podcast and then the restaurant.

The future of influencer entrepreneurship

As more and more influencers take the leap into entrepreneurship, the way brands work with them is likely to change. Brands aren’t limited to working with influencers on small-scale sponsorships and have begun creating full ranges and product lines as collaborations. 

Moreover, we have started to see some brands collaborate with influencer-owned businesses. Skincare brand Paula’s Choice has collaborated with Sheddy to create two limited-edition skincare boxes that are available both through Shreddy and Paula’s Choice websites. 

As influencer marketing in general continues to evolve, influencers are more heavily focusing on their personal branding to further their careers and audiences. Influencing isn’t limited to simply vlogging or taking photographs, it’s now about turning hobbies and passions into business ideas.

Our Influencer marketing agency and Social agency are located worldwide, with our agency network based in the USA, UK, UAE and China.

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Posted in Influencer News, Social Commerce

Is Livestream Shopping the New Form of Entertainment?

July 1st, 2021 by

The pandemic has been a catalyst for major changes in consumer behaviours. Consumers have begun spending more time online and on social media which has resulted in a higher demand for live content and entertainment. 

As consumers were starved of real-life connections, they began favouring social media platforms that enabled them to have the level of connectivity they craved in a time when they were unable to connect with friends and family. Livestreaming offers consumers a more personal form of entertainment—they feel included as they are able to interact with hosts in real time and have questions answered immediately. This has resulted in new platforms emerging and existing social media platforms developing their livestreaming capabilities to offer a more personal engagement channel. 

These developments have allowed brands to connect with consumers in a whole new way. Younger generations have begun growing up with platforms such as TikTok and Instargam, resulting in livestreaming being as normalised as texting. Consequently, these upcoming generations will expect the same real-time engagement they have with friends, with brands too.

The Growth of Livestream Shopping

Livestream shopping has been a readily-available and booming industry in China for the past few years. In China, more than 100 million viewers watch a live online video event every month and over $400 billion of products will be sold through livestream shopping by 2022. China’s top online marketplace predicts over 500 billion transactions will be made between 2018 and 2021 through online livestreaming platforms. 

Although not as popular as in China, livestream shopping has been a rapidly growing industry in the Western market thanks to the introduction of live shopping capabilities on Amazon Live and social platforms such as TikTok, Instagram and Facebook. 

Harvey Nichols began livestreaming events back in 2018 and between 2019 and 2020, saw an increase in use of 739%. In Western markets, consumers are now 21 times more likely to make a purchase from a retailer that has begun incorporating new engagement strategies.

Who’s getting involved in Livestream Shopping?

L’Oreal

Livestream Shopping

L’Oreal has begun using the Canadian livestreaming app Livescale to host interactive, shoppable virtual events. Livescale integrates shopping links directly into its platform, a shopping function Instagram Live only offers US-based creators with access to Instagram Checkout. 

L’Oreal has begun selling products from Urban Decay and Lancôme so far. It is using the platform to provide live makeup tutorials that allow hosts to directly interact and engage viewers by answering questions, offering discounts and encouraging purchases by offering a live review and demonstration. 

Its next livestream event will be a makeup tutorial from Urban Decay on July 7th and there have been promises of giveaways to audience members.

Orca

Livestream Shopping

Orca is a platform-agnostic retail opportunity currently available on platforms such as Amazon Live, Instagram and YouTube. Orca showcases live and taped segments of influencers promoting products from all sorts of industries including fashion accessories, kitchen essentials, beauty, tech and children’s toys. It currently uses a team of hosts in its livestreams, helping audience members build trust with an individual rather than a platform.

In a recent livestream, Orca drew in over 22,000 viewers and nearly 250 product clicks. Another, hosted on Amazon Live, attracted over 110,000 viewers and 3,223 product clicks. 

Orca’s current operations give smaller, independent businesses their own platforms to break through with and target real people with their products. The platform has plans to enlist celebrity hosts and to debut a creator app that will open the opportunity to everyone from models and fitness instructors to bartenders and teachers.

YouTube

Livestream Shopping

As part of its “Small Biz Day” showcase event, YouTube experimented with a new livestream shopping experience. Revealed as part of the showcase, viewers of the livestream shopping could even buy products directly. 

The showcase featured 20 small businesses promoting gift suggestions for the summer. The aim of offering the shoppable livestreams is to appeal to businesses that have already advertised on Facebook or Instagram, but not YouTube. 

The decision to develop livestream shopping stems from consumers using YouTube to discover new brands and products. The platform plans to invest more into making itself shoppable over time.

TikTok

TikTok has begun rolling out livestream shopping to select brands on the platform. Accessible through a brand’s official TikTok page or natively in For You Pages, viewers can instantly shop products featured within the Live by clicking a cart button, or through a pinned product that is viewable on the screen.

Users are given the option to pick sizing, shipment and pay within TikTok. At present, it seems as if customers can only purchase one product at a time through the “Buy Now” option as there is no customer cart available.

Amazon Live

Amazon Live is the ecommerce giant’s live-stream shopping platform and has become a popular location for brands to host product launches. Over 2020, Amazon began encouraging its influencers to sell products on Amazon Live and has hosted big virtual events, including having Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba appear on a Live during Prime Day.

The broadcasts are hosted on and stay on the brand or influencer’s profile, but there is a dedicated landing page where shoppers can discover streams that are “live now” or were previously streamed. During live streams, streamers can chat directly with viewers and customers in real time and demonstrate the products they are recommending. Viewers are able to shop the products mentioned in the video through affiliate links underneath the video.

Why is livestream shopping so popular?

Over the past few years, consumers have become more considerate about what and how much they have been purchasing. Consumers are incredibly wary and untrusting of brand advertisements and are skilled at seeing through inauthentic influencer partnerships. 

Livestreaming offers consumers transparency they are unable to receive through traditional ecommerce sites and descriptions. With livestreaming, consumers are able to see products in action alongside an endorsement and additional information from a real person. The new communication method is an effective form of word-of-mouth marketing that allows consumers to draw their own conclusions, letting them feel responsible for their purchasing decisions. 

Livestreaming offers brands complete control over the messaging on their products and brand story. Providing a brand and product story engages consumers and helps them connect emotionally. Livestreaming allows consumers to ask questions and discuss products in real time and receive an instant response. This helps build confidence and trust in the brand, increasing the likelihood of a purchase.

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TikTok Tests In-App Shopping

June 4th, 2021 by

TikTok is the short-form video platform that has users opening the app 13 times in 24 hours. With quick and easily digestible videos, TikTok has changed the way we consume content and become one of the main online spaces younger generations spend their time; over 71% of Gen Z have an active TikTok account. 

As a result of this popularity, TikTok has become a marketing playground for brands. The temptation of going viral and reaching millions of consumers has enticed brands of all industries to create their own bite-sized content using popular sounds, trending filters and challenge hashtags. Now, TikTok is testing a new opportunity for brands: TikTok Shopping. 

Although TikTok has already tested the social-commerce waters in partnerships with Shopify and Walmart and offering businesses the choice to tag and externally link products within TikToks, the video platform is now testing in-app shopping. 

Testing the new capabilities in Europe, TikTok is working with brands including streetwear label Hype and fast-fashion brand ISawItFirst in hopes of intensifying its competition with Facebook and blurring the line between online shopping and social media.

ByteDance Ltd., owner of TikTok, is hoping to replicate the success of its Chinese cousin Douyin which generated $26 billion e-commerce transactions in its first year operating. Working with merchants in European markets, including the UK, brings products directly to millions of TikTok users within the app. 

The new shopping experience on the platform gives brands a dedicated shop tab on their profile pages. The storefront displays a range of merchandise alongside product images and prices. TikTok users can use the storefront to find out more information on products available, retailer policies, and shipping and size options. If a customer needs more assistance, they can click the headphone symbol to message a brand representative within the app.

In addition to this feature, TikTok has been testing shopping capabilities during Lives. Accessible through a brand’s official TikTok page or natively in For You Pages, viewers can instantly shop products featured within the Live by clicking the a cart button, or through a pinned product that is constantly viewable on the screen.

Users are given the option to pick sizing, shipment and pay within TikTok. At present, it seems as if customers can only purchase one product at a time through the “Buy Now” option as there is no customer cart available. 

TikTok’s in-app shopping capabilities will bring fierce competition with Instagram which has been developing its own in-app shopping capabilities in order to take advantage of the global ecommerce market.

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The Importance of Social Commerce in 2021

April 2nd, 2021 by

Social media is constantly adapting and evolving to suit the latest consumer trends. The evolution of social media means consumers now communicate with those beyond family and friends. The accessibility and popularity of social platforms means brands are able to play a large role in what we see across social channels. Over the past decade we’ve experienced a shift from text-based updates to visual-based content. Led by platforms such as Instagram and YouTube, social commerce has been able to flourish and has been assisted by newer platforms like TikTok. 

The development of social commerce gives brands the opportunities to create seamless ecommerce experiences directly within their preferred social channels. While users are less likely to engage with branded content, brands are able to capture consumers’ attention and entice them to browse products within the social platform. There are various methods brands can encourage consumers to engage with them including influencer marketing, paid advertising, affiliate programs and in-app shopping features.

Comparison of commerce capabilities of social platforms

TikTok Commerce Capabilities

TikTok has a commerce deal with Shopify and has extended this deal from the US to Europe. This move allows more than 1 million Shopify merchants to access 100 million more TikTok users. Retailers on Shopify can connect their TikTok for Business account to deploy in-feed, shoppable ads. Campaigns can be optimized and tracked with an on-site pixel.

According to Kantar, 83% of TikTok’s audience have made purchases as a result of being inspired by trending content. Brands can sponsor popular TikTok creators to create in-feed TikToks or live streams or invest in paid advertising. Brands can auction to have their ads appear naturally in user’s For You Pages as they scroll down, or pay to reserve the top ad view (the first video users see as they open the app), branded lenses, hashtag challenges or brand takeovers.

Instagram Commerce Capabilities

Instagram has a dedicated Business section that offers Instagram Shopping. This is a set of features that allow users to shop a brand’s photos and videos in the app. Brands can create a customisable storefront that people can shop directly from. Images and videos can include product tags that let businesses highlight products so people can learn more.

Instagram offers live-shopping options through live streams. Influencers or brands can discuss products and provide a shoppable link.

LinkedIn Commerce Capabilities

LinkedIn is a professional social platform which explains why it has less commerce options than other platforms. Within recent years, influencer marketing has become popular on the platform and brands are able to pay for sponsored ad spots, though it is more expensive than on other apps.

Facebook Commerce Capabilities

Facebook offers brands Facebook Shops, which is an online storefront. Businesses can create their shop, customize colours and fonts, pick their ideal catalogue before investing in shoppable ads. The platform offers a seamless experience from discovery to purchase. Users can bookmark their favourite shops, opt into notifications and be part of loyalty schemes.

YouTube Commerce Capabilities

YouTube has been a staple for influencer marketing and general paid-for advertising in brands. It offers an incredible reach for brands to redirect customers to their own websites. It has begun developing live shopping features which are now available in the US. Videos containing the feature have a shopping bag icon; users can click this icon to find out more about the products listed and receive purchasing options.

Pinterest Commerce Capabilities

Pinterest has a dedicated Shop section where users can find links to products in the images and also be linked to similar products. The Shop section takes users to brand stores where customers can make a purchase through there. The feature is currently only available in its most-used countries, but is looking to expand this.

Brands can pay for ads to appear while users are scrolling through the app, although they are not always relevant to searched topics.

Amazon Live Commerce Capabilities

Amazon Live is directly connected to the Amazon Affiliates and Amazon Influencer programmes. Influencers host live streams where they can feature products they are affiliates for and the products mentioned are linked below the video as they appear. Viewers can purchase directly from the linked product. While the live streams and products can be purchased from anywhere, hosting live streams is currently only available for US vendors.

Snapchat Commerce Capabilities

Snapchat doesn’t yet have any direct shopping abilities, but is it a popular for brands to create sponsored filters. These filters are accessible to everyone and often feature VR try-ons for products. Snapchat recently launched Snapchat Spotlight, but does not yet offer in-Spotlight ads, although they are available across the rest of the platform. Influencer marketing has been popular in the past on the app, but isn’t always the go-to for brands.

Upcoming developments to Social Commerce

While most platforms have some form of social commerce capabilities, they are always developing new features to ease the customer buying journey.

In the US, Instagram extends the product labels to influencers posts that consumers can purchase through. In addition, it is developing a global product launch option so people can preview details and set reminders for the launch—it is currently only available to checkout businesses. 

YouTube is also looking to expand its live shopping option globally. This will mean that any viewer can make a purchase directly from a YouTube video, without leaving the platform.

Why You Should Consider Social Commerce

Social commerce presents brands with a non-invasive way to promote products; they are able to seamlessly integrate promotional content into users’ social feeds. With the constant evolution of the social landscape, more and more options are being presented to brands. 

Platforms are focusing on creating social commerce an easy experience for brands and customers alike. With simple set ups of store fronts, business accounts and a plethora of advertising options, brands can save time, money and build trust with customers through social commerce. Brands can keep control over their brand messaging and also smoothly direct customers to either check-out in app or through to their website stores. 

Social commerce is one of the most trackable forms of ecommerce. Brands are able to track ages, locations and all demographics to see which ads perform best with which customers. This means brands can analyse data and amend social promotions in order to create perfectly targeted content.

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